Laboratory Animal Medicine MS Program Details

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Laboratory Animal Medicine MS

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Laboratory Animal Medicine MS Program Details

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The Laboratory Animal Medicine MS degree is open to graduate veterinarians (DVM or VMD) who wish to further their study in research.

The program, which is generally completed in three years, is research-oriented and requires a minimum of 30 credit hours in the subject, including thesis research. Although the program follows the general pattern laid down by the graduate school, the requirements are sufficiently flexible to permit students to adapt them to their particular interests and needs.

Laboratory Animal Medicine MS Program Details Basic Content

Curriculum Overview

Three years are normally required to satisfy the requirements for the Laboratory Animal Medicine residency and MS degree.

Required Courses

  • CMED501 Biology and Care of Laboratory Animals (3 credits)
  • CMED 503 Laboratory Animal Genetics (3 credits)
  • CMED 507 Techniques of Animal Experimentation (3 credits)
  • CMED 515 Experimental Surgery of Laboratory Animals (3 credits)
  • CMED 530 Diseases of Laboratory Animals I (3 credits)
  • CMED 531 Diseases of Laboratory Animals II (3 credits)
  • CMED 596 Laws, Regulations and Guidelines (3 credits)
  • CMED 597 Special Topics (1 credit)
  • CMED 600 Thesis Research (minimum 9 credits)

In addition, students must complete 4 semesters of Colloquium, CMED 590 (1 credit) and IBIOS 591 Ethics in the Life Sciences (1 credit).

Students may also elect to complete an independent study in a selected topic (CMED 596) or other courses offered outside the department or outside the college with the approval of the training program director.

Other coursework may be taken if approved in advance by the Chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine and, if necessary, the course director or director of the respective program. Available courses are not limited to the College of Medicine, but may also be taken at Penn State Harrisburg, University Park, or other Commonwealth campuses of Penn State or the World Campus. In some cases there may be prerequisite requirements and additional tuition expenses. Travel arrangements to other campuses will be the responsibility of the student.

Other Opportunities

A four-week rotation at NIH is available to provide experience with non-human primates and other species. In general, this rotation will be scheduled during May – July of the first year. Additional rotation opportunities may be scheduled during the training program. Residents will be responsible for scheduling the dates and other details of the rotations. The department will provide a housing allowance for the external rotations.

Year-By-Year Overview


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Laboratory Animal MS Program Details Year 1 Tab

Year 1

During the first few months before formal classes begin in the fall, the student becomes familiar with the basic principles of the various laboratory techniques. Particular emphasis is given to the techniques and instruments to be used in the student’s research project.

The students also participate in laboratory animal handling, sample collection, and drug administration techniques.

For the MS degree, a minor in an academic discipline is also required. Approved minors have been established in Neural & Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Cellular & Molecular Physiology, and Microbiology & Immunology. Although a student does not necessarily become proficient in the area of the minor discipline, it does add to the breadth of knowledge in a field related to laboratory animal medicine. The majority of the students do thesis research projects in the area of their minors; that is, they use the knowledge of the minor discipline to approach a problem in laboratory animal medicine.