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DVM Program Road Map for Students Entering Fall 2024 (Class of 2028) and Beyond

Our DVM program is constructed to help students develop veterinary medical competencies in line with current competency-based educational standards.

Three years of pre-clinical coursework. One year of clinical training.

This academic professional program is comprised of two phases of education: a preclinical three-year phase and a clinical phase in the fourth year of training. The first through the third years of the professional program are concerned with a gradual progression from a basic science presentation to a more clinical application of veterinary science. Students have summer vacation after years one and two. Year three leads directly into a full year of clinical training.

Year One

First year students engage in exploration of foundational science and medical concepts using a comparative (multi-species) approach designed around bodily systems. This learning is supplemented by training in communications, team-based problem solving, professionalism, and clinical reasoning.

Year Two

Second year students build upon their foundational learning through application of skills in live and simulated contexts. This practice is supplemented by communications labs with live actors, tackling complex case scenarios, and discussion of career path opportunities.

Year Three

Third year students kick off the Fall Semester with a four week preceptorship field experience. On returning to campus, they practice advanced application of their medical skills and knowledge with complex cases across multiple species and contexts. Supplemental content reviews core principles from year one and prepares students for entry to clinics. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a menu of core electives, with a requirement to take two credit hours in Fall and four credit hours in the Spring. These allow for targeted learning fit to their specific career interests.

Year Four

Students must complete 47 credits in the fourth year: 44 credits of clinical rotations and three credits in Clinical Conference. The clinical year consists of a combination of core and elective rotations that are determined based upon a student’s declared focus area with two vacation blocks. Clinical Conference presentations are required of each student.

Selectives and Electives

Students are given multiple opportunities to explore new and advanced topics through extra courses in the first three years. Selectives are required week-long courses occurring at the end of the first five semesters during which students may choose from a variety of options.

Electives are optional courses available during the normal semester. Some Focus Areas require students to complete certain Selectives or Electives in preparation for the Clinical year.

Graduation Requirements

Graduates of the DVM degree are required to complete the following courses in accordance with academic performance standards as listed in the Academic Handbook.

  • All required semester courses (those not designated electives or core electives) in years 1-3.
  • Completion of 5 credit hours of selective courses, inclusive of required selectives.
  • Completion of 6 credit hours of core electives
  • Completion of all clinical rotation requirements associated with the candidate’s focus area.
  • Completion of the required and 90% of core clinical competencies as summarized here.

Academic Advising

Thoughtful Guidance

Every DVM student is assigned a faculty advisor responsible for introducing that student to veterinary medicine, advising the student on selective/elective choices, signing the clinical competency book yearly and helping the student choose a focus area. Once the student chooses a focus area, the focus area advisor usually replaces the original advisor, but it can remain the same person. Advising throughout the DVM program is a cornerstone of success at CVM. Read more about how advising works. 

Focus Areas

Students will identify a Species Priority in their second year to be their focus. Species Priority will allow students to prioritize their learning through access to selectives, electives, preceptorships, and rotations specific to their focus. Some species priority opportunities may require prerequisite courses for access. While it is possible to change your focus after second year, students are encouraged to plan ahead and explore options in years one and two before selecting.

Students will select one from the following Focus Areas:

  • Small Animal
  • Farm Animal
  • Equine 
  • Mixed Animal
  • Zoological and Lab Animal Health