PhD in Veterinary Science

Read about your options for earning a veterinary science Ph.D., including standalone programs and dual-degree DVM/Ph.D. programs. Review the prerequisites for enrolling in a doctoral program in veterinary science. Find out what you'd study as a doctoral student and what kinds of topics you could research, like animal diseases and parasitology. Explore your career options with a doctorate in veterinary science. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Veterinary Science Ph.D. Program?

As a Ph.D. student in veterinary science, you will study metabolic, infectious and toxic diseases in humans and animals, in addition to food-borne illnesses. Research in veterinary science usually encompasses wildlife, farm animals, laboratory animals, poultry and pets. You can choose to study a particular concentration in the field of veterinary science, such as immunology, toxicology, parasitology, neuroscience, genetics, pathology, veterinary informatics or public health. Most programs require you to complete a doctoral dissertation on a research topic of your choosing. Because you will work closely with faculty and spend a lot of time doing lab work and research, you will typically not be able to complete any portion of your Ph.D. program online.

Many schools offer a dual degree program that allows you to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) along with a Ph.D. in Veterinary Science. A DVM prepares you for clinical practice, while the veterinary science Ph.D. qualifies you to perform research.

Concentration Options Neuroscience, veterinary informatics, immunology, parasitology, toxicology
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in a related program, prerequisite courses in specific subjects, minimum undergraduate GPA, research and laboratory experience
Work Settings Pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, biotechnology companies, animal nutrition companies

What Are the Prerequisites?

You must have at least a bachelor's degree in order to apply to a doctoral-level program in veterinary science, preferably in a related program, such as animal science, zoology, biology or biochemistry. Your undergraduate transcript should demonstrate the completion of multiple courses in chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics. Because veterinary science programs are typically competitive and intensive, your cumulative undergraduate GPA is usually evaluated. Additionally, you may be required to have extensive laboratory and research experience prior to being admitted. If you have a DVM, you can also apply for admission into a veterinary science Ph.D. program.

What Can I Do with This Degree?

With a Ph.D. in Veterinary Science, you may work in academic institutions as a researcher, instructor or administrator. There are also many career opportunities outside of academia, including research or leadership positions at pharmaceutical, animal nutrition or biotechnology companies. You could design public health or disease control programs; enforce food and drug safety; or create government policies at the local, state or federal levels.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Raleigh
  • Auburn University

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Auburn University
  • Walden University

    Online Programs Available

  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Champaign
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia