Two OD/MS students talking in the Bad Habits Lounge

OD/MS Program

Optometry students in The Ohio State University College of Optometry can earn a Master of Science degree while they concurrently earn their Doctor of Optometry degree. This program is not open to outside applicants.

Question When do I apply for the combined OD/MS program?

An internal application cycle will open in January of your first year in the optometry program. Applications will be due to the graduate program coordinator by February 15th.

Question How do I know who is available to advise me in this program?

In January, faculty who are able to take combined OD/MS students into their lab will provide presentations of their research lab’s work to interested first year optometry students.

Question How will my advisor be determined?

We encourage first year optometry students to meet with faculty in January and early February whom they are interested in working with. We will then use a match system to identify student and advisor pairings.

Question Will participation in the OD/MS program cost me additional tuition?

Since optometry students are already enrolled in enough credit hours to hit maximum tuition, there is no additional cost for taking MS courses to earn the combined OD/MS degree.


All students must have a cumulative undergraduate and optometry GPA equivalent of at least 3.0.

Application Procedures

  • An initial internal application will be submitted in February of the first year of the OD program
  • Students who are offered conditional acceptance must apply to the graduate school when instructed by the graduate program coordinator following completion of the first year of the optometry program (typically in May).

Application Requirements

Degree Requirements

In consultation with their advisor, students select coursework according to their interests. However, coursework must include:

  • 30 graduate credit hours; no more than 10 credit hours of Vision Science 7999 (research credits) count toward the degree
  • Must complete at least two of the following four courses:
    • Vision Science 8001 (Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye)
    • Vision Science 8002 (Ocular Motility and Binocular Vision)
    • Vision Science 8003 (Visual Sensory Processes)
    • Vision Science 8004 (Optics of the Eye and Specification of the Visual Stimulus)
  • Vision Science 7101 (Basics of Graduate Work)
  • Vision Science 7960 (Ethics in Biomedical Research)
  • Vision Science 7980 (Statistics for Clinical Research)
  • Vision Science 6300 & 6320 taken in the optometry curriculum may contribute up to 10 of the 30 credit hours required for the MS degree
  • Completion of an independent research project and thesis is required.