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DVM Curriculum 

Extramural Studies

The extramural studies program provides students with exposure to learning experiences off-campus. Students may identify practices, laboratories, and other study environments that provide experiences that cannot be accessed within the College of Veterinary Medicine. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, the student can design a learning program utilizing the outside resource and receive academic credit.

Rules & Requirements

Students in Years 1 - 3

Students can receive the following academic credits for extramural experiences:

  • Selective credit (Years 1-3)
  • Elective credit (Years 1-3)

Required Documentation:

Procedures:

  • Complete the Extramural Registration Form
    • Obtain signatures: Supervising Veterinarian, Advisor, Course Coordinator
    • Submit to Student Services Office one month prior to the experience
  • Within one month of returning from the experience, students must submit:

Overall rules:

  • Students are not recommended to visit the same location for extramural credit. Should students seek to attend the same location for credit, they will need to provide a justification to the course coordinator of the extramural to indicate why the additional experience would be significantly different from the first, enough so to justify credit. The coordinator may or may not approve this additional experience; if approved, clear coordinator approval must be attached to the registration form.
  • Students may only receive selective credit for an extramural experience in the semester in which the experience occurs and during the selective period. No advance or retroactive credits will be given.
  • The student must be at the practice 5 working days and 40 hours (1 week) to qualify for 1 selective credit or 10 working days and 80 hours (2 weeks) to qualify for 2 selective credits.
  • Extramural experiences may be scheduled for 1 or 2 weeks (1 or 2 selective credits). Ideally, extramural clinical experiences should be scheduled for 2 consecutive weeks, but may be scheduled for 1 week if the other week is being used to take a 1 week selective course.
  • Students cannot be matched to a practice in which a family member (parent, spouse, sibling, etc) is an owner or employee.
  • A maximum of 2 students can be at the same practice at any one time.
  • If needed, students can seek liability coverage through AVMA PLIT.
  • Students going outside the US must contact the Director of the Veterinary International Program (currently Dr. Andrew Stringer) regarding needed insurance and other items. Visit here for details. 
  • Students will be graded on a pass/fail basis. The major input into the grade will be the supervising veterinarian/scientist’s grade sheet, but other evaluations may also be used. Failure to complete the course requirements will result in an unsatisfactory grade.
  • Students should contact the relevant governing veterinary board to determine what activities are permissible to perform during their extramural based on their professional level.

Minimum course requirements for extramural non-clinical experiences.

These experiences are individually designed by the student and the course coordinator. These are essentially “special topics” type experiences that happen outside the college.

  • Course coordinators design these experiences so that the experience can be verified, the student is evaluated, and the experience is evaluated. A supervising veterinarian/investigator must be identified for each experience.
  • One week (5 working days) is the minimum length of time for 1 credit of selective experience. Two weeks (10 working days) is required for senior rotation credit. The maximum length of time for the experience depends on the academic credit that the student is requesting.
  • The student must complete a registration form for the coordinator.
  • The supervising veterinarian/investigator must evaluate the student and the evaluation must be returned to the Student Services office.
  • The student must complete a one page summary of the experience and return the evaluation form to the course coordinator
  • The student is responsible for all travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Some experiences offer stipends or grants to cover travel, food and lodging; these may be accepted. However, the student may not be paid as an employee for the work performed.

Elective rules

  • If an extramural experience occurs over a summer or vacation period, credit is not generally allowed. If it is an international experience approved in advance, credit can be considered. If a student completes an international extramural experience in the summer (with prior approvals, etc), he or she can apply for elective credit but would need to pay summer tuition. If the international experience occurs over fall, winter, or spring break (with prior approvals, etc.), he or she can apply for elective credit for the current semester or the semester immediately following the experience depending on the timing of the experience. 
  • Elective credits appear on the student’s transcript, but are not usually required for graduation. Some focus areas have required electives but not all focus areas offer elective credit.
  • Elective credits are variable and must be agreed upon by the student and course coordinator prior to the extramural experience.
  • Overall rules apply including all extramural paperwork, signatures, and deadlines for elective extramural experiences.

Extenuating Circumstances

  • The student should contact the course coordinator or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs immediately.
  • If the experience is a required course (selective or clinical rotation), the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will work with the course coordinator to schedule a replacement experience.

Students in Year 4

Required Documentation

While the sign-up/drop deadline is at least one month before the start of the experience, some experiences must be scheduled years ahead of time. The completed Registration Form must be submitted to Student Services with all signatures at least one month prior to the experience to officially register for the externship. Students should plan accordingly and allow time to get the necessary signatures. If the completed form is not received by the deadline, the student may be dropped from the externship and required to register for a clinical rotation.

All post-experience forms should be submitted directly to Student Services – they will distribute to the appropriate faculty.

Students completing Equine, Food Animal, or Mixed Animal experiences through VMP 990-Large Animal Community Classroom click the button below.

Additional Documentation may be required depending on the location of your externship, including liability insurance, registration with the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board, and liability protection through the AVMA. Forms are downloadable in the gray “Forms” box below.

Grading and Credit

Students will be graded on a Honors/Pass/Marginal/Fail basis. The grade will comprise of a mix of the Supervisor’s Evaluationand the Student Extramural Experience Form, but other evaluations may also be used. Failure to complete the course requirements will result in a marginal or failing grade.

Clinical-year students can receive a maximum of 6 credits (3 rotations) for clinical-year externship rotations unless additional externships are specifically required for their focus area.

  • Focus Areas with a maximum of 6 externship credits (3 rotations): Equine; Laboratory Animal Medicine; Mixed Animal Practice; Pathology; Small Animal; Small Animal-Avian/Exotics; Zoological Medicine.
  • Focus Areas requiring additional externships: Clinician Scientist; Epidemiology & Public Health; Food Animal.

Time Requirements

NC State Clinical-Year Students: all Clinical extramural experiences must be taken for a minimum of 10 full working days.

  • Both 2-week and 3-week rotations require NCSU students to complete a minimum of 10 full working days, with the understanding that students will work both the full amount of days (10 days) and the full amount of hours (80 hours).
  • For 3-week extramurals: while the minimum requirement is 10 full working days, the understanding is that students will work every available workday of the 3 weeks (excluding holidays). Students should not plan to work the minimum 10-day requirement and then plan a week’s vacation. The 10-day minimum was put in place to account for rotations that included holidays and holiday weekends – students are expected to spend all other available workdays at the externship location.

Contract Students: because Contract Schools measure clinical year credits by weeks, the number of weeks at an externship determines the amount of credit received for the experience.

  • Externships in a 2-week block require 10 full workdays for 2 credits.
  • Externships in a 3-week block require 15 full workdays for 3 credits. If a student chooses to spend only 10 days at an externship in a 3-week block, he will receive 2 credits for the experience – the 3rd week will be counted as a vacation week.
    • Extramurals may be taken in Block 1 for 3 weeks of credit if the student fulfills the 3-week requirement of completing 15 full workdays at the externship location. Because Block 1 starts mid-week each year, the student will need to spend weekend hours at the location to fulfill requirements.
    • If the student completes 10 full workdays at a location during Block 1, they will receive 2 weeks of credit for the experience, and the 3rd week will be considered a vacation week.

Restrictions & Extenuating Circumstances

Externship Restrictions

  • Students are not recommended to visit the same location for extramural credit. Should students seek to attend the same location for credit, they will need to provide a justification to the course coordinator of the extramural to indicate why the additional experience would be significantly different from the first, enough so to justify credit. The coordinator may or may not approve this additional experience; if approved, clear coordinator approval must be attached to the registration form.
  • If a student is scheduled for an externship experience but fails to formally approve the experience by submitting the required Registration Form within the stated deadlines, the student will be dropped from the block and required to schedule another rotation in its place.
  • If a student completes an externship experience but fails to submit the required paperwork within the stated deadlines, a failing may be recorded.
  • Students cannot be matched to a practice in which a family member (parent, spouse, sibling, etc.) is an owner or employee.
  • A maximum of two students can be at the same practice at any one time.
  • Students should be at the same location for the entire duration of the experience. Splitting time at 2 or more locations is not permitted.
  • Students should contact the relevant governing veterinary board to determine what activities are permissible to perform during their extramural based on their professional level.

Extenuating Circumstances

  • If a student has to leave an extramural experience because of extraordinary circumstances (sickness, safety concerns, ethical concerns, etc.), the student should contact the Course Coordinator or Associate Dean of Academic Affairs immediately.
    • If the experience is a required course (selective or clinical rotation), the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will work with the Course Coordinator to schedule a replacement experience.

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