Director's Welcome


Vision Science incorporates many different fields of study, each helping to the answer the question, “How do we see?” Students choose a research mentor from a wide variety of experts whose approaches to vision and the eye include optical, biochemical, molecular, biophysical, neuronal, immunological, and cognitive.

A comprehensive didactic education in vision science and biomedical sciences combined with the pursuit of an original research project ensures that each student is well prepared for a career in biomedical research. However, the program also has the flexibility to prepare students whose career goals differ from those of the traditional biomedical researcher. This is facilitated by the strong interdisciplinary environment in which the Vision Science Graduate Program participates. Students have the opportunity to participate in graduate courses offered by many other university departments and to work with research mentors from across campus.

One of the main strengths of the Vision Science Graduate Program is in fact the wide range of mentoring choices beyond the Vision sciences department. Our alumni have successfully completed MS or PhD projects with mentors from Vision Sciences, Optometry, Ophthalmology, Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, and other departments.

The Vision Science Graduate Program also offers a four year combined OD/MS degree program. This gives UAB Optometry students the opportunity to develop as both clinician and scientist. With this preparation, OD/MS graduates have the opportunity to advance the very diagnostic procedures and treatments they use in clinical practice.

All students are encouraged to gain teaching experience during their time as a graduate student, an invaluable attribute for those pursuing careers in academic research or biomedical research institutions and other settings.

Students enter our program with baccalaureate or masters level preparation in biological, biomedical, neurological, physical, or health related science.

The Vision Science Graduate Program has prepared many students for careers in biomedical and clinical research, and for a combination of research and clinical practice. You can read about our accomplished alumni and the career paths they chose to learn more about the diversity of career opportunities available with a degree from the Vision Science Graduate Program. We look forward to hearing from you.

Roderick J Fullard, O.D., Ph.D.