Graduate Programs and Courses

114 Master of Veterinary Science (MVSC)


The MVSc degree of the University of Prince Edward Island is a two-year, non-thesis (professional) Master’s-track program to enhance scholarship and competitiveness of veterinarians in one of the broad disciplines of pathology, microbiology, or clinical sciences. The program is designed to provide advanced training in the disciplines, and to develop teaching and communication skills. In addition, a student successfully completing the program may spend an extra year of residency in his/her selected discipline so as to be eligible for certification by specialty groups that require three years of residency training. Success in the program is attested by the achieving of satisfactory standings in the minimum number of graduate courses required, the completion of a research project, and the writing of a project report suitable for publication in a refereed journal.

The graduate students will register in one of the academic departments listed below and in one of the designated areas of specialization:

Department of Companion Animals
Small Animal Medicine
Small Animal Surgery
Diagnostic Imaging

Department of Health Management
Large Animal Medicine
Large Animal Surgery
Population Medicine
Aquatic Food Animal Medicine
Equine Clinical Sciences
Food Animal Clinical Sciences

Department of Pathology and Microbiology
Clinical Pathology
Morphologic Pathology
Wildlife Pathology
Public Health
Aquatic Animal Health

In addition to the “General Regulations for Graduate Programs,” described above, the following regulations apply specifically to the MVSc degree:

Residency Requirements

Normally, at least four semesters of full-time study in residence at the University must be devoted to the non-thesis Master’s program if the student is admitted as a regular student. For a regular student admitted to a part-time study program, the residency period is based on the equivalence of three part-time semesters to one full- time semester. A student admitted as a provisional student requiring two semesters in that category must spend at least two additional semesters as a regular full-time student to meet the residency requirement. Upon completion of the residency requirement, the student is then eligible to become a candidate for the MVSc degree.

Normally, the project report must be formally submitted, or the program must be otherwise complete, within 48 months of the completion of the residency requirement. Departure from these normal requirements requires approval from the Graduate Studies Committee.


Prescribed Studies

The minimum number of courses and/or general examinations is outlined below. For graduate credit, the courses selected must be acceptable to the Department and the Graduate Studies Committee. The candidate must maintain an average grade of at least a “B” standing (see Grades in General Regulations section) in the substantive courses outlined below in order to maintain registration in the program. Substantive courses are graduate level courses assigned a minimum of two credit hours.

Students are required to complete courses totalling a minimum of 32 credit hours. Within this course complement there must be at least eight substantive courses and the appropriate departmental Seminar course (one credit). Normally, in addition to the project, at least three substantive courses should be in the area of the student’s specialization. The Department may require examinations (oral and/or written) from time to time, to evaluate the student’s progress in his/her overall program.

Additional Courses

In addition to these prescribed studies, the candidate may undertake to achieve satisfactory standings in courses supportive of the special discipline. These courses may be at either the undergraduate or the graduate level. The standings obtained in them will not affect the average grade of the prescribed studies.

When a student is required to register in a seminar or colloquium course in more than one semester, the record will show a grade or a designation of “In Progress” for semesters prior to completion of the course, and “Pass” or “Fail” for the final semester. With the consent of the Supervisory Committee, and of the instructor and the Department Chair concerned, a student may register for, and audit, all or part of a course. It is understood that the student will attend lectures as prescribed, but will not write any examination or receive any grade. Such a course may be recorded as an additional course, identified by “AUD”.



Normally, the equivalent of at least six credit hours must be devoted to a small research project in fulfilment of the degree requirement. The project may be based on either a laboratory or clinical investigation, or a special topic such as a prospective or retrospective case study. Summers during which research work is actively conducted may be counted as research semester equivalents, even though other courses may not be offered at that time. In order to avoid undue prolongation of the time required to complete the degree, the research topic should be identified early and approved by the Supervisory Committee. Research involving the use of animals must follow the Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Project Report

Each candidate for the degree of Master of Veterinary Science is required to submit a project report (in place of a thesis) based upon the research conducted under supervision as described above. The report should make some contribution to the body of knowledge in the candidate’s field. The report should be prepared as a manuscript, in a form that meets the guidelines for submission of a peer-reviewed scientific journal.


The project report may be handed in at any time of the year, but candidates must bear in mind the desirability of having the final examination as much in advance of the deadline date for report submission as possible. Candidates are advised to inform themselves of the deadlines schedule, a copy of which may be obtained in the Office of the Program Administrator. It is desirable that each candidate initiate discussion about examination dates with the Supervisor early in the final semester.

The candidate should keep in close touch with the Supervisor and the Supervisory Committee, throughout the preparation of the project report. The final draft of the report, after it has been reviewed by all members of the Supervisory Committee, and when ready for examination is sent to the members of the MVSc Examination Committee (see below).

Following the Examination, the candidate, if successful, arranges for the preparation of the project report in final form, and for its submission to the Program Administrator (see below). The project report in final form, prepared as a manuscript meeting the guidelines for submission of a peer-reviewed scientific journal, must include any minor corrections or revisions indicated during the Examination. Approval of the report and the manuscript takes the form of a Certificate of Approval, signed by the Examination Committee.

The Master of Veterinary Science Examination

The final oral examination is based on an overall assessment of the candidate’s knowledge and competence in his/her field of study, including the project report. It is a departmental examination identified as the MVSc Examination and carried out by the MVSc Examination Committee normally consisting of four members as follows:

i. one graduate faculty of the Department, who is not a member of the Supervisory Committee, and who is appointed by the Department Chair to act as chair of the MVSc Examination and to make the arrangements therefore;

ii. the Supervisor of the candidate’s program;

iii. one additional member of the Supervisory Committee; and

iv. one member of the graduate faculty from a department other than that in which the student is registered.

The Department Chair selects the Examination Committee at the request of the Supervisor and is responsible for notifying the Program Administrator of its composition. The Examination is normally open to the public; however, members of the audience may question the candidate only upon invitation of the Chair of the Committee.

The Examination is passed and the project report approved if there is no more than one negative vote, an abstention being regarded as a negative vote. The report, from the Department Chair to the Program Administrator, records the result as “unsatisfactory,” or “satisfactory,”. If the result is “unsatisfactory,” the candidate may be given the opportunity by the MVSc Examination Committee of a second attempt. A second “unsatisfactory” result will terminate candidacy at this university.


Graduate Courses – Veterinary Medicine


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