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Veterinary Medicine and Comparative and Experimental Medicine, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #201 (ARWU) Knoxville, TN, United States
The College of Veterinary Medicine and the Comparative and Experimental Medicine (CEM) graduate program offer a coordinated accelerated dual program leading to the conferral of both the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. 
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The accelerated dual program allows veterinary students to apply up to 9 credit hours of DVM course work toward a PhD degree in CEM, leading to completion of both degrees in less time than would be required to earn both degrees independently. The accelerated program is designed to prepare highly motivated students for a career in veterinary research.

Students entering the dual degree program must meet minimum admission requirements for both the DVM and the PhD programs. Applicants for the DVM-PhD program must make separate application to, and be competitively and independently accepted by, the College of Veterinary Medicine for the DVM and the CEM program for the PhD. 

Students who have been accepted by the College of Veterinary Medicine may apply for approval to pursue the dual program any time prior to or after matriculation. Such approval will be granted, provided that dual program studies are started prior to entry into the fourth semester of DVM course work.

Students enrolled in the dual DVM-PhD program will be officially classified as primarily veterinary (DVM-seeking) students until the DVM coursework is completed, with the following exception: dual program students will typically enroll as primarily PhD students during the two summer semesters following completion of their first and second years in the veterinary curriculum. After the DVM is conferred, the dual student’s primary major will be CEM.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    81 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

A dual program candidate must satisfy the graduation requirements of each program. The CEM program will award up to 31 credit hours toward the PhD for acceptable performance (a grade of at least a “B” in A–F-graded courses) in approved courses offered by the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Courses eligible for dual credit will be at the recommendation of the student’s CEM major professor in consultation with the student’s doctoral committee. A total of 48 course credit hours independent of dissertation (CEM 600) are required for the PhD degree (17 CEM credit hours plus 31 credit hours accepted from the DVM program). 

The doctoral comprehensive examination must be successfully completed within 2 years of completing all DVM course work.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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General Requirements

Admission requirements:

  • The completed online Graduate Application for Admission 
  • A non-refundable application fee 
  • One unofficial transcript from all colleges and universities attended submitted on-line at the time of application to the Graduate School
  • The submission of official transcripts and degree certificates
  • Departmental application
  • Reference letters or rating forms

Tuition Fee

  • International

    31538 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 31538 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    13120 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 13120 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
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Living costs for Knoxville

  • 885 - 1460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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