Comprehensive Knowledge Exam | PhD in Vision Science

Timing of the Examination

With approval of the research advisor, a PhD student can request the qualification examination after successfully completing at least 20 credits out of the 60 credits specified credits for the PhD degree requirement and, if applied, the required MS-level courses. At the time of the qualification examination, the student must also have met the master’s-level thesis requirement.

Qualification Committee

The VSG Committee appoints a Qualification Committee for each student, which is comprised of at least three faculty members of the college. The Qualification Committee is tasked with designing the qualification examination for the student. The Qualification Committee shall be configured to assure eventual student expertise in at least three of the following topical areas of vision science:

  • Vision and Optics
  • Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology of the Eye
  • Eye Diseases and Public Health
  • Oculomotor Functions, Visual Performance, and Applied Vision Science

The qualification examination includes two components: a written exam and an oral exam. The VSG Committee appoints, with consultation of the student, individual student’s Qualification Committee, which shall be comprised of at least 3 faculty members of the college

The written exam will be conducted first. 

The oral examination shall be administered within two weeks after taking the written examination. During the oral examination, the Qualification Committee will collectively quiz the student on concepts within the selected topical areas. The Qualification Committee determines whether the student passes the examination.

After passing the qualification exam, the student will be advanced to the PhD Candidacy.