B.S. Vision Science

B.S. Vision Science


The University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Vision Science which includes a pre-optometry pathway. The B.S. in Vision Science provides students the opportunity to earn a degree which satisfies the requirements for entrance into the Rosenberg School of Optometry as well as medical, dental and other health-related professional schools. Furthermore, the curriculum structure and content gives the graduate a strong foundation and credentials to embark on a biomedical graduate research career, or to enter the workforce as a vision-science or ophthalmic-related specialist.

Faculty from the School of Math, Science & Engineering and from the Rosenberg School of Optometry teach a number of courses in the Vision Science Degree Program. In addition, students taking Vision Science courses will participate in various activities with Optometry students in the professional program.

Students in years 3 and 4 of the Vision Science Degree Program will rotate through optometry clinics as part of their curriculum. This is the only program in the country where undergraduate students spend a substantial amount of time learning under the guidance and supervision of clinical academic faculty and professional staff in both the classroom and out-patient clinical settings. This is also the only national preparatory vision science undergraduate degree program where students spend 3 rotations working with professional school interns in our outpatient facility and participating in outreach programs such as school vision screenings, health fairs, nursing home care and healthcare missions. To assist in preparing for the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), Vision Science Degree students have the opportunity to enroll in a four – six week summer program designed to familiarize them with the OAT and to help them with focusing on the skills and knowledge needed to obtain competitive scores on the exam.

The University of the Incarnate Word is grounded in the strengths of its heritage in health services and education and has been built on the tradition of serving the sick and the poor. The design, focus and spirit of the Vision Science Degree Program will produce graduates that are well-trained and prepared to pursue professional healthcare education/degrees, medical/vision research, and many other work opportunities in the healthcare and industrial arenas.

Educational/Career Paths and Opportunities

Students who complete a B.S. in Vision Science degree will be well prepared and well positioned to enter a number of areas, including the following:

  • Pursue a doctorate degree in optometry
  • Pursue a doctorate degree in medicine, dentistry, podiatry
  • Pursue degrees in health-related areas such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, audiology, nursing and physicians assistant
  • Pursue graduate degrees in vision science, neuroscience, biomedical sciences, clinical psychology and business
  • Employment with contact lens companies and corporations: sales, development, research
  • Employment with optical lens frames manufacturers: sales, development, research
  • Pharmaceutical sales representatives or pharmaceutical research
  • Research assistant in any biomedical or physical field
  • Low vision rehabilitation trainers and technicians
  • Research assistant in the field of optics and environmental vision
  • Research assistant in the field of visual ergonomics
  • Military vision/ophthalmic specialist
  • Vision insurance staff or auditors
  • Ophthalmic or vision therapy technician certification
  • Ophthalmic office manager or opticianry careers
  • Optical project managers

Minimum Scholastic Requirements for Application to the Rosenberg School of Optometry

Applicants from the Vision Science Degree Program (Pre-Optometry Pathway) may submit applications for consideration of admission to the Rosenberg School of Optometry upon completion of the following scholastic requirements:

  • A minimum of 90 undergraduate semester credit hours from an accredited college or university
  • A grade of C or higher earned in all prerequisite courses
  • Completion of The Optometry Admission Test (OAT); information may be obtained at the following website:
  • Selected students may need to meet additional requirements prior to entry into the Rosenberg School of Optometry depending upon previous courses they have completed.

Admission to the Rosenberg School of Optometry is a competitive process. In addition to the scholastic requirements listed above, applicants will be considered for admission based on academic and personal qualifications. Additional information regarding specific application procedures and admission requirements may be obtained by contacting the Director of Admissions and Student Services for the Rosenberg School of Optometry.

Contact Information

Advisement and counseling of students pursuing the B.S. in Vision Science degree (Pre-Optometry Pathway) is the responsibility of the Rosenberg School of Optometry. Students interested in obtaining additional information about this degree program or the Rosenberg School of Optometry may contact:

Dr. Diane Farrell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor/Undergraduate Academic Advisor
The University of the Incarnate Word
4301 Broadway
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210)-832-2192, or the Office of Admissions at (210) 829-6005