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 In your combined DVM/PhD program you will integrate the professional aspects of veterinary medicine with the academic and research aspects of scientific fields of study within the college.

DVM/PhD Combined Degree Program


 Why Pursue a DVM/PhD?


 DVM/PhD Resources


 DVM/PhD Contact

​Dr. Edward Hoover

The DVM/PhD program at Colorado State University is a 7-8 year course of study leading to both a PhD and a DVM degree. There is a well-documented need for veterinarians trained to carry out high quality biomedical research in academic, government and industry settings, and the goal of this program is to help meet that need. Our students are engaged in a broad array of basic and translational research in all four departments of the College.

How do I apply?

Our goal is to recruit a critical mass of highly competitive, motivated students who will serve as the cornerstone of the translational research mission of our school. CSU is committed to attracting one to two highly qualified applicants to the program per year.

Admission to the DVM/PhD program is highly competitive. The selection committee seeks students with a demonstrated interest and aptitude for research, as evidenced by sustained involvement in research labs or field projects during their undergraduate or subsequent careers.

Students should have had a substantial role in designing a research project or made solid contributions to a team project. The specific nature of the project is less important; our students have carried out undergraduate research in a broad range of subjects including ecology, organic chemistry, molecular biology and behavior.

The committee also considers a student's performance in upper level science classes and GRE scores as evidence of ability to handle the large academic load that characterizes this program.

To pursue admission to this program, you must:

  1. Fill out an application using the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
  2. Complete the DVM/PhD section of the Colorado Supplemental Application (CSA). Learn more about the CSA on the DVM Applications and Procedures page.
  3. Letters of reference from research mentor(s) may be a part of your regular VMCAS application, but you may also submit additional letters in support of your research experience directly to
  4. Submit your CV/resume via email to

If you indicate that you wish to be considered for the combined DVM/PhD program (on the Colorado Supplemental Application), but are denied an offer or designated as an alternate, your application will automatically be considered in the regular DVM admissions cycle.

What happens once I receive an offer?

Candidates are specifically offered a position in the DVM/PhD program. If you receive an offer, you will not be further considered in the regular DVM admissions pool, regardless of whether you accept or decline your offer to the DVM/PhD program.

Before matriculation, if you withdraw your acceptance to the DVM/PhD program, you will have to re-apply for admission to the DVM program.

How are students in the program financially supported?

Graduate school tuition and stipend: First year graduate student stipend and graduate school tuition are paid by the college. During subsequent graduate school years, stipend and tuition are paid by the home laboratory. Students will be encouraged to apply for a number of grants which are available to supplement stipend and tuition during these graduate years, and the program will assist students in identifying these resources. 

Once I begin, what will my overall curriculum look like?

Students spend their first year identifying a mentor and laboratory in which to carry out their PhD. This process can begin as soon as the student is accepted by perusing departmental websites, current student websites, and the websites of the major interdisciplinary programs. The program director can facilitate contact between entering students and potential mentors at any time after acceptance into the program.

Students also take graduate courses during the first year – the nature of these courses is flexible depending on the student's interest. In addition, combined students have the option of taking Veterinary Immunology in the fall of the first year, and Veterinary Nutrition in the spring. These are first year DVM program courses, but can be taken one year early.

Year 1: Graduate courses, laboratory rotations to choose a laboratory, begin dissertation research
Year 2: DVM program Year 1 & graduate electives
Year 3: DVM program Year 2 & graduate electives
Years 4 & 5: Dissertation research, thesis preparation and defense
Optional Year 6: Completion of PhD or fellowship year.
Year 6 & 7 (or 7 & 8): Final two years of DVM program

Throughout your program, you will also be required to register for a seminar course called “Translational Medicine” which meets once a week, and includes students in the DVM PhD program, as well as in veterinary Residency/PhD programs.

For more in-depth information about this combined program, please visit the DVM Student Resources website and the CVMBS Research website

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