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Veterinary Science Graduate Major (MS)

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College of Veterinary Medicine

Graduate Areas of Concentration

Anatomy, clinical sciences, immunology, laboratory animal medicine, microbiology, pharmacology, parasitology, pathology, physiology, and toxicology, as these fields pertain to veterinary medicine.

This program is no longer accepting applicants.

The College of Veterinary Medicine offers a program of graduate study to obtain the Master of Science (MS) degree in Veterinary Science. Enrolled students will be expected to specialize in a subdiscipline under the guidance of a suitable mentor. A minor is not required.

This major will be replaced by the proposed new program, Comparative Health Sciences (MS, PhD), at 


The student in the MS program should:

  1. Develop research experience and skills in areas including experimental design, performance of studies, and analysis of data.
  2. Learn to communicate scientific knowledge through seminars and publications
  3. Attain proficiency and a depth of knowledge in a subject of interest
  4. Uphold high professional and ethical standards


Candidates must have the written agreement of a mentor or have been accepted as a clinical fellow prior to admission. Candidates should possess a broad undergraduate background in biological sciences, including successful completion of undergraduate course work in general physics, general and organic chemistry, and a year of college mathematics, including calculus. Deficiencies in these areas do not preclude acceptance, but may lengthen the time required to complete the degree program. Candidates wishing to study the subdisciplines of laboratory animal medicine or clinical sciences should have completed or be near completion of a DVM degree or equivalent.


The student must be accepted for graduate study by the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Oregon State University Graduate School. The application should include a statement of interest in the field. The GRE test is not required, but GRE scores included with an application will be considered with that application.

Program of Study

Because of the diversity of disciplines, candidates have considerable leeway in formulating their course of study. Candidates should work closely with their major professors in developing a suitable plan, which should be submitted by the beginning of the second term of residence. The plan is signed by the major professor (and minor professor, if the student elects to complete a minor) and submitted to the Research Committee of the College of Veterinary Medicine for preliminary approval, and through the Office of the Dean to the Graduate School for final approval. Once officially approved, such a program becomes binding on both the institution and the candidate, and may not be changed without mutual consent.

The student should also form a graduate committee by the conclusion of the first term of study. This committee provides guidance in course selection and project completion, and is also the examining committee at the conclusion of the program. The committee should have at least three members of the graduate faculty, including at least two from the major field of study and one from the minor field of study, if any.


The diversity of disciplines precludes the implementation of rigid course requirements. The student must complete a minimum of 45 term credits, and maintain a grade-point average of 3.00 (B) or better in courses related to the major field of study. If a minor field of study is elected, the student must complete a minimum of 15 term credits (of the 45) in that minor field, and also maintain a grade-point average of 3.00 (B) in that minor field. Grades below 2.00 (C) are not accepted for graduate credit. No more than 6 total credits of blanket-numbered courses can be included in the program.

  1. Statistics: At least one course in introductory, graduate-level statistics, such as ST 511, Methods of Data Analysis (4 credits)
  2. Core and Related Course Work: At least 23 credits of classroom work focused on the major field of study or related disciplines. These courses may come from any department, as long as they enhance the candidate’s understanding of the basic research problem. The statistics requirement above cannot count toward these 23 credits.
  3. The student may elect to complete a minor field of study by concentrating at least 15 credits of course work in a specific discipline. These can overlap with the 23 required classroom credits, pending approval of the major professor and the Research Committee.
  4. Thesis: A maximum of 12 credits of credit may be granted for thesis research and preparation for students completing a thesis MS (VMC 503)
  5. Research and Seminar: A maximum of 6 credits may be granted for research (VMC 501), Reading and Conference (VMC 505), and Seminar (VMB 507).

Other Requirements

  1. Seminar: All students are required to enroll in the VMB 507 Seminar for 3 terms a year, for a maximum of 6 credits. The seminar courses involve attendance at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Research Seminar series, as well as other pertinent seminars at the college and around campus. Additionally, the student is required to present one seminar during each year of study. Usually, this involves a review of their research problem in the first year, and progress reports of their research in subsequent years.
  2. The Research Problem: In addition to their classroom education, each student is expected to pursue an original research problem pertinent to the major field of study. Selection of the research problem should be done after careful consultation with the major professor. In general, the problem should be one of interest in the field of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and the supervising professor should be based in the College of Veterinary Medicine. However, if the student wishes to pursue a problem of interest to veterinary medicine, but outside of the scope of interest of professors within the college, the student may select a dual major professor, with one coming from another department on campus. Such arrangements must be approved by the Research Committee of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The research problem should be defined as soon as possible. Normally, two terms of major effort are required to complete study of a research problem for an MS degree. The college allows the major professor and the candidate to determine whether the research program should conclude with the presentation of a formal thesis or a non-thesis research report, which includes a literature review of the subject and one or more publications submitted to a refereed journal. In either case, eventual publication of the findings is expected.
  3. Final Examination: The master’s degree program is culminated by the formal presentation of a thesis or research report to an examining committee and the faculty prior to a final oral examination. Outlines for preparation and submission of the thesis and conduct of the final examination are available from the Graduate School.

Transfer credit

Appropriate graduate work from other universities will be acceptable to this program. Such credit transfer must be done according to the rules of the graduate school.


Approved by the OSU-CVM faculty on 10/31/2003.


Major Code: 9980

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