Jul 22, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2023-2024 
Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Visual Science, BS


The program in Visual Science is available only to students who have been admitted to the Doctor of Optometry who do not have a bachelor’s degree. Prior to starting in the program, students must have completed at least 90 semester credits of coursework.


Further information about the degree and how to pursue it may be obtained from Graduate Admissions (gradadmissions@pacificu.edu).

Degree Requirements

124 semester credits are required, including:

Natural Sciences

35 semester credits taken from at least two of the following disciplines:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Social Sciences

8 semester credits taken from at least two of the following disciplines:

  • Anthropology
  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cultural studies
  • Economics
  • Education***
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Gender Studies
  • History***
  • Linguistics
  • Political Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Sociology


8 semester credits taken from at least two of the following disciplines:

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Communications/Media
  • Education***
  • English
  • Ethics
  • History***
  • Humanities
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Speech
  • Theater

***Note - Education and History coursework will be evaluated as Humanities or Social Science credit based on the specific course description.

Professional Courses in Optometric Science

Successful completion of all coursework listed under First Professional Year in the OD curriculum.

Program Details

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Use scientific methods and reasoning within the context of the natural sciences;
  • Recognize the distinctive nature and limits of scientific knowledge: that it is an evolving model of the natural world, discovered and verified through experimentation and observation;
  • Be familiar with social science approaches to the explanation of social or psychological phenomena;
  • Use theory and concepts from social science to understand and/or address social or psychological phenomena, issues, and problems;
  • Analyze, interpret and evaluate texts critically as they relate to the humanities;
  • Develop their ability to communicate effectively and to persuasively defend and imaginatively convey ideas, knowledge, emotions and experiences;
  • Reflect on their own culture and values as they learn to understand and appreciate the values of other cultures, peoples, and areas within their own context.

In addition, they will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to acquire, analyze and apply new information in vision science;
  • Demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills that integrate current knowledge and scientific advances in vision science;
  • Have an understanding of professional ethics and challenges to the optometric profession posed by conflicts of interest inherent in health care delivery, and the ability to incorporate those principles into decisions affecting patient care, always keeping patient’s welfare foremost;
  • Have a working understanding of the basic organ systems, with special emphasis on the ocular and visual system and their interrelationships to the body as a whole;
  • Have a working understanding of cellular, molecular and genetic basis of the development, physiology, and pathology as it relates to normal eye function and eye disease;
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the optics of the eye;
  • Have a working knowledge of the mechanisms of actions of the various classes of pharmaceutical agents;
  • Understand basic concepts of behavioral optometric science;
  • Understand the impact of community health care resources and delivery systems to improve access to care;
  • Understand practice management structures and strategies as they pertain to the various practice settings.