Dual Accelerated MS-DVM Program, Animal Science Major
For qualified students, the Department of Animal Science offers an accelerated MS degree program for individuals pursuing a doctor in veterinary medicine degree. Central to this program is that a qualified veterinary student may have up to 9 credit hours of veterinary medicine courses count toward both the doctor of veterinary medicine degree and the MS degree. To this end, a student may earn the DVM and MS in about five to five-and-a-half years rather than the six to six-and-a-half years that otherwise would be required.
Normally, students would be considered for conditional admission to the program during, or following, their first year of veterinary medicine study at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. Because the MS program requires that a student write a thesis based on original research, efforts related to identifying a graduate mentor and starting a research-based project in consultation with a graduate advisory committee (that meets MS committee requirements) are appropriate in and around or following their first year of veterinary study.
To be considered for conditional admission to the program:
- A student must be a declared Veterinary Medicine major with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must have completed at least one semester of coursework required for the Veterinary Medicine degree.
- A student must also coordinate the provision of three letters of recommendation and complete a personal interview with individuals comprising the Graduate Committee in the Department of Animal Science and College of Veterinary Medicine.
- A student must obtain a written commitment from an Animal Science graduate research faculty member to serve as their graduate mentor-advisor (i.e., major professor) and at least two other graduate research faculty members to serve on their graduate advisory committee.
The Department may consider other relevant factors such as an applicant's work experience and level of maturity before conditionally admitting a student to the MS program. Conditional admission of a student must be approved by the Department of Animal Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the Graduate School.
The student must have earned a grade of at least a "B" in A - F graded courses in any of the eligible courses to be taken for graduate credit before satisfying all requirements for the DVM degree. Courses to be used for MS graduate credit must be approved by both the individual's graduate advisory committee and by the Graduate Director. These courses should be identified, in consultation with the student's graduate advisory committee members and be listed on the Animal Science Conditional Admission Form for the Five Year DVM/MS program. The Animal Science Conditional Admission Form is available from the Animal Science Graduate Program Director and must be completed, signed, and submitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Graduate School for final approval and processing for conditional admission.
There is a maximum limit of 9 credit hours on the number of veterinary medicine-level hours that a student may complete before completing doctor of veterinary medicine and being formally admitted to MS program. A student that is conditionally admitted to the MS program completes 9 credit hours of veterinary credit approved by their graduate advisory committee, and applies those 9 credit hours to satisfy DVM degree requirements which would also be applied to the MS degree course requirements. In cases where veterinary medicine courses that are to be used for the Animal Science MS degree are completed before applicant requests consideration for conditional admission (e.g., animal physiology or other courses), this coursework may be used for MS degree if the individual obtains approval from their graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Director.
Conditional admission into this type of accelerated program does not guarantee acceptance into either the Graduate School or the MS program. Students would normally apply for admission to the Graduate School and to the MS program during their fourth year of study in the DVM program, following the same procedures that all other MS student applicants follow. At that time, GRE scores must be submitted as part of the application for admission into any graduate program in the Department of Animal Science. Students will be fully admitted to the MS program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the Animal Science MS program. Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate students in the Graduate School in the Department of Animal Science Graduate Program.