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 will 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 (i.e., major professor) 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.
The major professor, an animal science faculty member at the rank of assistant professor or above, chairs the student’s graduate advisory committee. The student and major professor select the other members of the advisory committee which should contain at least two other faculty members at the rank of assistant professor or above, one of whom may be outside the Animal Science Department. The student’s advisory committee assists in the planning of course work and may require specific courses in addition to those required by the Animal Science graduate program. The student’s graduate advisory committee also aids in formulating an appropriate research project and assesses achievement of other degree requirements, including the research proposal and thesis defense.
Areas of research emphasis are animal physiology (e.g. ruminant and monogastric nutrition, reproduction, stress, and obesity), health and well-being (e.g. immunology, microbiology, pre-harvest food safety and behavior), and genomics. Programs emphasize experiential learning with animal species, including beef and dairy cattle, poultry, swine, small ruminants, and animal models for human disease. See the Department graduate program website for a listing of graduate research faculty and their specific research focus areas.
An Animal Science Conditional Admission Application Form for the Five Year DVM/MS program is available from the Animal Science Graduate Program Director and must be completed by the applicant.
In order for a veterinary student to be considered for conditional admission to the Animal Science MS program,
- A student must be a declared Veterinary Medicine major with a minimum GPA of 3.00 and must have completed at least one semester of course work required for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
- 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 identify at least two other graduate research faculty members to serve on their MS graduate advisory committee.
- A student must coordinate the provision of three letters of recommendation (one from an individual willing to serve as their major professor and two from other faculty members willing to attest to their potential to do well in a thesis-based MS degree program). Letters should be submitted directly to the Animal Science Graduate Program Director by the individuals providing recommendation.
- A student must interview with individuals comprising the Graduate Committee in the Department of Animal Science and selected individuals in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
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 Animal Science MS program. Conditional admission of a student must be approved by the
- Department of Animal Science,
- College of Veterinary Medicine, and
- Graduate School.
Conditional admission into the Animal Science accelerated MS program does not guarantee acceptance into either the Graduate School or the Animal Science 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 applicants follow. 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 a graduate student in the Department of Animal Science.
In order for veterinary medicine courses (up to a maximum of 9 credit hours) to count toward both the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and the Animal Science MS degree, student must earn a grade of at least a “B” in A - F graded courses. Eligible course work must be completed 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 Animal Science Graduate Director. These courses should be identified, in consultation with the student’s graduate advisory committee members and must be listed on the Animal Science Conditional Admission Form for the Five Year DVM/MS program. 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 course work may be used for MS degree if the individual obtains approval from their graduate advisory committee and the Graduate Director.
The Animal Science Conditional Admission Form is available from the Animal Science Graduate Program Director and must be completed, signed, and submitted to the Animal Science Graduate Program Director, College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School for final approval and processing for conditional admission.