Residency and Graduate Programs

Residency Program

The veterinary pathology residency program is offered through the College of Veterinary Medicine together with the Department of Pathobiology (PATH) and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL). There are three subdivisions within the program.

In conjunction with veterinary pathology training, residents will complete graduate training through either the Department of Pathobiology, Department of Comparative Biosciences, or Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine.

The mission of the program is to train veterinarians with the goal of obtaining competency, expertise, and leadership in the field of pathology. Participants in the program will have the option to choose an applied program of training leading to eligibility for the certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and a Master’s Degree or applied training in pathology leading to board eligibility and a PhD degree. Depending on prior qualifications, the estimated completion time for the combined program with PhD is five years. Estimated completion time for the applied program with MS is three years.


Residents accepted into the program receive a full-time veterinary resident appointment and are therefore eligible for full University health and retirement benefits, as well as a tuition and partial fee waiver based upon their employment status. Additionally, the pathology residency program has established a travel fund for use by pathology residents to support travel to professional meetings relevant to residency training.

Graduate Program

Graduate education in the Department of Pathobiology provides unique opportunities for future research scientists to become competent in various disciplines of infectious diseases in humans and animals. The Pathobiology graduate program provides a broad range of research opportunities in both master’s and PhD degrees in the following areas:

  • Bacteriology
  • Epidemiology
  • Immunology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology

Additionally, interdisciplinary training is available.

A minimum of required core courses allows curriculum flexibility. Graduate programs can be tailored to meet the goals and expectation of the individual student and their research goals.

Students who are accepted will formally join a Pathobiology faculty research laboratory. Applicants should explore faculty research profiles available on the website and contact individual faculty for further information regarding their lab. For specific requirements and admissions processes, contact the graduate program coordinator. Applications are accepted for the Spring or Fall semesters.

With a degree from the Department of Pathobiology, our graduates are well prepared for a research position in academia, government, industry, or a post-doctoral position at any major institution. Recent graduates have accepted positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Michigan, the US Department of Agriculture, Senti Biosciences, and others.


Students accepted into the program receive financial support through research assistantship, teaching assistantship, training fellowship, or government fellowship, which provides a generous stipend with a full tuition and partial fee waiver. The department guarantees financial support to students as long as they make satisfactory progress toward their degree. Students are also encouraged to attend scientific conferences to present their research. Conference expenses are typically covered by travel fellowships, research advisors, or the department.

Award winners from the 2020 Voss Graduate Student Research EXPO: Chia-Ming Su, Xuejin Zhang, Maria Nava, Sabal Chaulagain, Jaishree Sharma, Myung Whan Oh (missing from the photo Yvette Tien)

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How to Apply

Application Deadlines

Fall semester deadline: January 15th

Spring semester deadline: October 15th

For full consideration, ALL application materials must be received by January 15th for fall semester admission, and by October 15th for spring semester admission. Off-cycle applications are limited to prior arrangement between an individual applicant and a specified research advisor and will be reviewed by the full Pathobiology graduate faculty on a rolling basis.

The Department of Pathobiology does not request any program-specific questions on the application. All requested documents should be uploaded to the online application. Do not send original documents to the department office.

International applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements based on their country of origin. See the list of countries on the Graduate College website.

Admission Fees

  • Domestic applicants are required to submit a $70.00 application fee.
  • International applicants are required to submit a $90.00 application fee.

Application Process

  1. Review the Graduate College ‘Before Beginning’ process
  1. Apply to the University of Illinois Graduate Program
    • or click APPLY NOW  from the Before Beginning page and follow the directions
    • Indicate Program as VMS-Pathobiology
    • Indicate Degree as MS or PhD
    • It is also highly recommended that applicants include faculty member(s) of interest in the Proposed Program of Study section of the online application
  1. Submit a CV or resume as part of the application
  2. Submit a personal statement as part of the application (optional)
  3. Submit a research statement as part of the application
    • Research statements should include a description of previous research experience and what you gained as part of that experience.
    • Research statements should also include your research goals for graduate study and the names of faculty that you are interested in working with.
    • Research statements should also include information about why you are interested in getting a degree from Pathobiology and your future professional career goals.
    • Research statements should be no more than 2-3 pages in length (double spaced).
  1. Provide the names and emails of 3 references
    • Letters of reference will be submitted electronically in the application system.
    • Select letter writers that are familiar with your academic qualifications and/or your research experience(s).
    • Each reference letter writer will receive an email asking them to submit their letters in our online system. A secure link will be provided to each reference writer.
  1. Submit transcript(s) online as part of the application.
    • Upload unofficial transcripts for each degree-granting institution attended.
    • If you have been awarded a degree, then the transcript we receive should list the degree conferred and conferral date.
    • For institutions that do not print degree conferral information on transcripts, a separate certificate of degree or diploma should also be uploaded. This may be true for international institutions.
    • If you attended an international institution and the academic credentials are not written in English, you must include a translation of all documents.
  1. GRE policy effective for entering in 2021 season
    • Pathobiology does not require GRE scores as part of the application for graduate school. You may submit them as part of the package if you like.
  1. Submit TOEFL scores if required
    • All applicants whose native language is not English must have a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 79, TOEFL CBT (computer-based exam) score of 213, or TOEFL PBT score of 550.
    • TOEFL scores must be less than 2 years old from the proposed entry in order to be valid.
    • Students are exempt from the TOEFL requirement if they have completed at least two academic years of full-time study at an institution where the language of instruction is English during the five-year period prior to the proposed date of enrollment.
    • If students are admitted as a Teaching Assistants, they will be required to take additional language tests.
    • TOEFL scores should be sent electronically from ETS to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using institution code 1836 (no department code required).

Additional Information for International Students

  1. Proof of Funding and Declaration Finances Form
    • International applicants do not need to provide financial details as part of the application process, as Pathobiology provides both a stipend and a tuition waiver. The stipend and tuition waiver exempt applicants from needing to provide financial information.
    • Should international applicants have dependents they will bring with them, the Graduate College may ask for some financial information. However, this will occur at the time of admission and applicants should wait until it is requested.
    • If international applicants have extramural funding, the Graduate College will ask for financial information. However, this will occur at the time of admission, and applicants should wait until it is requested.
  1. Passport
    • International applicants will need to submit a valid passport as part of the application before admission can occur; however, it does not need to be provided at the time of application submission.
    • For additional information on passport requirements, please visit the Graduate College FAQ for International Applicants.

Contact Information

Dongwan Yoo
Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Karen Nichols
Graduate Program Coordinator

PATH Graduate Program
Department of Pathobiology
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2001 South Lincoln Avenue, 2522 VMBSB, MC-002
Urbana, Illinois 61820
Phone: (217) 333-2449

Graduate Students and Staff