PhD in Vision Science Course Work

The Ph.D. in Vision Science Program emphasizes the research training and intellectual foundation necessary for well-rounded scientific research. Students will receive domain-specific knowledge from four areas of advanced seminars, solid training on research methodology and laboratory rotation, and an in-depth understanding an individual’s primary research area. 

Course requirements vary based on students' backgrounds when matriculated into the program. Complete course descriptions are available in the course catalog.

  • All students must complete courses from the following five categories (43.5 credits total).
  • Students with a vision-science relevant master's degree from an accredited institution (but not from Pacific University) must complete a minimum of 58.5 credits, which include all of the courses listed above, plus the Vision Science Seminar series (an additional 6 credits), Basic Research Skills (8 credits), and Clinical Skills (1 credit) listed in the Master's program curriculum.
  • Students without a relevant Master's degree need to take all Ph.D. courses mentioned above and complete the Master's degree curriculum. 

The required minimum of 58.5 credit hours of Ph.D. coursework can be satisfied by:

  • Vision Science Core Courses required for the MS degree* 
  • Vision Science Seminars courses*
  • Basic Research skills*
  • Ph.D. Advanced Research Skills
  • Ph.D. Vision Research Colloquium
  • Ph.D. Research Work
  • Ph.D. Advanced Seminars
  • Teaching Experiences
  • Elective courses

*waived for students with Pacific University MSVS degree 

Other coursework may be counted toward degree requirements if approved by the VSG Committee.

Curriculum details

Ph.D. Advanced Research Skills: 2.5 Credits

  • VSC 802 - Advanced Research Methodology, 1.5 credits
  • VSC 861 - Survey of Vision Science Laboratories, 1.0 credit

PhD Colloquium: 4.0 Credits

  • VSC 801 - Ph.D. Vision Research Colloquium: 4 credits total (Starting from their second year, Ph.D. students must make an annual research presentation in the Colloquium course.)

Ph.D. Research Work: 18 credits

  • VSC 862 - Laboratory Study, 3.0 credits
  • VSC 902 - Proposal Writing & Grant Application, 3.0 credits
  • VSC 991 - Dissertation Research, 1-3 credit(s), minimum 12 credits total

Ph.D. Advanced Seminars: 12.0 credits

  • VSC 811 - Advanced Seminar in Vision & Optics, 3.0 credits
  • VSC 821 - Advanced Seminar in Ocular Anatomy & Physiology, 3.0 credits
  • VSC 831 - Advanced Seminar in Eye Diseases & Public Health, 3.0 credits
  • VSC 841 - Advanced Seminar in Oculomotor Function & Visual Performance, 3.0 credits

Ph.D. Teaching Experiences: 2.0 credits

  • OPT 970 - Teaching Experiences, 1.0 credit, minimum 2 credits total

Electives: 5.0 credits