Anatomic Pathology Non-Thesis MS/Residency Program

The non-thesis MS/residency program in veterinary anatomic pathology combines a three-year residency in anatomic pathology (based in the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory [ADDL], the Clinical Pathology Laboratory in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and the Department of Comparative Pathobiology [CPB]) with graduate study in pathology and other subjects leading to a non-thesis MS degree. The mission of the training program is to prepare veterinarians for careers in pathology in academia, government, industry, and diagnostics. The plan of study (POS) is flexible and can be customized, depending on the applicant’s interests. Residents will develop an individual POS early in their program with the counsel of an advisory committee. The training program fosters the interaction of residents with pathologists, clinical veterinarians, and other scientists involved in diagnostic cases or research projects involving pathology. Interested residents may seek to continue research investigations in a PhD program at Purdue University or another location. Successful completion of the 3-year non-thesis MS/residency program prepares and qualifies the candidate to sit the certifying examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

Description of the Program

  1. Recruitment: Office of CPB Department Head and ADDL Director
  2. Requirements for Admission:
    1. DVM or equivalent degree from a recognized veterinary school/college
    2. Accepted for admission to the Purdue University Graduate School 
    3. Recommendation of CPB Graduate Studies Committee 
    4. Approval of CPB Department Head and ADDL Director
  3. Term: Three Years, renewed every year upon satisfactory progress (see below).
  4. Culmination:
    1. Non-Thesis MS Degree in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology
    2. ACVP Eligibility 
    3. Bypass of MS degree for PhD research (see CPB Graduate Manual)
  5. Requirements for completion of the program:
    1. Completion (with a grade of “B” or better, or “S”) of CPB pathology core courses 
    2. Completion (with a “B” or better average) of other graduate courses (examples given below) selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee
    3. Satisfactory completion of a project (see below and CPB 68000) selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee
    4. First author publication submitted to a refereed scientific journal 
    5. Satisfactory performance (as defined by principal instructor of course) in teaching assignments
    6. Satisfactory performance (as defined by student’s graduate advisory committee) on MS qualifying and/or final examination (if required by CPB graduate program or student’s graduate advisory committee)
  6. Components of the Residency Program:
    1. Courses. The curriculum includes core pathology courses, nonpathology courses, and independent study courses.
      CPB core pathology courses. These courses must be taken by all students enrolled in the program. Currently these courses are:
      • CPB 60200, Advanced Veterinary Anatomic Pathology (4-8 credit hours): Recurrent every semester for anatomic pathology residents
      • CPB 69100, Seminar in Veterinary Pathology (0-1 credit hours): Recurrent every fall and spring semester. First year students register for 0 credits during their first semester; 1 credit thereafter
      • CPB 61000, Ultrastructure (2 credit hours): Recurrent every three years
      • CPB 69700, CPB/BMS Research Seminar (0-1 credit hours): Recurrent every fall and spring semester CPB
      • CPB 60400, Pathology of Neoplastic Diseases of Animals (3 credit hours): Recurrent every three years
      • CPB 60700, Pathology of Laboratory Animal Diseases (1-2 credit hours): 
      • GRAD 61200 (1 credit hour), Responsible conduct of research OR CPB 61800 Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research (2 credit hours)
      • CPB 60300 (1 credit hour), Teaching practicum (see F.4 Teaching below)
      • CPB 68000, Scientific presentation (1 credit hour): Give a scientific presentation at a regional/national meeting.
      • CPB 68000, Special Topics (1-2 credit hours): This course can be used for a research project, retrospective study, preparation of a publication, or independent study topics.
      • STAT 50300, Statistical Methods for Biology (3 credits) or CPB 62500 Clinical Biostatistics (2 credits)
      • VCS 60400, Animal Models (1 credit hour)
      CPB core pathology courses.These courses are recommended
      • Nonpathology courses (examples): selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee
      • BCHM 56100, General Biochemistry I
      • BCHM 56200, General Biochemistry II
      • BCHM 51600, Biochemical Pathways
      • BIOL 51600, Molecular Biology of Cancer
      • BIOL 57300, The Molecular Biology of Animal Cells
      • BIOL 65001, Techniques in Molecular Biology
      • CPB 62000, Advanced Immunology
      • BIOL 47800, Introduction to Bioinformatics
      • BIOL 59500, Introduction to Bioinformatics
      • Independent study: Interested residents can supplement their education with resources available from other courses. These materials include glass slides, virtual histologic images, digitized gross pathology images, and PowerPoint lectures prepared by faculty at Purdue or elsewhere.
      • Archived course materials include:
      • CPB 60500, Avian Diseases
      • CPB 61200, Advanced Morphologic Techniques
      • CL Davis and AFIP/Joint Pathology Center Wednesday Slide Conference glass slide collections
      • Advanced Systemic Pathology glass slide collection (CPB)
    2. Project. At least one of the following that is deemed acceptable by the student and his/her graduate advisory committee:
      1. Laboratory investigation
      2. Prospective or retrospective case study 
      3. PhD research and/or grant proposal 
      4. Focused training on laboratory techniques
      5. Grant proposal

        The independent project must culminate in at least 1 presentation, i.e. PVM Research Day, National Scientific meeting, etc.

        Outstanding students are encouraged to pursue a PhD research program after completion of the three year non-thesis MS/pathology residency program. Interested students should explore possibilities early in their residency program to establish a relationship with prospective PhD major professors. Salary and research funding are then sought by the prospective doctoral student and major professor.

    3. Publication: First author publication in a refereed scientific journal. Manuscript must be published or submitted for publication before completion of residency. Examples of scientific publications:
      1. Results of laboratory investigation
      2. Prospective or retrospective case study
      3. PhD literature review
      4. Case report
    4. Teaching:
      1. Second-year professional college curriculum—teaching (laboratory) assistant:
        • CPB 85100, General Pathology: 1 semester course
        • CPB 85700, Systemic Pathology: 1 semester course
        • Performance of graduate student teaching assistants is evaluated by course instructors (CPB 60300). Residents usually complete one semester of each course during their 3-year program.
      2. Fourth-year professional college curriculum—necropsy and histopathology:
        • CPB 88501, Necropsy Clerkship
        • CPB 88600, Diagnostic Pathology Clerkship
          Performance of graduate students/residents is evaluated by ADDL and CPB pathologists each semester as part of CPB 60200.
          MS Qualifying and/or Final Examination: No examination is required by the Graduate School, but an examination may be required by CPB or the student’s graduate advisory committee.
  7. Advisory Committee: Students are assigned an advisor (a pathologist) at the beginning of their first year in the program. Early during the first year, students select an advisory committee (usually three faculty and/or professional staff), formulate a plan of study, and identify potential project(s).
  8. Causes for Dismissal:
    1. Receiving a “C” grade in any two core pathology courses 
    2. Receiving a “D,” “F,” “NP,” or “U” grade in any one core pathology course 
    3. Receiving a cumulative grade point average of less than 3.0 for all graduate level courses after being placed on probation 
    4. Misconduct as defined in University Regulations

How to Apply

Download the Purdue Graduate School application checklist and check the graduate program requirements.

You will be asked to provide a complete curriculum vita or the following items of information:

  1. Scientific discipline of interest: microbiology (bacteriology, immunology, virology, parasitology), pathology (clinical or anatomic), epidemiology and public health, or animal welfare science and human-animal interaction.
  2. Please indicate the semester/year for which you request admission.
  3. Please apply to Comparative Pathobiology and specify your area of interest.
  4. Post-secondary education: universities attended, dates, major, GPA, degree received and date.
  5. Employment information; positions, dates and work descriptions.
  6. Purdue's Graduate School requires all international applicants to take the TOEFL. Scores older than 24 months are not acceptable. The TOEFL can be waived if the applicant has earned a degree in the U.S. within the last 24 months.

Please direct any further communications to the CPB Graduate Program Coordinator by e-mail to or mail to:

Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Comparative Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine
725 Harrison Street
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2027

A copy of your electronic application and corresponding material will be directed to interested faculty.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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