DVM/MSCBS Second Year Curriculum

The second year of the DVM/MSCBS program can be initiated after the first, second or fourth year of DVM program. It runs for fifteen months between June 1 and August 31 of the following year and allows students to begin research work in a mentor's laboratory. In addition to the courses below, students may be required by their Student Advisory Committee (SAC) to audit a course—such as parasitology or neuroscience—during their research year, depending upon the individual student's background and training area.


Course Descriptions

VET 570
Fundamentals of Animal Research I - Biostatistics
1 credit
This is an elementary course in statistics, designed to give an overview of the basics of statistical analyses including probability theory, distributions and hypothesis testing. It is a core course in the graduate curriculum and as such the prerequisites are those for entry into the graduate program. Topics to be covered include probability and sampling theory, frequency distributions, and hypothesis testing. Some hands-on exercises using statistical software are also offered, but it is anticipated that more advanced applications will require additional instruction. It is the instructor's objective to familiarize students with central concepts and to save in depth discussion of methodologies for advanced courses, however when it is practical, students are encouraged to suggest topics for discussion and review.
VET 571
Fundamentals of Animal Research II - Ethics
1 credit
The aim of the course is to discuss acceptable, unacceptable and controversial aspects of research ethics and responsibilities of a researcher. Students enrolled in the course participate in the discussions of topics using a case-based approach. The course topics include:
  1. Experimental techniques and the treatment of data,
  2. Conflict of interest,
  3. Publication and openness,
  4. Allocation of credits and authorship practices,
  5. Error and negligence in science,
  6. Misconduct in science,
  7. Use of animals in research, and
  8. Responding to violations of ethical standards
The course meets weekly for two hours from November to December.
VET 572
Journal Club/Seminars
1 credit/semester
Students, along with faculty members, participate in a weekly journal club in which they discuss a paper from the current literature. The emphasis is on critical analysis, identifying the reasons that the research is significant and understanding how the findings extend current knowledge. Students take this course both semesters of the DVM/MSCBS program. In addition, students are required to attend the department seminar series. These seminars take place throughout the year and are part of the training experience, providing an opportunity to develop communication skills and present ideas.
VET 573
Lab Meetings
1 credit/semester
All students must attend and participate in weekly laboratory meetings scheduled by their mentor or research groups. Students are expected to present plans or results of projects to laboratory members at these meetings.
VET 574
Readings in Special Topics
1 credit/semester
This course focuses on important topics within the field of research study. Each student meets weekly with their mentor to discuss relevant research papers in their area of study.
VET 575
4 credits/semester
Students spend the majority of their training time working in the laboratory, conducting research studies relevant to their research topic and hypotheses. Data is analyzed and interpreted in light of the test hypotheses. One objective of the research is to have students present their findings at scientific meetings and prepare their studies for publication.
VET 576
Thesis Preparation
2 credits
Students write their thesis during June and July and must defend it orally by August 15. The thesis must consist of an abstract of the project, a general introduction to the research problem within the field of study—current and pertinent references should be included in this section—, and a body of the thesis that consists of specific experiments, methods, results and a general discussion that relates the experimental finding to existing literature and the state of the field. Acknowledgements and references should be placed at the end of the thesis. The thesis should be submitted in final form to the thesis examination committee a minimum of two weeks prior to the thesis defense. The thesis defense should occur in July or early August in time to permit any final revisions. The Thesis Examination committee can approve the thesis as is, approve it with revisions or reject the thesis. Two copies of the final version of the approved thesis must be submitted to the program director by August 15.