Clinician-scientists are in high demand to enhance research and scholarship in biomedicine, agriculture, ecosystems health, and companion animal medicine and surgery. The MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Dual-degree Program educates, trains, and prepares tomorrow’s clinician-scientists to help address evolving scientific, social, ethical, political, and humanitarian challenges that face animals and public health care. Solving these problems requires advanced scientific training in a chosen area of emphasis (basic or applied sciences) in addition to the traditional clinical training received during completion of the DVM degree.

The combined DVM/PhD Program offers rigorous training to prepare students for diverse careers in academia, private and government sectors, and public policy. Graduates will have the expertise necessary to advance biomedical research at the interface between the basic sciences and veterinary medicine. Combining clinical and doctoral training allows graduates to complete both degree requirements on an expedited timeline.

Plan of Study

Graduates of the Dual-degree Program are skilled in both clinical veterinary medicine and the scientific method. The DVM/PhD Program prepares candidates to be independent scientists who are capable of leading and directing hypothesis-driven research teams.

Students entering the program will complete the first five semesters of the DVM curriculum, then transfer to the PhD program. Following PhD thesis defense, the candidate will return to the DVM program to complete clinical training and degree requirements.

Tuition, Fees, and Funding

The concurrent degree option requires students to complete the first five semesters of the DVM curriculum. During graduate research training, advisors provide stipends and tuition support. Students who successfully complete the PhD requirements receive a full tuition waiver for the DVM curriculum. Candidates also will receive a stipend for each summer they participate in the Veterinary Scholars Program.

Application Criteria

We seek outstanding, motivated students interested in all areas of biological, biomedical, engineering, and computational sciences. To be considered for the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s DVM Program, applicants must first meet academic requirements, successfully complete the review process, and succeed during multiple mini-interviews. Successful applicants will have prior research experience, demonstrate a passion for science, and express clear career goals.

Ready to apply? Applicants who have been invited to interview for the DVM Program also must apply to the Dual-degree Program by December 1* for enrollment the following fall semester.

*effective for 2021 and future entry

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Navigating the DVM/PhD Program (concurrent option)
  • Years 1–2.5: DVM Coursework

  • Semesters 1 -2

    Coursework: DVM curriculum

    Maintain good academic standing

  • SUMMER 1

    Research rotation 1

    Present poster at summer scholars symposium

  • Semesters 3-4

    Coursework: DVM curriculum

    Maintain good academic standing

  • SUMMER 2

    Research rotation 2

    Present poster and finalize research lab

  • Semester 5

    Clinical reasoning coursework

  • Years 2.5–5.5: PhD Coursework

  • Years 2.5-5.5

    Begin graduate coursework and research

    Year 3: Developing a thesis proposal and complete the comprehensive exam; present research at scientific meetings Years 4–5: Continue research; write manuscripts for thesis and publication; present at scientific meetings; defend thesis

  • Years 5.5–7 DVM: Clinical Curriculum

  • Years 5.5–7

    Clinical reasoning; clinical rotations; clerkships; NAVLE

  • Post-DVM/PhD

  • Post-doc, internship/residency, medical/surgical practice

    Careers in: academia, private sector (pharma, CROs, NGOs, etc.), public sector (NIH Intramural, USDA, government policy positions, etc.)