Site Navigation
Important Notice and Disclaimer
Faculty of Graduate Studies General Information
Graduate Students' Association (GSA)
Academic Schedule
Faculty of Graduate Studies Credential Information
Awards and Financial Assistance for Graduate Students
Tuition and General Fees
Academic Regulations
Program Descriptions
Anthropology ANTH
Archaeology ARKY
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape SAPL
Biological Sciences BISI
Biomedical Engineering BMEN
Chemistry CHEM
Communication and Media Studies CMMS
Computational Media Design CMD
Computer Science CPSC
Data Science and Analytics DATA
Drama DRAM
Economics ECON
Education Graduate Programs
Engineering Programs ENGG
Engineering, Chemical and Petroleum ENCH
Engineering, Civil ENCI
Engineering, Electrical and Computer ENEL
Engineering, Environmental ENEN
Engineering, Geomatics ENGO
Engineering, Leadership in Engineering and Advanced Practice LEAP
Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing ENME
Engineering, Graduate Certificates
English ENGL
French, Italian and Spanish FISL
Geography GEOG
Geoscience GEOS
German GSEA
Greek and Roman Studies GRST
Haskayne School of Business Programs
History HIST
Information Security and Privacy ISEC
Kinesiology KNES
Languages, Literatures and Cultures LLAC
Linguistics LING
Mathematics and Statistics MTST
Medicine Programs
Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MDBC
Medicine, Biomedical Technology MDBT
Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences MDCV
Medicine, Community Health Sciences MDCH
Medicine, Gastrointestinal Sciences MDGI
Medicine, Immunology MDIM
Medicine, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases MDMI
Medicine, Neuroscience MDNS
Medicine, Pathologists' Assistant MDPA
Medicine, Precision Health MDPR
Medicine, Medical Science MDSC
Military and Strategic Studies CMSS
Music MUSI
Nursing NURS
Philosophy PHIL
Physics and Astronomy PHAS
Political Science POLI
Psychology PSYC
Public Policy PPOL
Religious Studies RELS
Social Work SOWK
Sociology SOCI
Sustainable Energy Development SEDV
Veterinary Medical Sciences VMS
Interdisciplinary Specializations
Courses of Instruction
Student and Campus Services
About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2022-2023 Program Descriptions Veterinary Medical Sciences VMS
Veterinary Medical Sciences - VMS
Contact Information

Location: Teaching Research and Wellness (TRW) Building, Room 2D09
Program number: 403.210.8764
Fax: 403.210.6628
Email address:
Web page URL:

1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science (MSc), thesis-based

Master’s thesis and doctoral graduate students are normally admitted as full-time students. The Faculty of Graduate Studies may however, approve requests for registration as part-time or transfer from a full-time to a part-time status.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, the Veterinary Medical Sciences program requires:

a) A minimum of a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent, or a BVSc, DVM or MD degree) with course work appropriate for VMS graduate training from a recognized institution, with a minimum admission grade point average of 3.00 on a four-point scale or equivalent in the last two years (60 units) of undergraduate study.

b) For applicants required to present proficiency in English, a minimum TOEFL (Internet-based) score of 97, an IELTS score of 7.0, or a CAEL overall score of 70. This requirement can also be met by completing the Academic Communication Certificate with a minimum grade of "A-" in each course.

c) The VMS Funding Offer letter from a supervisor outlining the commitment to the training of the student, as well as the commitment to fund full-time students (in accordance with the VMS Funding Policy).

d) Two reference letters.

e) Curriculum Vitae.

f) Endorsement of the Graduate Program Director, which is granted based on the evaluation of the admissions file by the UCVM Graduate Education Committee.

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit may be given for course work completed prior to entry into the program. The applicant must make requests for advanced credit as part of the application for admission.

5. Program Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, all MSc and PhD students must complete:

a) Veterinary Medicine 601;

b) Veterinary Medicine 605 or Veterinary Medicine 610*;

*A suitable entry-level biostatistics course may be taken as an alternative to Veterinary Medicine 605 or 610, with permission from the Graduate Program Director.

c) MSc students must take at least one additional course, and PhD students must take at least two additional graduate-level courses that are appropriate to their field of study and have been approved by their Supervisory Committee; and

d) MSc students are required to give one public seminar to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine community prior to scheduling the thesis examination; PhD students are required to give one public seminar the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine community prior to completing the admission to candidacy process, and are required to give a second public seminar prior to scheduling the thesis examination.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program will not permit the Flexible Grade option (CG Grade) for any graduate course offered by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Students admitted to the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate program will not be allowed to request the CG Grade for any course that is applicable to their degree; or apply any course awarded a CG grade towards their graduation requirements. 

Students may not choose the CG grade for courses taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Additional Requirements

All individuals working with humans or animals must have appropriate certification. In accordance with Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines and the University of Calgary VPR office, all individuals who work with animals must register with the Institutional Animal User Training Program ( to complete the relevant U of C IAUTP online training modules and to determine what additional training is required as determined by their research program and any previous animal use training they may have. No animal work will be permitted until all training has been completed. The IAUTP online training modules can be accessed prior to arrival to the U of C once the student’s UCID is assigned, however, the associated written quiz and live training sessions must be completed after arrival.

In accordance with Tri-Council guidelines, all students performing research involving humans must have the CORE tutorial certificate prior to applying for ethics certification ( and must receive ethics certification prior to working with human subjects.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

The student's Supervisory Committee may recommend credit for undergraduate courses provided they are relevant to the area of study. Final approval is required by the Graduate Program Director.

8. Time Limit

In accordance with FGS Academic Regulations, students are expected to complete an MSc in two years, with a maximum time of four years; students in PhD programs are expected to complete their degree in four years, with a maximum time of six years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

Students will normally have identified a permanent supervisor at the time of admission.

In consultation with the student's supervisor(s), a Supervisory Committee will be selected that includes a minimum of two additional faculty members for MSc degrees, or three additional faculty members for PhD degrees. In PhD committees, one member will be named from outside the VMS graduate program. The appointment of a supervisory committee shall be completed within three months after starting the program. The Graduate Program Director will approve the composition of the committee.

Co-supervision may be required. See Academic Regulations for appointment of Co-Supervisor.

10. Required Examinations


Admission to candidacy for VMS PhD students requires the successful completion of all coursework, a written examination of a research proposal, and an oral field-of-study examination. Students with a first registration after August 2015 are governed by the candidacy policy described at: Briefly, the written research proposal is graded by an examination committee (including an external reader) ordinarily by 20  months, and an oral field-of-study examination is evaluated by an examination committee (including an external examiner) is completed by 24 months after initial registration.

Thesis Examination

The thesis examination for MSc and PhD degrees will consist of a public seminar immediately followed by an open oral examination. In the thesis examination, the supervisor is a full voting member of the examination committee.

Effective September 1, 2014, in addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies thesis examination requirements, the Veterinary Medical Sciences program requires:

Scheduling of the Examination
All members of the Supervisory Committee must have reviewed the student’s research, including a relevant written sample of the materials related to the thesis, before an examination can be scheduled.

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner must be external to the home program.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

The VMS Graduate Program requires all master's and doctoral students to present a Research Proposal to their supervisory committee. A copy of the final version of the proposal will be kept in the student’s file.

For VMS master's students, the research proposal must be accepted by one year after initial registration in the program. For VMS doctoral students, the research proposal is part of their admission to candidacy. For research proposal requirements, see

12. Financial Assistance

Full-time graduate students in the VMS Graduate Program will be offered a stipend as per the VMS graduate student funding policy. Funding support for the students may come from a variety of sources, including grants, awards and scholarships. Further information on funding opportunities can be found at

Part-time students are not guaranteed VMS program-set minimum funding.

13. Other Information

Outstanding students enrolled in the MSc program may request a change of registration status and transfer to the PhD program. The request must be done within the first 18 months of the program and supported in writing by the supervisor and formally recommended by the Supervisory Committee to the Graduate Program Director. The student will be required to present their thesis proposal, appropriate for a PhD project, within six months of transferring as part of their doctoral admission to candidacy.