Vision is one of the most valuable sensory modalities. It is also the source of a rich array of research questions relating to how we see, how and why vision fails, and what can be done about it. Investigators in Vision Science conduct human and animal research and modeling, yielding cutting-edge discoveries and applications in disciplines that include molecular genetics, clinical care, adaptive optics, neurobiology, cell biology, infectious disease, bioengineering, perception, and public health.

This Ph.D. program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of vision science research through broad exposure to the basic concepts and techniques used in specialized fields. Engaged in laboratory-based and clinical research, our students work with faculty advisers whose research matches their interests. Current research topics include biomedical optics, perception and visual cognition, molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, computational vision, genetics, immunology, microbiology, and clinical science.

To complete our Ph.D. program, students must complete a minimum of 120 units. These units can be earned by taking VISCI 260A, VISCI 260B, VISCI 260C, VISCI 260D, VISCI 298, VISCI 201A, VISCI 201B, and VISCI 300. Students in our program are also allowed to take course across campus as it fits into their research and progress towards their thesis.

Vision Science alumni are represented on the faculty of world-class universities - in medical schools, schools of optometry, and a wide range of other disciplines spanning psychology, physiology, bioengineering, and ophthalmology. Many others hold research positions in private institutes and federally sponsored agencies, including NASA and the NIH. Still, others can be found in the research and development divisions of the industry. Ophthalmic and biotechnology companies are among the major recruiters of our graduates.

Due to the program's interdisciplinary nature, we accept students with various backgrounds, including psychology, optometry, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, and integrative biology.