Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

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Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program


The Components of the Curriculum

Program Overview

The vision of the Combined Degree DVM/PhD Program is to have a cohesive integration of Research and Veterinary Medicine.  In order to achieve this, it is imperative that Combined Degree students have a balanced passion and capacity for both. Our academic objective is bold: we seek to integrate the most rigorous basic scientific and clinical training so that our graduates will be at the forefront of biomedical science and the veterinary profession.

Students will enroll initially in the DVM curriculum and will complete at least 1.5 years of courses in that curriculum. Students are expected to pursue research laboratory rotations during the summer prior to entering the program and during the summer following the first year of the DVM curriculum. After completing three laboratory rotations, students will be able to select a research mentor and laboratory shortly after entering the PhD portion of the program. Once enrolled as a graduate student, the student will take their PhD qualifying exam (A-exam) and complete the PhD degree (B-exam) before returning to the final two years of the DVM curriculum. The cirriculum is structured as a 1.5+3+2.5 year program, but because a PhD degree is results-based, rather than time-based, the period of time to its completion may vary.

The foundation of the Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program lies in the strength and scope of the educational opportunities it provides. There are five components of the curriculum:

Funding: DVM/PhD degree students will receive substantial financial incentives to complete both degrees. Stipends will be paid during summer laboratory rotations and throughout the PhD portion of the program. Tuition and fees will be paid during the PhD portion of the program, but the student will be responsible for these costs during the time they are enrolled in the DVM curriculum. The student will receive a college loan to support the DVM tuition and, based on an individual financial aid application, additional funding for living expenses. If the student completes both degree programs, the CVM will forgive the college loan directly associated with the Cornell DVM tuition. Health insurance, through Cornell's SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan), will be provided throughout the seven years of training.