Jul 17, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Comparative and Experimental Medicine Major, MS


Admission requirements of the Graduate Council of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, apply. In addition, all applicants must furnish three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with their scholastic or professional performance.

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree with course work in chemistry through organic, mathematics through calculus, physics, and basic biology. More advanced study in biology such as biochemistry, mammalian anatomy, histology, cell biology, or other appropriate biomedical courses from an accredited university is recommended.

Applicants for admission to the Master of Science degree program (1) whose backgrounds include no formal training in the biomedical field beyond the baccalaureate degree or (2) who do not have a professional degree in one of the medical sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM, or equivalent) from an accredited institution will be required to score at least 300 for the quantitative and verbal sections of the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE results, if required, must be from within the previous 5 years.

For more information about our college, faculty, and research - please see our webpage at https://vetmed.tennessee.edu/research/Pages/Graduate_Program.aspx.


Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate course work and 6 credit hours of Thesis (CEM 500 ). Comparative and Experimental Medicine courses CEM 504 , CEM 541 , CEM 542 , and CEM 616  (1 credit hour) are required, as are 4 credit hours of 600-level graduate journal clubs. In addition, students must take at least 3 credit hours of 500- or 600-level statistics and a minimum of 8 credit hours of graduate course work in a specified discipline. Areas of emphasis may include hematology, oncology, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology, immunology, genetics, infectious disease, epidemiology, metabolism, public health or other areas of medicine. Exceptions to accommodate students with specific interests must be approved by the director of the program.

The graduate committee (at least three members) is chosen as early as possible during the first year and must include at least one member from the College of Veterinary Medicine. If a minor is declared, one member must have expertise in the minor discipline. A final oral examination must be passed at the completion of the program.


Forensic Odontology concentration

This three-semester concentration is designed for anthropologists, dentists, registered dental hygienists, biologists, crime scene specialists, detectives, and medico-legal death investigators wishing introduction and formalization to skills in the search, recovery and collaborative identification of compromised human head and neck remains, and recognition of human and non-human bite marks at autopsy.  This concentration is founded on the standards and guidelines established by the American Board of Forensic Odontology in the endeavors of human identification, bite mark investigation and analysis, dental age estimation, missing and unidentified persons, and mass fatality incident dental identification team development.

Training involves search, recovery, identification, and processing of fresh, mutilated, and decomposing and skeletal remains as evidence that has been exposed to many post-mortem environments from scattered and clandestine burials to aquatic and thermal contexts.  Training will continue to include examination of those remains in the autopsy setting. Twice-monthly laboratory sessions at the Knox County Medical Examiner’s Office – East Tennessee Regional Forensic Center will provide case work exposure.  Training also involves recovery of relevant head and neck remains at an outdoor decomposition facility and processing for examination and report writing for submission as a defendable court document.

Applicants for the MS with a Forensic Odontology concentration must have a baccalaureate degree with course work in chemistry, including organic chemistry; mathematics, and basic biology.  More advanced study in biology, such as biochemistry, anatomy, histology, cell biology, or other appropriate biomedical courses from an accredited university is recommended.  For some students without such a background, prerequisite or concurrent course work will likely be necessary to succeed in the course of study.

Students must meet all requirements for the MS degree in Comparative and Experimental Medicine. This includes courses CEM 504 , CEM 541 , CEM 542 , 4 credit hours of journal clubs, and 500- or 600-level statistics. The CEM 504  course may be substituted with another relevant and appropriate course, as approved by the student’s committee and the director of the program. The CEM 616  course is encouraged, but not required, for forensic odontology students. In lieu of a thesis, a capstone experience is required in which the student prepares an analytic research paper that thoroughly identifies and explores a scientific, technical, or social science issue associated with the field. This paper will be presented as a seminar, which is followed by an oral comprehensive exam by the student’s committee.