Graduate Courses & Seminars

Learn more about courses & seminar requirements for our graduate students enrolled in the VMS programs.

VETM 601: Professional Skills in Health Science Research

Current Schedule | Fall 2019: Fridays: 9:00 am - 11:45 am I Location: TRW 2E06

Description: This course consists of a series of workshops focusing on skills essential for success in health science research including: research integrity, grant writing, verbal and written communication of research discoveries, and career development and options. This course is open for credit to graduate students, as well as to postdoctoral fellows and new faculty - with permission of course coordinator. This course runs weekly from September to December. COURSE NOT INCLUDED IN GPA.

VETM 605: Introduction to Biostatistical Methods

Current Schedule | Fall 2019: Lecture Monday & Wednesday 9:00 - 10:15 am | Tutorial Wednesday: 10:15 - 11:15am I Location: TBD

Description: An introductory course on how to analyze and design research related to biological sciences. Emphasis is placed upon formulating good research questions, evaluating the appropriateness of different statistical methods for analyzing results, and performing and interpreting such statistical analyses. Statistical analyses will be carried out using modern statistical software.

The course runs weekly from September to December. COURSE IS GRADED.

VETM 610 (MDCH610): Biostat I: Essentials Biostatistics - this course may be taken as a substitute for VETM 605

Current Schedule | Fall 2019: Lecture Tuesday & Thursday 1:00-2:30 pm | Tutorial Tuesday & Thursday 2:30-3:20 pm

Description: Introduces the fundamental concepts of summarizing data and statistical inference, including graphical displays, hypothesis testing, p-values, and confidence intervals. Specific topics include comparisons of means and proportions, non-parametric tests, correlation and regression, confounding, sample size determination, and power calculations. Additional topics include a brief introduction to analysis of variance and covariance, logistic regression, and analysis of time-to-event data. Students gain hands-on experience analyzing data using STATA statistical software. Although this course uses STATA exclusively, much of the technical knowledge and some of the computing techniques are applicable to any statistical package.

The course runs weekly from September to December. COURSE IS GRADED.

Students must also take:

MSc - one additional half credit course (an optional VETM course listed below, or a course offered by another graduate program)

PhD - two additional half credit courses (optional VETM course(s) listed below, or courses offered by other graduate programs)

All selected courses must be appropriate to the student's field of study and approved by their supervisory committee. For more information and a complete listing of courses from all graduate programs, please visit the Graduate Calendar on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. Please direct all questions regarding VETM courses to

MSc Students - presentation of one seminar prior to the scheduling the thesis defense (this is in addition to the public talk prior to the defense examination)

PhD Students - presentation of one seminar scheduled prior to candidacy exams, and the presentation of a second seminar prior to scheduling the thesis defense (this is in addition to the public talk prior to the defense examination).

Definition of a seminar in VMS:

For the VMS program, the program requirement of a “seminar” is defined as a “public seminar” with the following specifications:

  1. The exact specification of a time, place, and audience can vary,
  2. the seminar should be presented at the UofC, and
  3. the seminar should be on the student’s thesis work. 
  4. To help ensure that all UCVM faculty are aware of the seminar, and as evidence that the program requirement is completed, the seminar will be advertised in the UCVM Weekly Update. 
  5. Although the exact audience may vary, e.g., entire Faculty, Department, Research Group, Institute, etc., presentations at lab meetings or journal clubs would be insufficient.
  6. While the duration of the seminar may vary, it is expected to last 30+ minutes, with the opportunity for audience questions thereafter. 

NOTE: To schedule the public seminar, the Supervisor will contact the Graduate Program Administrator no less than two weeks in advance of the seminar to arrange advertising to the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.   The purpose of the public seminar is two-fold: (a) give the student formal public speaking experience to aid them in preparing for their oral field-of-study examination, and (b) inform the university community of the research activities in Veterinary Medical Sciences. (Approved by Faculty Council 5 Jun 2015)

VETM 611 (MDCH 611): Biostatistics II: Models for Health Outcomes

Current Schedule | Winter 2020: Lecture Tuesday & Thursday 1:00-2:30 pm I Tutorial Tuesday & Thursday 2:30-3:20 pm

Extends the fundamental concepts to modelling health outcomes using modern regression analysis techniques. Logistic and linear regressions, and their extensions, are covered in detail. The rationale, formulation, and statistical assumptions underlying each regression technique are discussed. Methods for selecting and assessing models are included. Additional topics include a brief introduction to models used in the analysis of repeated measures, longitudinal studies, and time-to-event data. STATA statistical software is used to analyze data. Required course for Biostatistics and Epidemiology specializations.

The course runs weekly from January to April. COURSE IS GRADED.

VETM 640 (MDCH640): Fundamentals of Epidemiology

Current Schedule | Fall 2019: Lecture Tuesday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm I Tutorial Thursday 9:30 am - 11:30 am

Principles and methods of descriptive and analytic epidemiology. Emphasizes the underlying concepts and approaches of epidemiological research and critical appraisal of epidemiologic studies including: observational study designs and their vulnerabilities to bias, measures of frequency and association, basic methods for addressing sampling variability, confounding, and effect modification. Concepts related to causal judgment in epidemiology are also introduced.

The course runs weekly from September to December. COURSE IS GRADED.

VETM 690: Directed Study

Lectures, seminars, term papers and/or other training directed to one or only a few students in theoretical and/or laboratory methods at the advanced level in veterinary medical sciences. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the Faculty. May be repeated for credit

Note: To enroll please contact Approval is required from the VMS Program Director.

VETM 701: Advanced Topics in Reproductive Health (Fall term)

Course is offered every two years

 Current Schedule | Fall 2019: Lecture Tuesday & Thursday 9:00-10:15 am I Room: TRW 2E09

A series of topics, ranging from basic sciences to clinical topics (including ethical issues) to increase awareness and comprehension regarding current issues in reproductive health. This course runs two times weekly from September to December in alternating years (next offering is September 2016). Prerequisite(s): Research interest in reproductive health/reproductive biology. Consent of course coordinator and student’s supervisor, if applicable.

VETM 702: Advanced Topics in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Winter term)

Current Schedule | Winter 2020: Lecture Tuesday & Thursday 11:00*12:15 | Location: TRW 2E09

The course will provide a comprehensive overview of stem cell biology in the context of embryonic development and adult tissue maintenance. Students will gain an appreciation for embryonic versus adult stem cells and how these pluripotent or multi potent cells may be utilized in regenerative medicine (i.e. treatment of congenital defects, diseases or injury). Prerequisite(s): Students not enrolled in the VMS graduate program will require consent of the instructor.

The course runs weekly from January to April. COURSE IS GRADED.

VETM 740 (MDCH 740): Advanced Epidemiology

Current Schedule | Winter 2020: Lecture Monday 9:00-12:00 pm I Tutorial Wednesday 1:00-2:50 pm

An expansion on the understanding of causality and threats to validity in epidemiologic research. The focus will be on the assessment and control of bias, including selection, information and confounding. The concept of effect modification (interaction) will be appraised. Stratified analysis will be considered as a tool for the assessment and control of confounding and effect modification and will be applied to a variety of study designs including case-control, and cohort studies.

The course runs weekly from January to April. COURSE IS GRADED.

Environment, Health, Safety and Animal Handling

Students in the VMS Graduate Program are required to have applicable environment, health, safety, ethics and animal handling certifications as governed by the University Research Ethics Board before they begin their research projects. 


Ethics and Compliance

Please contact the Animal Training Coordinator regarding training availability.

Health and Safety

Required Environment, Health and Safety Courses

Laboratory Safety

Laboratory Safety

Hands-on Laboratory Basics Workshops


Biosafety Program

Animal Handling

Animal Handling Certification

Student may contact the Animal Training Coordinator regarding training availability