In any one semester, Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program (VMSTP) scholars are enrolled in either the DVM or the PhD curriculum; students may begin their training in either curriculum. However, we have found that our strongest applicants to the VMSTP are already enrolled in either the DVM or a PhD program. We accept applicants from any compatible UGA PhD program.
Our program is flexible enough to allow the students and their mentors to structure the curriculum in the most effective way possible. Some scholars have entered the VMSTP after their first year in the DVM curriculum, enrolled as a graduate student and initiated their research prior to continuing/finishing the DVM. Other scholars have gained admission after one to two years of graduate school, and entered the DVM portion after completing the majority of their PhD work.
We expect every VMSTP scholar to become a clinically competent veterinarian as well as a biomedical researcher capable of acquiring research funding and publishing their work. In order to function at a high level of cross-competency, the scholar must focus his/her efforts on medicine when enrolled in the DVM curriculum and on research productivity when enrolled as a graduate student.
The curriculum for the four-year DVM program is well-structured. The first three years are each comprised of two semesters of core courses. With the exception of the first year Fall semester, and the fourth year, each semester also contains a five- to six-week elective period in which students can enroll in veterinary courses that focus on their area of emphasis. The fourth year consists of three semesters of courses in the Teaching Hospital, and externships in which the student gains hands-on experience with a particular clinical discipline.
The curriculum for PhD programs varies considerably and not all doctoral programs are willing to allow students to be dually enrolled. Some doctoral programs have a core curriculum and a structured training plan in which every student participates. Others require the student and their advisory committee to select the coursework and timeline for training. However all programs must comply with the UGA Graduate School’s academic and enrollment policies. Contact the graduate coordinator of your desired PhD program to determine its suitability for the VMSTP.
Core Course Requirements
- 9 semesters of DVM study: Review the DVM curriculum here.
- 4 to 6 years of research study for the PhD segment
- Student completes 30 hours of graduate coursework, then is admitted to candidacy
- Doctoral research continues during summers and elective periods while enrolled as a DVM student