Optometry buildingThe School of Optometry and Vision Science at Waterloo is one of two optometry schools in Canada, and the only one to provide instruction in English. Established in 1967, it assumed the role of the College of Optometry of Ontario, which had operated as an independent institution in Toronto since 1925. The MSc program was established in 1972 and the PhD program began in 1980.

Vision Science graduate programs are open to graduates from recognized programs in optometry as well as graduates from other disciplines. Both the MSc and the PhD programs can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Joint degree programs are available with the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Systems Design and Physics.

Programs are designed for the student interested in furthering his/her knowledge in specialized aspects of vision. However, as the area of vision science is dependent upon the integration of knowledge and interests from several scientific disciplines, students will also be exposed to other areas of vision science through departmental seminars, course work, conferences and interaction with fellow graduate students and faculty.

The primary objective of the graduate program in Vision Science is to provide a strong research and academic background for graduates. In addition, there is the opportunity for clinicians to enhance their skills and to carry out applied or clinical research. Students are expected to develop self-learning abilities, critical thinking, as well as problem solving skills. Our graduates have secured positions in research, industry, government, healthcare and teaching.