Residency and Graduate Program in Anatomic Pathology

The Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science offers veterinarians a full-time graduate degree program that combines residency training in anatomic pathology and a non-thesis Masters in Pathobiology with an area of concentration in veterinary anatomic pathology.

Options exist to pursue a PhD for promising students who have excelled scholastically, identified a research topic, and secured funding. Veterinarians are enrolled in the Graduate School and pursue a three-year non-thesis Masters plan of study that involves coursework in descriptive comparative pathology and practicums in necropsy and mail-in pathology through the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory under the supervision of ACVP- and ECVP-certified veterinary pathologists of the Department’s faculty.

The Department provides salary to select students for the three years of the combined plan of study of the residency/Masters through Departmental teaching assistantships and requires that the recipients serve as teaching assistants for courses offered by the Departmental. Graduate assistantships for PhD thesis research are supported by grants secured by faculty and are not guaranteed by the Department.

Students who successfully complete the coursework and practicums of the three year residency/Masters program assemble a Masters committee from the faculty pathologists and submit a Plan of Study to the Graduate School by the end of their second year.  By the completion of their third year, students must pass a final comprehensive examination for the non-thesis Masters degree. Students tracking through the residency/graduate plan of study are eligible to sit the ACVP Board examination following completion of their third year (i.e., 36 months of residency training).

Students who wish to pursue the PhD must identify a thesis advisor, thesis topic and future extramural funding source by the beginning of their third year. At the beginning of the fourth year, these students enter into the laboratory of their research mentor. PhD research generally requires an additional three years to complete. A PhD committee is assembled and a Plan of Study is submitted by the first semester of fourth year. Plans of study for the PhD include graduate course work in addition to that of the residency/Masters curriculum. By the completion of their fourth year, PhD students pass the general examination for the PhD.

The Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science has active research in areas that include, but are not limited to, immunotoxicology and infectious diseases of aquatic animals, vaccine development and immunology, poultry diseases, bacterial pathogenesis, and viral pathogenesis. In addition, opportunities exist for research to be conducted with collaborating institutions.

The Department houses the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL) which is the veterinary diagnostic laboratory for the State of Connecticut and southern New England region. The CVMDL is equipped with a fully functioning mammalian and non-mammalian necropsy laboratory, histology laboratory, microbiology and molecular diagnostic laboratories, and serology laboratory.  The CVMDL receives case submissions from regional farms, veterinary practitioners, institutional veterinarians, aquariums, zoological collections and marine laboratories nationwide, and its caseload routinely encompasses a broad range of species accessions that not only include domestic animal species but also non-domestic, exotic, wildlife and aquatic species.


The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent degree is required for this program. Post doctorate veterinary clinical experience is desirable, but not required. Applicants must apply for admission to the Graduate School at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. Applicants who are graduates of veterinary schools that are not accredited by the AVMA must provide GRE scores. Veterinarians who are offered admission into the residency/MS program (concentration: veterinary anatomic pathology) must meet the enrollment criteria of the Graduate School and the Department’s Graduate Admissions Committee, then be selected by the Admissions Committee for the Residency Program.

For information, contact:

Kirklyn M. Kerr, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP
Professor of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science
Veterinary Pathologist, Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
Coordinator, Residency Program in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology
Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science
University of Connecticut
61 North Eagleville Road, U-3089
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3089


Phone: (860) 486-2048