The vision of the Combined Degree DVM/PhD Program is to have a cohesive integration of research and veterinary medicine. In order to achieve this, it is imperative that Combined Degree students have a balanced passion and capacity for both. Our academic objective is bold: we seek to integrate the most rigorous basic scientific and clinical training so that our graduates will be at the forefront of biomedical science and the veterinary profession.
Students will enroll initially in the DVM curriculum and will complete at least 1.5 years of courses in that curriculum. Students are expected to pursue research laboratory rotations during the summer prior to entering the program and during the summer following the first year of the DVM curriculum. After completing three laboratory rotations, students will be able to select a research mentor and laboratory shortly after entering the PhD portion of the program. Once enrolled as a graduate student, the student will take their PhD qualifying exam (A-exam) and complete the PhD degree (B-exam) before returning to the final two years of the DVM curriculum. The curriculum is structured as a 1.5+3+2.5 year program, but because a PhD degree is results-based, rather than time-based, the period of time to its completion may vary.
The foundation of the Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program lies in the strength and scope of the educational opportunities it provides. There are five components of the curriculum:
1. Laboratory Rotations
Trainees are required to rotate through at least three research laboratories. The purpose of the rotations is to enable each student to assess a variety of training opportunities before he or she designates a Special Committee Chair. The Chair may be a faculty member either of the College of Veterinary Medicine or another college, but must be a member of the Cornell Graduate School faculty. Although the time spent in each laboratory may vary, it is expected that each rotation will be a meaningful experience. When selecting rotation laboratories, students are strongly encouraged to review faculty web sites, read publications result from the faculty member's research, meet with current graduate students in the laboratory and find out about the resources available to conduct research within the laboratory and the department of record. Each student and faculty mentor is required to complete an evaluation form at the end of each rotation. Completed forms should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Education. You may find the form here - Rotation Evaluation Form
2. Graduate Courses
All first year graduate students take BioAP6100 -By Experimental Design; survival skills for graduate students, and an ethics course. Additional graduate courses will be taken before the A-exam. These courses will be selected to meet the requirements from the graduate field and from the student graduate committee. Information about courses can be found in the Courses of Study catalog.
5. PhD Degree Requirements and Dissertation