College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Department of Veterinary Medicine

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Applicants with a minimum of B.S. or equivalent, or a higher degree in biological or medical sciences may be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program.  Candidates must complete the minimum course requirements of 24 credits (for candidates with B.S. or equivalent degree) or 12 credits (for candidates with MPH, M.S. or a D.V.M., M.D. or equivalent degree) in addition to a minimum of 12 dissertation research credits (VMSC 899).


During the first semester in the Ph.D. program the student will select an advisor and, with the help of that advisor, will form an Advisory Committee. By the end of the second semester the student will submit a dissertation research proposal and must meet with the Advisory Committee to approve a plan of study.

Students are required to take both a written and oral comprehensive examination for advancement to candidacy and must submit and defend their Ph.D. dissertation in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree. A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate within five years of admission to the Ph.D. program and within at least six months of 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 to be 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 through the Graduate School website.

Paperwork must be received by the Graduate School prior to the 25th of the month in order for the advancement to become effective on the first day of the following month. Doctoral candidates are automatically registered for six (6) credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899), for which students pay the flat candidacy tuition.

Prior to the final dissertation oral examination, candidates must present at a public seminar. Details on the Graduate School policy on the Doctoral Dissertation and Examination may be found in the Graduate School Catalog.

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 or the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide for the details of this process.

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