VS PhD degree timeline & course requirements

Course requirements

Formal coursework for the PhD degree varies according to the field of study, interests, and career goals of individual students. Courses may be taken in disciplines other than veterinary sciences. Students wishing to enroll in a 4000-level course need to consult with their advisor and the director of graduate studies prior to registration to use the course in their degree program. Such courses may be appropriate to supplement any deficiencies in the student’s academic background provided:

  • A maximum of six 4000-level course credits may be used to satisfy the doctoral course requirements.
  • At least 12 course credits and 24 doctoral thesis credits must be completed while enrolled in the Veterinary Sciences graduate program.
  • Approved transfer coursework may include a maximum of 12 graduate credits taken as a non-degree seeking or non-admitted student.
  • Transfer of thesis credits is not allowed.
  • At least two-thirds of course credits must be taken with grades A-F. 

PhD program requirements

Course credits: 24 credit minimum to be taken in Veterinary Sciences or a related field
Thesis credits: 24 credits (VMED 8888)
Total credits: 48 credits minimum


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Required courses

  • VMED 5190 Seminar and Presentation Development for Graduate Students
  • VMED 5910 Grant Writing: What Makes a Winning Proposal?
  • VMED 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
  • VMED 8550 Veterinary Medicine Seminar (2 credits)
  • At least three additional 8000-level courses in major field
  • At least one course in Biostatistics (two are recommended)

Recommended courses to fulfill biostatistics requirement credits

  • VMED 5915 Essential statistics for Life Sciences
  • VMED 8910 Statistical Principles of Research
  • PUBH 6414 Biostatistical Literacy
  • PUBH 6450 Biostatistics I 
  • PUBH 6451 Biostatistics II 
  • Stat 5021 Statistical Analysis
  • Stat 5031 Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement 
  • Stat 5302 Applied Regression Analysis
  • Stat 5303 Designing Experiments 
  • Stat 5421 Analysis of Categorical Data

Statistics courses other than those listed can be used to fulfill this requirement with the approval of the student’s adviser, the thesis committee, and the PAC. 

Degree timeline

The following timeline is recommended for all Ph.D. students in the VMED program. Completion of requirements as described will ensure that each student will progress through the program in an efficient and timely manner. It is also recommended that you discuss your graduation progress with your adviser.

Year one

Year one

Begin coursework.

  • Required courses are:
    • VMED 5190 Seminar and Presentation Development for Graduate Students
    • VMED 8134 Ethical Conduct of Animal Research
    • VMED 8550 Veterinary Medicine Seminar (2 cr)
    • At least one course in Biostatistics  
    • Three additional 8000-level major or supporting courses (recommend CMB 8202)
  • Submit GPAS by the end of Year One.
  • Identify thesis committee members, request form from Graduate Program Coordinator, and gain approval of committee from PAC.
  • Begin Individualized Development Plan (IDP)
Year two

Year two

  • Complete coursework, including:
    • VMED 5910 Grant Writing: What makes a winning proposal?
  • Schedule first committee meeting during fall semester to discuss thesis proposal and submit committee meeting report form.
  • Contact Graduate Program Coordinator for written preliminary exam template.
  • Submit written preliminary exam to Graduate Programs Coordinator (GPC) for committee approval.
  • Complete Preliminary Oral Exam online scheduling form (at least one week prior to preliminary oral exam).
  • Complete preliminary examinations by August 15.
Year three

Year three

Year four

Year four