Graduate Research Training
Preparing Students for Careers in Biomedical Sciences
In addition to the professional DVM program, which prepares students to become veterinarians, the UF College of Veterinary Medicine offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Veterinary Medical Sciences to prepare students for careers in biomedical science. Specialized graduate study is available in the fields of Aquatic Animal Health and (via distance education) Forensic Toxicology.
The University of Florida is home to the state’s only College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1976. The College currently has enrolled 320 professional students and over 140 graduate students. There are 95 faculty members who during the past year have attracted more than $12,000,000 in external research awards. The College maintains the largest aquatic animal health program among veterinary colleges worldwide. Other programs offered at the College include neuroscience, environmental toxicology, wildlife and zoo animal medicine, infectious diseases, reproduction, and clinical studies. Some of our research efforts concentrate on animal diseases that affect our food supply and diseases that affect horses. Other programs study diseases common to animals and man, comparative medicine, and where appropriate, diseases unique to humans.
The College of Veterinary Medicine offers advanced graduate study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The professional DVM program is not a graduate degree program, and applications are handled separately from the graduate program.
Major areas of concentration in graduate study are administered by three departmental programs: Physiological Sciences, Infectious Diseases and Pathology, and Veterinary Medical Sciences (Large Animal Clinical Sciences and Small Animal Clinical Sciences tracks). Within these departmental programs, training includes appropriate course work and research in areas such as Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Animal Nutrition, Comparative Toxicology, Immunology, Pathology, Parasitology, Epidemiology, and Infectious Diseases. A cross-departmental training program exists for Aquatic Animal Health. The College also offers masters-level and graduate certification training in Forensic Toxicology by distance education. The certification option also may be pursued as an add-on to MS and PhD degrees earned in this and other University of Florida colleges.
The graduate program provides training in basic and applied veterinary medical research for qualified students with a baccalaureate degree or a DVM or equivalent degree. Qualified individuals may pursue graduate training concurrently with the professional DVM degree or residency training in a clinical speciality. Applicants are expected to have a strong background in the biological sciences. Prerequisites for admission in addition to those of the Graduate School include a broad educational base of mathematics, physics, organic and analytical chemistry, genetics, physiology and statistical methods.
Completion of the MS degree program usually takes two years, and completion of the PhD degree program usually takes four years. Certification in Forensic Toxicology involves completion of five specified courses totalling 15 graduate credits and takes least 12 months to complete. Interdisciplinary collaborative programs among the departments in the College and with other UF departments in the Health Science Center and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences provide the students with an excellent combination of educational programs. Graduate students plan their program with the advice and assistance of a Supervisory Committee made up of three to five graduate faculty.
The Veterinary Graduate Student Association Home Page provides a look at our graduate program as seen through the eyes of our own graduate students.
Students are encouraged to seek external sources of financial aid. Several nationally competitive fellowship opportunities are available to qualified individuals. In addition, graduate students are eligible for a limited number of assistantships, fellowships, and other awards provided directly by the College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Florida. Several teaching assistantships and research assistantships are available from the College of Veterinary Medicine, and many faculty offer additional grant-funded research assistantships. These assistantships include an initial salary of $25,000 to $35,000 per year, depending on years of relevant experience, for those students holding the DVM or equivalent degree. For other students, assistantships include an initial salary of $22,000 to $28,000 per year, depending on years of relevant experience. Supplemental fellowships over and above these amounts are available to students having exceptional credentials. Health insurance and tuition waivers are available for students on assistantships or fellowships. All students are required to pay nonacademic fees. For new students who may need a cash advance when arriving on campus, there is a graduate student revolving loan fund at the College.
Application for admission must be made as soon as possible before the beginning of the desired term of admission. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, an average of B or better for the last two years of the baccalaureate program, and satisfactory scores on the general test of the GRE are required for admission.