Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Applicants with a D.V.M., M.D., or equivalent or related degree in biological sciences plus a M.S. degree may be admitted to the Ph.D. program. In exceptional cases, admission to the Ph.D. program without a M.S. degree may be considered but these candidates must complete a minimum of 24 hours of course work. Ph.D. candidates who have previously completed the D.V.M. and/or M.S. degree must meet the minimum course requirements of 12 credits, and a minimum of twelve dissertation research credits (VMSC899). No more than two credits of Special Problems (VMSC699) are acceptable as part of the 12 required course credits. Two additional seminar credits (VMSC698) are required.

Students are required to register for one seminar credit (VMSC698) each academic year. Two seminar credits will be counted toward degree requirements. All students are expected to attend seminars regularly. Students are required to take a written and oral comprehensive examination and submit and defend their Ph.D. dissertation in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree (see below).


During the first semester, the student selects an advisor and with the help of the advisor forms an Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee and the student must meet by the end of the second semester to approve the student's plan of study. By the end of the second semester the student will submit to the Advisory Committee a dissertation research proposal. An oral and written comprehensive examination is required for advancement to candidacy. Prior to the final dissertation, an oral examination is required for advancement to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate within five years after admission to the doctoral program and at least six months before the date on which the degree will be conferred. It is the responsibility of the student to submit an application for admission to candidacy when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled. Applications for admission to candidacy are made in duplicate by the student and submitted to the graduate program for further action and transmission to the Graduate School . Application forms may be obtained at the Graduate School, Room 2123, Lee Building, or on the web. Paperwork must be received by the Graduate School prior to the 25th of the month in order for the advancement to become effective the first day of the following month. Doctoral candidates are automatically registered for six (6) credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899), for which they pay the flat candidacy tuition. Prior to the final dissertation oral examination, the candidate must present a public seminar. Details on the Graduate School policy on the Doctoral Dissertation and Examination may be found in the Graduate School Catalog at:

Dissertations are to be submitted to the Graduate School in electronic format after final approval of the dissertation by the Dissertation Examining Committee. See the University of Maryland Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) website at or the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide ( for the details of this process.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Credits
Core Requirements
VMSC698Seminar in Veterinary Medical Science2
Select 10 credits of coursework10
Dissertation Research Requirements
VMSC899Dissertation Research12
Total Credits24