Dual Degrees

The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine offers an outstanding environment for training in basic and translational research and public and global health. The school is located on a large campus in the heart of Madison together with programs in medicine and public health, nursing, pharmacy, agricultural and life sciences, and biomedical engineering.

The university has several hundred biomedical research laboratories and state-of-the-art core facilities. The strong interdisciplinary nature of biomedical research on the Madison campus makes for an exciting environment for veterinary medical students seeking dual degrees. Our dual degree programs prepare students to become outstanding clinician scientists and future leaders in academia, industry, and government service.

The UW School of Veterinary Medicine offers several dual degree and certificate programs for DVM program students.

DVM/MS Program

The doctor of veterinary medicine/master’s degree (DVM/MS) program prepares selected veterinarians to become outstanding clinician scientists. These two degrees can be taken sequentially or combined. In both cases this takes approximately five years.

The requirements of the MS degree in Comparative Biomedical Sciences can be completed partially during the DVM curriculum, although up to one additional year may be needed after the award of DVM degree.

Projected timeline

Year 1
(DVM student)
Identify research lab/major professor and apply for Summer Research Fellowship
Years 2 & 3 (DVM student) Work in research lab part-time
Year 4 (DVM student) Fall – Apply to MS Graduate Program and sign-up for research credits (~8 weeks)
Spring – DVM degree awarded at commencement (May)
Summer – Enroll as graduate student in MS program
Year 5 (MS graduate student) Complete didactic course requirements (may transfer up to six DVM course credits to MS program)
Complete research and defend thesis
MS degree awarded at spring commencement (May)

Tuition & Funding

Students pay standard tuition during the DVM portion of this program. During the MS portion of the program, students receive a stipend provided by the major professor, as well as tuition and health benefits.

Highly motivated veterinary students with an interest in research and who have completed at least one year of the veterinary medical program can apply to the NIH-funded 12-month Mentored Research Scholars Program

Students typically enter the program at the completion of their first or second year of DVM degree program in June and rejoin the DVM curriculum in late August of the following year. The MS degree is awarded as soon as the degree requirements are completed, generally during the third or fourth year of the DVM curriculum.

Projected timeline

Year 1
(DVM student)
Identify research lab/major professor
Apply for Summer Research Fellowship
Year 2
(DVM student)
Spring – Apply to 12 month Mentored Research Scholars Program and Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
Summer – Begin MS program, form graduate committee, conduct lab research, and (optional) complete one course
Year 3
(MS graduate student)
Fall/spring – Complete didactic course and conduct lab research
Summer – Conduct research and write MS thesis
Year 4
(DVM student)
Fall/spring – complete MS research and defense
MS degree awarded at spring commencement (May)
Year 5
(DVM student)
Fall/spring – complete MS research and defense if necessary
DVM degree awarded at spring commencement (May)

Tuition & Funding

Students pay standard tuition during the DVM portion of this program. During the MS portion of the program, students receive a stipend provided by the 12-month mentored research program, as well as tuition and health benefits.

DVM/PhD Training Program

The goal of the program is to provide training that results in an excellent education in veterinary medicine and completion of requirements for the PhD degree within a total of eight years. It is anticipated that the educational requirements of the degree programs will equip students with the skills required to pursue successful careers in a broad array of fields, including independent research.

A requirement of the program is that the student complete PhD training and defend their dissertation research prior to receiving the DVM degree. Within this requirement, modifications can be made regarding timing of various aspects of training, but it is anticipated that the effort committed to the DVM and PhD degrees will be consistent with that of students pursuing only one of these degrees.

Year 1 DVM (Late August-May) DVM coursework, research exploration journal clubs; summer research rotation (June-August) as part of the Summer Research Program
Year 2 DVM (Late August-May) Select research lab by end of summer
Year 1 PhD (June-July) Graduate coursework
Year 2 PhD (June-July) Complete preliminary exams by end of summer
Year 3 PhD (June-July) Conduct dissertation research
Year 4 PhD (June-July) Defend dissertation research and receive PhD degree
Year 3 DVM (August-July) DVM coursework
Year 4 DVM (August-May) Complete DVM clinical training year; receive DVM degree in May

*Program timeline can be modified to meet individual student needs.


In addition to the DVM application materials, candidates interested in the dual DVM/PhD training program should indicate their intent to apply by completing the additional Dual DVM/PhD Supplemental Application Questions as part of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Supplemental Application. Responses to these questions will be reviewed, as well as the entire DVM application, by a sub-committee of the school’s admissions committee for consideration for admission to the DVM/PhD program.

Dual DVM/PhD Supplemental Application Questions

  • Describe your motivation for pursing the dual DVM/PhD training program.
  • How will dual degree training enhance your ultimate career goals?
  • Describe your previous research experience(s) and future areas of interest for research training. Be sure to mention or describe potential faculty mentors or research projects of interest.

Upon selection for the dual degree program, candidates will formally complete the University of Wisconsin Graduate School application with guidance from program coordinators. There is no need to separately apply to the Graduate School until accepted into the dual degree training program.

Dual degree students may pursue the PhD in a variety of training programs on campus, including neuroscience, toxicology, clinical investigation, pharmacology, cellular and molecular biology, or comparative biomedical sciences. Most dual degree students will pursue a PhD in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBMS) graduate program, which is administratively housed within the UW School of Veterinary Medicine.

The School of Veterinary Medicine is fully committed to assisting dual degree students with financial packages that will enable successful completion of both degrees.

DVM Training

Selected candidates will receive tuition support of $5,000 in year 1, $10,000 in year 2, $15,000 in year 3, and $20,000 in year 4 (with tuition support in years 3 and 4 dependent on successful completion of the PhD).

PhD training

A graduate assistantship stipend, tuition, and health insurance coverage will be provided either by the school, an independent award, or the graduate advisor’s research funding. To support research development through the process of writing a proposal, dual degree students will be strongly encouraged to write for independent fellowships in the first few years of the PhD.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of only five veterinary medical schools in the country that are affiliated with a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  In addition, UW-Madison is unique in that it offers MS, PhD major, or PhD minor options in Clinical Investigation in collaboration with on-site programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and biomedical engineering.

This program is largely similar to the DVM/PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences but features slight differences in course requirements. Electing a PhD major or minor in Clinical Investigation also makes a graduate veterinarian eligible to apply for fellowship funding through the TL1 program at the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

DVM/MPH Program

This dual degree program provides advanced professional training in both veterinary medicine and public health. The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree is administratively offered through the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health but is a multidisciplinary, cross-campus program involving dual degree students from human medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and single-degree MPH students.

The DVM and MPH degrees may be pursued sequentially or as a five-year combined program. The MPH degree is accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health and the DVM by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

  • This approach will typically involve five to six years in total for both degrees.
  • Most students interested in sequential training complete the DVM degree first and then immediately enter the MPH program (with application during the fall semester of the fourth year in the DVM program).
  • Enrollment in the MPH can also be pursued full-time or part-time at any time after graduation (e.g., following several years in clinical veterinary medical practice).
  • No online/asynchronous option is currently available.
  • The dual degree option is typically completed in five years. Both degrees are awarded at the completion of the DVM degree because eight academic credits of the DVM degree count toward electives for the MPH degree.
  • Most students who pursue the combined dual degree training option complete the first two years of the DVM degree then spend 12 months in MPH training, followed by the final two years of DVM training (with MPH application completed in the fall semester of DVM year two).
  • Some students have completed the MPH year between years three and four of the DVM degree.
  • Completion of the MPH after one year of the DVM degree is not recommended.

DVM + Certificate in Global Health

The Certificate in Global Health is offered through the UW-Madison Global Health Institute, which is administratively housed within the School of Medicine and Public Health but is a multidisciplinary, cross-campus program involving students from human medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health, as well as non-health science students.

This program offers students an introduction to the major issues of global health in combination with professional degree training in veterinary medicine and requires a combination of eight credits of classroom studies and at least one credit of field experience.

Students should apply to the certificate program during the spring of their first year in the DVM program in order to allow sufficient time for completion of the certificate requirements within the four years of the DVM degree. Due to time constraints beginning in year three of the DVM program, it is recommended that the majority of the certificate requirements be completed during years one and two of the DVM training. This can be facilitated by enrolling in a first global health core course during the spring semester of DVM year one as a special student, even before formal admittance to the certificate program later in the spring semester.

Students can also complete a combined DVM, MPH, and Certificate in Global Health within the five years required for the DVM/MPH dual degree program.

For more information

General dual degree programs

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs



Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Training


Contact School of Medicine and Public Health

Certificate in Global Health

Global Health Institute
(608) 262-3862