Why Combined Degree Studies at Penn?
Penn Vet provides an outstanding environment for the training of future leaders. The School is in the heart of a large biomedical research campus perfectly suited for combined degree studies. Students have more than 600 research laboratories to choose from for their doctoral research, and benefit from two world-class veterinary hospitals for their clinical training (Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, with one of the largest emergency case loads in the nation, and George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals with one of the largest equine case loads). Each year the University of Pennsylvania ranks near the top of the nation with regard to research funds from the National Institutes of Health, and ranking of its individual schools. The University consists of a vast network of research laboratories and core facilities, and operates many multidisciplinary research institutes and centers.
Penn Vet was founded in 1884 and currently ranks near the top of all veterinary schools in NIH funding. Penn Vet consists of four departments with 115 faculty members. The School maintains close ties to the Penn School of Medicine, our nation’s oldest medical school, which also ranks near the top of all medical schools in research and NIH grants.
Penn Vet operates numerous multidisciplinary research centers and faculty members participate in many research centers and graduate groups throughout the Penn campus. Students in the VMD-PhD program become active members of the entire University research environment and perform their thesis research with any of the 600 biomedical faculty members within the University. An extraordinarily rich environment for combined degree studies is provided by these 600 active research laboratories, the vibrant Biomedical Graduate Groups, the multiple seminar series throughout the University, and the numerous campus-wide Institutes and Centers.
Students receive outstanding veterinary didactic and clinical training at two locations. Small animal clinical training is performed at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania located on the main Penn campus.
Ryan opened in 1981 and enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence. This hospital has the largest small animal caseload of any veterinary school in the United States and one of the busiest emergency units in the world. Ryan Hospital was designated as a Certified Level I Facility by the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society.
Students receive clinical training on large animals at New Bolton Center Hospital located on our campus in Kennett Square (45 minutes from Philadelphia). Patients comprise equine, bovine, porcine, cervid, and camelid patients, and carries the largest equine caseload in the U.S.
Both hospitals are well equipped with excellent clinical facilities.
The outstanding University-wide Biomedical Research environment and the rich clinical training programs at the School of Veterinary Medicine are woven together to produce an unparalleled environment for VMD-PhD combined degree studies.
The VMD-PhD Program at Penn: History & Expansion
The VMD-PhD Program at Penn has been in existence since 1969 and is the nation's largest and oldest program of its kind. Penn VMD-PhD alumni account for 50% of all students trained by veterinary combined degree programs nationally.
The VMD-PhD Program has been enormously successful. It was initially directed by Dr. Ralph Brinster, a pioneer in production of transgenic animals and reproductive biology. The Program has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health via Penn's Medical Scientist Training Program, and more recently was awarded an NIH Training Grant (T32) for students in infectious disease disciplines.
Additional funding comes from private sources such as the Armour-Lewis Foundation, endowments, scholarships, private donations, as well as from the School of Veterinary Medicine itself. Program graduates are exceptionally well-qualified to integrate multiple levels of science ranging from molecular biology to whole animal physiology.
More than 85% of Program alumni are in careers involving biomedical research. Penn Vet VMD-PhD alumni represent a rich pool of talented interdisciplinary scientists whose expertise greatly enriches the scientific community. Our graduates show a high level of achievement, a steady positive progression in seniority of academic faculty or industry positions, and command a collective funding base of over 100 million dollars.
The National Academy of Sciences has published several reports demonstrating an acute national shortage of veterinarian-scientists needed for industrial, academic and government positions. To help meet this need, the VMD-PhD Program at the University of Pennsylvania has doubled in size since 2002, providing a pipeline of talented scientists for industrial, government and academic positions, augmenting the biomedical enterprise to meet a pressing national need.
The VMD-PhD Program receives support from numerous sources.
- MSTP Grant GM07170
- T32 Grant AI070077
- Mindy and Andy Heyer Endowment
- Marookian Endowment
- Schwartzman Endowment
- Spitzer, Rattner, and Preston Scholarsips
- Armour-Lewis Foundation
- School of Veterinary Medicine