Designed for optometry students who wish to earn a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS) degree while studying for the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. The dual OD/MS degree is completed within the time frame of the four-year OD degree program and involves modifications to the course sequence in the OD curriculum.
The MS portion of the program features graduate-level courses, seminars, an original research project, and completion of a thesis with a thesis defense. The MS program is designed to develop the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to be a successful scientist. The program emphasizes research in an area of vision science that is determined by your interests and the expertise of our graduate faculty.
The OD/MS Curriculum
The curriculum is based on a total of 36.25 credit hours of study: 12.75 credit hours earned for dual degree courses are also included in the OD curriculum, 11 credit hours are graduate-level courses for MS candidates, and 12.5 credit hours involve the planning and execution of the research project.
Dual Degree Courses
These courses provide much of the necessary background in the major areas of research available to MS students. They are also required for the OD degree so OD/MS students receive dual credit. Laboratory Research Survey provides an overview of the basic areas of research conducted at the College. The graduate faculty give presentations on their research, including major hypotheses and findings, and representative research designs and procedures (These courses offer a total of 12.75 credit hours: 11.5 credit hours for Optics 1, Visual Sensation & Perception and Cell Biology, Histology and Ocular Anatomy; 1.25 credit hours for Labratory Research Survey).
MS Degree Courses
These courses covers the fundamentals of statistical design and data analysis in vision science (total 3 credit hours).
These sessions are held throughout the year and feature invited speakers chosen from an international group of researchers who lecture on a wide variety of topics. Graduate students read and discuss topical papers in advance of each lecture and meet with the guest speaker. Additional lectures are held on research ethics and accepted procedures for the use of human and animal subjects. (total 2 credit hours)
Graduate Research Seminars
The seminars total 6 credit hours and cover the four core content areas available to MS students for their research projects. These areas represent graduate faculty research interests in:
MS Research Credits
This is the major emphasis of the program and involves the development, execution, and completion of a MS thesis (total 12.5 credit hours).