Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program




Cornell's Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program accepts only a limited number of highly motivated and academically exceptional students each year. The program encourages applications from a diverse range of candidates, including:

  • Students with an established interest in veterinary medicine and a concurrent career focus on discovery science and academia;
  • Students with an established interest in biology and a career focus in discovery science and academia, but who have more recently recognized the intellectual benefits provided by an education in veterinary medicine.

Applications to the Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program are reviewed by three separate admissions committees. The DVM Admissions Committee first reviews the applicants to determine admissibility to the DVM Program. The Graduate Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS) also reviews applications for admissibility to the graduate program. Finally, the Combined Degree Oversight Committee reviews the applicants. All three committees must agree to support the student before the offer of acceptance is made.

Application Process
In order to streamline the process for prospective Combined Degree students, a separate Combined DVM/PhD application has been developed. This application combines the requirements of each program into one document which can be accessed through the DVM Admissions web site. Prospective students wishing to be considered for the program will be required to identify this in the DVM application and to submit supplemental materials.

The deadline for the VMCAS Application is September, 5, 2015 12:00 midnight EDT. The deadline for the Cornell Supplemental Application is September, 30, 2015 1:00pm EDT.

The Combined DVM/PhD Program is highly competitive. The Admissions Committee is looking for students who have:

  • a demonstrated interest in research and combining discovery science with veterinary medicine;
  • the ability to benefit from the special opportunities of a combined program;
  • a commitment to academic excellence and intellectual curiosity;
  • a dedication to both research and veterinary medicine.

Specific Admissions Information for Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program Candidates
The following guidelines are to help you consider whether you might be competitive for admission to the Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree program. However, we encourage you to contact Arla Hourigan ( or Dr. Helene Marquis ( to discuss your particular circumstances if you are interested in applying for the program. Deadline for receipt of all information in Cornell's Supplementation Application is October 15th, and all application materials must be complete at this time. Please check with your recommenders to be sure that letters are submitted on time, as we cannot guarantee that letters received after the deadline will be fully considered with the other materials.

Because of the combined application processes involved (to both the Cornell graduate school and the DVM Curriculum), Combined DVM/PhD Degree applicants must complete the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and submit test results by October 15th. MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) test results can be submitted with the application if available, but do not replace the GRE results which are required for the graduate school admissions.

GRE scores are used as part of the assessment of candidates, and generally would need to meet at least the following levels to be competitive: a combined GRE score of 310 for verbal and quantitative sections of the test with a minimum 50th percentile rank for each section required

Applicants for the Cornell DVM/PhD Degree Program will not be automatically evaluated for admission into a Cornell PhD degree program if they are not accepted into the Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program. Any applicant who is interested in having his/her application evaluated for admission into a PhD degree program must follow the application procedures specific to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.