Educational Programs

The Department of Veterinary Sciences plays a vital role in helping to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of biomedical research by offering teachers, regional youth and the public a unique avenue to actively participate in the research process.

Our formal education programs provide opportunities for individuals to dramatically increase their content knowledge in the sciences; access to scientists, veterinarians and other career role models in the sciences to both educators and students; practical hands-on student activities that coordinate with national science standards and curricular frameworks; and professional development for employees.

Additional programs dedicated to promoting scientific literacy in the basic and applied research areas are being developed by the staff and scientists. The general information below about our current programs is outlined according to the target audience.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

  • Behavioral Science Internship Programs

Internships of varying lengths are formalized with various academic institutions to provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to assist with on-site primate behavioral research.

  • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Graduate training leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree is available for students in the Department of Veterinary Sciences (DVS) through The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Basic research faculty are available for training graduate students, and the department offers a unique learning environment for research on a large variety of primate species, including chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and owl monkeys.

Competitive application process.  

Application Dates:  June 1, 2016 through October 1, 2016

  • Fourth Year Veterinary Student Externship Program

Externships are available to fourth year (senior) veterinary students with a career interest in non-human primates in biomedical research.  During their tenure, students will receive training in non-human primate medicine and surgery, pathology, behavior management, and utilization of non-human primates in research while rotating through the chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, squirrel monkey and owl monkey resource areas.  Each student is assigned a faculty veterinarian mentor to guide the student through their externship.  Due to the popular nature of this program, an application process is in place to reserve an externship.  For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit the Contact Information page.  Applications are due by October 1st for the next following school year (SY May-April).

Competitive application process.

Application Dates: June 1, 2016 through October 1, 2016

  • Lab Animal Resident Externship Program (Non-human Primate rotation)

Externships are available to Veterinary residents in a Laboratory Animal or Pathology residency program.  Residents in this externship program will be exposed to all facets of non-human primate medicine.  These include clinical and preventative medicine, surgery, anatomical and clinical pathology, behavioral management, facility design, and research considerations.  The Keeling Center is unique with our variety of non-human primate species ranging from New World Primates to Old World Primates to Great Apes.

Although we accept residents from all training programs, this department is affiliated with the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine's Laboratory Animal Medicine resident program and the Gulf Coast Consortium Postdoctoral Veterinary Training Program.  For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit the Contact Information page.

Competitive application process.

Application Dates: June 1, 2016 through October 1, 2016

Secondary School Programs

  • Student Internship Program

In the interest of providing local area high school seniors an opportunity to develop work skills, explore careers and receive mentorship from scientists, a non-paid educational internship experience is available on a competitive basis. Students work at the DVS in one of four areas (behavioral studies, veterinary services, laboratory services and business administration) for one to two semesters (minimum of 9 hours per week).

Outreach Programs

  • Primate Training and Enrichment Workshop

A 4.5-day program developed at the DVS for professionals working with primates is taught at the DVS once a year. The workshop includes lectures, demonstrations and hands-on opportunities.

Learn more about the workshop and download applications:

Primate Training and Enrichment Workshop

  • Primate Behavioral Management Conference

A new three-day conference developed at the DVS for professionals who are responsible for, or interested in, the behavioral management of nonhuman primates in captivity. The conference includes presentations by content experts, by implementation experts, and by commercial entities; all focusing on ways to improve the welfare and wellness of captive nonhuman primates.

Learn more about the conference and download applications:

     Primate Behavioral Management Conference

  • DVS Community Open House

The DVS provides an opportunity for the local community and students to tour the facility and interact with faculty scientists and staff at our annual Open House. 

Employee Education Programs

  • AALAS Certification

In the interest of improving animal care personnel's job knowledge, potential for regular promotion and career development, DVS offers the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) certification training programs. Certification is required for animal caregivers at the Animal Technician I level and above.

  • Guest Lecturers and Seminars in the DVS Continuing Education Series

Guest lecturers are invited to address various topics of interest. Professional and/or technical personnel visiting our facilities are often requested to make a presentation to our personnel on their particular animal resources or research area.

  • DVS Visiting Scientists Lecture Series

In this program a limited number of nationally known scientists are invited to visit our facility and present a special seminar on their area of expertise for our personnel and invited guests.

  • Journal Club

Faculty, students and research staff participate in a journal club to keep up to date on the latest developments in the field of basic biomedical research.

  • Animal Care and Use Training

All personnel working with animals are required to complete the approved training program of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

  • Continuing Education Program

A continuing education program open to all employees and invited guests includes topics on safety, special interest, supervisor and computer training. Online educational programs are available through the MD Anderson intranet.