MS in Biomedical Sciences with Emphasis in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

About the Program

The College of Veterinary Medicine, through the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, offers graduate work leading to the master of science degree in veterinary biomedical sciences with an emphasis in veterinary medicine and surgery. Many but not all graduate students in this area of study combine their graduate degree training with clinical residency programs leading to board certification in some specialty field within veterinary medicine. The program provides advanced training in anesthesiology, comparative cardiology, equine, food animal and companion animal medicine and surgery, neurology, oncology, comparative ophthalmology, radiation oncology, radiology, nutrition, and theriogenology among other areas. The goal of the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery emphasis area graduate degree-training program is to prepare individuals for investigative careers as specialists in veterinary medicine or as researchers in academia, industry, or governmental settings.

Degree Requirements

Master's degrees will be conferred on candidates admitted to the graduate degree program who satisfy the general requirements of the MU Graduate School and the specific requirement of the graduate program. Requirements include:

• Completion of all graduate work attempted at MU with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
• A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (VMS) courses, including at least 15 hours of graded, 8000-level course work. No more than 40% of the 30-hour credit requirement can be satisfied by Research, Readings, and Problems courses.
• As part of their program of study during their enrollment in the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery graduate degree program, graduate students must receive a passing grade (i.e., C or better) from an approved graduate-level experimental design or statistics course. Following a request by the student's major advisor, this requirement may be waived by the departmental graduate studies committee for those students who have successfully completed a similar course previously.
• All VMS graduate students must submit a report of progress and plans regarding their degree program to the Departmental Graduate committee by April 30 of each year they are enrolled in the program. This report must be derived from the outcome of at least one annual meeting of their graduate degree committee and must be signed by their major advisor. An annual survey will be used by students and committees to satisfy these requirements. The Departmental Graduate committee will review all reports and will schedule meetings with students and their advisors if deficiencies are noted. Failure to comply may result in disqualification of the student. The major advisor will be disqualified from receiving internal discretionary grant funds during the following calendar year.
• Completion of a thesis describing original investigative research completed by the candidate. Detailed guidelines for preparation of the thesis are available through the MU Graduate School.
• Documentation of a passing evaluation on the defense of the thesis work by an examination committee (make-up of the committee is described in the graduate catalog) as well as demonstration of mastery of the fundamental principles of the work included in the course of study for the degree.
• The candidate must be enrolled at MU in the semester when the thesis work is defended.
• The master's degree must be completed within eight years of enrollment from the time the student is accepted into the degree program.

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Advisors and the Advisory Committee

Formulating a plan of study is the joint responsibility of the student, the advisor and the student’s advisory committee. An advisory committee of at least three faculty members should be chosen during the first semester of enrollment. The advisory committee offers guidance and is responsible for approving a definitive plan of study.

The advisory group should consist of the major advisor and appropriate faculty members from the department, and at least one other member from another department within the college or university. Members of this committee may be recommended later for appointment to the examining committee. Members of the final examination committee should be chosen in the same manner as the advisory committee.

Resources and Facilities

Graduate students have ready access to clinical patients, medical records and facilities of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to aid them in clinical research. The college has its own library. More detailed information regarding the emphasis area of veterinary medicine and surgery can be found at the website

Financial Aid from the Program

Some programs require an extra form or statement from those who wish to be considered for internal assistantships, fellowships or other funding packages. Check the program Web site or ask the program contact for details.

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Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: Not Applicable

  • Completion of a bachelor’s or professional degree.
  • Identification of a mentor with graduate faculty standing within the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.
  • Identification of funding (with advice of mentor) for the period of research and study.
  • Minimum TOEFL score (when appropriate):
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550
  • Approval of admission by the Departmental Graduate Committee.

Departmental Graduate Committee approval will be determined by perceived likelihood of successful completion of the program as based on the academic qualifications of the candidate, match of candidate and faculty advisor, and when requested, a minimum of 3 suitable letters of recommendation.

The majority of MS students within our program are completing specialty residency training programs in some field of veterinary medicine simultaneously with the MS degree. Admission to these programs generally precedes admission to our graduate programs. Applicants may be asked to strengthen any deficiencies in prerequisites to the chosen area of concentration through enrollment in a post- or non-degree graduate student program.

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School:

  • All required Graduate Admissions documents

Contact: Connie Sievert or Sue Leutschaft
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
A-384 Clydesdale Hall

Director of Graduate Studies: Jeffrey Bryan

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