Resident Maddie Roth presenting her research at a conference

Residency/MS Program

The College of Optometry offers a two-year combined program including completion of an MS degree in Vision Science simultaneously with a residency in one of four clinical specialties:
Cornea and contact lenses; Binocular vision and pediatrics; Low vision rehabilitation; Community outreach

The Residency/MS program begins in June with 30 hours assigned to clinical activities. Students will take 3 research credits the second session of summer term to explore research interests, meet with advisors, and decide on a project and advisor before autumn semester begins. Beginning in autumn, residents will have 50% of their week assigned to clinical activities and the other 50% dedicated to the pursuit of their MS degree. This balance will be maintained for the remainder of the program, culminating with completion of both the residency and MS at the end of the second spring semester in the program.

Question I am an optometrist who trained outside of the United States. Am I eligible for this program?
Answer

Applicants to this program must hold an optometric doctorate from a US or Canadian program, have passed all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry examinations, and have an active license to practice Optometry in the State of Ohio upon matriculation into the program.

Question Will I be exclusively assigned to clinics for my area of specialization?
Answer

While the majority of your clinical assignments will be aligned with your area of specialization, you may be assigned to additional clinics either by your own request, or the needs of the program.

Question Will I serve as a clinical attending?
Answer

Yes. The first summer of the program will be exclusively direct patient care; however, beginning in the autumn semester, you will transition into more roles as an attending clinician.

Question Does my research project have to match my clinical specialization?
Answer

Not necessarily. Your research advisor is typically not your residency advisor, and thus you are free to explore the option of working with any available faculty advisor for completion of your MS research project.

Prerequisites

  • All students must have a cumulative GPA equivalent of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all prior undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Must be an optometrist eligible for licensure in Ohio.

Application Procedures

  • Must apply to the graduate school.
  • Must have application and all documentation submitted by December 31st for admission the following June. Off cycle applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Early application is encouraged. Competitive applicants with complete applications submitted by November 1st will be offered interviews in November with the potential for early acceptance notification. All other applicants will be reviewed in January and interviews offered to competitive applicants if positions still remain at that time.

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 core courses: 
    • VS 8001 (Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye)
    • VS 8002 (Ocular Motility and Binocular Vision)
    • VS 8003 (Visual Sensory Processes)
    • VS 8004 (Optics of the Eye and Specification of the Visual Stimulus)
  • Must complete the following Vision Science courses: 
    • VS 7101 (Basics of Graduate Work)
    • Vision Science 7960 (Ethics in Biomedical Research)
    • Vision Science 7980 (Statistics for Clinical Research)
  • Completion of an independent research project and thesis is required.
  • Specific training and experience for each specialty:
    • Cornea and Contact Lenses
      • The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in contact lens clinic and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills 
      • Required Autumn Course: VS 8001 (Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye)
    • Binocular Vision and Pediatrics
      • The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time in binocular vision/pediatrics clinic and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills 
      • Required Autumn Course: VS 8002 (Ocular Motility and Binocular Vision)
    • Low Vision Rehabilitation
      • In addition to examining patients within the Low Vision Rehabilitation Service at the College of Optometry, the resident may have opportunities to work in multidisciplinary vison rehabilitation settings. The initial semester in the program will be spent in full-time direct patient care in a variety of clinical settings (Low Vision Rehabilitation, Primary Vision Care, and Disease Evaluation)
      • Required Spring Course: VS 8004 (Optics of the Eye and Specification of the Visual Stimulus)
    • Community Outreach
      • The first summer semester of the program is typically spent full-time at Lower Lights and Faith Mission clinics (local eye care outreach centers) and possibly other clinical settings, providing direct patient care to sharpen clinical skills 
      • One of the following courses is required during the duration of the program:
        • VISSCI 5500    Special Topics in Vision Science: Global Issues in Eye Care (1 credit)
        • PUBHHBP 7544 Health Behavior & Health Promotion: Fundamental Determinants of Population Health and Implications for Public Health (3 credit hours)
        • PUBHHMP 7617 Health Management & Policy: Leadership in Health Care (3 credit hours)
        • PUBHHBP 7520 Health Behavior & Health Promotion: Community Health Assessment (3 credit hours)
        • PUBHHBP 7542 Health Behavior & Health Promotion: Settings and Special Populations in Health Promotion (3 credit hours)

Stipend

The stipend is approximately $43,000 per year.