DVM & MSc Dual Degree

Jul 16, 2019

You can go beyond a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by enrolling in a dual degree program that will allow you to also earn a Master of Science. Learn more about the coursework you will need to complete during your DVM & MSc dual program.

DVM & MSc dual programs allow you to earn two degrees in the span of five years: a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a Master of Science (MSc or MS), usually with a research concentration in a specific area like small animal science, bacteriology, anatomy, or virology. Each dual degree program is set up differently with some having you earn your master's after your doctorate, and some having you earn both degrees at the same time. You'll typically complete numerous courses and hands-on clincial work for your DVM and a research thesis for your master's.

Common Coursework for the DVM

DVM programs often have common core coursework that you must complete in order to earn your degree. Here, we will discuss some specific core courses and cover the kinds of veterinary topics and concepts they entail.

Veterinary Pharmacology

Veterinary pharmacology is a common requirement in DVM programs. For this type of course, you will study different types of medicines used in veterinary medicine, how they work, and what conditions they are used for. You will also learn about drug side effects, the weights and doses, and how to dispense them.

Veterinary Imaging

Veterinary imaging is a core course that you will most likely have to take during your DVM program. This course focuses on different radiology concepts, including techniques, materials, and safety measures. You will learn how to take and read CT scans and MRIs as well.

Veterinary Immunology

You will most likely take a course or two in immunology. This is a branch of medicine that studies different aspects of vaccines. These kinds of courses will cover topics related to the immune system of animals, how vaccines work, and the common adverse reactions of vaccines. You may get hands-on experience with animals and giving vaccines as well.

Zoological Medicine

Another type of course you may take is that of zoological medicine. This course will center on the care, study, and health of captive animals, which could include mammals, reptiles, or birds. Some topics could include wildlife anatomy, how to handle different species, and the key concepts of treating wildlife.

Small Animal Surgery

Some programs may allow you to select a specific track in small animal or large animal studies, or other programs may include topics related to both areas. A small animal surgery course will allow you to gain an understanding of feline and canine anatomy, including soft tissue and orthopedics. You will also learn about different surgical procedures through clinical settings. Some courses will have you working directly with surgeons.

Equine Medicine and Surgery

Similar to the course mentioned above, equine medicine and surgery is another kind of clinical surgery course you could take on your way to earn your DVM. Instead of cats and dogs, however, this course will focus on horses. Not only will you gain an understanding of the different kinds of diseases that affect horses, you will learn about treatment and prevention.

Coursework for the MSc or MS

The coursework for the MSc or MS will differ by specific degree programs. Depending on the university you choose to attend, your master's degree component could be in the field of infectious diseases, virology, neuroscience, wildlife medicine, lab animal medicine, or another concentration. As such, your coursework for the master's program will be contingent on what research field you choose.

Common Entrance Requirements

For entrance into a DVM & MSc dual program, you will need to meet some common requirements. Some programs will require you to first gain entrance into the DVM program before you apply to the MSc or MS program, and others will have you apply to the programs at the same time. Common entrance materials will include an application, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and a personal statement. Some schools will also want to see prerequisite coursework in biology, chemistry, English, social sciences, and other topics, and an interview may be required.

In a DVM & MSc dual program, you will need to complete coursework in a range of different veterinary subjects. You will then conduct special research in order to complete the master's degree component.

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