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University of Kentucky/LMU-CVM PhD

University of Kentucky/LMU-CVM PhD

The University of Kentucky Department of Veterinary Science (UK-VESC) and Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) have a cooperative program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Veterinary Science.

Program Goals

The primary goal of the UK-VESC/LMU-CVM cooperative program is to train top veterinary graduates to become leading PhD research scientists in the field of veterinary science and animal health. Emphasis is placed on investigating the causes and mechanisms that affect the production and performance of horses, regardless of breed. The program will provide opportunities for LMU-CVM graduates to develop the skills necessary to become creative and critical-thinking scientists with the contemporary skills and knowledge to perform independent research and to effectively communicate their findings. The VESC/LMU Program will lead to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Veterinary Science with specialization in pathology, virology, microbiology, parasitology, immunology, genetics, reproductive physiology, pharmacology,or musculoskeletal sciences. Each of these subspecialties has a general emphasis on the horse.

The VESC/LMU Doctor of Philosophy program is research intensive, and enables the student to become a self-educating and creative scholar. This degree implies that the individual has demonstrated the capacity to frame an interrelated series of questions and to design and execute an appropriate series of investigations. Research projects are expected to either answer all of the questions or illuminate the area of inquiry in such a way that the resulting dissertation and publications will constitute a definitive contribution to science.


Applicants to the VESC/LMU cooperative PhD program will hold a DVM from LMU-CVM, have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a combined score (verbal plus quantitative) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) of not less than 300 (verbal and quantitative scores combined). Each applicant is considered individually, and acceptance into the program depends on the interests and academic credentials of the applicant, our ability to provide a quality program in the area of interest, and availability of funds to support the student. Participation in the VESC/LMU Summer Fellowship Program during the first two summers is strongly encouraged as a way to identify a suitable research topic and mentor.

Financial Assistance

Research Assistantships to support students in the VESC/LMU PhD program are awarded on a competitive basis. Assistantships provide a competitive stipend and cover tuition and student health insurance. Funds will be available to support up to two VESC/LMU assistantships concurrently. Students supported by the VESC/LMU assistantships will be expected to spend at least one semester at LMU-CVM participating in the preparation and delivery of courses in the veterinary degree curriculum.

Curriculum Requirements

Students enrolled in the VESC/LMU PhD program must meet the UK Graduate School residency credit requirement of at least 36 credit hours of graduate coursework within five years of entry into the program (see the Graduate Bulletin); 12 credits must be at the 600 or 700 level and 9 of these 12 in VESC courses. In recognition of the degree in veterinary medicine, up to 18 hours of the residency credit requirement may be waived at the discretion of the student's advisory committee, the VESC Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), and the Senior Associate Dean of the UK Graduate School.

Students must take two semesters of graduate level biochemistry/molecular/cell biology (CHE550 & 552 OR IBS 601-606) and one semester of graduate level statistics (STA 570 or STA 580) or demonstrate equivalent coursework completed elsewhere. As well, a Scientific Ethics course is strongly recommended (TOX/VS 600). Additional curriculum requirements for each student will be designed in concert with the needs of the individual after discussion with the student's major advisor and advisory committee. Students must enroll in at least 2 semesters of Departmental Seminar (VS 770) and give presentations during enrollment.