Vision is one of the most valuable sensory modalities. It is also the source of a rich array of research questions relating to how we see, how and why vision fails, and what can be done about it. Investigators in Vision Science conduct human and animal research and modeling, yielding cutting-edge discoveries and applications in disciplines that include molecular genetics, clinical care, adaptive optics, neurobiology, cell biology, infectious disease, bioengineering, perception, and public health.
This PhD program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of vision science research through broad exposure to the basic concepts and techniques used in specialized fields. Engaged in both laboratory-based and clinical research, our students are working with faculty advisers whose research matches their own interests. Current research topics include biomedical optics, perception and visual cognition, molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, computational vision, genetics, immunology, microbiology and clinical science.
Vision Science 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, including NASA and the NIH. Still, others can be found in the research and development divisions of the industry. Ophthalmic and biotechnology companies are among the major recruiters of our graduates.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, we accept students with various backgrounds including psychology, optometry, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, and integrative biology. Join us!
While we do not require a specific undergraduate major to apply to the Vision Science program, you must have a bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution. If you have any questions about the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us -- we are here to help!How to Apply
The Vision Science Group Program financially supports students to fully cover the cost of graduate stipends, tuition and fees, and graduate conference travel for the first 2 years if the student is not funded by an external grant or fellowship. Starting in Year 3 support is provided by the thesis mentor.Student Funding
If you have questions about the admissions process, you can contact our Admissions staff. Telephone advising sessions and in-person advising is available. Email the Admissions staff to schedule an appointment.Advising
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In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of California, Berkeley publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This report includes current security policies plus crime and fire statistics for the previous three calendar years. The body of the report also contains contact information for various campus and community resources related to crime prevention and survivor assistance. A digital copy of the report can be accessed via the link below, or paper copies are available free of charge at 1 Sproul Hall.2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report