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 records.
Applicants generally will be expected to have a professional degree in one of the medical sciences (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM or equivalent) from an accredited institution or a master’s degree in one of the biomedical sciences and a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 300 for the quantitative and verbal sections.
An individual having only a baccalaureate degree but with a strong background in the physical and biological sciences may be admitted upon presenting evidence of exemplary performance on the GRE.
Exceptional veterinary students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, may be admitted to the accelerated dual DVM-PhD program or may continue to be enrolled officially as veterinary students only and register for CEM courses. For the latter, such students may take advantage of registering for graduate courses to be counted as elective courses in the veterinary program.
For more information about our college, faculty, and research - please see our webpage at https://vetmed.tennessee.edu/research/Pages/Graduate_Program.aspx.
Students with professional degrees (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM) or master’s degrees in a program-related biomedical science must complete at least 24 credit hours of graduate course work and 24 credit hours of Dissertation CEM 600 . Students without a professional or master’s degree must complete a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate course work and 24 credit hours of Dissertation (CEM 600 ).
Comparative and Experimental Medicine courses CEM 504 , CEM 541 , CEM 542 , and CEM 616 (1 credit hour) are required, as are 6 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 doctoral committee is chosen during the first year. At least one member must be from the College of Veterinary Medicine and at least one member from an academic unit other than that of the student’s major field.
A comprehensive examination must be passed before the end of the third year of the program. In addition, students must prepare and defend a prospectus outlining their proposed research projects before the end of their third year in the program. Exceptions to these requirements are provided for medical residents pursuing doctoral degrees who must successfully complete the comprehensive examination and research prospectus before the end of their fourth year in the program.
PhD with Concurrent MS Degree
The Comparative and Experimental Medicine program offers the PhD with a concurrent MS degree option for doctoral students who plan to complete the master’s degree while maintaining enrollment in the doctoral program. The decision to pursue the concurrent MS/PhD degree must be made at least 2 weeks prior to the last day of classes of the semester previous to the one in which the degree would be conferred. Preferably, the student will decide the path (see below) upon entrance into the PhD program.
Students who have already completed a master’s degree in a similar program elsewhere will continue to be admitted directly into the PhD-only program.
Path 1: MS with thesis; PhD with dissertation
Students will progress through the MS program and complete a thesis and oral defense before attempting the PhD comprehensive examination and completing the dissertation (and oral defense). Six credit hours of thesis and 24 credit hours of dissertation are required.
Path 2: MS with problems in lieu of thesis option; PhD with dissertation
Students will progress through the MS program with 6 credit hours in CEM 501 or CEM 510 completed under the supervision of the student’s major professor and committee. The individual project will involve a literature survey, development of a pre-doctoral fellowship grant targeted toward a specific funding agency, or other comparable project deemed acceptable by the student’s committee. The student will undergo an oral defense of the proposal before attempting the PhD comprehensive examination and completing the dissertation (and oral defense).