Coursework | PhD in Vision Science

The required minimum of 60 credit hours of PhD coursework can be satisfied by:

  • Credits for courses about research methodology and vision research skills
  • Credits for basic vision science courses required for the MS degree
  • Credits for independent study (OPT 956) and dissertation research (OPT xxx)
  • Credits for topic-specific vision science courses, advanced seminars (OPT xxx) and focused study (OPT 979) for meeting the requirement of the PhD qualification exam
  • Course credits for teaching (OPT 970) 
  • Course credits for other coursework accepted by the VSG Committee

Required General Research Courses (Minimum 10 Credit Hours)

Course Number Course Title Credits
  Advanced Research Methodology 2
  Survey of Vision Science Research Laboratories 11
  Research Laboratory Study 32
  Vision Research Colloquium 12
  • 1Survey of Vision Science Research Laboratories can be repeated two times.
  • 2Research Laboratory Study, Vision Science Colloquium and Vision Science Journal Club can be repeated multiple times.

Independent Study and Dissertation Research (12-15 Credit Hours)

  • OPT 956 | Independent Study (1 credit)
  • Dissertation Research (3 credits)

Both courses can be repeated multiple times.

Courses from Topical Areas (Minimum 10 Credit Hours in Each)

Students need to select courses from at least three topical areas, with a minimum of 10 credit hours, including an Advanced Seminar and a Focused Study (OPT 979), from each area. While a course may be categorized to multiple topical areas and counted as part of the 10 credit hours for individual topic area, its credit hours can only be counted toward the degree requirement once. Students must have the approval of their advisor and the course instructor before taking a course. Courses are offered with a minimum of five students unless specially approved by the college Academic Office. Complete course descriptions are available in the course catalog.

Topic 1: Vision and Optics

OPT 601 | Ophthalmic Optics (3 credits)
OPT 616 | Theory and Methods of Refraction (3 credits)
OPT 617 | Optometric Case Analysis (4 credits)
OPT 618 | Theory & Practice of Spherical Rigid & Soft Contact Lenses w/Lab (3 credits)
OPT 647 | Ophthalmic Dispensing Procedures w/lab (2 credits)
OPT 716 | Theory & Practice of Specialty Contact Lenses w/Lab (3.5 credits)
OPT 718 | Advanced Optometric Case Analysis (2 credits)
OPT 725 | Assessment and Management of Strabismus and Amblyopia w/Lab (4 credits)
OPT 740 | Seminar in Contact Lenses (2 credits)
OPT 749 | Refractive Surgery (1.5 credits)
OPT 910 | Seminar in Ophthalmic Optics (1-3 credits)
OPT 916 | Seminar in Functional Vision and Pediatrics (1-3 credits)
OPT 918 | Seminar in Contact Lenses (1-3 credits)
OPT 925 | Seminar in Strabismus & Amblyopia w/lab (1-3 credits)
OPT 9xx-I | Advanced Seminar in Vision and Optics (2 credits)
OPT 979-I | Focused Study (in Vision and Optics) (2 credits)

Topic 2: Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology of the Eye

OPT 535 | Functional Neuroanatomy and Neurobiology (3 credits)
OPT 702 | Nutritional Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 707 | Pediatric Ocular Disease & Disorders (1 credit)
OPT 714 | Pediatric & Developmental Optometry w/lab (3 credits)
OPT 716 | Specialty Contact Lenses w/lab (3.5 credits)
OPT 725 | Assessment & Management of Strabismus and Amblyopia w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 734 | Ocular Manifestation of Neurologic Disease (2 credits)
OPT 743 | Neurorehabilitative Optometry (2 credits)
OPT 756 | Ophthalmic Imaging (1 credit)
OPT 901 | Seminar in New Ophthalmic Instrumentation and materials (1 credit)
OPT 907 |  Seminar in Electrodiagnostics (1-3 credits)
OPT 908 | Seminar in Neuro-rehabilitation (1-3 credits)
OPT 931 | Seminar in Visual System Structure, Function, and Biochemistry (1-3 credits)
OPT 9xx-II | Advanced Seminar in Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology of the Eye (2 credits)
OPT 979-II | Focused Study (in Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology of the Eye) (2 credits)

Topic 3: Eye Diseases and Public Health

OPT 532 | Essentials of Medical Pharmacology I (1 credit)
OPT 533 | Ocular Disease I w/lab (3 credits)
OPT 537 | Systemic Diseases & Medications I (3 credits)
OPT 541 | Essentials of Medical Pharmacology II (1 credit)
OPT 560 | Evidence Based Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 631 | Ocular Disease II w/lab (3 credits)
OPT 633 | Ocular Disease III w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 637 | Systemic Diseases & Medications II (3 credits)
OPT 638 | Systemic Diseases & Medications III (2 credits)
OPT 640 | Essentials of Medical Pharmacology III (1 credit)
OPT 702 | Nutritional Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 725 | Assessment & Management of Strabismus and Amblyopia w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 728 | Assessment and Manage of Partially Sighted Patient (2 credits)
OPT 733 | Ocular Disease IV w/lab (3 credits)
OPT 734 | Ocular Manifest of Neurologic Disease (2 credits)
OPT 735 | Applied Ocular Therapeutics (1 credit)
OPT 758 | Genomics in Eye Care (1 credit)
OPT 759 | Geriatric Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 761 | Public Health Optometry (2 credits)
OPT 909 | Seminar in Color Vision (1 credit)
OPT 932 | Seminar in Ophthalmic/Systemic Disease (1 credit)
OPT 934 | Seminar in Ocular manifestations of neurological diseases (1 credit)
OPT 943 | Seminar in Neurorehabilitative Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 962 | Seminar in Presentation Methods in the Health Professions (1 credit)
OPT 969 | Seminar in International Optometry (1 credit)
OPT 906 | Seminar in Public Health (1 credit)
OPT 9xx-III | Advanced Seminar in Oculomotor Functions, Visual Performance & Applied Vision Science (2 credits)
OPT 979-III | Focused Study (in Oculomotor Functions, Visual Performance & Applied Vision Science) (2 credits)

Topic 4: Oculomotor Functions, Visual Performance, and Applied Vision Science

OPT 562 | Behavioral Optometric Science w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 615 | Vision Therapy for Binocular and Oculomotor Dysfunction w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 714 | Pediatric and Developmental Optometry (3 credits)
OPT 725 | Assessment and Management of Strabismus and Amblyopia w/lab (4 credits)
OPT 727 | Evaluation & Management of Patients with Perceptual Problems w/lab (2 credits)
OPT 728 | Assessment & Management of the Partially Sighted Patient (2 credits)
OPT 743 | Neurorehabilitative Optometry (2 credits)
OPT 744 | Vision Problems and Learning (3 credits)
OPT 746 | Sports and Recreational Vision w/lab (2 credits)
OPT 763 | Environmental, Occupational, and Recreational Vision (2 credits)
OPT 765 | Seminar in Multidisc Service (1 credit)
OPT 917 | Seminar in Visual-Motor Function (1 credit)
OPT 919 | Seminar in Environmental Vision (1 credit)
OPT 944 | Seminar in Vision Problems Relate to Learning (1 credit)
OPT 946 | Seminar in Sports and Recreational Vision (1 credit)
OPT 956 | Independent Study (1 credit)
OPT 961 | Seminar in Visual Information Processing (1 credit)
OPT 9xx-IV | Advanced Seminar in Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology of the Eye (2 credits)
OPT 979-IV | Focused Study (in Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology of the Eye) (2 credits)

Other Elective Courses

OPT 970 | Teaching Skills (1 credit)

Teaching can be a critical component of graduate education in Vision Science. A qualified PhD student can earn the course credit OPT 970 (Teaching Experience) by applying to teach in the optometry professional school (OD) curriculum in topical courses determined and approved by the student’s advisor and college administration. This provides vision science students with teaching experience in a mentored environment and expands their knowledge of clinical aspects of vision science. With approval from the advisor and course instructor, students may take OPT 970 for teaching experiences.

With special approval from the VSG Committee, other courses taken in the college or from other disciplines may be counted toward the degree.

OPT 9xx | Curricular Pracical Training (CPT) (1 credit)

Graduate students seeking internship credit for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) can apply for credit for Opt 9xx. To be eligible for CPT, students must maintain full-time academic enrollment unless he/she has completed all other coursework requirement except for thesis/dissertation. Registration for CPT will be approved ONLY when the employment is directly related to the student’s academic studies. The Opt 9xx credits will not be counted toward the degree requirement.