The Master of Science in Vision Science is a research-based graduate degree. Research is a vital part of the ongoing development of the profession since it provides the basis for new understanding and new treatments of vision conditions. The research undertaken in fulfillment of the Master of Science degree will provide new knowledge for the profession and train the candidate in the conduct of sound research as a potential future educator and researcher.

SCCO’s Master of Science in Vision Science program at MBKU seeks to admit students possessing the qualities and motivation necessary for success in clinically applied research. Admission is based on an assessment of both academic and non-academic qualifications including; an application, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and the admissions interview.

All applicants must submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts with a minimum grade point average of 3.00, an application which may be obtained from the website, and a $50 non-refundable application fee, letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability in the area of research, a 300-500 word personal statement of interest, including current goals, personal career plans, reasons for selecting a field of study and a current curriculum vitae. In addition, applicants interested in concurrent Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Vision Science enrollment must submit OAT scores (or other appropriate test results, such as, MCAT, DAT, or GRE). Applicants who already hold a Doctor of Optometry degree must submit NBEO scores. 

Additional requirements for applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents include having graduated from an optometry or medical school that has comparable training to a U.S. optometry or medical program. Applicants need to be English-speaking or have demonstrated satisfactory command of the English language by taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL can be replaced by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum acceptable scores are: GRE (300), TOEFL (80), TSE (50) and IELTS (7.0). All tests must be taken within two years of applying for the Master of Science in Vision Science program.

All foreign applicants will need to provide proof of adequate funds to cover all fees and expenses for the entire graduate program as a condition for the issuing of a visa to enter the U.S. These applicants are not eligible for funding (e.g., teaching assistant, research assistant, school grants or aid) to pursue the Master of Science degree. Interviews are required of all applicants.

The application deadline for individuals applying for the combined OD/MS program is the end of the 8th week of the Fall quarter of their first year in the OD program. Other applicants should apply a minimum of 3 months before the quarter in which they wish to start the MS program.

Accuracy of Information

The submission of any false or misleading information of any kind in support of an application for admission to the graduate programs of the SCCO at MBKU can result in the permanent cancellation or rescission of admission by the assistant dean for graduate studies. It is the responsibility of the applicant that all information is accurate and complete.

Once an application package is complete, it will be forwarded to the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies. The application will be reviewed and the applicant will either be interviewed or advised of a decision not to admit. No application will be considered complete, and no admissions decision will be made without a personal interview. The application deadline for individuals in the OD program is the end of the 8th week of the Fall quarter of their first year. There is no application deadline for applicants to the stand-alone MS program.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Ridder at