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College of Veterinary Medicine

Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology

Pathobiology Graduate Program

The mission of the Pathobiology Graduate Group is to provide a broad based graduate education to students seeking a Masters of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in the areas of

  • bacterial and viral pathogenesis,
  • clinical and diagnostic pathology,
  • epidemiology,
  • immunology and immuno-modulation,
  • parasitology,
  • toxicology and
  • veterinary medical genetics.

Our degree programs prepare our graduates for careers in teaching, research, and service in the areas of biomedicine, industry, higher education and government agencies. Recent graduates from our program have found rewarding employment at the University of Wisconsin, Applied Biosystems, Zoetis, Intervet, and Schering Plough.

Application for Admission

Application information is available from the Dean of the Graduate School or the Chairman of the Pathobiology Graduate Group. The Chair of the program administratively compiles applications. The executive committee in consultation with the Head of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology and the faculty who have shown an interest in the candidate's application make the final decision to recommend admission. Application for admission to the program in a Fall semester should be made in the preceding late fall or early winter.

Program Description

The Pathobiology Graduate Program of the College of Veterinary Medicine offers graduate programs leading to M.S., (Veterinary Biomedical Science), Ph.D., and combined D.V.M./M.S. degrees. Degree candidates may specialize in research areas represented by the expertise of the members of the Graduate Group. Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include full-time study equivalent to at least 90 semester hours [78 for individuals with a D.V.M. degree] including at least 30 hours of research credit for the dissertation and generally 30-39 hours of formal course work, a preliminary examination, research, a written dissertation, and a satisfactory defense of the dissertation at the final oral examination. The Ph.D. degree normally requires at least three years of full-time study. Students who hold a master’s degree may request transfer of up to 30 hours of that degree toward a Ph.D. Demonstration of proficiency in foreign languages is not required. The University operates on a semester basis plus an eight-week summer session.

Program Requirements

Minimum entrance requirements, include a B average in the junior and senior undergraduate years for applicants not holding a D.V.M./V.M.D. degree. All applicants are required to take General GRE and submit the scores with the application. International students must demonstrate proficiency in English by earning a satisfactory score on the TOEFL and must provide health and financial certificates. Candidates for admission to the Graduate School must be approved by the Pathobiology Graduate Program. Most incoming students have a degree in veterinary medicine, but some have degrees in animal science, microbiology, biology, biochemistry/pharmacology, genetics, or food science. The most important considerations for applicants are documented academic achievement and an interest in continued study and research in Pathobiology. Sufficient training in biology and a strong background in biochemistry are important requirements. Application for admission to the program in a fall semester should be made in the preceding late fall or early winter.

Financial Support

Assistantships and temporary assistant instructor positions are available for qualified candidates on a limited, competitive basis. Prospective students are encouraged to apply for federally sponsored fellowships and traineeships for agencies such as the USDA, NASA, NDEA, NIH, and NSF. Application information is available from the Dean of the Graduate School, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, 66506.

Career Opportunities

Graduate study in pathobiological sciences prepares students for a number of varied academic and technological careers. Due to the breadth and rapid growth of basic medical sciences, continues expansion of opportunities is expected. Ph.D. and post doctoral graduates find academic positions not only in departments of pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical pathology, diagnostic laboratories, and clinical research, but also in departments of biology, chemistry, physiology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, nutrition, toxicology, food technology, and molecular biology. Doctoral graduates find positions requiring independent work in a wide range in industries such as biomedical, chemical, pharmacological, and food technology.   M.S. graduates often continue their education in doctoral programs or find similar positions in regulatory medicine, industry or private practice.

Research Facility

Housed in a spacious modern building complex, a talented faculty and up-to-date equipment provide excellent opportunities for graduate research. Major equipment include cell counters, electron microscopes, environmental chambers, cryostats, densitometers, fluorometers. Chromatography equipment, high-vacuum evaporators, neurophysiological recording devices, recording spectrophotometer, spectrophotometer (atomic absorption, respiratory mass, scintillation), biohazard safety hoods, stereotaxic instruments, ultracentrifuges, ultramicrotome, ultrasonic membrane destructors, flow cytometer and high performance liquid chromatograph units. Surgery and housing facilities for large and small animals, intensive library holding and facilities, and easy access to the University's computer center are also available. An interstate program with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln enhances the already extensive research potential in food animals.

Faculty Contact

Dr. T.G. Nagaraja
Chair, Pathobiology Graduate Program
Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology 
College of Veterinary Medicine
Kansas State University 
K221 Mosier Hall 
1800 Denison Avenue 
Manhattan, KS 66506-5606 
Tel: 785-532-1214 
Fax: 785-532-4851