MS/PhD Programs

Graduate Academic Programs

Areas of Specialization


Fees, Graduate

Financial Assistance

Graduate Professional Studies

Graduate Student Responsibilities

Description of Courses

SVM Annual Bulletin (Admissions and Courses)

Graduate Degree Disclosure

The School of Veterinary Medicine offers advanced studies in Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences leading to an MS or PhD degree (Graduate Academic Programs) and specialized advanced professional training in one or more clinical specialties of veterinary medicine (Graduate Professional Programs). Specific research training opportunities vary in each of the three departments and are summarized below by department. All aspects of the Graduate Academic Program are in compliance with current regulations and requirements of the LSU Graduate School. The school’s three departments have some additional distinct requirements. Graduate Professional Programs in some clinical sciences, pathology, and laboratory animal medicine may also require completion of a graduate degree.

Graduate Academic Programs

The graduate academic program in Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences offers both the MS and PhD degrees concentrating in a variety of research areas, all requiring a thesis or dissertation. 

All aspects of the graduate program in Biomedical and Veterinary Medical Sciences (e.g., hours required, composition of Graduate Advisory Committee, general and comprehensive final examinations, etc.) are in compliance with the current “Graduate School Regulations” and “Requirements for Advanced Degrees.” Specific concentrations may have additional requirements (e.g., a qualifying examination in the Veterinary Pathology area of concentration after one year).

Areas of Specialization

Graduate degrees (as indicated in parentheses) are offered by the School of Veterinary Medicine in its three departments. These include: the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (MS, PhD), the Department of Pathobiological Sciences (MS, PhD), and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (MS, PhD).

Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences (MS, PhD)

Graduate training in this department offers graduate students the opportunity to specialize in one or more disciplines. These disciplines include cell and molecular biology; cancer cell biology; toxicology, including inhalation toxicology; environmental health science and ecological chemistry; physiology; anatomy; and pharmacology. Faculty research interests and expertise include mechanisms of metastasis in cancer; gene therapy (including electroporation) in cancer; cell and molecular biology of tooth eruption; pharmacology and toxicology of aquatic species; environmental and ecological toxicology; cellular ultrastructure; environmental risk assessment; analytical pharmacology and toxicology; diagnostic neurophysiology; pharmacology of pain and inflammation; exercise physiology; xenobiotic metabolism and disposition; neurochemistry; pulmonary pharmacology; cardiovascular disease; and cetacean morphology.

Department of Pathobiological Sciences (MS, PhD)

This graduate education program attracts candidates with D.V.M. or equivalent degrees and students with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in microbiological, immunological, zoological, and biomolecular sciences. The emphasis is on developing intellectual abilities and research skills through investigations of infectious diseases of food-producing, companion, and aquatic animals, as well as animal models for human disease. The interdisciplinary faculty — with expertise in molecular biology of infectious diseases, parasitology, and immunology—as well as well- equipped laboratories, provide a stimulating environment for graduate training. Depending on individual interest, graduate students may choose courses with an emphasis in immunology and molecular virology, bacterial or viral pathogenesis, or parasitology and parasite-induced diseases. Communication skills are fostered through active research discussion groups, interdisciplinary seminars, oral examinations, presentation of papers at scientific meetings, and publication of research findings.

This academic and scientific program develops uniquely trained scientists who are able to contribute to the improved health of food-producing, companion, and aquatic animals through vaccine development and modulation of the immune response. Graduates possess the ability to investigate the pathogenesis and disease mechanisms of existing and newly emerging animal and human pathogens to advance animal and human health through research. Graduates may qualify for examination by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and for assuming responsibilities of academic, industrial, and governmental positions.

The graduate professional programs in the department emphasize post-DVM education that leads to the PhD degree. An MS degree is also available. The program offers an in-depth educational experience in classical morphological, clinical pathology, or laboratory animal medicine. Completion of the residency program partially satisfies the requirements of eligibility for the board examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) or the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). Research opportunities encompass the research programs of the entire School of Veterinary Medicine.

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (MS, PhD)

This department offers graduate students with a fundamental background in clinical sciences the opportunity to study disease problems in small, large, and exotic animals. Faculty of the department hold concurrent appointments in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital & Clinics where they provide in-depth clinical training to professional students while serving the animal health needs of the hospital’s clientele. The hospital program is supported by a large and diverse staff that includes veterinary interns and residents, medical technologists, radiologic technologists, and pharmacists.

Advanced training in clinical sciences prepares graduate students for careers in clinical research and teaching and administration of clinical trials in the private and governmental sectors. Faculty research interests and areas of expertise range from basic research in immunogenetics to applied studies of surgical and medical problems. Collaborative research with other departments in the School of Veterinary Medicine, the University, and extramural agencies is encouraged and fostered. Opportunities are available in a variety of disciplines for graduate students to acquire teaching experience.


If you wish to apply for admission to the graduate program, you should apply online "Application for Graduate Admission" to the Graduate School (Louisiana State University Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803). Do not send applications to the department to which admission is sough; individual SVM departments do not have application materials.

You must be a veterinarian or have a baccalaureate or MS degree from an accredited institution. Further, you must meet standards for admission established by the Graduate School, including grade-point average and GRE scores. If you are an international student (except those from certain English-speaking countries), you must score at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination.

If you are admitted on probation, you will remain in this status until the completion of nine hours of graduate-level, graded courses attaining a grade-point average of at least 3.00. If you are admitted on probation, you may not hold an assistantship or fellowship.

Graduate Fees

Financial Assistance

Graduate fellowship stipends are based on funds available from the Office of the Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, from the Graduate School, or from funds that may be available from extramural sources. Non-DVM. students who receive state-supported assistantships will not be approved for transfer into the professional program until the completion of their graduate studies program.

For more on Financial Aid, please click the link to see the Graduate School's web site for information on Financial Assistance.

Graduate Professional Studies

The Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences provides graduate professional training to interns and residents through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Interns and residents are recruited and selected through the Veterinary Intern and Resident Matching Program (VIRMP). One-year rotating internships are available in companion animal medicine and surgery and large animal medicine and surgery (equine emphasis). Two- or three-year residency programs are available in companion animal medicine, companion animal surgery, dermatology, equine medicine, equine surgery, theriogenology, and zoological medicine. Concurrent graduate academic studies leading to the M.S. degree may be arranged in a variety of concentrations.

The Department of Pathobiological Sciences provides residency training in morphological and clinical pathology and also laboratory animal medicine through the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Residency training programs are designed to prepare you to meet the requirements for certification in the corresponding veterinary specialty. Residents in this program generally complete an M.S. or PhD degree in veterinary medical sciences.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

As a graduate student, you must assume full responsibility for knowledge of rules and regulations of the Graduate School and departmental requirements concerning your individual degree program. Since requirements and programs are subject to change, you should at all times be aware of current regulations.

Graduate Degree Disclosure

While licensure or certification may be available in your field of study, our program does not directly lead to licensure or certification upon graduation. The professional preparation you receive in our program may contribute to the educational requirements for licensure in certain areas of biomedical research and may assist you in such pursuits; however, the licensing authority and requirements for specific areas of biomedical expertise falls under the jurisdiction of the licensing board for the state, territory, or foreign entity in which the individual practices. If you intend to pursue such credentialing in your state or elsewhere, we strongly advise you to contact the applicable state credentialing authority to familiarize yourself with its specific requirements. Alternatively, you are welcome to contact Dr. Rhonda Cardin ( with questions in this regard and we will do our best to assist you in your career planning.

My Complaint Wasn’t Resolved by LSU

In the event that you have exhausted all informal and formal procedures through LSU at the institutional level, you may submit a written complaint to the Louisiana Board of Regents or to SACSCOC. They will attempt to facilitate a resolution. See below for details:

Students can file a complaint (after going through the grievance policies of the institution) to SACSCOC using the following form sent via ground mail to:


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

1866 Southern Lane

Decatur, GA 30033-4097

And to the state authorization agency (if a distance education student and is unable to resolve the complaint through the grievance policies of the institution) using the following form to:

Louisiana Board of Regents

P.O. Box 3677

Baton Rouge, LA


ATTN: SARA Student Complaints