Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program

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Program Overview and History

The Cornell Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program was established to create a unique opportunity for a limited number of exceptionally motivated and academically superior students who wish to pursue a DVM and PhD degree.

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 biomedicine and the veterinary profession in academic research, medicine and teaching; government service and public health; and the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. Our Program takes advantage of Cornell's uniquely interdisciplinary environment to merge clinical training at the nation's top-ranked veterinary school with the University's internationally-recognized strengths. Please see the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program research specialites for more information.

For students, the benefits of Cornell's Combined DVM/PhD Degree Program include:

  • training in basic science in order to learn how to ask and answer scientific questions appropriately in order to improve fundamental biological understanding while also improving animal health
  • acquisition of a systems knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medicine and surgery that will enable students to understand biological processes and disease conditions from subcellular to organismal levels
  • understanding of the similarities and differences between species, enabling students to utilize comparative approaches to science and medicine
  • clinical training helps to identify areas in need of research to benefit animal and human health
  • shortened time for gaining the two degrees with a solid DVM and PhD experience