Vision Science Graduate Program

Vision Science graduate students pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree are part of a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment and guided by faculty from several academic disciplines spanning multiple schools and departments including optometry, ophthalmology, neurobiology, neurology, psychology, behavioral neuroscience, occupational therapy, rehabilitation science and more. The vision science graduate program is organized into four basic themes: ocular biology, systems neuroscience, biomedical optics and patient-based vision research. The program also offers a combined clinical degree (OD/MS) which prepares students for a career that combines clinical practice with vision science research.

Education and training in vision science can open the door to successful careers in teaching, industry, clinical research and discovery, public policy or law. Graduates of the program include tenured professors, associate deans of research in colleges of optometry, physicians and associate directors of leading pharmaceutical companies.


Faculty within the Vision Science Graduate Program have unique expertise in ocular biology, systems neuroscience, biomedical optics and patient-based research. Students are guided and mentored by faculty throughout their graduate studies.

Learn more: Faculty

Financial Support

The Vision Science Graduate Program provides financial support to doctoral students in their first year. This includes fellowship stipend, full tuition and fees, and health insurance. Fellowships are funded by the UAB Graduate School, the Department of Optometry and Vision Science, the National Eye Institute and other outside agencies. A stipend of $29,000 is offered annual to entering students.

Learn more: Financial Support

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees for the Vision Science Graduate Program are set by the UAB Graduate School. For a complete list of current tuition costs and fees, visit the UAB tuition and fees website.

Learn more: Tuition & Fees

OD/MS Degree

The OD/MS combined degree program at the UAB School of Optometry prepares students for careers that combine clinical optometry and clinical and/or basic research in vision science. The program, which involves a combination of basic science, research and clinical training, is for students who have outstanding scholastic qualifications and are highly motivated to pursue careers as clinician-scientists.

Learn more: OD/MS Degree

Doctoral Program

The program requirements for a doctoral degree can be completed in an average of four to five years. The Master of Science degree requirements must be met, in addition to the following requirements:

Learn more: Doctoral Program

Admission Information

Applications for admission to the Vision Science Graduate Program must be submitted through the UAB Graduate School. View the admission requirements below and visit the UAB Graduate School Admissions page for more information.

Admission to the program is for fall entry, though exceptions can be requested. Applicants who submit a completed application by Dec. 15 are given priority. The deadline to submit for fall entry is Jan. 15. 

Learn more: Admission Information

Master of Science Degree Program

The program requirements for the Master of Science degree with the Vision Science Graduate Program can be completed in an average of two to four years.

Learn more: Master of Science Degree Program