A Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine Degree takes seven years to complete and includes one year of core graduate courses and lab rotations, three to four years of prospective veterinary study and graduate electives. In addition, most universities offering doctorate programs in veterinary medicine require the completion of a committee-approved, publishable dissertation. Doctorate programs in veterinary medicine are typically very competitive and accept only a small number of students each year. Students should have a bachelor's and a master's degree before applying and should also be dedicated to the field of veterinary science and research. Graduates who choose to become veterinarians must meet the requirements for earning licensure.
Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine
The courses and seminars included in a DVM/PhD program in veterinary medicine cover the most up-to-date scientific and technical advances in the field of animal medical treatment. Students are expected to advance that science even further through years of laboratory study and clinical rotations. Doctoral students enrolled in a DVM/PhD program in veterinary medicine must typically complete core courses in addition to doing extensive research in the field as part of their degree requirements. Some of the core courses might include:
- Veterinary anatomy and histology
- Medical biochemistry
- Veterinary immunology and ethology
- Professional foundations and clinical research
- Descriptive embryology
- Veterinary neurobiology and epidemiology
Popular Career Options
The Ph.D. veterinary program is for individuals who are interested in becoming administrators, planners, scientists and researchers in the field of veterinary science. Career choices include the following:
- Biomedical researcher
- Veterinary scientist
- Pharmaceutical/industrial researcher
- Government health agency administrator
- Clinical researcher
- Professor of veterinary medicine
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of a DVM/PhD program in veterinary medicine can work as veterinarians. The number of positions in this field was projected to grow 18% from 2018 to 2028, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Veterinarians earned median annual salaries of $93,830 in 2018, per the BLS.
The investment of earning a doctorate in veterinary medicine affords graduates the opportunity to take diverse career paths in the field. Graduates can choose to become a researcher or other specialist, or work solely as a veterinarian.