A world-class research institution

The purpose of the PhD degree program is to educate individuals to become independent, reliable, and competent research scientists.

The PhD degree requires the demonstration of independent research and a reasonable mastery of a concentrated field of study. The research should comprise an extensive body of original research in the student’s field, making a true contribution exemplifying the student’s depth of knowledge, creativity, innovation, and proven ability to make significant scientific research contributions.

The latter is attested to by the achieving of satisfactory standings in the approved program of graduate courses, the completion of a research project, and the writing of a defensible thesis based upon the research.

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Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Students will register in one of the academic departments of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and in one of the designated areas of specialization:

Department of Biomedical Sciences 

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Physiology, Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Endocrinology

Department of Health Management 

  • Animal Science and Animal Nutrition
  • Epidemiology/Health Management
  • Clinical Sciences
  • Aquatic Animal Health
  • Biostatistics
  • Public Health
  • Animal Welfare

Department of Pathology and Microbiology

  • Bacteriology
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Immunology
  • Morphologic Pathology
  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Wildlife Pathology
  • Public Health
  • Aquatic Animal Health
  • Biosecurity

Depending on the individual thesis topic, projects could involve one or more of several species of animals. There will be considerable interaction and cooperation among the departments, with other universities in the region, and with government research laboratories to provide courses and research facilities to meet the needs of individual students and their research projects.

Admissions Criteria
What's Required for Admission to the PhD Program?

In the following it must be understood that the standard of reference is the typical Canadian university curriculum and university system.

Admission to a graduate degree program as a regular student is granted, on recommendation of the Department concerned, to:

  • the holder of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, or a 4-year honours or majors baccalaureate or its equivalent, as set out below.
  • a student who has satisfied the requirements for transfer from provisional student category as described below.

The minimum requirement for admission to graduate studies in the Faculties of Science and Veterinary Medicine is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, or equivalent; or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, or Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree, or equivalent, normally of four years' duration, in an honours or majors program or equivalent from a recognized university or college, the applicant having achieved an average of at least second class ('B', i.e. 70% to 79.9%) standing in the work of the last four semesters or the last two undergraduate years.

Admission to the doctoral program normally requires at least second class standing as well as a recognized Master's degree. Admission to the PGD and MVSc programs is normally limited to holders of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, or equivalent.

Admission to a graduate course is normally based upon the same requirements as for admission to a graduate program, with exceptions needing the approval both of the Program Administrator and of the Chair of the Department within which the student is registered. Admission, whether as a regular, a provisional, or a special student, is in all cases based upon the recommendation of the department concerned and is subject to the approval of the Program Administrator.

Admission to advanced courses of instruction or to the privileges of research does not imply admission to candidacy for a higher degree.

Refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete information.

Application Deadline
Make sure you apply before the deadline!

Application deadline: for Fall intake July 1; for Winter intake November 1; for Summer intake April 15.

Securing a supervisor prior to applying to this program is an admission requirement. Visit the Potential Graduate Supervisors page of the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for contact information.

Fees and Funding
PhD in Veterinary Medicine Tuition


PhD in Veterinary Medicine - $13,284 per 3 year program
International students pay $7,704 per year in addition to full-time student tuition.

For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms.  

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

avc professor and students

At AVC, we are proud of our exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors.

Two of our outstanding faculty, Dr. Étienne Côté, professor of cardiology, and Dr. Susan Dawson, professor of anatomy, have been named National 3M Teaching Fellows for their innovative teaching. Our favourable student-to-faculty ratio means that students learn from and work closely with faculty who are recognized experts in many fields of veterinary medicine.

Our faculty members support our students with learning opportunities beyond the classroom as they progress through their four-year degree program.