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MS in Vision Science Program Admissions

The Master of Science in Vision Science Degree Program is designed to provide experience in vision research methodology through the development and execution of an original research project, and the completion and defense of a research thesis.

Application Instructions

The program is for candidates who wish to earn a master in science in vision science degree without enrolling in the College's four-year OD program. You must hold a bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for admittance to the MS in Vision Science Degree Program. You must also have taken or plan to take the Graduate Record Exam’s general exam.

Application Process: Applicants may request information and an application package by contacting the Admissions Office directly at 1-800-824-5526 or Applications should be submitted along with the appropriate application fee as early as possible prior to the anticipated start date.

Application Deadline: Applications to the MS in Vision Science Degree Program are accepted from August 1 through April 1 for admission at the beginning of the following fall semester.

Decision Dates: A decision regarding admission to the program will be rendered by May 1, for matriculation in September of the same year.

Application Fee: $45

Admission Requirements:  • BA or BS degree  • College transcripts indicating a minimum of 3.0 GPA  • Any professional degree transcripts  • GRE (general) scores  • An admission essay detailing interest in the M.S. program • Three references attesting to the applicant’s analytical or research skills and potential for success in a research program

Candidate Interviews: Members of the graduate faculty will conduct interviews and laboratory visits will be arranged if possible. Acceptance into the stand-alone program will normally be accompanied with information that identifies the student’s laboratory advisor. All invitations for interviews will be handled by the NECO Office of Admissions.

Application Instructions:

A completed application to the MS in Vision Science Degree Program consists of:

1. A Completed MS in Vision Science Graduate Program Application

The MS in Vision Science graduate program application form is a three-page form that may be downloaded. Most of the questions on the form are self-explanatory. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please read these detailed instructions for completing your graduate programs application:


Transcripts for the graduate programs application must be submitted directly to the College. Transcripts and all other application-related materials must be sent directly from all colleges to the Office of Admissions at the New England College of Optometry, attention: Audrey Burgess. Transcripts enclosed in the application (even if sealed by a registrar) are not acceptable.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Letters of recommendation from professionals and faculty members who are familiar with your work and specifically addressing your potential as a researcher should be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies and sent directly to the Office of Admissions at the New England College of Optometry, attention: Audrey Burgess. The contact information for each also must be listed on the program application.
  • Canadian students should enter a social insurance number in place of a social security number. All international students should provide residency status.
  • Optional questions are for statistical purposes only and are not factors in the acceptance decision.

2. Graduate Record Exam Scores, General Exam

The Graduate Record Examination general exam must be taken before an application is considered complete. Please indicate in the space provided on the program application the date that the examination(s) were taken and the scores if available. Official transcripts of test scores must be received by the Office of Admissions before matriculation can take place.

The registration fee for the general test at present is $195. Please visit the GRE’s website for more information.

Support During the Application Process

The NECO admissions staff is committed to assisting all students who express an interest in submitting an application to the College. Candidates receive periodic updates on the state of their applications throughout the process. Please feel free to contact a member of the staff with any questions during the application process.

Special Notes for International Candidates

In addition to the GRE, applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A total score of 88 including a 22 on the Speaking section is required. Please instruct the Educational Testing Service to send official score reports to the college. For additional information with regard to testing sites, dates, etc., write TOEFL Services, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, New Jersey 08541 USA or check the Web site at The Admissions Committee reserves the right to require applicants to undergo further language testing if deemed necessary. The internet (iBT) TOEFL test is required.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): a minimum total score of 6.5 including a 7 on the Speaking section is required. The IELTS Academic test is required.
  • Only one language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS).
  • Any transcripts from a university outside the United States and Canada will need to be evaluated by the World Education Services (WES).