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.
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 course work appropriate to the area of vision science in which the student wishes to pursue research.
Students must demonstrate breadth of knowledge in vision science. This requirement is normally fulfilled by completion of V 700 and V 701 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 (V 765) known as "Oxyopia." Participation implies that the seminar will be taken for credit and that students will make presentations.
At the end of the first year in the program an examination is administered for promotion to the second year. By this time, students should also have demonstrated an appropriate command of spoken and written English.
Participation in the Ph.D. program will be terminated if a student fails the qualifying examination twice.
Ph.D. Minor in Vision Science
Students from other departments who wish to minor in vision science should complete VSCI-V 700 and 701, Introduction to Vision Science I and II, and at least one other course from the following group: VSCI-V 705, 723, 783, and 791.
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).
V 595 First-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V 695 Second-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V 700 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.
V 701 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.
V 705 Ocular Surface Biology (4 cr.) Basic biology and physiology of the ocular surface, including the cornea, conjunctiva, and tear film.
V 723 The Eye as an Optical Instrument (4 cr.) P: V 663 or equivalent.
V 754 The Motility of the Eye (4 cr.) P: V 665 or equivalent. Quantitative and qualitative study of eye movements and myologic reflexes, monocular and binocular, and related phenomena.
V 765 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.
V 768 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.
V 783 Monocular Sensory Aspects of Vision (4 cr.) P: V664 or equivalent. Analysis of visual stimulus and its perception in color, form, brightness, motion, etc.
V 791 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.
V 792 Ethical Issues in Scientific Research (1 cr.) This course explores the ethical issues and dilemmas raised by research in the biological sciences.
V 795 Third-Year Research (1-5 cr.)
V 799 M.S. Thesis Research (1-10 cr.)
V 801 Basic Experimental Design and Methods in Vision Science (3 cr.) An introduction to basic research skills in vision science.
V 899 Ph.D. Dissertation Research (1-12 cr.)
A 610 Comparative Neuroanatomy (2 cr.) Medical Sciences Program, School of Medicine
L 586 Molecular Analysis of Cell Biology (3 cr.) Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
P 553 Advanced Statistics in Psychology I (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P 554 Advanced Statistics in Psychology II (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P 564 Psychophysics (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
P 566 Psychophysiology of Vision (3 cr.) Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
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; www.ezell.org. 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.ioa.org. The application deadline is March 1.For other financial aid, grants-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.