Comparative Health Sciences


Comparative Health Sciences is a multi-disciplinary program offering graduate training towards MS and PhD degrees. The program encourages applicants with an interest in complex contemporaneous issues that require multi-disciplinary approaches to be addressed. Faculty involved in the program have interests ranging from microbiology, ecology, immunology, nutrition, food science, bio-engineering, veterinary medicine, public health, human health, bioinformatics, mathematical modeling, microbiome, neuroscience and others.

The program encourages co-mentorship from different disciplines, but also accepts students working in traditional fields. We have a strong international component and diversity of ideas and innovation is valued. Strong student involvement and participation in the program is sought. 

Training involves classes, laboratory research, outreach activities, teaching and direct participation in a seminar series. Students are supported by graduate teaching, graduate assistantships, and scholarships provided by the program. This program is individually designed to support the needs of innovative research. Graduate students are expected to be major participants in the scientific output of the program. 


Students enrolled in the MS degree will complete a total of 45 graduate credits, including 12 thesis credits.

24-33 course credits consisting of:  

  • The required core sequence of 4 courses (3 credit and 1 credit courses).
  • 18-27 credits from diverse courses relevant to the thesis research offered by other programs IF agreed to by the thesis committee. 

For more details see Graduate Program Guidelines for MS below. 

Students enrolled in the PhD degree will complete a total of 108 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s or professional (DVM, MD) degree.

In Year 1 of the PhD program, students will be required to complete three laboratory rotations (organized under a course titled “Research Perspectives”) that will provide an opportunity to experience several research environments and investigators that they may consider for their thesis research. These rotations will run congruently with academic quarters. In addition, all students will be expected to complete the following program core curriculum, including all required courses and a selection of at least two of the listed electives, for a total of 12 credits. 

  • VMB 501 Research Perspectives Lab Rotations (3)
  • ST 511 Methods of Data Analysis (4) OR H 524 Introduction to Biostatistics (4)
  • GRAD 520 Responsible Conduct of Research (2) OR MCB 557 Scientific Skills and Ethics (3)
  • Molecular Tools (VMB 671) (3) 
  • VMB 669 Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing (2)
  • VMB 607 Seminar (1-16)

Elective courses relevant to the thesis research from the VMB listing or other programs agreed to by the thesis committee: 

  • VMB 521 Animal Models (3)
  • VMB 523 Zoonoses (3)
  • BB 485/585 Applied Bioinformatics (3)
  • BI 595 Disease Ecology (3)
  • VMB 630 Mechanisms of Disease (3)
  • VMB 631 Mathematical Modeling (3)
  • VMB 651 Cancer Systems Biology (3)
  • VMB 673 Comparative Immunology (3)
  • VMB 670 Systems Biology & Bioinformatics (1)
  • VMB 674 Vaccines and New Therapies (3)
  • VMB 603 Thesis (36)
  • VMB 607 Reading & Conference or Seminar/Colloquium (1-16)

In addition to the program core curriculum, students will be required to complete option specific curricula, as approved by respective graduate committees. 

Prospective Students

The OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine collaborates with other OSU colleges to offer interdisciplinary graduate programs: