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PhD in Vision Science

The doctoral program provides intensive training for students interested in a research career in academia or industry. PhD students participate in a series of courses, seminars, tutorials and journal clubs and receive intensive training in selected areas of vision research. Students must complete an original doctoral dissertation project in basic, translational or clinical vision research.

The PhD in Vision Science requires the completion of 80 semester hours of course credit. The core curriculum requirements include a year-long Proseminar, which provides a comprehensive introduction to vision science, a minimum of five seminars/tutorials in different designated Option List areas, an introduction to statistical methods, and a course in ethics in research. In addition, students must complete a minimum of two laboratory rotations during the first year. During the laboratory rotations, students develop technical laboratory skills needed for research and gain experience interacting with a variety of researchers in different laboratory settings. By the end of their third year in the program, students complete a qualifying exam which consists of the submission of a written Dissertation Proposal followed by the oral defense of the proposal. Successful completion of the dissertation defense is the final requirement of the doctoral degree. PhD students are eligible for financial support through graduate student stipends, tuition waivers, grants and fellowships.

Download the Curent Doctoral Program Brochure, the Graduate Policy Document and Doctoral Student Handbook for detailed description of the PhD curriculum and requirements:

Download IconCurrent Doctoral Program Brochure
Download IconGraduate Policy Document
Download IconDoctoral Student Handbook

Tuition Waivers and Graduate Assistantships

Full-time PhD students receive tuition waivers and stipends. The stipends are usually in the form of graduate assistantships. As of September 2014, the current graduate assistantship stipend was $33,000 per year. Graduate students with an OD degree and a NYS optometric license may also apply for part-time clinical appointments.

Requirements for Admission to the PhD Program

An applicant must have completed the following requirements to be considered for admission to the PhD in Vision Science Program:

  • Baccalaureate or professional degree
  • Graduate Record Examination (general aptitude tests institutional code 2897) For information about GRE test locations and dates please visit the Education Testing Service website.
  • Competence in both written and spoken English. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Test of Spoken English.
  • Three letters of recommendation mailed directly from the recommender to:
    The Office of Graduate Admissions, SUNY College of Optometry
    33 West 42nd Street, Room 1134
    New York, NY 10036
    or emailed as a pdf file with a valid signature to gradadmissions@sunyopt.edu.
  • Official transcripts of all college and postgraduate courses.

Important Dates for PhD Admission

  • The deadline for completed applications for admission to the PhD Program in Vision Science is January 15 for Fall semester.
  • Applicants are notified no later than April 1 and are required to respond with a decision no later than April 15.

Click Here to Apply to the PhD in Vision Science Program

Application Fee

There is a $75 application fee for the PhD in Vision Science application. If you have previously submitted your application, please pay the application fee.