Vision Science

University of California, Berkeley


Vision is one of the most valuable sensory modalities. It is also the source of a rich array of research questions relating to how we see, how and why vision fails, and what can be done about it. Investigators in Vision Science conduct human and animal research and modeling, yielding cutting-edge discoveries and applications in disciplines that include molecular genetics, clinical care, adaptive optics, neurobiology, cell biology, infectious disease, bioengineering, perception, and public health.

This PhD program emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of vision science research through broad exposure to the basic concepts and techniques used in specialized fields. Engaged in both laboratory-based and clinical research, our students are working with faculty advisors whose research matches their own interests. Current research topics include Biomedical Optics, Perception and Visual Cognition, Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Computational Vision, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, and Clinical Science.

Vision Science alumni are represented on the faculty of world-class universities — in medical schools, schools of optometry, and a wide range of other disciplines spanning psychology, physiology, bioengineering, and ophthalmology. Many others hold research positions in private institutes and federally sponsored agencies, including NASA and the NIH. Even more can be found in the research and development divisions of the industry. Ophthalmic and biotechnology companies are among the major recruiters of our graduates.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, we accept students with various backgrounds including psychology, optometry, engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, mathematics, molecular and cell biology, and integrative biology. Because this program is designed to develop research scientists, it is also important that applicants are familiar with an experimental lab setting.

Undergraduate Program

There is no undergraduate program in Vision Science.

Graduate Program

Vision Science: PhD

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Vision Science

Contact Information

Program Chair

Rowland Taylor

Phone: 510-643-8459

Assistant Director, Vision Science & Residency

Alex Marquez (she/her)

380 Minor Hall

Phone: 510-642-9537

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