Degree Requirements

Anatomy and Physiology

The Anatomy and Physiology area of emphasis is administered by the Graduate Faculty and Ancillary Graduate Faculty in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology. The primary goal of graduate study in the Anatomy and Physiology Area of Emphasis is to prepare students for academic positions in various health science-related institutions such as Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as positions in industry and agribusiness. Animal welfare, epithelial physiology, stem cell biology and cancer, cardiopulmonary physiology, immunophysiology, nanomedicine, neuroscience and pharmacology are major themes of research in the department. Specific areas of interest include cell signaling, epithelial cell solute transport, comparative exercise physiology, food animal immunophysiology, molecular biology of membranes, mechanisms of stress phenomena, molecular genetics and gene mapping, neural control of cardiovascular function, and pathophysiology of microcirculation (

Core Course Requirements

Anatomy and Physiology Seminar (AP 803) for two semesters. (1 credit hour per semester).


The Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology area of emphasis is administered by the Graduate Faculty and Ancillary/Adjunct Graduate Faculty in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology. The primary goal of graduate study in the Pathobiology area of emphasis is to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, or service in academic institutions, industries, or in state and federal agencies. The graduate study in Pathobiology is an interdisciplinary program with a mission to provide a broad based graduate education to students seeking a MS degree in the areas of infectious and non-infectious diseases of animals, food safety, security, and policy, and production animal medicine and management. The research activities of the graduate faculty ( are in specialized areas of Infectious Diseases, including Zoonotic Diseases and Transboundary Diseases, Bacteriology, Companion Animal Health, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Cancer Biology and Treatment, Epidemiology, Food Animal Health and Management, Food Safety and Security, Immunology, and Translational Medicine.

Core Course Requirements

Pathobiology Seminar (DMP 870) for two semesters (1 credit hour per semester). One of the seminar courses, with the permission of the student’s supervisory committee, could be taken from a different program or department.

Clinical Sciences

The Clinical Sciences area of emphasis is administered by the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences ( The primary goal of graduate study in the Clinical Sciences Area of Emphasis is to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, or service in a clinical specialty area or research and development program. Training in planning research projects and writing research proposals provides students the ability to function with teams of scientists from the fields of biomedical and clinical sciences. The student’s experience in teaching and literature study will form the basis for development of future teaching and research programs within his or her discipline. After completing graduate work the student will be better prepared to conduct research both independently and as a team member. The Clinical Sciences area of emphasis for the VBS master’s program can include regular graduate students, dual degree students (DVM/MS), or concurrent Residency/MS programs.

Core Course Requirements

A minimum of 3 hours of credit in a Graduate Statistics course. Clinical Sciences Seminar (CS 859 or another seminar course as approved by the supervisory committee) for a minimum of one semester.

The Supervisory Committee

The supervisory committee will include the major professor, who chairs the committee, and at least two other members of the graduate faculty. (;; The two members can be from any department. In addition to the members selected, the Dean of the Graduate School may appoint other members to the supervisory committee from the graduate faculty. All members of a student's supervisory committee have the collective responsibility for advising and guiding the student, planning the program of study, administering the final examinations, ensuring that University Regulations and Veterinary Biomedical Sciences Program Requirements are met, and ensuring that the student's MS program is of high quality.

The supervisory committee also is responsible for ensuring that no conflicts of interest exist. Conflicts of interest to be avoided include those that may arise from personal or professional relationships between committee members, committee members and the student, with funding sources, and with any other stakeholders.

The Program of Study

Every master’s student must file with the Graduate School a Program of Study, which is a formal list of the courses the student intends to take to fulfill the requirements of the degree. The program of study should only list courses directly related to the MS degree. Students must submit an approved program of study before the end of their second semester of graduate study. The Program of Study is available as WORD or PDF document in the Graduate School Webpage ( The program of study form can now be submitted electronically from the student form dashboard at this link. The form is not savable and must be filled out completely and submitted in one session. Therefore, you may want to use the existing paper form to collect the information needed for electronic submission and then submit the necessary information via the electronic form. The student should prepare a tentative program of study in consultation with the major professor, which is then presented to other members of the supervisory committee in a meeting.

In planning and preparing the Program of Study, please keep the following points in mind:

  1. Of the 30 credit hours required for the master's Program of Study, at least 18 hours should be at the 700-level or above. This includes the research hours required by the thesis and report options.
  2. Students with a DVM degree or students concurrently enrolled in the DVM program and a Master's program, a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours from the College of Veterinary Medicine DVM curriculum may be used in their Master's program of study. Students with a DVM degree should indicate the university from which DVM degree was earned and the year awarded in the Transfer credits section of the Program of Study. Students in the dual degree program should list the relevant courses and credit hours that total 12 credits.
  3. Courses at the 600-level may be included.
  4. The use of 500-level supporting courses is restricted to 6 credit hours. No course in the student's major area may be at the 500 level.
  5. Students completing a master's thesis are required to take a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 12 MS research credit hours. Students completing a master's report are required to complete a maximum of 2 credit hours of MS.
  6. No more than 3 hours in problems or other individualized courses may be applied.
  7. Course titles, course numbers, and the semester taken (S, Su, or F) should be listed on the program as they are recorded on your transcript and in the order taken. For courses not yet taken, leave the semester taken blank. Research hours (AP899; CS899; DMP 899) should be listed as a total, not by semester.

A list of Graduate courses offered in the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology and Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology are available at and

All members of the supervisory committee must indicate their approval by signing the Program of Study. The Director of the Veterinary Biomedical Sciences must then endorse the Program of Study, which is then submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School. Subsequent changes in the program of study require approval of all members of the supervisory committee, and if changes are made, a Program/Committee Change form ( should be submitted to the Graduate School before graduation.

Grade Requirements

For graduate credit, the grade in a course must be C or higher. To remain in good standing and to be awarded a graduate degree, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Theses and Reports

A master's thesis presents the results of an original investigation of a problem or topic approved by the student's supervisory committee. Its purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to conduct original research of a type appropriate to the discipline, to analyze the information obtained from the research, and to present the results in a form acceptable to the supervisory committee.

A master's report is generally shorter than a thesis, and it may present the results of a more limited original investigation. Alternatively, it may review the state of a particular scholarly or scientific problem.

Students who undertake a thesis or report should allow at least two weeks for review by the major professor and the supervisory committee before scheduling the final examination.

Final Examination

The student must file with the Graduate School an Approval for Final Examination Form ( signed by each member of the committee. By signing this form, the faculty member indicates only that the form of the thesis or report is acceptable for review and that a final examination may be scheduled. Signing does not imply that the content of the thesis or report is satisfactory. When the examination has been scheduled, the Graduate School will send a final examination ballot and an ETDR ballot to the major professor and notify in writing all members of the committee regarding the time and place.

The final examination is a culminating experience required to earn a master's degree. The examination should evaluate the student’s competence to synthesize information across the student’s program of study. The Supervisory Committee is responsible for administering the final examination. The majority of the Supervisory Committee must vote in favor for the student to pass his/her defense (a tie vote is a failure). The major professor is responsible for returning the signed ballot to the Graduate School.

For students pursuing a thesis or report option, the final examination shall be a defense of the thesis or report. For students pursuing a coursework only degree, the final examination may be an interpretation of scholarly work, a test of the student's understanding of the field or other culminating experiences.

Following a successful final examination, the candidate must provide an electronic copy of the thesis or report to the Graduate School, which will be deposited with the University Libraries. Theses and reports submitted to the Graduate School must be in final and acceptable form, incorporating any revisions required by the supervisory committee. The final electronic copy must also conform to the stylistic guidelines adopted by the academic unit and to the physical requirements established by the Graduate School, available on the Graduate School website under Requirements and Guidelines for Electronic Theses, Dissertations, and Reports.