University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Offers Unique VMD-PhD Degree

SARS – AIDS – Ebola – Avian Influenza –Anthrax –  Botulism – Plague – West Nile Virus –
Mad Cow Disease  – Smallpox

Over 60% of all infectious diseases of animals can also affect humans. Incidences of new, emerging zoonotic infectious diseases are also on the rise.

Veterinarian-scientists, by virtue of their broad experience in multiple species and extensive training in both molecular and whole animal contexts, are uniquely qualified to address the complex problems presented in modern biomedical research. Earning a combined VMD-PhD degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine can prepare you for addressing these issues.

As part of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Vet is a veterinary college and a partner in one of the world’s great biomedical research centers. The interrelationship between animal health and human health –Many Species, One Medicine™ – is at the heart of the school’s research tradition. Knowledge gained from studying animals is vital for understanding human disease. Biomedical research is entering an era that requires the application of molecular knowledge to whole animal physiology.

Students in the program receive full funding support, including Veterinary School and Graduate School tuition and a graduate-level stipend with student health insurance. Funding is also available in scholarship form through the Pfizer Animal Health Diversity Initiative.

Past graduates of the program have entered areas such as:

  • Academics (Faculty)
  • Biotechnology or the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Government Health and Science Agencies
  • Public Health and Emerging Diseases
  • Regulatory Medicine
  • Contract Research
  • Military Service
  • Clinical Research and Clinical Practice

For more information on the program, go to

Information to Improve Public Health

The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce helps the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health. It is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provide timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet.

This website also provides links to information in the following main categories. Click on those sites of interest to you to locate organizations and resources of interest.

Public Health Overview

Public health is the science and art of creating healthy communities through education, research, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. In public health, the focus is on health promotion and disease/injury prevention; this is in contrast to the medical model of care,which focuses more heavily upon diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions after they occur.

Because of their “big picture” perspective, public health experts play a key role in emergency preparedness and response.* This may be why public health has become such a growing field in recent years.

You can earn over fifteen degrees from an accredited school of public health, including undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. The most common are:

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
  • Doctor of Science (ScD)

Find an overview of Public Health here to see if this is something you are interested in, and stop by Career Services to find out about internships, shadowing possibilities and ways to connect with alumni in the field to conduct information interviews.

Allied Health Care Careers

Allied health careers are a broad range of health care professions that deliver patient health care services, besides nursing or physicians. As many as 100 different medical jobs can be found in allied health care, with these workers making up approximately 60% of the health care work force. Individuals in allied health work with physicians and nurses, either directly or indirectly with patients to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and technical services in a patient’s treatment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care related, largely due to the growing and aging population.

Currently there is a shortage of mid-level specialities in allied healthcare careers, such as physical therapy, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapy, occupational therapist assistant, or speech language pathology or various imaging, respiratory, or laboratory jobs. However, working as a healthcare professional in the allied medical careers is becoming more beneficial as general physicians are decreasing in number and health care is becoming more expensive.