MS and PhD in Veterinary Medicine

VMED graduate student with a calf

The Veterinary Medicine (VMED) graduate program provides high-quality research training to help graduates discover and improve ways to benefit the health and well being of companion and food animals and wildlife. 

The PhD program prepares independent basic and applied scientists for successful careers in academia, industry, or government. The MS program instills technical competencies to promote research and medical practice careers. Students choose from four areas of scientific investigation.

  • Infectious and zoonotic disease
  • Population medicine
  • Small and large animal clinical science
  • Ecosystem health

Prospective students interested in the VMED program have the opportunity to connect with our extensive faculty that are experts in various research fields. Those interested in practicing veterinary medicine in a clinical setting should refer to the DVM program.

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Application criteria

Applicants interested in the VMED graduate program should review the following preferred performance standards:

  • A minimum grade performance average (GPA) of 3.25 (on a four-point scale); 
  • Laboratory experience is strongly preferred but not required;
  • DVM or equivalent degree preferred, but not necessary;
  • GRE test scores are not required to apply.

International applicants 

Prospective students whose native language is not English will be considered if they have received the following minimal scores obtained within the past two (2) years of the graduate program start date from one of the following English proficiency examinations:

  • TOEFL: total score of 79; reading subscore of 19; and writing subscore of 21
  • MELAB: 80
  • IELTS: total score of 6.5, reading subscore of 6.5, writing subscore of 6.5

Note: Review the Graduate School's English Language Proficiency page to review other acceptable tests to demonstrate language proficiency.

Ready to apply?

Please review the “Application Instructions” document to assist you in completing your MS or PhD application. Refer to the "Application Frequently Asked Questions" document for additional information.

  • Application deadline: December 1. Applications for new students are generally considered for the Fall term only. 
  • New application fees:
    • U.S. citizen / permanent resident ($75)
    • International ($95)

Required application materials include the following: 

  • Resume or CV
  • Names and email addresses of three people who can comment on your academic and research skills 
    • A complete application will require three letters of recommendation submitted by your recommenders via the application portal
  • Personal statement of research experiences and interests
  • Unofficial transcripts or academic records from each post-secondary learning institution attended, including incomplete or partial academic records
  • English proficiency test scores (e.g. TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS), if applicable 

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What to expect

Veterinary Medicine PhD degree

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Veterinary Medicine (VMED) is granted in recognition of scholarly scientific research attainments. Graduates will be prepared for leadership positions in academia, government, or the private sector.

  • Formal coursework for PhD students varies according to their field of study, interests, and career goals. 
  • Students also take an additional 24 thesis credits once they have completed their preliminary oral examination.
  • Training culminates in the preparation and defense of an original doctoral dissertation.
  • On average, students complete the PhD in VMED degree in four years.

For more information see the VMED PhD degree timeline and course requirements

Veterinary Medicine MS degree

A Master of Science degree in Veterinary Medicine (VMED) is granted in recognition of scholarly scientific research attainments and prepares graduates with strong technical skills for careers in industry or veterinary medicine. 

  • Students complete a total of 30 credits (including 10 thesis credits) and submit a thesis based on original laboratory research. 
  • On average, students complete the MS degree in less than three years. 

For more information see the VMED MS degree timeline and course requirements

Tuition, fees and funding

  • First year: The VMED graduate program supports incoming PhD students during their first academic year with a Research Assistantship position, which includes a $29,000 annual stipend, tuition waiver, and healthcare benefits.
  • Subsequent years: Faculty advisors provide financial support. After successfully passing preliminary exams given during the second year of a PhD program and if the student is paid at the base stipend level, students are eligible for a $1,000 increase. 
  • MS students must identify a faculty advisor who will provide financial support during their training.
  • A number of grants and fellowships are also available. Interested students should consult the U of M Graduate School and the college’s graduate program grant and fellowship opportunities.
  • Additional information on tuition and fees are detailed on the U of M OneStop.

Housing Information

Meet the Veterinary Medicine faculty

Our faculty will help to provide you with individualized training to gain new knowledge in the understanding of comparative aspects of biology and pathology across animal species, animal models of human disease, and animal diseases and populations.

Meet our faculty

Meet our Veterinary Medicine graduate students

MS and PhD students in the Veterinary Medicine (VMED) graduate program are engaged in research related to animal and human health and welfare, as well as ecosystem health. Our students study infectious and zoonotic diseases, the development of novel treatments for cancer and other diseases, genetic research and therapies, virology and bacteriology, population medicine, and ecosystem and wildlife health, among other areas of research.

Meet our graduate students

Need additional information or advice?

Interested students should contact Dr. Ned Patterson, Veterinary Medicine Director of Graduate Studies, or Dr. Sandra Godden, Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs.