Curriculum | Vision Science PhD

The Ph.D. in Vision Science Program emphasizes the research training and intellectual foundation necessary for well-rounded scientific research. Students will receive solid training on research methodology and laboratory rotation in the first year, along with classroom experiences for domain-specific knowledge, including courses from at least three broad topical areas and an in-depth understanding of an individual’s primary area of research interests. The following is a sample curriculum for the Ph.D. coursework, which can vary significantly across individuals. Complete course descriptions are available in the course catalog.

Course requirements vary based on students' backgrounds when matriculated into the program.

  • 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.

Required Coursework

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: minimum 6 credits total

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