Feb 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Comparative and Experimental Medicine Major, MS


Comparative and Experimental Medicine, an intercollegiate program, serves to prepare students for teaching and/or research careers in the health sciences. This program emphasizes the comparative approach to the study of biomedical science. For the student with an undergraduate biological science background, the Comparative and Experimental Medicine program provides an unusual opportunity to study disease processes common in humans and animals from a multidisciplinary perspective. The scope of this intercollegiate program, which pools faculty resources from both veterinary and human medicine, is broadened by faculty members representing public health and numerous areas of the life sciences. The interdisciplinary training environment includes such diverse support as facilities and personnel at the Veterinary Medical Center, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Knoxville, life sciences departments, Herbert College of Agriculture, Tickle College of Engineering, and the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. Participating departments from the Graduate School of Medicine include Anesthesia, Dentistry, Medicine, Medical Genetics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pathology, Radiology, and Surgery. Participating departments from the College of Veterinary Medicine include Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences, Large Animal Clinical Sciences, and Small Animal Clinical Sciences.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available


General Program (Thesis, Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option)

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures


  • 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 coursework 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.
  • For some students without such a background, prerequisite or concurrent coursework will likely be necessary to succeed in the course of study.
  • 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.

Academic Standards


  • 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.

General Program, Thesis Option and Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams Option


The goal of our graduate program is to prepare students for careers in biomedical science. The curriculum builds upon students’ backgrounds in science, trains them to become proficient in experimental design, data analysis, research ethics, analysis of literature, and scientific writing and provides experiential training within their chosen area of research emphasis.

Credit Hours Required


Minimum of 30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Additional Course Requirements


  • 8 credit hours of graduate coursework in the student’s area of research emphasis. Areas of research 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 research interests outside of the areas listed must be approved by the CEM program director. Specific courses are chosen in consultation with their major professor.
  • An additional 2 credit hours of electives chosen in consultation with their major professor.

Non-Course Requirements


  • Thesis Option:
    • Preparation and defense of the thesis, to include a final oral examination must be passed at the completion of the program.
  • Coursework Only with Comprehensive Exams:
    • A final oral examination must be passed at the completion of the program.
  • All Students:
    • Must present at least once in the annual UTCVM Research Day event.
    • Must complete an approved responsible conduct of research training program within their first year of study.
    • Who have been in the CEM program for at least two semesters must complete an annual progress report.