Students who are interested in studying the characteristics and distribution of diseases in animal populations may wish to pursue master's or doctoral degree programs in the field of veterinary epidemiology. These programs are available as stand-alone degrees and joint degree programs and typically require a culminating paper or experience. Explore a few of the degree options for studying veterinarian epidemiology.
Graduate Programs in Veterinarian Epidemiology
Master of Public Health
The most common option for students interested in studying veterinarian epidemiology is to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in veterinary epidemiology or veterinary public health. These programs usually require a culminating project, as well as a practical, hands-on practicum experience to allow students to apply their knowledge gained in the classroom. Students in these programs may take coursework in subjects like biostatistics, epidemiology, health policy and management and veterinary epidemiology. Another option along this track is to pursue a joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)/MPH degree. The dual DVM/MPH program can still be completed during the 4 years of veterinary school and includes fieldwork.
Master of Science
There are a couple universities with departments related to veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences that offer a Master of Science (MS) in Epidemiology. These programs provide education and research opportunities concerning human and animal populations. Typically, programs offer a thesis option that may require fewer total credits than a non-thesis option where students may be required to take more coursework as independent study with a professional paper or an internship experience. Students are required to complete core courses in areas like statistics, epidemiologic methods and research and then may be able to choose from various electives or epidemiology-related courses that have an animal focus, such as courses in veterinary entomology, animal diseases, parasitology, mammalian physiology, veterinary epidemiologic research and veterinary preventative medicine.
Doctor of Philosophy
There are also some schools with specific departments that provide a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology, similar to the MS program. These degree programs allow students to choose coursework and research in animal-related subjects or provide an actual emphasis in veterinary epidemiology. Programs may range from around 64 to 96 credits or more in length, depending on a student's educational background. Students may be required to take similar core courses as students in the MS program, along with additional quantitative coursework, electives and the completion of a dissertation. Graduates of the PhD program are usually prepared to work with both human and/or animal populations in epidemiologic research and related careers.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students applying to graduate programs related to veterinarian epidemiology need to have at least a bachelor's degree and are likely to need to meet a minimum GPA of around a 3.0. Most of these programs require the GRE, but some may also accept the MCAT. Most programs require or like to see that students have had prior coursework in areas such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, epidemiology and more. Students may also be encouraged to contact faculty prior to admission for the possibility of funding and/or research mentorship. Depending on the program, students may need to include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and/or a resume or CV with their application.
Students can earn an MPH, MS or PhD with an emphasis in veterinary epidemiology from several institutions to prepare for careers working with animal populations. These programs may require a final thesis or dissertation and coursework in areas like statistics, epidemiology and research methods.