Frequently Asked Questions

The MU CMP couples a residency program with a research program that leads to either an MS or PhD degree. The first year of the program consists of laboratory animal medicine residency activities. In years two and three, the trainee is involved primarily in research activities (at least 40 hours/week) combined with 10-15 hours/week of laboratory animal medicine activities. The latter activities complement training gained in the first year and are part of an individual development plan generated in consultation with program faculty to facilitate pursuit of specific career goals. MS students complete their residency and degree program after three years, while PhD students complete their residency after three years and their degree program after approximately five years.

CMP trainees may also elect to pursue a more clinically oriented program consisting of 1.5 years of residency activities in laboratory animal medicine followed by 1.5 years of research coupled with additional laboratory animal medicine activities at an approximately 50:50 split. Students pursuing this program generally pursue MS degrees but may switch to PhD degree programs. A maximum of one trainee/year can pursue this option.

A wide variety of research opportunities are available. See Research Mentors for a list of participating faculty and their research interests.

The base residency program is 3 years and includes both residency and research training. At the completion of these 3 years, trainees receive a residency certificate and those students who pursue the MS track receive their degree and complete the program. Students who pursue a PhD complete their program after an additional 2-3 years of research training.

Both MS and PhD degree programs are available. The MS degree is in Biomedical Sciences with Comparative Medicine emphasis. Various PhD programs are available; trainees most commonly pursue a PhD in Area Pathobiology.

Stipends for all funded positions are based on NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)  Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2023 (NOT-OD-16-047)

MU has large populations of research mice, rats, rabbits, swine and dogs. Other species include cats, cattle, chickens, other rodents, zebra fish, African clawed frogs and several animals with spontaneous or genetically engineered mutations.

The MU CMP uses the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program (VIRMP). Requirements for application include:

1. Standard VIRMP Application Packet

  • VIRMP Application
  • Veterinary School Official Transcript from University Registrar
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 3-4 Standardized Letters of Reference

2. Additional Requirements for the Program

  • Candidates must have a DVM or VMD degree (or equivalent), meet admission requirements of the MU Graduate School, and have or be pursuing a license to practice veterinary medicine in  the state of their choice.  The majority of funded slots require US citizenship or permanent residency.

3. Deadlines for Application 

  • Beginning November 1, 2024 but no later than December 11, 2024 11:59 PM EST applicants should complete their online application.  As this deadline is distinct from other residency specialties participating in the VIRMP, applicants should contact their references and registrar to ensure that letters of support and transcripts are submitted ahead of the 2024 deadline.
  • The CMP will review applications in mid-December and invite candidates for interviews to be held January 25-27, 2025.
  • January 27 will be an optional day for candidates to participate in facility tours, CMP resident shadowing, etc., based on individual interests.
  • If you are invited to interview with the CMP, it is highly recommended that you participate; therefore, you are encouraged to save these dates and coordinate time off with employers or school supervisors.  
  • The CMP will assist with arranging travel and accommodations for candidates. 
  • Conflicts for invited candidates who absolutely cannot attend the interview will be addressed on an individual basis.

**** Save the date: 2025 interviews will be held January 25-27, 2025.****

For more information see the VIRMP website.

Trainees are required to have a valid veterinary license and a state license of their choice.  It is highly encouraged to obtain a Missouri license, however, this can be done after starting residency.

Two to twelve week externships are available.  For more information, see Externship Opportunities.

Trainees of the MU Comparative Medicine Program are eligible for the MU Graduate School insurance and subsidy programs with the caveat that these programs are subject to change by the University.

All student activity and education fees are paid. Travel to one meeting per year beginning the second year of the program and a bronze membership in AALAS are also provided. Travel to a second meeting each year is provided if the trainee has made a good faith effort to secure travel funds from local or meeting sources. All student activity and education fees are paid.