Master of Veterinary Science Overview
Major: Livestock Systems Health
Livestock are complex biological systems living in problematic biosocial, physicochemical environments, governed by complex management structures that are influenced by sophisticated food supply business system pressures. The animal health, production and profitability difficulties that we so often encounter, invariably arise from disruptions at one or more levels of this sophisticated food production chain. Creating robust solutions for managing or preventing disruptions requires a thoughtful and methodical approach to data collection, analysis and interpretation. The Master of Veterinary Science (MVS) degree is designed to help you design robust solutions and prepare you to analyze the disruption at the systems level.
What can you do with an MVS degree?
The MVS degree requirements include 20 elective credit hours allowing each student to create the path to success. One-on-one career and academic advising will help determine each student's schedule based on their educational background and goals. Current students in our program work in a variety of roles including farming, ranching, corporate production, research and development, information technology, education, veterinary medicine, government, quality control regulation, and practice management.
The degree program was designed at the intersection of animal health, data analytics and business management with the goal of creating the next generation of leaders.
Join the Leaders
Engage with faculty with over 25 years of experience working outside the University of Illinois managing livestock operations, have built veterinary medicine curriculums, and serve as leaders in their field. Courses are based on clinical and business cases. Assessments are designed for you to apply the material to a real-world problem. You will finish this degree program positioned to become a leader.
Engage with classmates who have a variety of educational backgrounds and work in all aspects of the food supply chain.
Length of the program
The MVS degree is a 32 credit-hour program. The elective courses are 8-weeks long giving you the opportunity to take two classes per semester and only focusing on one course at a time to fit your busy schedule. Students complete the degree in 18-24 months. Expect to spend 9-10 hours of work outside of classroom on material.
Courses have an asynchronous and synchronous component. All live sessions are scheduled at the end of traditional business hours to accommodate adult learners with a full-time job. Recordings of each live session are available as well and each student has the option to attend virtual office hours.
What path will you take?
The MVS degree has three requirements:
- VCM 565 Biostatistics, Information Management, and Data Analytics for Livestock Production Systems - 4 credit hours
- VCM 595: Integrative Learning Experience - Capstone project - 8 credit hours
- 20 hours elective credit-hours at the 500 level.
The curriculum is intentionally flexible to meet the career goals of each student. You and your your faculty advisor will determine your destination, map out your path forward and design your capstone project to provide employers an example of the skills and knowledge gained in this degree. Interested to see the courses available in the program? Visit our Course Schedule
How to get started
We admit a spring and fall cohort of students each year. Read more about the application process, requirements, and how to get started.
The tuition rate for the MVS program is $302/credit hour. Online students are not subject to any additional fees beyond the credit-hour rate. The current cost of the total MVS program is $9,664. Tuition bills are generated each semester. You can view the University payment due dates, accepted payment methods and learn about available payment plans to get more information.
We do not currently have any scholarships for our online program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the prerequisites for application?
A: You need to have a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent for international students); three professional references; college transcripts; a resume; TOEFL (international applicants only); and a personal statement. Please see our Getting Started page for more information.
Q: What kind of careers does the MVS degree prepare students for?
A: The MVS program prepares students for work in livestock production management, farming, ranching, corporate production, research and development, information technology, education, veterinary medicine, government, quality control regulation, and practice management.
Q: I have a degree in a non-science field. Can I still apply?
A: Yes. The degree requirements are at minimum a Bachelor's degree in any field, science-related or non. You will need to start the program with VCM 505 Introduction to Veterinary Science which will cover the basic foundational health information you will need in the remaining classes. Half the students in our program start with a bachelor's degree.
Q: I have an Associate's degree. Can I still apply?
A: No. You must have at minimum a Bachelor's degree (or an equivalent degree for international students).
Q: Do you offer any scholarships or financial aid?
A: Unfortunately no, not at this time. The MVS degree is a self-supporting program and how we are able to keep the tuition costs low.
Check out our podcast!
Welcome to the Round Barn podcast, where faculty members from the University of Illinois tackle issues that are relevant to today's challenges, from livestock production to diagnostics and clinical cases. Look for the Round Barn podcast on our website or your favorite podcatcher.