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. The residency program is based in the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) 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. Residents will develop an individual plan of study (POS) early in their program with the counsel of an advisory committee. The POS is flexible and can be customized, depending on the applicant’s interests. 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 (ACVP).

Purdue University is also a graduate partner in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program (, which provides graduate students the opportunity for residency training in a university setting followed by dissertational research at the NIH.

Description of the Program

A. 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 the Residency Search Committee
  4. Recommendation of CPB Graduate Studies Committee 
  5. Approval of CPB Department Head and ADDL Director

B. Term: Three Years, renewed every year upon satisfactory progress (see below).

C. Culmination:

  1. Non-Thesis MS Degree in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology
  2. Completion of three-year Veterinary Anatomic Pathology Residency Program (Shorter period [between 2 and 3 years duration] with appropriate previous pathology experience)
  3. ACVP Eligibility 
  4. Bypass of MS degree for PhD research (see CPB Graduate Manual)

 D. Requirements for completion of the program:

  1. Completion (with a grade of “B” or better, or “S”) of required courses (listed below) and other graduate courses (examples given below) selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee
  2. Satisfactory completion of a hypothesis-driven project including at least one oral or poster presentation, preferably at a national or regional scientific meeting (see below CPB 68000) selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee
  3. First author publication submitted to a refereed scientific journal (see below)
  4. 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)

 E. Components of the Residency Program:

1. Courses. The curriculum includes require courses, selective courses, and elective courses.

Required Courses. These courses must be taken by all students enrolled in the program.

  • CPB 60200, Advanced Veterinary Anatomic Pathology (4-8 credit hours): Recurrent every semester for anatomic pathology residents. The performance of graduate students/residents is evaluated by ADDL and CPB pathologists every semester.
  • CPB 69100, Seminar in Veterinary Pathology (0-2 credit hours): Recurrent every fall and spring semester. First year students register for 0 credits during their first semester; 2 credits thereafter
  • CPB 69700, CPB/BMS Research Seminar (0-1 credit hours): Recurrent every fall and spring semester
  • CPB 60300, Teaching practicum (1 credit hour) (see E.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.
  • CPB 60400, Pathology of Neoplastic Diseases of Animals (3 credit hours): Recurrent every three years
  • CPB 61100, Veterinary Pathology Literature Review Seminar (1 credit hour): Recurrent every fall and spring semester
  • GRAD 61200, Responsible conduct of research (1 credit hour) OR CPB 61800 Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research (2 credit hours)
  • STAT 50300, Statistical Methods for Biology (3 credits) or CPB 62500 Clinical Biostatistics (2 credits)

Selective Courses (Required to take minimal 3 credit hours)

  • CPB 61400, Topic in Advanced General Pathology (1 credit hour) – Recurrent every fall semester
  • CPB 60700, Pathology of Laboratory Animal Diseases (1-2 credit hours)
  • CPB 61000, Ultrastructure (2 credit hours): Recurrent every three years
  • CPB 68000, Molecular Diagnostics (2 credit hours): Recurrent every other year
  • VCS 60400, Animal Models (1 credit hour)

Elective Courses

  • 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

 2. Project

All students participate in at least one hypothesis-driven research project and it must culminate in at least one oral or poster presentation preferably at a national or regional scientific meeting selected by student and his/her graduate advisory committee.

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, preferably a full-paper, in a refereed scientific journal. Manuscript must be published or submitted for publication before completion of residency.

Examples of scientific publications:

  • Results of laboratory investigation
  • Prospective or retrospective case study
  • PhD literature review
  • Case report

 4. Teaching:

a) Second-year veterinary 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.

b) Fourth-year veterinary 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.

 5. 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.

 F: 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 (three faculty members and/or professional staff), formulate a plan of study, and identify potential project(s).

G: 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

For additional information regarding the anatomic pathology residency program, please complete the visitor request form.

How to Apply

Application to the Graduate Program

Download the Purdue Graduate School application checklist and check the graduate program requirements. Please do not pay the application fee until we let you know you have been selected for a resident position.

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

1. Scientific discipline of research and diagnostic interest: pathology (anatomic).

2. Please indicate the semester/year for which you request admission.

3. Please apply to the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and Anatomic Pathology.

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 whose native language is not English to take the English Proficiency test (TOEFL or IELTS), with at least minimal acceptable scores for admission to Purdue’s Graduate School and for Oral English Proficiency Certification of Teaching Assistants. Scores older than 24 months are not acceptable. Since this residency position is associated with a Teaching Assistantship, documentation of proficiency in spoken English is required for international students.

Please direct any further communications on the anatomic pathology graduate/residency program application 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



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