College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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DVM/PhD - Veterinary Medical Scholars Program (VMSP)


The Veterinary Medical Scholars Program (VMSP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) enables students to combine the study of veterinary medicine with graduate study, leading to a PhD in a complementary field. The program seeks to produce leaders in biomedical research who have the skills to contribute new knowledge to solve problems in human, animal and environmental health. Students in the VMSP are expected to fulfill all of the requirements of both the College of Veterinary Medicine and the graduate discipline. In cooperation with faculty advisors, students set a realistic program of study that integrates the two fields. 

Eligibility for Admission

• Application to the VMSP is open to students who are applying for admission to the DVM program and to students who are in the first or second year of the DVM program.

• Applicants must have previous research experience and motivation toward a research-focused career.

• Applicants must identify research interests and professional goals that demand integration of veterinary medicine with a second field and that cannot be accomplished with one degree alone.

• Applicants must compete successfully for admission to the DVM program and must complete all DVM pre-requisites prior to starting in the VMSP, regardless of whether the student will start in the DVM or PhD portion of the program.

• Applicants must compete successfully for admission to a PhD program that meets their professional goals.

Program of Study

• There is not a standard program of study for VMSP students. The program provides the flexibility each student needs to address his/her unique goals.

• The student’s program of study is determined in consultation with the research advisor and graduate committee, taking into account the degree requirements of the graduate department.

• VMSP students may enter into the DVM program in the first year, or directly into the graduate program.

• Because of the nature of the Illinois Integrated Veterinary Professional Curriculum (IIVPC; see http://vetmed.illinois.edu/asa/curric.html), it is unreasonable to expect that VMSP students can pursue DVM coursework and make significant progress on graduate/research requirements in the same academic year.

• Each student’s program of study is agreed upon no later than the spring semester of the student’s first year in the program. The program of study plan is updated annually in consultation with the VMSP Director and the student’s research advisor and graduate committee.

• VMSP students are expected to make research progress during the summer between DVM program years.

• VMSP students cannot complete more than 2 years in the DVM program without completing the PhD.

Financial Support

• VMSP students in good academic standing are granted a waiver of DVM tuition and fees during their years in the IIVPC. VMSP students are not paid a stipend while enrolled in the IIVPC.

• Financial support during the years spent solely in the graduate program is negotiated between the student and the graduate program/department.

Application Process

• The application deadline for the VMSP is November 15, 2013.

• The VMSP application is distinct from the DVM application. Different committees handle admission to each program. The VMSP admissions committee reviews the VMSP application, as well as the DVM program application. Coordination between the programs is made by frequent communication between the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Office of Academic and Student Affairs (DVM admission) and CVM Office of Research and Advanced Studies (VMSP admission).

• The VMSP admissions committee reviews applications and selects a pool of candidates for a Skype interview in late November/early December. Top candidates from the Skype interview are invited to visit campus to meet with the admissions committee and potential PhD mentors. Applicants may visit immediately or wait to coordinate the visit with the DVM program interview, typically held in mid- to late February.

• Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of the VMSP (vmsp@vetmed.illinois.edu) prior to submitting an application.

• VMSP offer letters are mailed in early March, in coordination with offers of admission to the DVM program. Students must accept DVM and VMSP admission offers on or before April 15.

The PDF application for VMSP admission for fall semester 2014 can be downloaded here. Submit the completed file to vmsp@vetmed.illinois.edu. Arrange to have two professional references submit a letter of recommendation to the same address. Official transcripts for all college-level coursework are also required. All materials must be received by November 15, 2013

Deadline for Fall semester 2014 - November 15, 2013

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Annual Security Report

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Annual Security Report is available. This report includes statistics from the previous three years concerning reported crime that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and other safety information. You may obtain a paper copy of this report by contacting the Division of Public Safety or by accessing the following Web site: http://www.dps.illinois.edu/clery.htm.