The Veterinary Medical Scholars Program (VMSP) enables students to combine the study of veterinary medicine with graduate study, leading to a PhD in a complementary field. 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
- Students who are applying for admission to the DVM program and students who are in the first or second year of the DVM program may apply for VMSP admission.
- Applicants must have extensive 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 joining 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. Each student’s program of study is determined in consultation with the research advisor and graduate committee, according to the degree requirements of the graduate department. The program of study must be determined no later than the spring semester of the student’s first year in the program and is updated annually in consultation with the VMSP Director and the student’s research advisor and graduate committee.
- 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 veterinary curriculum, 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.
- 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.
VMSP students in good academic standing are eligible for scholarship support to defray a portion of the DVM tuition and fees in the years following completion of the PhD. VMSP students are not paid a stipend while enrolled in the veterinary curriculum. Financial support during the years spent solely in the PhD program is negotiated between the student and the graduate program/department.
The VMSP application is distinct from the DVM application. Different committees handle admission to each program. Coordination between the programs is made by frequent communication between the college’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs (DVM admission) and Office of Research and Advanced Studies (VMSP admission).
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Director of the VMSP (email@example.com) prior to submitting an application.
Submit the completed Admissions Application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrange to have three professional references submit a letter of recommendation to the same address. Official transcripts for all college-level coursework are also required and should be sent to the following address:Office of Research and Advanced Studies University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
2001 South Lincoln Avenue, 3505 VMBSB
Urbana, IL 61802
All materials must be received by the deadline.
- The application deadline for the VMSP is November 14, 2016.
- 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.
- 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.