Pathobiology Courses


Students majoring in Pathobiology focus on animal health and diseases and their relationship to people and the environment. Students can prepare to enter veterinary medical schools or medical schools. Pathobiology majors also pursue careers in biotechnology, biomedical sciences, para-veterinary medicine, and many diverse laboratory and research positions in health fields, and agriculture and natural resources.

To find the times in which a course is offered, go to “Browse Course Catalog” in the Student Administration System or click here.

Required courses

Pathobiology majors must pass the following courses:

PVS 1000, PVS 2100 or PNB 22642265 or PNB 22742275; PVS 3100 and PVS 4300 ; MCB 2610.

One course in Biochemistry: MCB 2000 or MCB 3010.

One course in Genetics: MCB 2400, 2410 or ANSC 3121.

One course in Nutrition, Immunology, or Cell Biology: ANSC 1111, NUSC 1165, MCB 2210, 4211, or AH 3121.

One of the following courses: PVS 2301, 3201 or 3201W, 3341, 3501, 3700, 4203/5203.

Students must pass either PVS 3094W or 3201W to fulfill their writing in the major requirement. The advanced information literacy requirement is fulfilled by passing PVS 3094W or 3201W.

Sample course sequences

PATHOBIOLOGY majors have several focus areas available: Pre-Professional Health Sciences (Pre-MED, Pre-DENTAL, Pre-PA, Pre-VET), Global Health, and Medical Biotechnology. We have sample course sequences below that can help you determine which classes to take and an order that may be effective.

PVS 1000. Biomedical Issues in Pathobiology

2.00 credits. Pre or co-requisite: None

Offered: Fall semester

Modality: In-person (online option for regional campuses)

Instructor: Dr. Bushmich

This introductory course focuses on current global issues of health and disease to describe fundamental topics in pathobiology. Global biomedical concerns regarding infectious diseases, population, cancer, biotechnology and environmental health will be addressed. Course content will provide examples of the impact of veterinary and human pathology on world health issues.

PVS 2095. Special Topics Lecture

Credits, prerequisites, and hours as determined by the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee. May be repeated for credit with a change in topic.

PVS 2100. Anatomy and Physiology of Animals

4.00 credits. Prerequisite: BIOL 1107 or equivalent. Three class periods and one 2-hour discussion/laboratory period. Smyth

A study of the anatomy and physiology of animals with reference to pathological changes of the component parts of the body. A fee of $50 is charged for this course.

PVS 2301. Health and Disease Management of Animals

3.00 credits. Prerequisite: PVS 2100. Bushmich

Designed for students who plan to own and work with domestic animals. Its purpose is to develop student competence in disease management and to foster an intelligent working relationship with their veterinarian. The course will cover a systematic study of infectious and noninfectious diseases of domestic animals from the standpoint of economy and public health.

PVS 3094W. Seminar

2.00 credits. One class period. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only with consent of instructor. Majors may take this course in each semester of the senior year. May be repeated for credit. Khan

PVS 3095. Special Topics

Credits and hours by arrangement. May be repeated for credit with a change of topic. Open only with consent of instructor.

Topics and credits to be published prior to the registration period preceding the semester offerings.

PVS 3099. Independent Study

Credits and laboratory periods by arrangement. May be repeated for credit.

Special problems in connection with departmental research programs and diagnostic procedures for diseases of animals. Some suggested topics are histopathologic laboratory procedures, clinical hematology, diagnostic bacteriology, diagnostic parasitology.

PVS 3100. Histologic Structure and Function

4.00 credits. Three class periods and one 2-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher; open only with consent of instructor. Recommended preparation:PVS 2100 or PNB 2264-2265 or PNB 2274-2275 or an equivalent course in vertebrate anatomy and physiology. Burns

Designed for students in biologic, paramedical and animal sciences, its purpose is to integrate histologic and cellular structure with function, utilizing human tissues and those from other vertebrates.

PVS 3201. Principles of Animal Virology

3.00 credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Garmendia

Structure and classification of viruses, cultivation and multiplication, pathogenesis and epidemiology of viral infections, host response, oncogenic viruses, immunization against, and laboratory diagnosis of viral diseases.

PVS 3201W. Principles of Animal Virology

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open to juniors or higher.

PVS 3341. Pathobiology of the Avian Species

3.00 credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Khan

A systematic study of metabolic, nutritional, genetic, and infectious diseases of commercial poultry, avian wildlife, and caged pet birds. Emphasis is placed upon diagnosis and disease prevention. For each system of the body, pertinent anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, and histopathology will be discussed.

PVS 3501. Diagnostic Techniques for the Biomedical Sciences

(Also offered as AH 3501.) 2.00 credits. One 1-hour lecture and one 3-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher; instructor consent required; open only to students who have declared the Agricultural Biotechnology minor and passed MCB 3414. Recommended preparation: MCB 2000. Anamani, Frasca, Lipcius, Risatti

Theoretical basis and practical exposure to modern laboratory methods used in the biomedical sciences for disease diagnosis.

PVS 3700. Emerging Infectious Diseases

3.00 credits. Pre or co-requisite: MCB2610: Fundamentals of Microbiology. Szczepanek

The focus of this class will be on understanding the mechanisms of emergence that different pathogens have used to cause disease in new hosts.

PVS 4000. Bioinformatics in Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases

3.00 Credits. Pre-requisite: ANSC 3121, MCB 2400, or MCB 2410.

Instructor: Dr. Lee

Basic concepts and terminologies in bioinformatics and infectious disease epidemiology. Hands-on, practical experiences in sequence analysis: database, alignment, phylogenetic analysis, and visualization of data.

PVS 4300. Principles of Pathobiology

3.00 credits. Prerequisite: Open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: PVS 2100 or PNB 2264-2265 or PNB 2274-2275 or an equivalent course in vertebrate anatomy and physiology; PVS 3100 or equivalent course in histology. Frasca

The body’s response to chemical, physical, and microbial injuries including the functional and morphologic alterations in disease of the major organ systems are discussed.

PVS 4351. Diseases of Finfish and Shellfish

3.00 credits. Prerequisites: BIOL 1107 or equivalent, PNB 2250 or PVS 2100 or equivalent; open to juniors or higher. Recommended preparation: MCB 2610, EEB 4200, NRE 3315, and PVS 3100. Fieldtrips are required. Frasca

A systematic study of infectious and noninfectious diseases of commercial finfish and shellfish emphasizing pathology, microbiology, diagnosis and prevention.


The Department of Pathobiology offers two graduate degrees: Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pathobiology, with areas of concentrations in Bacteriology, Virology, and Pathology, as well as an M.S. degree in Pathobiology with an area of concentration in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology. Faculty research focuses on infectious diseases of animals and humans, vaccines, veterinary pathology, and wildlife diseases. Many faculty are members of the Center of Excellence for Vaccine Research (CEVR), which provides a unifying consortium for vaccine research at the University of Connecticut. The department also provides service to the University and citizens of the State of Connecticut through integration with the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The Veterinary Anatomic Pathology M.S. program is open only to students with the D.V.M/V.M.D. degree.

Master of Science

For the areas of concentration in Bacteriology, Pathology, and Virology, students can follow either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis) options. For the Plan A, Master of Science degree, 21 credits of coursework and nine credits of GRAD 5950 or 5960 are required. For the Plan B, Master of Science degree, 30 credits of coursework followed by a comprehensive exam are required. All courses used to meet the degree and concentration requirements must be approved by the student’s major advisor. For the M.S. degree with an area of concentration in veterinary anatomic pathology, students must take the following courses: PVS 5300530353925394, and 5594.

Doctor of Philosophy

For all areas of concentration, a total of 30 credits of coursework are required. All courses used to meet the degree and concentration requirements must be approved by the student’s major advisor. The Ph.D. in Pathobiology does not have a related area or foreign language requirement. In addition, students will give at least three seminar presentations during their tenure (prospectus seminar, near midpoint of their research and dissertation defense). The General Exam should be taken within one semester after completing course work. A Dissertation Proposal is to be written in the form of an NIH grant proposal and presented in the form of a seminar. This is to be completed within six months of passing the general exam. Students must at a minimum have one first author publication before completion of their degree. The student must present at research seminars once per year.

The programs are offered by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.

PVS 5094. Pathobiology Seminar

1.00 credit. May be repeated for a total of 10 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

PVS 5099. Research and Independent Study in Animal Diseases

1.00 - 6.00 credits. May be repeated for a total of 24 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

PVS 5201. Microbiology of Atypical Bacteria

2.00 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

An in-depth presentation of current information on medically significant atypical bacteria, with emphasis on molecular aspects of pathogenesis.

PVS 5202. Viral Pathogenesis

3.00 credits. Prerequisites: A course in virology or microbiology and one in biochemistry, with consent of the instructor. Recommended preparation: A course in immunology or pathology.

Grading Basis: Graded

Review and discussion of recent advances regarding mechanisms involved in the development of viral disease at the virus, host, organ, tissue, cell, sub-cellular and molecular levels. Current advances in virus-host interactions will be discussed, including virulence factors, mechanisms of suppression and evasion of host responses, oncogenesis, persistence, immunopathology, neurotropism, neuroinvasion.

PVS 5203. Principles of Antibacterial Development

3.00 credits. Prerequisites: A course in general microbiology or bacteriology with consent of the instructor.

Grading Basis: Graded

Important concepts and pioneering strategies currently being used to develop novel antibacterials.

PVS 5300. Disc of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science Literature

1.00 credit. May be repeated for a total of three credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Weekly discussion of current peer-reviewed literature related to pathobiological basis of disease.

PVS 5303. Veterinary Pathology Lecture Series

1.00 - 3.00 credits. May be repeated for a total of 9 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Lectures on veterinary and comparative anatomic pathology organized by animal species or disease classification utilizing lectures on electronic media in the context of a prescribed plan of study. May be repeated for credit with change in content

PVS 5392. Practicum in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology

3.00 credits. May be repeated for a total of 18 credits. Prerequisites: Open only to veterinarians accepted into the residency program in veterinary pathology.

Grading Basis: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Service-based learning of veterinary anatomic pathology through gross and histologic evaluation of necropsy and biopsy case material by direct review with faculty pathologists.

PVS 5394. Veterinary Pathology Seminar

2.00 credits.  May be repeated for a total of 12 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Blinded examination of gross and histologic lesions with emphasis on lesion recognition, description and disease diagnosis, followed by group discussion of each case.

PVS 5401. Immunobiology

4.00 credits. Prerequisites: Open with consent of instructor to graduate students, upper-level Honors students, and senior undergrad students with recommended preparation. Recommended preparation: Previous coursework in Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Microbiology.

Grading Basis: Graded

Principles of basic and clinical immunobiology; phylogeny and ontogeny of the immune response, characteristics of the immune response, cellular and humoral immunity; central and peripheral lymphoid tissues; mechanisms of immunologic injury and immunologic diseases; comparative and veterinary immunology; transplantation and tumor immunology.

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PVS 5431. Avian Pathology

2.00 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

A comprehensive study of systemic avian pathology, stressing the correlation of pathological changes with clinical and microbiological findings.

PVS 5503. Molecular Approaches to Disease Diagnosis and Prevention

2.00 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Molecular aspects of disease, with emphasis on methodologies and strategies for diagnosis, analysis and prophylaxis.

PVS 5594. Current Veterinary Pathology Literature

1.00 credits. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Detailed study of current veterinary pathology literature, with particular emphasis on lesions and mechanisms of disease.

PVS 5632. Vaccines: Mechanisms of Immune Protection

(Also offered as: AH 5632. ) 3.00 credits. Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

Focuses on several different approaches to inducing prophylactic immunity in the host. Both traditional and modern molecular approaches to vaccine design will be discussed. In addition, the mechanisms employed by pathogenic microbes to avoid hosts' immune responses will be examined in the context of vaccine design. The students will gain an appreciation for the transition from basic research to practical applications.