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Administration of Graduate Program

A major is an approved area of study leading to a graduate degree. (For a complete listing of graduate majors, see the graduate college website.) Each major is offered by a group of qualified faculty who are responsible for the curricula, requirements, and standards that constitute a distinct program of training. The responsible faculty may be administratively located in a single department (departmental major) or may be located in several departments (interdepartmental major). At ISU every graduate student must either be enrolled in a major or be officially accepted as a nondegree-seeking student. Opportunities also exist for majoring in more than one area of study (co-major, joint major, concurrent major or double degree). Graduate major and graduate program are interchangeable terms.

Veterinary Preventive Medicine is an interdepartmental major administered by the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine (VDPAM) with participating graduate faculty from eight departments (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Animal Ecology, Animal Science, Economics, Entomology, Microbiology, Statistics, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine) and collaborators from Private Industry (Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.), the USDA:ARS National Animal Disease Center, and the USDA:APHIS Center for Veterinary Biologics.

Major Professor

The major professor is a member of the graduate faculty in the students declared major and serves as chair of the Program of Study (POS) committee.  Applicants must list the names of faculty members whose research is of interest at the time their application is submitted (see: program application form).  Admission to the graduate program is dependent upon the availability of faculty working in the student’s area of interest.  Additional information regarding the major professors is available on pages 2-3 of the Committee Appointment Form, also titled “Recommendation for Committee Appointment”. 

Program of Study Committee

The POS Committee for the M.S. degree consists of at least 3 members of the Graduate Faculty (Committee Appointment Form also titled “Recommendation for Committee Appointment”).

It must include two members, including the major professor, from inside the major or program. One member of the committee must be from outside the student’s field of emphasis. A team member of the graduate faculty may participate in the direction of the students master’s research if a member of the graduate faculty serves as a co-major professor. Additional information on the POS committee may be found on pages 2-3 of the Committee Appointment Form also titled “Recommendation for Committee Appointment”. The student's Program of Study (POS) Committee should be established during the first semester in residence.

The following requirements have been established by the Graduate College or the VPM Program for program of study committee makeup:

  • POS Committee has at least three members of the Graduate Faculty.
  • Graduate students with major professors who are collaborators must have a co-major professor who holds VDPAM regular or allied faculty status.
  • One committee member must be from outside the Program or the area of study. Allied members or collaborators do not qualify as outside members.

Program of Study

The Program of Study is developed by the student and major professor in consultation with the Program of Study Committee. Graduate faculty members are encouraged to establish the POS course work for the student at the first meeting of the POS Committee. The Program of Study (POS) form lists courses that the student and the POS Committee have agreed the student must complete for the degree. For Veterinary Preventive Medicine, this must include the required courses listed below. For students taking the thesis option, a preliminary research plan (dissertation proposal) should be proposed concurrently with the Program of Study. The POS should be submitted for approval by the end of the second semester in residence. Program of Study Form.

We recognize that the scope of the thesis project may not be clearly indentified at the 1st POS committee meeting. However , once the scope of the thesis research project has been identified, a thesis proposal outlining the proposed scope and potential chapters and work plan for each thesis chapter should be circulated to the entire POS committee for comment and approval. This document provides a plan for the student to follow when writing the thesis.

Each graduate student must submit a Recommendation for Committee Appointment form (Committee Appointment Form also titled “Recommendation for Committee Appointment”) within three semesters of entering the graduate program. Students will not be allowed to register for a fourth semester until the requirement is met. This form nominates the members of the POS committee.

The POS is signed by the student, committee members, Program Chair and the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE) before being submitted to the Graduate College. When the Graduate College has approved the POS, one copy is returned to the student, one to the major professor and one to the Department.

All changes in an approved POS must be made in writing to the Graduate College with the agreement of the student, major professor, Program Chair and DOGE. Major changes, such as course substitution, changing from thesis to non-thesis, or vice versa, and deletion or addition of a declared minor, require POS Committee concurrence and the signature of the Program Chair, DOGE and the Graduate College.

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