Vision scientists study the eye and how we see. Their work includes the study of biochemistry, biophysics, epidemiology, molecular biology, cell biology, neuroscience, optics, ophthalmology, optometry, pathology, physiology, psychology, statistics, and any other discipline that relates to the eye and its problems. Both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees provide breadth through a variety of courses and depth through original research leading to a thesis or a dissertation.
Courses in Vision Science
Financial Aid and Fellowships
The degree requirements for admission are flexible in order to accommodate students who come to vision science from a variety of backgrounds. A bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in science is required, and this should include coursework appropriate to the area of vision science in which the student wishes to pursue research.
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Master of Science Degree
A total of 30 credit hours is required, of which 15 must be didactic hours in vision science or in approved substitutes. Students holding the O.D. degree, or enrolled in the O.D. program, may apply up to 4 credit hours to this requirement of 15 didactic credit hours.
Early in the program, students participate in a research project under the direction of a faculty advisor. The advisor is chosen by the student after consultation with the director of the graduate program. Research toward the thesis is guided by the advisor and a committee. After completion of the thesis, at least three members of the graduate faculty give it final approval.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
Students must demonstrate breadth of knowledge in vision science. This requirement is normally fulfilled by completion of V700 and V701 with a minimum grade of B in each course.
Each semester, students are required to register for and participate in the weekly Vision Science Seminar (V765) known as "Oxyopia." Participation implies that the seminar will be taken for credit and that the student will make an annual presentation.
A total of 90 credit hours is required, of which 30 must come from didactic courses. Students holding the O.D. degree, or enrolled in the O.D. program, may apply up to 6 credit hours to this requirement of 30 didactic credit hours.
A student will be nominated to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree after successful completion of a written and oral qualifying examination. These examinations are administered by the student's advisory committee. The written component is the dissertation proposal, and can be in the form of a grant application. The requirement of 30 credit hours of didactic course work must be fulfilled prior to the qualifying examination. Participation in the Ph.D. program will be terminated if a student fails the qualifying examination twice.
Students are encouraged to start working on a research project early in the program, preferably before the end of the first year. A dissertation proposal should be submitted to the advisory committee at the end of the second year. After completion of the written dissertation, it is presented and defended at a scheduled seminar meeting. The dissertation must be approved by the student's research committee.
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The number of credit hours given a course is indicated in parentheses following the course title. The abbreviation "P" refers to the course prerequisite(s).
V595 First-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V695 Second-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V700 Introduction to Vision Science I (4 cr.) The first of a two-semester sequence of courses that provides a comprehensive introduction to vision science. The course is designed for graduate students enrolled in Vision Science, but is also suitable for students from other disciplines who are interested in the eye and vision.
V701 Introduction to Vision Science II (4 cr.) The second of a two-semester sequence of courses on vision science. V700 and this course constitute a breadth requirement for Ph.D. students in Vision Science.
V723 The Eye as an Optical Instrument (4 cr.) P: V663 or equivalent.
V754 The Motility of the Eye (4 cr.) P: V665 or equivalent. Quantitative and qualitative study of eye movements and myologic reflexes, monocular and binocular, and related phenomena.
V765 Vision Sciences Seminar (1 cr.) Students in the Ph.D. program in Vision Science are required to take this seminar and make a presentation annually.
V768 Special Topics in Vision Science (1-4 cr.) Covers topics that are not offered on a regular basis. Possible topics include cell and molecular biology as it relates to the eye and vision, comparative studies of the vertebrate eye, current research, experimental design, optical and ophthalmic instruments, pathology, and pharmacology. This course may be taken for credit more than once when different topics are covered.
V783 Monocular Sensory Aspects of Vision (4 cr.) P: V664 or equivalent. Analysis of visual stimulus and its perception in color, form, brightness, motion, etc.
V791 Quantitative Methods for Vision Research (3 cr.) Introduction to communication theory approach to problems in vision. Topics include the sensory nerve code, representation of nerve messages by orthogonal functions, sampling theorem, linear filters, Fourier analysis in one and two dimensions, analysis of directional data, stochastic processes, and signal detection theory.
V795 Third-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V799 M.S. Thesis Research (1-10 cr.)
V801 Basic Experimental Design and Methods in Vision Science (3 cr.) An introduction to basic research skills in vision science.
V899 Ph.D. Dissertation Research (1-12 cr.)
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A610 Comparative Neuroanatomy (2 cr.) Medical Sciences Program, School of Medicine
L586 Molecular Analysis of Cell Biology (3 cr.) Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
P553 Advanced Statistics in Psychology I (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P554 Advanced Statistics in Psychology II (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P564 Psychophysics (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P566 Psychophysiology of Vision (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
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A graduate student enrolled in the Vision Science Program may be eligible for fee remission awards and for fellowship and assistantship awards.
Indiana University assistance includes the Chancellor's Fellowship, Women in Science Graduate Fellowship, and the Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship. The Chancellor's Fellowship has an annual stipend of $20,000. To be considered for one of these fellowships, a student should submit an Indiana University Graduate School Application Form for Admission and Financial Aid by January 15. The application form is available from the Indiana University School of Optometry Office of Student Administration or from the University Graduate School, Kirkwood Hall 111, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-3901; (812) 855-8853; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, a graduate student may apply for Ezell Fellowships of the American Optometric Foundation, 6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 506, Rockville, MD 20852; (301) 984-4734; http://www.aaopt.org/aof/scholarship/ezell/index.asp. The application deadline is April 10. Application forms for the annual $3,000 Fellowship of the Foundation for Vision Awareness (AFVA), which is awarded to worthy individuals pursuing graduate study, may be obtained from the American Optometric Association, 243 N. Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63141; (800) 927-2382; www.afva.com. The application deadline is March 1.
For other financial aid, grant-in-aid, and fellowships refer to the University Graduate School Bulletin. Information is also available on the School of Optometry Web site at www.opt.indiana.edu/admis/fa.htm.
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