Office of Research and Graduate Education

Curriculum: Coordinating the Two Degrees

Students in the Veterinary Scientist Training Program (VSTP) are enrolled in the DVM curriculum of the School of Veterinary Medicine and a PhD program of the Graduate Division. Upon completion of studies, students receive both degrees. The DVM program at UC Davis extends for four years. The first two years, largely preclinical, start in the fall of the entering year and proceed for six quarters until June of the second year. The third year is devoted to track specific clinically related courses. Fourth year begins immediately at the end of the third year (June) and is composed of core and elective rotations.

The VSTP has formed a close liaison with many of the graduate groups that traditionally offer training for PhD degrees on the Davis campus to facilitate coordination of the two programs and to provide an optimal academic experience for students in the VSTP. The DVM program at UC Davis extends for four years.

The VSTP offers students considerable flexibility in coordinating their degree curricula. Combined course work that would meet the requirements of both the DVM degree program and the PhD degree program are targeted. School of Veterinary Medicine course requirements can be waived if a student has undertaken equivalent course work, and, likewise requirements for the PhD may be met by alternate courses. Each student works with a coordinating advisor for the PhD and a member of the VSTP Advisory Committee to establish an optimum individual program that meets requirements for both degrees.

Many approaches are possible to optimize completion of the VSTP. Which one is most suitable depends upon the specific PhD program selected and the individual student's background. Although there is a formal order of courses in the DVM program, many alternative sequences are possible to optimize the PhD program.

Our typical student begins with participation in the Summer VSTP research laboratory rotations before matriculation in the first year of Veterinary School. Students have another rotation opportunity after the first year of Veterinary School. Most of our students will then complete the first two years of Veterinary School before entering in to the Graduate School. Alternatively, some of our students take the first year of the DVM program and extend the second year of the DVM course work over two years, while simultaneously beginning PhD course work. Students return to the Veterinary School for their third year didactic training and fourth year clinical rotations. Graduation with both degrees normally takes seven years.