Degree Requirements | PhD in Vision Science

To receive the Ph.D. in vision science from the Pacific University College of Optometry, the student must complete the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 60 credit hours of approved coursework beyond the MS degree requirement
  2. Successfully passing the Comprehensive Knowledge Exam on the four topical areas of the Advanced Seminar
  3. A master’s thesis, peer-reviewed research paper, or equivalent1, 2
  4. Proficiency in research skills, as evidenced by passing the Laboratory Study course3
  5. Successfully pass the Ph.D. Candidacy (qualification) exam on the Ph.D. dissertation proposal
  6. A completed written Ph.D. dissertation 
  7. Final oral defense on the Ph.D. dissertation

While an MS degree is not required in order to earn a PhD degree, PhD students are required to meet all course requirements for the MS degree, including all coursework and an MS-level thesis or a peer-reviewed research paper.

A master’s thesis requirement must be met before a PhD student applies for the qualification examination. A previously defended and accepted MS thesis or a manuscript accepted by a peer-reviewed journal is considered meeting this criterion.

3  PhD students are required to demonstrate proficiency in research skills beyond the required courses. Examples include, but are not limited to, computer programming, advanced statistical methods, neuroimaging techniques, or other vision-science related research tools/skills. The research proficiency must be approved by the student’s advisor and his/her dissertation committee.