About the Program
The graduate program in physiological optics/vision science is structured to provide a broad base of scientific knowledge about both human and animal visual systems. The program is appropriately flexible to permit students to develop expertise in special interests such as visual optics, visual psychophysics, form and space perception, neurophysiology of vision, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of the visual system, physiology of the eye, eye movement control systems, color mechanisms, binocular vision, and development of vision.
Thirty-one faculty members with diverse academic backgrounds and scientific interests participate in the program, which currently has 40 graduate students.
The facilities and resources for the program are exceptional. Shared facilities include histological facilities with transmission and scanning electron microscopes and a confocal microscope, electrophysiology and molecular and cell biology labs, adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope, eye-trackers, an electronics shop and machine shop with full-time technical personnel, and complete audiovisual facilities. A large optometry clinic is available for patient-based research.
Doctor of Philosophy Track
Students with either a Bachelor of Science degree or a doctorate (or equivalent) degree in optometry or medicine are eligible to enter the Doctor of Philosophy track. This track requires about four years of study, including 60 semester hours of courses, teaching experience, a reading knowledge of a foreign language or research skill, a qualifying examination, original research, with written dissertation, and a defense of the dissertation.