A new professional curriculum in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine was initiated in the fall of 1997. This new curriculum allows students a degree of self-direction in choosing an educational path. Accordingly, in the last 60 weeks of the curriculum, a student can choose from one of six concentrations for their final phase (II) of study. One of these concentrations is the Public Practice Concentration, which provides the flexibility for a professional student to take graduate courses. Interest of our DVM students and national needs for more DVM-PhD graduates expressed by the AVMA and NIH and the flexibility of the new curriculum prompted the initiation of this combined degree program.
Historically, most Schools of Veterinary Medicine in this country offer the DVM-PhD opportunity. The models for doing so vary between schools. In addition, the LSU Medical Center and the LSU Dental School in New Orleans have such programs. These programs are designed to provide research-training opportunities to highly qualified and strongly motivated students to pursue academic and research careers in the biomedical sciences while enrolled in professional medical curricula. The time to complete both degrees may be shortened by 1-2 years with a concurrent approach rather than a sequential approach, although the length of the DVM program would still be four years. This is a great advantage to students already facing substantial educational debt loads. The number of students interested in such a program is small, generally on the order of 1-2 per year.
Students enrolled in this dual DVM-PhD program will follow the criteria set forth in professional DVM degree program and those for the PhD degree in the graduate concentration within the Veterinary Medical Sciences program, which they chose to pursue. The following points describe point's specific to the dual program.
Eligible students must hold a baccalaureate degree, be accepted by the Graduate School, and establish a program of study in one of the SVM graduate concentrations. Preferably, during Year I, students will apply for admittance into the summer semester between Year I and II of the professional curriculum. Students could also apply for admittance into the summer semester between Year II and III of the professional curriculum during Year II.
Students currently enrolled in the Veterinary Medical Sciences PhD program may enter the program by acceptance into the DVM program. This route of admission is only available by the concurrence of the students advisory committee and the Dean.
The time to completion of the professional degree (DVM) of 4 years will remain unchanged.
Up to 32 weeks (including 8 vacation weeks) are available in Phase II (last 1.25 years of 4 year program) of the professional curriculum for students in the Public Practice (Government/Corporate) Concentration, which scheduled properly would allow in excess of a full semester of graduate study opportunity.
Students accepted into this program will have an opportunity to enroll in graduate courses in the following windows:
Graduate courses taken during Phase II and credited toward the DVM degree will be waived from the graduate degree program of study. (Credit hour, and all the degree requirements of the Graduate School remain unchanged).
Following the DVM degree, full-time enrollment in the graduate program will provide the balance of degree requirements for the PhD.
Tuition would only be prorated for those semesters in which the student is enrolled in both professional and graduate course work, and otherwise (e.g., summer semesters) would be paid as per schedule.
* One must first be accepted into the professional DVM program and can only begin the PhD program after successfully completing the first year of the DVM program.
For more information on the joint DVM/PhD application process, please contact the LSU SVM's Admissions & Enrollment Director (firstname.lastname@example.org; 225-578-9537).