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Degree Programs

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Programs

  • 90 credit hours of course work, research, and dissertation
  • Average completion time of four years
  • Admission to the PhD program does not require an MS degree.

Information coming soon.

Major medical and biomedical breakthroughs generally involve multidisciplinary investigative teams with knowledge of basic and clinical sciences. Veterinarians have a well-grounded understanding and knowledge of disease processes; however the majority of veterinarians are not adequately trained, in a focused, purposeful fashion, to perform hypothesis-driven biomedical research. Consequently, there is a critical shortage of veterinarians with a biomedical research background in academic, government, and corporate settings to assume leadership roles.

In recognition of the critical need for veterinarians trained in both basic and clinical sciences, the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine offers an opportunity for DVM students to purse a dual PhD program. The DVM/PhD Dual Degree Program will provide veterinary students with training in the skills of a researcher, and encourage them to pursue academic, government or corporate careers.

Students admitted into the DVM/PhD Dual Degree Program typically:

  • Will enroll in the summer and spend the first three years in the PhD program deferring the start of the DVM program.
  • Will enter the DVM curriculum at the beginning of their third year. During the first two summer semesters of the DVM curriculum, the student will return to the laboratory to continue work on the PhD project.
  • Are expected to complete the PhD within one year after completing the DVM program.

Some students choose to complete their PhD portion before moving into the DVM program. This requires the student to complete all requirements of the PhD program before entering the DVM program. These students would not return to the PhD program at the end of the DVM program as they will have completed all PhD requirements.

The total length of the program is approximately 7-8 years.

For more information, see the Dual DVM/PhD Program overview.

Veterinarians are uniquely qualified to conduct biomedical research in the field of comparative medicine using animal models, which have been instrumental in understanding the pathogenesis and mechanism of human diseases. Unfortunately, the majority of veterinarians do not pursue research careers, in part due to the lack of research training opportunities. Consequently, there is a critical shortage of veterinarians with research backgrounds in academic institutions, government and corporate settings across the nation.

The National Institutes of Health has funded a post-DVM "Animal Model Research for Veterinarians (AMRV)" training program at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM). This program will train veterinarians to acquire cutting-edge skills of a researcher, and help them launch a successful research career in the areas of animal models of infectious diseases (virology, bacteriology, and parasitology), immunology (immune-mediated inflammatory diseases), neuropathobiology, regenerative medicine, and environmental medicine. Mentors participating in this training program are conducting cutting-edge research in the areas of animal models for human diseases, and their research projects are well funded by the National Institutes of Health. Our college has advanced sophisticated equipment, resources, animal facilities and expertise to tackle contemporary and potentially anticipated problems in biomedical sciences.
Trainees will be required to enter a Ph.D. graduate program that will expose them to state-of-the-art research skills and challenge them to become independent problem-solvers. At the end of the training program, trainees are expected to launch an independent biomedical research career, and assume leadership roles related to the nation's biomedical research agenda in academia, government, and industry.

For more information, see Post-DVM Training Program on Animal Model Research for Veterinarians.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs

  • 30 credit hours of course work, research, and thesis
  • Average completion time of two years (three years for clinical sciences specialties)

Information coming soon.