OD/MS in Vision Science

Master of Science students receive a broad education in a variety of areas of vision science as well as training in the concepts and methods used in both basic and clinical research. A total of 40 semester credit hours in courses or research is required. In addition, students must complete a thesis and oral defense. The combined OD/MS degree program is designed for students interested in conducting independent, original research as an adjunct to their optometric education, including those aspiring to a career in academia.

Qualified first year OD students at the SUNY College of Optometry may apply for admission into the Graduate Program in Vision Science leading to the joint OD/MS degree. OD students apply to the OD/MS program during the Fall semester of their first year in the OD Program. Accepted students enter the MS degree program in the Spring Semester of their first year. Elective time during the regular academic year and summers is devoted to graduate courses and research. This enables students to fulfill both OD and MS degree requirements within four years.

Graduate Policy Document

Students who are accepted into the OD/MS program do not pay any additional tuition for the MS degree portion during the four years they are enrolled in the OD program. In addition, OD/MS students may apply for support from the College’s NEI T35 short-term training grant during the summers they devote to research.

Requirements for Admission to the OD/MS Program in Vision Science 

To be considered for admission to the OD/MS Program in Vision Science, an applicant must have completed the following requirements:

  • Enrolled as a full-time OD student at the SUNY College of Optometry
  • Submission of OAT scores
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted to the Admissions Office.  Letters from past research mentors are optional, but can strengthen your application.
  • Official transcripts of all college and postgraduate courses.
  • Applicants should contact the Admissions Office to have any test scores, letters of recommendation or college transcripts originally provided in their OD program application transferred to their OD/MS Program application.
  • Applicants must meet with potential advisor(s) to discuss possible research projects prior to applying to the OD/MS Program.   Applicants must list a preferred advisor and provide a synopsis of a proposed research project in their applications.

Application Deadline

The deadline for submitting the completed application to the OD/MS Program is November 30.