Vision Science Program


Professor Austin Roorda and a selection of Phd students give an overview of the Vision Science PhD program.

Our Program

The PhD in Vision Science is based largely on research training. The Vision Science Graduate Group is organized in such a way that students are afforded a great amount of flexibility to investigate their research interests. Required course work is primarily taken during the first year, and individual curricula and research are arranged in consultation with the student’s Academic Advisor and Thesis Mentor. Normative time for completion of the PhD in Vision Science is five years. The basic PhD requirements include: 20+ units of core coursework, advancement to candidacy, individualized research, and a dissertation.

Our alumni are represented on the faculty of world-class universities -- in medical schools, schools of optometry, and a wide range of other disciplines spanning psychology, physiology, bioengineering, and ophthalmology. Many others hold research positions in private institutes and federally sponsored agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Still others are to be found in the research and development divisions of industry, from Samsung and Adobe, to Novartis and Allergan.

Program Sequence

The following list serves as a quick guide for the progression of the typical VS graduate student through the program.

Year One
Required Coursework
Lab Rotations

Year Two
Choosing Primary Mentor and Lab
Qualifying Examination

Year Three
Advancement to PhD Candidacy

Year Four

Year Five