New England College of Optometry 2014-2015 Catalog
The College
Faculty Listing
Academic Programs
Admission, Costs, Financial Aid
Academic Policies

Graduate Programs

M.S. in Vision Science

The Master of Science in Vision Science is designed to provide experience in vision research methodology through the development and execution of an original research project, and completion and defense of a research thesis. The curriculum is based on a total of 36.25 credit hours of study.

antique drawing of cornea

The College seeks to admit students into this program who possess the qualities necessary for success in research. The goal of the program is to train students (especially optometrists) to perform original research in vision science. There are two ways to earn this degree:

Dual OD/MS Degrees

Designed for optometry students who wish to earn a Master of Science (MS) degree while studying for the Doctor of Optometry degree, the MS degree in the dual degree program is available at no additional cost to qualified students who are enrolled in the College’s OD degree program.

Stand-alone MS Degree

Designed for candidates who wish to earn the MS degree without enrolling in the College’s OD degree program. Qualified candidates must have a college-level background in science or a professional degree. This is a single, tuition-based graduate degree program.

The MS program features graduate-level courses, seminars, an original research project, and completion of a thesis with a thesis defense. The dual OD/MS degree is completed within the time frame of the four-year professional degree program and involves modifications to the course sequence in the OD curriculum. The stand-alone MS degree is usually completed in two years.

The Master of Science in Vision Science 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 the student’s interests and the expertise of the graduate faculty, as defined by their ongoing research programs.

Students who are accepted into this program will have training in areas not typically available to optometry students. This will provide enhanced career opportunities. MS degree candidates develop skills that can help them contribute new knowledge to the field, help them assess new scientific developments relevant to optometry, and enable them to be more competitive for residencies and academic and industry positions following graduation. The graduates of this program have the potential to become intellectual leaders in the profession.

Graduate Programs Brochure

Curriculum:  An Overview of the Master of Science Program 

Graduate Faculty for the MS Program and Areas of Research

For the application for OD/MS or stand alone MS

OD/PhD Dual Degree Program with Boston University School of Medicine

Program of Study

The Division of Graduate Medical Sciences of the Boston University School of Medicine (GMS), and The New England College of Optometry (NECO) have established a combined Doctor of Optometry (OD) and PhD program. The core curriculum for the proposed program incorporates the professional curriculum of the New England College of Optometry and adds the requisite curriculum of the post-Master’s graduate programs of the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine. This sequence is similar in its programmatic elements to the Boston University MD/PhD program.

Students in the combined degree program will complete the first two years of the optometry professional program. Assuming satisfactory academic performance standards have been met during these two years, the student will then begin the post-Master's Ph.D. curriculum at Boston University as proscribed by the department or program into which they have been admitted. Depending upon the department and the major advisor chosen among the primary faculty, individual trainees of this program can qualify in any of the following disciplines: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Medicine, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biomedical Neuroscience, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biophysics or Medical Nutrition Sciences.

Upon completion of this program and satisfactory defense of the dissertation, the student will return to the New England College of Optometry to complete their clinical training. Upon completion of the requirements for the Doctor of Optometry degree, both degrees will be conferred at the respective commencements of the two participating institutions.

Institutional Profiles and Research Facilities

Admissions to the OD/PhD Dual Degree program

The Admissions Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee of the New England College of Optometry will review all applications earmarked for the combined OD/PhD degree program on an early action basis, with a decision by December 15th. OAT scores are required for admission to the professional program

If acceptance into the professional program is recommended, the names will be forwarded to the Admissions Committee of the OD/PhD Program at Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. The Admissions Committee for the PhD portion of the combined program will render a decision by February 15th.

Matriculated students at the New England College of Optometry may also be admitted to the combined program during their first professional year by submitting a complete application.

Application for the OD/PhD dual degree program 

Cost of Study for the OD/PhD program

Tuition and fees for the first two years of the OD professional program can be found here:

Tuition for the first year of the BU graduate program is covered through GRASP Credits of the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. The New England College of Optometry will provide a first year stipend in exchange for laboratory assistant teaching. Following completion of the Ph.D. qualifying examination, continuing student fees are covered by the BU department in which the student is enrolled, while ongoing stipend support is provided by the student's mentor.

Upon completion of the dissertation, annual tuition for the remaining two years of the professional program at NECO will be the same as that which the student would have paid if he/she continued with the class in which they began the professional program.