Doctorate of Integrative Veterinary Medicine

The Doctor of Integrative Veterinary Medicine degree program guides students in advancing their knowledge and practice of integrative veterinary medicine through multiple modalities including acupuncture, herbal medicine and food therapy.

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Program Overview

The Doctor of Integrative Veterinary Medicine degree program guides students in advancing their knowledge and practice of integrative veterinary medicine through multiple modalities including acupuncture, herbal medicine and food therapy. The program contains multiple courses to expose students to a breadth of knowledge of the integrative veterinary medicine approach to different specialties in various species including dogs, cats, horses, domestic ruminants and camelids, birds, small mammal pets, reptiles and other exotic and zoo animals. Graduates of this program conduct research on a veterinary integrative medicine topic that results in a unique and original contribution to the profession.

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Graduation Requirements

  1. Pass all courses with a 3.0
  2. Pass qualifying examination to become DIVM. candidate
  3. Have the final dissertation approved
  4. Pass final examination (dissertation defense)

Program Objectives

Combinetheoretical and practical knowledge in conventional medicine and  different modalities of veterinary integrative medicine including acupuncture, herbs and food therapy

Improve knowledge of integrative veterinary medicine to plan the  treatment of most commonlyseen diseases including neurology,  dermatology, cardiology and other internal medicine,ophthalmology,  behavior, pain management and oncology in canines and equines

Demonstrate knowledge of integrative veterinary medicine in felines, exotic animals, domestic ruminants and camelids

Use theory and research evidenceto identify a topic and develop a  dissertation involving original contributions to the fieldof integrative veterinary medicine.

DIVM Curriculum

All DIVM students must complete a minimum of 60 credit hours above the master degree level.

The integrative medicine overview gives a broad perspective on integrative veterinary medicine.

This course gives the doctoral students a view not only of the historical basis of TCVM, but of ancient medicine from around the world to build an appreciation for the development and history of different cultural medicine and their impacts. This course focuses on medicine from areas around the world, including China, Tibet, Mongolia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Americas, India and more.

Combine theoretical and practical knowledge in conventional medicine and different modalities of veterinary integrative medicine including acupuncture, herbs and food therapy.

This course reviews and builds upon the fundamentals of TCVM Pattern diagnosis and food therapy previously mastered through basic TCVM and food therapy courses and focuses on commonly seen disorders in veterinary practice that are responsive to TCVM-based food therapy. It includes information necessary to form a balanced diet to both prevent and treat diagnosed diseases and disorders. The use of herbals, both Chinese and culinary, in food therapy is presented. In addition, useful practical tips for the preparation of diets are discussed. Case studies and real-world clinical experience are presented by the instructors. Both large and companion animal species are discussed.

This course addresses the scientific basis of acupuncture, including relevant literature on the topic, the principles of acupuncture in pain management, the clinical application of trigger points, the indications and contraindications of acupuncture, and how to apply acupuncture in general practice for neurological, gastrointestinal, renal, and respiratory disorders in small animals, and lameness, laminitis, and navicular diseases in horses. How to integrate acupuncture into a conventional practice through a simple set of cookbook rules is also discussed.

This course discusses the top ten acupuncture techniques used in veterinary medicine. Students learn how to perform auricular acupuncture, scalp acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, dry needling acupuncture, aqua-acupuncture, gold implantation, pneumo-acupuncture, hemo-acupuncture, laser acupuncture, and moxibustion. Indications and contraindications of each technique, and evidence-based studies on electro- acupuncture and gold implantation are also discussed.

All branches of Chinese medicine, especially Chinese herbs, are designed to stimulate adaptive homeostatic mechanisms and provide the body substances by which the body can heal itself. This course is intended to provide information on the pharmacology and toxicology (where available) of the major energetic categories of Chinese herbs. The instructor discusses the most commonly seen herbal toxicities, herb-drug interactions, and general cautions and contraindications of the major Chinese herbal categories. Representative herbs and formulas from each herbal category are discussed to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of how the herbal categories are used in practice, as well as their current research data, toxicology, and chemical composition.

This course builds upon the fundamentals of TCVM already learned by students and includes a new focus on the treatment of behavioral disorders using a holistic approach, including traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, integrated with lifestyle recommendations for all species, science-based behavior analysis, and certified professional dog training for behavior disorders in dogs when indicated. Students learn real-world implementation of an approach to behavior issues using traditional Chinese veterinary medicine principles, such as Zang-fu physiology (which element(s) is/are involved). The importance of the TCVM Constitution in Pattern diagnosis and professional dog training for behavior disorders in dogs is emphasized. This course focuses on commonly seen behavioral disorders in veterinary practice, including separation anxiety in dogs, noise and storm phobia in dogs and cats, inter-dog/inter-cat and human-directed aggression in dogs and cats, house soiling in cats, geriatric dog and cat issues, and behavioral issues in caged birds, along with recommended therapies for such conditions. In addition, instructors share clinical experience via case presentations.

Improve knowledge of integrative veterinary medicine to plan the treatment of most commonly seen diseases including neurology, dermatology, cardiology and other internal medicine, ophthalmology, behavior, pain management and oncology in canines and equines.

This course offers an overview of updates to the Western and TCVM approaches to common emergency medical conditions in dogs, cats, horses, ruminants, birds, and other exotic animals. Students learn how to integrate these two medical modalities for a comprehensive approach to common emergencies presented in general practice.

This course builds upon the fundamentals of TCVM already learned by students and includes a new focus on the treatment of dermatologic disease by integrating traditional Chinese veterinary medicine with supplements, dietary approaches and conventional Western therapies. Students learn real-world implementation of an integrative approach to Dermatology. This course focuses on commonly seen dermatological disorders in veterinary practice including atopy, food allergies, pyoderma, and otitis, while including therapies for such conditions. In addition, instructors share clinical experience via case demonstrations and presentations.

This course focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neoplastic disease by integrating conventional Western medicine with acupuncture, herbal medicine, supplements and dietary therapies. Students learn real-world implementation of an integrative approach to Oncology. This course focuses on commonly seen neoplasia in veterinary practice, including lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma and mast cell tumors, and also discusses cancers via geographic location, including cancers of the head and neck, urogenital tumors, and solid tumors around the body. In addition, instructors share clinical experience via case demonstrations and presentations.

This course discusses the holistic view of the structure and function of the eye, as well as clinical examination methods of the eye in dogs, cats, and horses. Students learn both Western and traditional Chinese medical approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of corneal disease, uveitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) conjunctivitis, blepharitis, glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye disorders in dogs, cats, and horses. Case studies for each category of ocular disease are also presented.

This course discusses conventional veterinary medicine and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases. This course provides the detailed information on the methods of evaluation and also treatment of the neurological patient (both small animal and equine) including CNS (central nervous system) cancer, seizure and epilepsy, cranial nerve disorders, degenerative neurological disorders, spinal cord disorders, CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome), meningoencephalitis and encephalitis, head trauma, peripheral nerve damage, and equine arboviral encephalitis. Students learn to use the conventional neurological examination for accurate lesion location and also to use TCVM methods to treat these lesions accordingly.

This course provides a comprehensive review of the most contemporary concepts of veterinary pain management, including neurobiological and neuropharmacological approaches, physical therapies, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and rehabilitation therapy. Applications for and principles of pain management across a broad spectrum of clinical presentations and multimodal management of complex pain syndromes in dogs, cats, and horses are provided. Relevant literature on the topic is also presented. Information on treating pain from many different perspectives is highlighted.

This course offers an overview of updates to the Western and TCVM approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of upper and lower airway disease and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and pancreatitis. Hepatitis, cholangitis, and other hepatic diseases are also discussed. Students learn how to integrate these two medical modalities for a comprehensive approach to respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases in dogs.

(Prerequisite or corequisite: MIV4001 and MTM4712)

This course offers an overview of updates to the Western and TCVM approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of renal diseases, lower urinary tract diseases (LUTD), musculoskeletal diseases, immune-mediated diseases, reproductive diseases, and endocrinal disorders. Clinical case examples of medical conditions of the endocrine and urogenital systems are also discussed. Students learn how to integrate these two medical modalities for a comprehensive approach to endocrinal, musculoskeletal, and urogenital disease in dogs.

(Prerequisite Requirement: DIV5310)

This course offers an overview of updates to the Western and TCVM approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal (GI), respiratory, musculoskeletal, endocrinological, genitourinary, neonatal, hemolymphatic, and immune-mediated diseases. Students learn how to integrate these two medical modalities for a comprehensive approach to equine internal medicine diseases.

(Prerequisite or corequisite: MTM4710, MTM4711, and MTM4712)

Cardiological and vascular diseases respond very well to an integration of TCVM and conventional medical approaches to diagnose and treat veterinary patients. This course discusses the integrative approach to common small animals and equine cardiological diseases. Problem solving for the management of various aspects of cardiological issues is addressed. Various treatment options are presented for each topic so that the practitioner has a list of potential choices to consider when devising a treatment plan.

Demonstrates knowledge of integrative veterinary medicine in felines, exotic animals, domestic ruminants and camelids

This course utilizes the 5 branches of TCVM: acupuncture, herbal medicine, Tui-na, food therapy, and lifestyle in the clinical approach to common disease issues in the common house cat. The feline species has unique metabolic and energetic attributes, which can make clinical treatment both challenging and rewarding since they can be very responsive to appropriate treatment. The integration of TCVM principles and treatment with Western medical approaches are discussed, and problem solving for managing various maladies is addressed. Various treatment options are presented for each topic so that the practitioner has a list of potential choices to consider when devising a treatment plan.

This course builds upon the fundamentals of TCVM already learned by students and focuses on the treatment of exotic and avian patients by integrating traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and conventional Western therapies. Students learn real-world implementation of an integrative approach to the treatment of exotic animals and avian patients through traditional Chinese veterinary medicine principles, such as Zang-fu physiology (which element(s) is/are involved). This course focuses on disorders of exotic animals and caged birds, which are commonly seen in veterinary practice, including therapies for such conditions. In addition, instructors share clinical experience with these species via case demonstrations and case presentations.

This course offers an overview of updates to comparative anatomy and physiology of, as well as the most commonly seen diseases in, domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, and South American camelid. The integration of Western and TCVM approaches to medical conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI), respiratory, musculoskeletal, neurological, metabolic, and behavioral disorders of these species are discussed.

Use theory and research evidence to identify a topic and develop a dissertation involving original contributions to the field of integrative veterinary medicine

This course constitutes the early steps into students’ doctoral research for their dissertations. Based upon the fundamental knowledge and additional investigations into conventional Western and TCVM treatments for treating selected clinical problems, the students propose at least one research topic on integrative medicine that combines conventional Western and TCVM treatments. Students learn how to establish rationale and significance of the research topic(s) proposed by conducting literature searches, reading scientific journal articles and summarizing in writing the findings from the literature review. Students are expected to conduct extensive scholarly literature searches and reviews on related topics and present findings to the instructors.

This course constitutes the second major stage of students’ doctoral research for their dissertation. Students learn methodologies for experimental design and statistical data analysis specifically related to their research topic. Each student is expected to interact closely with the instructors to explore potential approaches for conducting the proposed research, such that the instructors can guide the student to learn appropriate study design and statistical analysis methods. In addition, students learn how to develop a research proposal for their doctoral research. Students are expected to submit their proposal and to present/defend the proposal to/from their research committee.

(Prerequisite Requirement: DIV5901)

The goal of this course is for students to complete the final stage of their doctoral research and dissertation. Students are expected to first complete the data collection for their research and present/discuss the findings with their doctoral committee members. Once the findings are approved for the dissertation, the students can then start writing the dissertation. During the course, the instructors offer guidance on scientific writing skills for dissertations, as well as for journal articles. The instructors also provide feedback on students’ dissertations. Students are expected to submit their completed dissertation and to present/defend it to/from their research committee.

(Prerequisite Requirement: DIV5902)

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Tuition & Fees

Application and Registration (onetime fee) $120

Tuition (cost per credit hour: $750) $45,000

Books and Supplies $2,500

Graduation Fee $350

Total Estimated Costs $47,970

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DIVM Academics

Satisfactory completion of all required courses for a program total of 60 credit hours is required for successful completion of the DIVM program. Students can expect to complete the program in 120 months (not to exceed 1.5 times the program length).

Application Process

MSTCVM or equivalent degree AND the following prerequisites or equivalent:

  • MIV4001 Overview on Integrative Veterinary Medicine
  • MIV4211 Canine Veterinary Medical Manipulation Level 1 (or MIV4221 Equine Veterinary Medical Manipulation Level 1)
  • MIV4212 Canine Veterinary Medical Manipulation Level 2 (or MIV4222 Equine Veterinary Medical Manipulation Level 2)

Or MSIVM or equivalent degree AND the following prerequisites or equivalent:

  • MTM4720 Chinese Herbal Fundamental Knowledge
  • MTM4730 Food Therapy

All applicants must provide the following:

  1. Official transcripts of an earned Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent;
  2. Official transcripts of an earned MSTCVM or MSIVM or equivalent plus prerequisites listed above;
  3. Two letters of recommendation from a former professor, peer, or employer (not related to the applicant).
  4. Photocopy of a government issued identification (e.g., current driver’s license or passport).
  5. Completed application.
  6. $70 application fee (non-refundable) and $50 program registration fee.

Chi University reviews applicants’ admissions documents to determine whether collectively, if enrolled, students would be successful in the doctoral degree program and whether the program will meet their academic goals. Following a comprehensive review, applicants are notified of their acceptance or denial to the degree program.

A minimum score of 65 on the paper-delivered Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT); 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS); 58 on the Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report; 105 on the Duolingo English Test; or 55 on the 4-skill Michigan English Test (MET), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE), or 650/LP on the Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (ECPE).

An international applicant may be exempt if:

1. Applicant earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution where the primary language for learning was English, or

2. Applicant is a citizen of an English-speaking country.

International students, whose transcripts are not in English, are also required to have their transcripts translated and evaluated by an NACES recognized organization prior to submission. Official transcripts and the original evaluation documents must be mailed directly to Chi Institute for review.

DEAC Disclosures

The Doctorate of Integrative Veterinary Medicine (DIVM) is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Chi University is also an institutional participant in the SARA initiative, and approved by the Florida State Approving Agency for Veteran Education and Training.

View DEAC Student Achievement Disclosures

Florida Commission for Independent Education

The Doctorate of Integrative Veterinary Medicine (DIVM) is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education. Additional information regarding Chi University may be obtained by contacting the Commission for Independent Education, Department of Education, 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400, toll-free telephone number (888) 224-6684.

Veterinary Acupuncture Licensure

In the state of Florida, only licensed veterinarians can perform acupuncture on animals. The Doctorate of Integrative Veterinary Medicine (DIVM) does not qualify a graduate of the program to perform veterinary acupuncture without the appropriate licensure to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine in Florida.

Ready to begin?

The program will challenge you and grow you as an integrative veterinarian.

Current Master's Students