Graduate Education (MS & PhD)

058 20150206 tjtDistinctive features.  Programs of study leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree are available at MSU CVM. Our faculty include scientists who are nationally and internationally prominent in their research fields. A key distinction of our graduate programs is their focus on individualized instruction to meet the goals of each student. Our graduate courses seldom have an enrollment greater than 10-12 students, and the program of study is unique for each student, depending on their educational background and their career goals. Many graduate programs in the U.S. have an extensive core curriculum that is mandatory for all graduate students. In contrast, our graduate programs have only two mandatory core courses: statistics and seminar.  All other courses are determined by the major professor, the student, and the student’s graduate advisory committee.  This provides flexibility while still assuring rigorous standards.  During the last several years, the enrollment in our programs has been about 70-80 students. This provides advantages associated with a large program (e.g., opportunities for collaboration, networking opportunities, and diversity), and advantages associated with a small program (individualized advice and instruction).

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at Mississippi State University (MSU) provides the following graduate programs:

MS – Veterinary Medical Science (MS-VMS) with Concentrations in:

Population Medicine Non-Thesis (PMNT)
Requires: 35 hours of coursework

Population Medicine Thesis (POPM)
Requires: 25 hours of coursework + 6 hours research

Population Medicine (POPM)
Requires: See general requirements above. Coursework must include CVM 8333 Food Safety, CVM 8513 Applied Epidemiology, CVM 8503 Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Veterinary Medical Research (VMRC)-default
Requires: 24 hours of coursework including 1 seminar and 1 statistics + 6 hrs research

Computational Biology (VCBC)
Requires: 24 hours of coursework including 1 seminar, 1 statistics, BCH/PSS 8653 Genomes and Genomics, CSE 6613 Bio-computing, CSE 6623 Computational Biology + 6 hrs research

Infectious Diseases (VIDC)
Requires: 24 hours of coursework including 1 seminar, 1 statistics, CVM 8303 Advanced Immunology, BCH 6013 Principles of Biochemistry or BCH 6713 Molecular Biology + 6 hrs research

Toxicology (VTOX)
Requires: 24 hours of coursework including 1 seminar, 1 statistics, CVM 8543 Mechanisms Toxic Action and CVM 6513 Environmental Toxicology + 6 hours research

PhD – Veterinary Medical Science (PhD-VMS) with Concentrations in:

General CVM Ph.D. Requirements: All PhD programs require 60 hours beyond the MS degree or 90 hours beyond the BS degree. Students with a MS are required to take at least 20 hours of research, 3 seminar courses, and two statistics courses. The remaining 31 hours can be met by a combination of graduate coursework and research/dissertation (CVM 9000) as approved by the student’s doctoral committee.

Students with a BS degree admitted without a MS are required to take a minimum of 24 hours of graduate coursework, at least 20 hours of research, three seminar courses, and two statistics courses. The remaining 46 hours of credit can be met by a combination of graduate coursework and research/dissertation (CVM 9000) as approved by the student’s doctoral committee.

Veterinary Medical Research (VMRC)
Default concentration. See general requirements above.

Computational Biology (VCBC)
See general requirements above. Coursework must include BCH/PSS 8653 Genomes and Genomics, CSE 6613 Biocomputing, and CSE 4623/6623 Computational Biology

Infectious Diseases (VIDC)
See general requirements. Coursework must include CVM 8303 Advanced Immunology, BCH 6013 Principles of Biochemistry or BCH 6713 Molecular Biology

These graduate programs provide advanced educational opportunities for students in a broad range of biomedical and veterinary sciences. The goal of the VMS and ENVT programs is to provide training for the next generation of scientists and educators who will be leaders in biomedical and veterinary research and education.  Faculty in CVM’s Department of Basic Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences, and Department of Pathobiology & Population Medicine lead each student’s graduate education. Involvement in ongoing research projects conducted by the faculty is an important part of each degree program.

Students pursuing admission to one of the MS or PhD programs in CVM must complete all admission requirements of the MSU Office of Graduate Studies (OGS).  From the MSU Office of Graduate Studies page, students should click on “Apply Online Now” to be directed to the MSU Graduate Admission Online Application site.  In addition to the MSU OGS application, the CVM Graduate Faculty would like to evaluate prospective student’s research interests using the CVM Graduate Student – Background and Interest Form. Students interested in the CVM graduate program should complete the form and submit to the CVM ORGS Office by emailing the form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Background and Interest Form will be used to evaluate the student’s research interests and place students within the appropriate research program when admitted to the CVM Graduate Program. The form is also used to determine/award available graduate research assistantships/grants. Prospective students are encouraged to directly contact faculty members with research interests consistent with those of the student. Email can be used to communicate with faculty members, or to ask for an appointment for a face-to-face visit.

In addition to the traditional MS and PhD programs in the College, there is a path within the DVM program in which students may pursue a DVM-PhD or DVM-MS Dual Degree. Information concerning the DVM Dual Degree programs can be found at the Combined DVM-Graduate Degree Programs site.

PhD – Environmental Toxicology

The requirements for a PhD in Environmental Toxicology include the General CVM PhD requirements above as well as specialized courses in toxicology. 

If you have additional questions or need assistance concerning CVM graduate education, please call 662-325-1417 or email the ORGS Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..