Students at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University are encouraged to consider writing a thesis as part of their veterinary school experience. The program is voluntary and open to all Cummings School DVM students conducting research. Students whose summer research presentations on Student Research Day are deemed viable as a possible thesis will be invited by the chair of the Advanced Education Committee (AEC) through their mentor to participate in the program. Other students and their mentors can also request permission to submit a thesis. Students successfully completing a DVM with thesis will be acknowledged at graduation, and the notation of “DVM with THESIS” will be posted on their transcript.

Thesis Guideline

The thesis should be based upon the proposal of “original” research conducted by the student and must include new knowledge in their field of study. The research conducted during the Summer Research Program can be extended into a second summer’s research or during the academic year to form the basis of such a thesis. A simple summary of work by others in any given field is unacceptable. The thesis work must be carried out while matriculated in the DVM program at Cummings School.

Invitation by the Advanced Education Committee (AEC)

When the mentor receives notice of an invitation, the following applies:

  • The mentor will contact the student regarding the invitation and inform the AEC of their decision to apply.
  • If the mentor and student agree to submit a thesis, a committee will be formed to monitor the student’s progress. This will include a designated AEC contact for each thesis.
  • The student must submit a Letter of Intent to Submit a Thesis to the AEC by November of the second or third year.
  • A brief report must be submitted by the mentor to the AEC via the AEC thesis contact by January 15th of the second or third year describing the progress made to date and the anticipated remaining work.
  • It is expected that the thesis will be completed by May 15th of the year that the Letter of Intent is accepted by the AEC. If the student requires additional time, the mentor must petition the AEC requesting a deadline extension.

The Letter of Intent should include the following information:

  • Statement of intent to submit a thesis.
  • The composition of the thesis advisory committee (see below).
  • A letter from the mentor briefly describing the major findings of the study conducted by the student and how the work meets the AEC guidelines for a thesis (see above).

Thesis Advisory Committee

The Thesis Advisory Committee must be composed of three people. The principal mentor must be a full-time Cummings School faculty member. The other two members may be selected from other sources, including, but not limited to, other schools within Tufts University. One member of the AEC will also be assigned by the AEC to each Thesis Advisory Committee to provide a link between the AEC and the Advisory Committee during the period of thesis preparation. The AEC member ideally will have some expertise in the proposed thesis topic.

The thesis must be completed by May 15th following submission of the Letter of Intent to complete a thesis. It is expected that additional work may be completed during a second summer or during the academic year in order to make the thesis of sufficient quality to meet the standards of the DVM with thesis.

Thesis preparation and submission

The thesis should be written according to the style of a journal most appropriate for their field of study. The manuscript must be of publishable quality and the student is expected to submit it for publication.

The thesis advisory committee must approve the thesis before it is submitted to the AEC for final approval. A statement of approval together with the signatures of all three advisors should appear on the title page of the thesis. A letter from the principal mentor describing the student's contribution to the project must accompany the thesis submission.

The AEC will review the thesis committee’s statement of approval and vote as to its acceptability (majority approval). Approved theses will be bound, placed on permanent file in the Webster Veterinary Library, noted on the student’s transcript, and recognized at commencement.