By Laws for Graduate Degree Training

The goal of the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery emphasis area graduate degree-training program is to prepare individuals for investigative careers as specialists in veterinary medicine or as researchers in academia, industry, or governmental settings. The graduate program administered through the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery offers a Master’s degree, although students with mentors whose academic home is within the department may be eligible for the Doctor of Philosophy degree administered through the Pathobiology area of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, the Doctor of Philosophy degree can be pursued through other departments through special arrangements with the student’s major advisor.

Organization of the Graduate Degree Program of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Governance of the program falls under the purview of both the departmental Committee on Graduate Training and the emphasis area’s Director of Graduate Studies. The Committee on Graduate Training is appointed by the Department Chair to three year terms of service, and the Committee chooses a chairman from among its members. The Director of Graduate Studies is appointed separately by the Department Chair and serves for an indefinite period at the discretion of the Chair. The Director of Graduate Studies serves as an ex officio member of the Committee on Graduate Training.

Duties of the Committee on Graduate Training and the Director of Graduate studies are independent but may have some overlap. Duties of the Committee on Graduate Training include maintenance of the department’s master schedule of courses, approval of graduate candidates for admission to the graduate degree program, the option to waive certain requirements for admission to the program in special circumstances, and recommendations for change in the By Laws for degree training as appropriate. Any changes to the by-laws are recommended by the Committee on Graduate Training but must be approved by a simple majority vote of the Departmental Graduate Faculty. The Director of Graduate Studies is charged with the primary responsibility for maintaining the overall academic integrity of the graduate degree program. The Director of Graduate Studies also serves a role in promoting the educational and career success of individual graduate students. Duties of the Director of Graduate Studies include reporting to and communication with the University of Missouri Graduate Studies, providing appropriate signatures on required forms for admission, advancement, and graduation from the degree program, and cooperation with the Committee on Graduate Training and Department Chair in achieving the goals of the graduate training program.

Requirements for the Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences, emphasis Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Once enrolled, the graduate student, together with the student’s major advisor, is responsible for seeing to the student’s successful completion of the degree program. This includes the formation of an appropriate individual graduate committee as well as an outlined course of study sufficient to meet the requirements for granting of a degree. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the student to see that necessary forms are completed in a timely manner, and that appropriate signatures are obtained and requirements are fulfilled.

Master’s degrees will be conferred on candidates admitted to the graduate degree program who satisfy the general requirements of the MU Graduate Studies and the specific requirement of the graduate program. Requirements include:

• Completion of all graduate work attempted at MU with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
• A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course credit, including at least 15 hours of graded, 8000-level course work. No more than 40% of the 30-hour credit requirement can be satisfied by Research, Readings, and Problems courses.
• As part of their program of study during their enrollment in the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery graduate degree program, graduate students must receive a passing grade (i.e., C or better) from an approved graduate-level experimental design or statistics course. Following a request by the student’s major advisor, this requirement may be waived by the departmental graduate studies committee for those students who have successfully completed a similar course previously.
• All VMS graduate students must submit a report of progress and plans regarding their degree program to the Departmental Graduate committee by April 30 of each year they are enrolled in the program. This report must be derived from the outcome of at least one annual meeting of their graduate degree committee and must be signed by their major advisor. In March a report of progress Qualtrics link will be provided to students and committees to satisfy these requirements.
The Departmental Graduate Committee on Graduate Training will review all reports and will schedule meetings with students and their advisors if deficiencies are noted. Failure to comply may result in disqualification of the student. The major advisor will be disqualified from receiving internal discretionary grant funds during the following calendar year.
• Completion of a thesis describing original investigative research completed by the candidate. Detailed guidelines for preparation of the thesis are available through the MU Graduate Studies.
• Documentation of a passing evaluation on the defense of the thesis work by an examination committee (make-up of the committee is described in the graduate catalog) as well as demonstration of mastery of the fundamental principles of the work included in the course of study for the degree.
• The candidate must be enrolled at MU in the semester when the thesis work is defended.
• The master’s degree must be completed within eight years of enrollment from the time the student is accepted into the degree program.

Required forms:
Before the second semester of work is completed, the candidate must present a program of study via submission of the M-1 form to the MU Graduate Studies. If changes become necessary to the approved program of study, a Program of Study substitution form must be completed.

Before the first year of work is completed, the candidate must formulate a thesis committee via submission of the M-2 form to the MU Graduate Studies. If changes become necessary to the approved committee, a Change of Committee form must be completed.

Two weeks prior to expected graduation, the examining committee must submit to the MU Graduate Studies the results of the Master’s examination form M-3.

Other forms may need to be completed in certain circumstances. Please see the graduate catalog for more detail.

Dismissal Policy for the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Master’s Degree Program

Students may be dismissed for failure to maintain GPA standards, failure of examination requirements (such as the thesis defense), excessive time to degree requirements, and academic dishonesty. In addition, the program may dismiss a graduate student who is deemed as not making satisfactory progress toward their degree program requirements by majority vote of the Committee on Graduate Training.

When a question of unsatisfactory progress arises, the Director of Graduate Studies and/or advisor will write to the student and recommend a face-to-face meeting between the student and the faculty advisor. If there is a disagreement on rate of progress between the advisor and the student, the advisor should ask the student to submit a separate letter to the Director of Graduate Studies. Copies of both letters should be made available to the student, maintained in files of the Director of Graduate Studies, and forwarded to the Graduate Studies.

If difficulties persist and the advisor and Director of Graduate Studies agree that probation is appropriate, the student should be notified in writing of the probationary period, which may vary from 30 days to a full semester. The probation letter should state explicitly that the student is on probation and state precisely what must be accomplished, and by what date, in order to enable the student to return to good standing and be removed from probation.

If the student does not comply with the conditions of probation, a letter (signed by both the faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies) should be sent to the student (copy to the MU Graduate Studies) with notification of dismissal from the degree program. The MU Graduate Studies can then send the student an official notice of dismissal from the program.

A student may appeal a dismissal to the Graduate Student Appeal Committee in the Department. The committee will consider only written grievances that are provided within a reasonable period of time when the grievable matter occurred. The committee will make a written recommendation to the Chair and Director of Graduate Student Appeals. The appeal process is described in the MU Graduate Studies Catalog.