MS/DVM Combination Degree Program

This combination program leads to the concurrent completion of the existing MS in Epidemiology & Public Health (MS VPHE) and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees in four years. Graduates of the program are uniquely prepared to integrate knowledge from both the Epidemiology & Public Health and Veterinary disciplines and advance to careers in local, state, federal, and international public health agencies and academia.

Epidemiology faculty member and student collect blood from a cat for One Health SARS-CoV-2 studies.
A horse is sampled by a public health trainee for infectious disease studies.
MS VPHE student Justin Bejcek presents his research poster at the International Congress of Entomology in Florida.

Learn More

Why pursue an MS VPHE / DVM?

Epidemiology students processing fecal samples to be cultured for Salmonella.

There is a critical need for well-trained personnel (MS VPHE/DVM) to tackle emerging infectious disease outbreaks now and in the future. Stressors to the health of humans, wild and domestic animals, and ecosystems are increasing in number and severity. These stressors include the growing human population, globalization, increased travel, energy use, and habitat destruction. The health issues that result include some of society’s biggest problems: the resurgence/emergence and rapid dissemination of infectious diseases, especially zoonoses; challenges for food production and safety; and concerns for biosecurity. Society needs professionals who can understand the ecological, environmental, and social determinants of health, and who can conduct research and apply management and mitigation strategies to improve health at the individual and population levels. The MS VPHE program is designed to meet these challenges—with the veterinary and infectious disease emphasis setting it apart from other MPH programs. 

Why Texas A&M?

Texas A&M University is located in a prime location near the border of the United States and Mexico to study and train personnel on emerging infectious diseases and public health. The Epidemiology & Public Health Program in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS) is committed to training the next generation of scientists to tackle current and future public health issues and work towards One Health solutions.

Faculty

Admissions

MS-VPHE student Kewsick Killets uses an artificial membrane feeding system to provide blood meals to a colony of kissing bugs (vectors of Chagas disease).

The combined program requires separate applications for the MS VPHE and DVM degree programs.

  • Admission to the MS VPHE program does not ensure admission to the DVM program or vice versa.
  • The DVM application is due September 15th, and applications will be reviewed via the usual DVM admission procedures.
  • You may apply to the MS VPHE program prior to, during, or after applying to the DVM program. 
    • Applications to the MS VPHE program are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions typically made within 2 months.
    • If submitted as part of your DVM application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores do not need to be resubmitted with your MS VPHE application.

Tuition Information

Visit the Texas A&M Tuition Calculator for information on costs of tuition and fees. Select the “Graduate” tab for information on MS tuition, and the “School of Veterinary Medicine” tab for information on DVM tuition.

How to Apply

Epidemiology & Public Health students have opportunities to gain experience in research labs on campus.

1) Complete the DVM Application

The DVM application is due annually on September 15th, and applications will be reviewed via the usual DVM admission procedures.

2.1) Complete the Texas A&M GraduateCAS Application

Applicants must complete the Texas A&M GraduateCAS application.

The application has four quadrants: personal information, academic history, supporting information, and program materials. Within GraduateCAS, you will be provided with all of the necessary prompts for completing the application.

There is an accompanying application fee that will be assessed through GraduateCAS prior to application submission.

The MS VPHE application fee will be waived for those accepted into the DVM class of 2026.

2.2) Upload a Personal Statement

Applicants must write a personal statement (typically 1 -2 pages) that addresses the following questions:

  • Why have you chosen to pursue becoming a healthcare professional as your career?
  • Why do you want to complete the MS VPHE?
  • Why do you wish to pursue both DVM and public health/epidemiology training simultaneously in a combined program?
  • Is there anything about you or your academic background that the admissions committee should know or might benefit from considering?

2.3) Upload Official Transcripts*

  • Applicants must upload transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate degree-granting institution they have attended.
    • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded; however, if you are admitted, official transcripts will need to be sent to the Office of Admissions.
    • Current and former students of Texas A&M: Texas A&M transcripts do not need to be submitted.
      • Also, all courses that have been transferred to Texas A&M will be reflected on a Texas A&M transcript.

2.4) Send official standardized testing scores*

Epidemiology postdoc and graduate student mist net for wild Green Jays for a project to understand the epidemiology of avian parasites.

GRE

  • The GRE requirement is waived for applicants seeking Spring, Summer, and Fall 2023 admission. 
  • All applicants seeking 2022 admission have the option to submit official score reports from the GRE or a professional program entrance exam (MCAT, DAT, etc.).
    • The GRE requirement will be waived if an applicant submits an official score report for a professional program entrance exam.
    • GRE General Test
      • When GRE scores are again required, the score report must contain quantitative, verbal, and analytical writing scores.
        • The most recent test must have been taken within the last five years to be valid.
      • HOW TO SUBMIT
        • Official Score Report: Send to Texas A&M from your ETS account. (The institution code for Texas A&M is 6003.)
        • Unofficial Score Report (optional): Upload to GraduateCAS.

MCAT

  • The most recent test must have been taken within the last three years to be valid.
  • HOW TO SUBMIT
    • Official/Unofficial Score Report: Download a PDF of the score report from the Association of American Medical Colleges and upload to GraduateCAS.
    • Ensure that the score report has a verification code listed on the report.
      • This code will allow Texas A&M to verify the scores, thus making them “official.”
    • We will not accept screen shots of MCAT scores.

2.5) Upload letters of recommendation*

A past project a MS-VPHE student involved creating educational tools in the form of resin-embedded insects to help the public differentiate disease vectors from harmless insects.
  • Applicants must provide a minimum of three letters of recommendation from science faculty showing dedication toward research and veterinary public health, and mitigating application blemishes.
    • Applicants may also choose to submit non-academic recommendations that can speak to their relevant knowledge and/or experience.
    • There is no page limit for these letters.
    • HOW TO SUBMIT
      • GraduateCAS will direct you to the Letters by Liaison portal, where you will submit the names and emails of your recommenders.
        • After you submit the names of your recommenders, they will receive instructions for completing the electronic evaluation.
        • The GraduateCAS application may be submitted without submitting your recommenders’ contact information through the Letters by Liaison portal.
        • However, these letters must be received for your application to be reviewed.

*Not applicable if already submitted with DVM Application.

Curriculum

Overview

Students drag sample to collect host-seeking ticks at local natural areas.

The DVM professional curriculum is a four-year program.

  • During the first three years, classes are scheduled on a semester basis.
  • The fourth-year curriculum:
    • consists of:
      • 26 weeks of Basic Core Rotations
      • 18 weeks of elective clinical rotations or career alternative electives
      • 4 weeks of externship
      • 2 weeks of vacation
    • allows students to choose a species-directed career, by focusing on one of these tracks:
      • equine
      • companion animal
      • rural/mixed animal
      • food animal
      • a career alternative track

Below is the degree plan for the MS/DVM combination program.

  • While the individual degree programs require a total of 213 credit hours, this degree plan allows 6 hours of public health-related coursework to apply for credit towards completion of both the MS VPHE and the DVM degrees.
Summer – 0
STAT 651Statistics in Research I3
VIBS 633Animal Diseases in Comparative Medicine3
VIBS 608 or VIBS 685Epidemiology Methods I or Directed Studies4
 Semester Credit Hours10
First Year
Fall – 1
VIBS 681Seminar1
VIBS 910Small Animal Anatomy4
VIBS 911Histology1
VIBS 936Veterinarians in Society2
VSCS 910Integrated Animal Care I3
VTPB 910Veterinary Immunology2
VTPP 910Physiology I6
VTPP 914Professional & Clinical Skills I3
 Semester Credit Hours22
Spring – 1
VIBS 681Seminar1
VIBS 912Clinical Anatomy of Large Animals3
VIBS 914Professional & Clinical Skills II3
VLCS 910Integrated Animal Care II2
VTPB 922Pathology I3
VTPB 925Agents of Disease I4
VTPP 912Physiology II5
 Semester Credit Hours21
Summer – 1
VIBS 608 Or VIBS 685Epidemiology Methods I (if not yet complete) or Directed Studies4
VIBS 685Directed Studies3
 Semester Credit Hours7
Second Year
Fall – 2
VIBS 681Seminar1
VIBS 928Public Health, Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine3
VSCS 926Professional and Clinical Skills III3
VTPB 930Agents of Disease II4
VTPB 927Clinical Laboratory Medicine-Clinical Pathology5
VTPB 923Pathology II3
VTPP 924Pharmacology3
Electives 12
 Semester Credit Hours24
Spring – 2
VIBS 681Seminar1
VIBS 948Didactic Electives in Veterinary Anatomy (21st Century Global One Health)1
VLCS 924Diagnostic Imaging & Interpretation I2
VLCS 926Professional & Clinical Skills IV3
VLCS 948Large Animal Medicine and Surgery Elective (Veterinarians Impacting Their Community)1
VMID 944Integrated Animal Care III – Elements of Care4
VSCS 930Principles of Anesthesia & Analgesia3
VSCS 932Principles of Surgery2
VTPB 932Organ Dysfunction: Recognition, Diagnostics and Supportive Care4
 Semester Credit Hours21
Summer – 2
ENTO 689Special Topics in… (One Health Outbreak Investigation)3
VIBS 615Food Hygiene4
VIBS 689Special Topics in… (Capstone Experience)2
 Semester Credit Hours9
Third Year
Fall – 3
VLCS 956Large Animal Diagnostics & Therapeutics I3.5
VLCS 925Diagnostic Imaging & Interpretation II2
VMID 935Surgery5
VSCS 934Professional & Clinical Skills V3
VSCS 956Small Animal Diagnostics & Therapeutics I4.5
Select one of the following:2
VLCS 958Career-Focus Tracking I – Food Animal 
VLCS 959Clinical Focus-Tracking I – Equine 
VSCS 958Clinical Focus-Tracking I – Companion Animal 
Career Selective 24
 Semester Credit Hours24
Spring – 3
VLCS 957Large Animal Diagnostics & Therapeutics II3.5
VMID 964Clinical Experience3
VMID 966Professional and Clinical Skills VI4
VSCS 957Small Animal Diagnostics & Therapeutics II4.5
Select one of the following:2
VLCS 960Clinical Focus-Tracking II – Equine 
VLCS 961Career-Focus Tracking II – Food Animal 
VSCS 960Clinical Focus-Tracking II – Companion Animal 
Career Selective 22
Public Health Selective (VIBS 988)2
 Semester Credit Hours21
Fourth Year
Clinical Track: Alternative 348
 Semester Credit Hours48
 Total Semester Credit Hours207
1Select 2 elective courses during this semester from VIBS 948VLCS 948VSCS 948VTPB 948, and VTPP 948.
2Select from courses highlighting veterinary career options in public health & public policy, research, business & practice, lab animal medicine, exotics/zoo/wildlife, and avian/reptiles/pocket pets during this semester, including VIBS 988VLCS 988VMID 988VSCS 988, and VTPB 988.
3See the DVM program manager for a complete list of courses for the Alternative Track.

For More Information

Christine M. Budke, DVM, Ph.D. | Professor & Associate Department Head
Epidemiology & Public Health (VPHE) Program | Coordinator
MS VPHE / DVM Combination Degree Program | Director
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS)
Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
4458 TAMU | College Station, TX, USA 77843-4458
Tel: 979.458.2154 | Email: CBudke@cvm.tamu.edu