Professional and Career Development

Graduate students reviewing a research poster

Foremost in our MS and PhD training models, students will achieve scientific acuity and technical excellence through high quality impactful mentored thesis research, supplemented through rigorous core coursework. In addition to this however, we also offer students a variety of experiential learning opportunities to develop the excellent “transferable” skills that employers seek.

This includes endowing graduates with excellent communication, teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, and project management skills. Depending on their interests and research focus area, students may also take advantage of programs designed to instill a broad understanding of our multifactorial, interconnected food networks, and the ability to navigate the political, cultural, economic, and consumer influences that determine local and national food policy.

Examples of specific professional and career development opportunities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Formal training and seminars to build communication skills
  • Formal training in grant writing, and grant writing experience
  • Institute on the Environment Trainings and Events and IonE Graduate Leaders.  Building communication and leadership skills
  • Preparing Future Faculty Program. Formal training in teaching, and opportunities for teaching experience
  • MnDRIVE Program ( Understand our interconnected food systems with a view to ensure food security, reduce food loss, limit the impact of infectious diseases on production, improve food safety, and protect the environment through alternative agricultural practices
  • Equity and Diversity Certificate Program
  • CVM Travel Awards. Travel for research, conferences, and short courses
  • Seminars and Conferences. Present research findings, build knowledge, and network to build collaborations

Student experiences

Dora ZuckoComing from abroad, I only knew CVM from the information available online, which was more than enough to make it my top candidate when choosing a graduate program to pursue my Ph.D. after finishing vet school in my home country. When I first visited the campus for my interview, it still managed to exceed my wildest expectations! There are numerous great things about graduate programs at the CVM and the research taking place within these walls is world renowned. However, one of my favorite things is the fact that CVM community gathers so many diverse, fantastic, friendly people from around the globe, both in students and in faculty, that I meanwhile got to call friends. Being an international student myself, this was something that immediately made me feel like I could belong here."

Dora Zucko, Veterinary Medicine, PhD

Guilherme Milanez-Preis, PhD"I chose UMN VMED’s PhD program for its world-renowned education and for being home to many successful leaders in my field of work. Being here makes me part of a diverse team of swine health specialists, and the faculty is always available and ready to help me in my graduate studies.  #UMNProud of being part of a wonderful community that drives me to be my best!"

Guilherme Milanez-Preis, Veterinary Medicine, PhD

Learn more and apply today

Need additional information or advice?

Interested or current students should contact Dr. Sandra Godden, Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at [email protected].