Students

Students

Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky

We are home to the University of Kentucky's Veterinary Science master's and Ph.D. programs.

Areas of specialization, all with a general emphasis on the horse, include: 

  • Pathology
  • Virology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Musculoskeletal Sciences

LMU Students

We offer a collaborative summer program for Veterinary Medicine students at Lincoln Memorial University.

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Undergraduates

UK undergraduates from the Equine Science and Management program - and other degree programs - can find a variety of research mentors in the Gluck Center.

Equine Bachelor's Program

Program Details

All applicants meeting the minimum requirements of the University of Kentucky Graduate School will be considered for acceptance. Each applicant is considered individually and acceptance into the program depends a great deal on the background and interest of the applicant and our ability to provide a quality program in the area of interest.

Applicants need a strong academic background with undergraduate course preparation in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Students accepted into the program should have an appropriate degree (i.e., in a STEM discipline) from an accredited institution and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with lesser qualifications will be accepted only on the recommendation of a graduate faculty member who is willing to serve as the research advisor for the student and with the approval of our graduate faculty body.

Many of the requirements for students in our program are identical to the Graduate School requirements as stated in The Graduate School BULLETIN available online at http://bulletin.uky.edu/index.php?catoid=3.

February 1st is the deadline for application to the Veterinary Science Graduate Program.

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Students enrolled in the MS  program must meet the Graduate School Requirements of at at least 30 credit hours of coursework, 15 of which must be at the 600 or 700 level. Two-thirds of the coursework (20 credit hours) must be in regular courses, and half of the coursework (15 credit hours) must be in VS courses. 

Both MS and PhD students must take two semesters of graduate level biochemistry/molecular/cell biology (CHE550 & 552 OR IBS 601-606) and one semester of statistics (STA 570 or STA 580) or demonstrate equivalent coursework completed elsewhere.  As well, TOX/VS 600, Ethics in Scientific Research, is strongly recommended.

Although students in the PhD program have no additional course load requirements other than those required for residency credit (see the Graduate Bulletin), curriculum requirements for each student will be designed in concert with the needs of the individual after discussion with the major advisor and the advisory committee.  Students in the MS  program must enroll and give a presentation in at least 1 semester of Departmental Seminar (VS 770) and students in the PhD program must enroll and give presentations in 2 semesters of VS 770.  

Students enrolled in MS and PhD programs must meet the standards of The Graduate School concerning grades to remain in good standing and to retain their stipends. After completing 12 credit hours, a student will be placed on scholastic probation if they have a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0.  Students will have one full-time semester to remove the probation by attaining a 3.0 GPA.  If probation is not removed, students will be dismissed from the Graduate School.  SEE THE BULLETIN for policy statements regarding probation, dismissal and retention. 

A limited number of funded fellowships and research assistantships available through the Department and/or the University are awarded on the basis of academic merit. These typically provide a stipend, tuition scholarship, and health insurance. Some students are supported through extramural grant funds awarded to individual faculty members. All students are encouraged to apply to extramural sources for fellowship monies to support their programs. Those students with superior academic qualifications and high GRE scores will be nominated for institutional fellowships. 

The overall goal of the research program in Veterinary Science has been to improve our understanding of the biology of Equidae. Emphasis has been placed on investigation of the causes and mechanisms which affect the production and performance of horses, regardless of breed. One goal of the program is to provide opportunities for graduate students to develop the skills necessary to become competent scientists who are creative, critical and independent thinkers with the contemporary skills and knowledge to perform independent research and to effectively communicate their results.

Master's Program

Students enrolled in the Master of Science program will gain comprehensive knowledge in the field of specialization through advanced course work and an introduction to research methods. The candidate is expected to demonstrate sufficient comprehension and mastery of the principles of scientific investigation to frame a question related to the field of interest and to design and execute an investigation which will provide a valid answer, presented in the form of a thesis. This program is generally completed in 2 years.

Ph.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy program is research oriented, enabling the student to become a self-educating and creative scholar. This degree implies that the individual has demonstrated the capacity to frame an interrelated series of questions and to design and execute an appropriate series of investigations. Research projects are expected to either answer all of the questions or illuminate the area of inquiry in such a way that the resulting dissertation and publications will constitute a definitive contribution to science. This program is generally completed in 4-5 years.

Master of Science Degree Students

  • Schedule an orientation meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies. This person will serve as your advisor until a major professor has been selected, if you have not already aligned with one.
  • Identify a faculty member to serve as your major professor/research advisor. This should be accomplished during the first semester and must be done within the first year.
  • Work with the major professor to formulate your curriculum and help guide your research. If desired, an advisory committee may be formed to assist with course selection and the research plan. Ordinarily, MS coursework is completed in 3 semesters. Thereafter, see the Director of Graduate Studies about semesterly registrations.
  • Continue coursework and initiate research activities. Formulate your research plan for the thesis (a suggested format is appended).
  • Write a thesis based on the research conducted and submit it to the examining committee.
  • Within 30 days after the beginning of the semester you intend to graduate, submit the online application for degree through myUK (http://myuk.uky.edu/).
  • Schedule a time for your final examination, which will be a defense of your thesis and a comprehensive examination of subject matter decided upon by the committee. Submit the online Request for Final Master’s Examination and Thesis Approval form 2 weeks prior to the examination (http://www.research.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/MastersCommittee/Student/Selection...). Additional timing and examination considerations are detailed in the BULLETIN.
  • After you successfully pass the final examination, prepare a final copy of the thesis for submission to The Graduate School. Copies for the major advisor and the library of the Department will be bound at departmental expense. The final copy must be filed within 60 days of the exam. See the BULLETIN.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree Students

 

  • Schedule an orientation meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies. This person will serve as your advisor until a major professor has been selected, if you have not already aligned with one.
  • Identify a faculty member to serve as your major professor/research advisor. This should be accomplished during the first semester and must be done within the first year.
  • Work with the major professor to form an advisory committee to approve your curriculum and help guide your research. This should be done as soon as practical, as the committee is not obligated to accept coursework taken prior to its formation or to limit the student's curriculum to such courses. The composition of this committee must be consistent with Graduate School guidelines. Submit the online request for formation of the advisory committee (http://www.research.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/DoctoralCommittee/Selection_Screen...)

 

  • Continue coursework and initiate research activities. Formulate your research plan for the dissertation (a suggested format is appended).
  • Schedule periodic meetings with the advisory committee to ensure continuity in the program. These meetings must be held at least once (preferably twice) a year at the request of the student. As stipulated by the Graduate School, a record of the proceedings of each meeting must be filed by the major professor with the Director of Graduate Studies and will become part of the permanent file of the student. You are encouraged to consult with members of the committee and the university-at-large for advice outside of the official meeting times.
  • When you have completed the majority of your scheduled courses and feel prepared, petition your committee to schedule the Qualifying Examination. Requirements are listed in the BULLETIN. Regardless of the format used for administering the examination, the purpose of the PhD Qualifying examination “is to verify that students have sufficient understanding of and competence in their fields to become candidates for the degree.” If the advisory committee uses a grant proposal format for the qualifying examination, the following guidelines will apply:
  1. You will select and present topics which interest you to the committee.
  2. The committee chooses one of the above or presents an alternate topic for you to develop into an NIH or USDA style proposal. Examples of proposals will be available for your review through the Director of Graduate Studies.
  3. The examination is based on: 1) the quality of the written proposal; 2) the oral presentation and defense of the proposal; and 3) demonstration of a comprehensive knowledge, ability and understanding of the scholarly subject matter in your area of concentration.
  • At least two weeks prior to the qualifying exam date, submit the online request to schedule the qualifying exam (http://www.research.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/DoctoralCommittee/Selection_Screen...). Scheduling and reporting requirements are described in the BULLETIN.
  • After successful completion of the qualifying exam, you attain "candidate" status and continue your research. Post-qualifying students need to enroll in 2 credit hours of VS 767 each semester until the dissertation defense is completed. Maintain close contact with the advisory committee which will monitor your progress. Committee meetings should be scheduled at least once a year.
  • When you and the major professor/committee agree that a point of conclusion has been reached in your research (i.e. the dissertation has been written) AND you have completed two semesters of post-qualifying residency, you are eligible to schedule the final examination. See the BULLETIN for details and timetables which must be met. Submit the online Notification of Intent to Schedule the Final Examination at least 8 weeks prior to the anticipated defense date. The online Request for Final Examination must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the defense date (http://www.research.uky.edu/cfdocs/gs/DoctoralCommittee/Selection_Screen...).
  • Within 30 days after the beginning of the semester you intend to graduate, submit the online application for degree through myUK (http://myuk.uky.edu/).
  • After you pass the final exam, turn in the final copy of the dissertation to The Graduate School with the required forms and signatures in a timely fashion (within 60 days). Provide two copies to the department for binding (1 for the major advisor, 1 for the department library).

Questions?

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies

Martin Nielsen

Professor, Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease

(859) 218-1103 martin.nielsen@uky.edu 343 Gluck Research Center 1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546

Contact Information

Dr. Dan Howe
Interim Director, Gluck Equine Research Center

437 Gluck Equine Research Center 1400 Nicholasville Rd. Lexington, KY 40546-0099

(859) 218-1113

daniel.howe@uky.edu