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Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements


Financial Assistance








Samal, Siba K., Full Member


Pal, Utpal, Full Member

Samal, Siba K., Full Member

Tablante, Nathaniel L., Full Member

Zhu, Xiaoping, Full Member

Associate Professor

Belov, Georgiy, Full Member

Nelson, Daniel, Full Member

Patton, John, Full Member

Zhang, Yanjin, Full Member

Assistant Professor

Shi, Meiqing, Full Member

Professor Emeritus

Mallinson, Edward, Non-Member

Mohanty, Sashi B., Non-Member

More VMSC Faculty Information

Veterinary Medical Sciences (VMSC)   

Program Title and Classification

Veterinary Medical Sciences

Graduate Degree Program

College: Agriculture and Natural Resources


The Department of Veterinary Medicine under the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland is home to the Veterinary Medical Sciences (VMSC) Graduate Program, which is a collaborative program between the University of Maryland, College Park and Virginia Tech under The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

The program offers both Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Members of the VMSC Graduate Program faculty specialize in a wide range of research interests in infectious diseases and zoonoses, including cell and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, virology, and poultry health management and disease prevention.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • CV/Resume

Applicants with a minimum degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in a biological science or related field of study are eligible for admission to the VMSC Graduate Program, either for Ph.D. or M.S. degree.

A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (B or better) and a minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) combined score of 1100 (verbal and quantitative) are required. 

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website:

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant FallSpring
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
1 Nov15 Dec
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
15 Mar29 Sep

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

Thesis only: 30 credits

VMSC 698: Seminar in Veterinary Medical Science (1 credit)

VMSC 799: Master's Thesis Research (6 credits)

One graduate level biometrics or biochemistry course (3 credits)

At least 12 credits of VMSC courses


During the first semester the student selects an advisor, and with the help of the advisor forms an Advisory Committee with the approval by the program's Graduate Education Committee. By the end of the second semester with the advice of the Advisory Committee, the student files a proposed schedule of course work including at least one credit of seminar (VMSC 698). A minimum of 24 semester with hours of graduate courses and six hours of thesis research credit (VMSC 799) is required for the degree. No less than 12 credits should be from courses 600 level or higher; at least 12 credits must be earned in the major subject. Three credits of graduate biometrics or biochemistry and one seminar credit (VMSC 698) are required. No more than two credits of Special Problems (VMSC 699) are acceptable as part of the 24 required course credits. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in courses taken for graduate credit. The committee may require remedial courses if the student enters with inadequate prerequisites or deficiencies in the undergraduate program. By the end of the second semester, a thesis research proposal must be approved and filed. The student must present the thesis in a public seminar and pass a final oral examination given by the Advisory Committee. Details on the Graduate School policy on the Master's Thesis Examination may be found in the Graduate School Catalog at

The thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School in electronic format after final approval of the document by the Thesis Examining Committee. See the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide ( for the details of this process.

Students with adequate undergraduate training usually complete the master's degree within two years.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Core Requirements

1. Doctoral students without an M.S. degree are required to complete 24 credits of coursework.

2. Doctoral students with a D.V.M. or M.S. in Veterinary Medical Sciences are required to complete 12 credits of coursework. 

3. Two credits of VMSC 698: Seminar in Veterinary Medical Science are required.

4. Students must complete a minimum of 12 research credits by enrolling in VMSC 899: Doctoral Dissertation Research.



Applicants with a D.V.M., M.D., or equivalent or related degree in biological sciences plus a M.S. degree may be admitted to the Ph.D. program. In exceptional cases, admission to the Ph.D. program without a M.S. degree may be considered but these candidates must complete a minimum of 24 hours of course work. Ph.D. candidates who have previously completed the D.V.M. and/or M.S. degree must meet the minimum course requirements of 12 credits, and a minimum of twelve dissertation research credits (VMSC 899). No more than two credits of Special Problems (VMSC 699) are acceptable as part of the 12 required course credits. Two additional seminar credits (VMSC 698) are required.

Students are required to register for one seminar credit (VMSC 698) each academic year. Two seminar credits will be counted toward degree requirements. All students are expected to attend seminars regularly.

Students are required to take a written and oral comprehensive examination and submit and defend their Ph.D. dissertation in partial fulfillment of the doctoral degree (see below).

During the first semester, the student selects an advisor and with the help of the advisor forms an Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee and the student must meet by the end of the second semester to approve the student's plan of study. By the end of the second semester the student will submit to the Advisory Committee a dissertation research proposal. An oral and written comprehensive examination is required for advancement to candidacy. Prior to the final dissertation, an oral examination is required for advancement to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate within five years after admission to the doctoral program and at least six months before 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 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 on the web. Paperwork must be received by the Graduate School prior to the 25th of the month in order for the advancement to become effective the first day of the following month. Doctoral candidates are automatically registered for six (6) credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899), for which they pay the flat candidacy tuition.

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

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


Facilities and Special Resources

The Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center, the University of Maryland home of the VMRCVM, lies in the heart of Maryland’s thriving biotechnology community, and is near Maryland’s major university research campuses and government laboratories, including the USDA Beltsville Agriculture Research Center, the National Institutes of Health, and Walter Reed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The Center contains 32,000 square feet of research and support laboratories, including animal care facilities. The 10,000 square-foot research laboratories are fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for molecular biology research, cell culture facilities, a confocal microscope, a fluorescence activated cell sorter, and a sophisticated electron microscope suite. Approximately 18,000 square feet of space comprise Biological Safety Levels 2 and 3 facilities and facilities for laboratory animals and poultry. The poultry unit has 15 rooms for housing poultry, each equipped with 20 poultry isolators to contain any infectious pathogens and maintain a disease-free environment. The animal facility has a fully equipped necropsy room designed for postmortem analysis.

The Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center also houses the drug-testing laboratory of the Maryland Horse Racing Commission, and the Poultry Research and Development Unit of Synbiotics Corporation. This co-location facilitates active collaboration in both applied and basic research on diseases of animals.

The Laboratory for Biological Ultrastructure in the Department of Biology is equipped with a transmission and scanning electron microscope, a confocal light microscope, ultramicrotomes, and equipment for freeze-fracture studies. The Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics has a Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter for supporting cell biology research.

The campus has Central Animal Resource Facilities (CARF) for maintaining laboratory animals to facilitate animal research.

Extensive library facilities are available on campus. In addition, the College Park campus is close to the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The Library of Congress and the National Archives, along with several other libraries of biomedical research and academic institutes, are located within a short driving distance.

Computer facilities at the University of Maryland are outstanding. Veterinary Medicine provides computer access to all faculty and graduate students. Students are provided with e-mail accounts and free Internet access. The campus maintains both Unix and mainframe systems, and access to supercomputers for specific research projects. Software for graphics, modeling, statistics, and the analysis of molecular data is readily available.

The College Park campus is also ideally situated near a number of federal agencies involved in veterinary medical sciences. Collaborative initiatives are underway with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Centers for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN); U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and Beltsville Agriculture Research Service (BARC); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Walter Reed Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP); World Bank; and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Scientists from some of these agencies have adjunct appointments with the College of Veterinary Medicine and participate on students’ graduate committees.

Financial Assistance

A number of graduate assistantships are available and awarded to candidates with strong academic records.

Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Scholarships, and Fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Research Assistantships (RAs) are 12-month appointments and Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are 10-month appointments. Benefits for each assistantship include stipends, ten credits of tuition remission per semester, and health benefits. Generally, student assistantships are offered for two years for an M.S. degree and four years for a Ph.D. degree.

Sources of funding include the VMRCVM; Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station; Maryland Cooperative Extension; College of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Graduate School open-nomination and block grant fellowships (for recruitment of new students only); University diversity fellowships; endowed fellowships; and funds from faculty research contracts and grants. Inquiry about the stipends can be made to the VMSC Graduate Program.

Contact Statement

Contact the members of the Graduate studies committee and the VMSC graduate program Website



Utpal Pal, PhD Professor & Director, VMSC Graduate Program

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center

8075 Greenmead Drive

College Park MD, 20742

Telephone: 301-314-2118

Fax: 301-314-6855


Associated Information









Virology; Immunology; Molecular Biology; Aquatic Diseases; Poultry Medicine and Health.


Biological Sciences (BISI)