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DVM Students

Frequently Asked Questions

What are core electives?

During the third year, students are required to take a minimum number of core elective credits in the fall and the spring. Only elective courses specifically approved by the Faculty Committee on Curriculum and Course Evaluation (FCCCE) will count toward this core elective requirement.

What is the purpose of core electives within the curriculum?

Core electives expose students to veterinary materials at a slightly more advanced or in-depth level within the third year curriculum. These electives will remain relatively broad and are meant to run concurrently with and to complement core courses by offering species-specific and skill-specific material to complement what is taught within the core.

How are core electives different from other electives?

Core electives are courses meant to run concurrently with and to complement core courses as indicated in the question above. Other electives can be taken whenever offered during the first three years, and do not run concurrently with any specific course and are not directly affiliated with any core courses. While some non-core electives may

How many core electives do I need to take in fall and spring of third year?

In the fall semester, third year students are required to take 2 credits. In the spring, students must take 4 credits. Students may take additional credits if their schedules allow, and there is room in the elective.

Can other elective courses open to DVM students, but not listed here, be used to fulfill the core electives requirement?

No, only the courses approved by the FCCCE for the purpose of core elective courses will count towards this requirement. Students may still take other elective courses as their schedules permit, but they will not count towards the credit hour requirements. Visit here for a list of non-core electives.

If I take more credits in one term than is required, can I count that toward my core electives credits?

No, you need to take at least 2 credits in the fall and 4 credits in the spring. Any additional credits in each respective term cannot be used to count toward the 6 total required credits.

What electives are available in each semester and what are the course descriptions?

The following courses will be available starting in Fall 2016; each third year student must register for 2 credits (view here for catalog details): VMC 901 Advanced Small Animal Medicine, 2 credits VMC 903 Advanced Equine Surgery and Lameness, 1 credit VMC 900 Advanced Equine Medicine, 1 credit VMB 900 Veterinary Pain: Physiology and Clinical

What will the schedule look like? Will electives be scheduled opposite of each other?

The schedule for fall and spring, when approved, will be posted here. Unfortunately, due to space limits within the schedule, some electives will be scheduled opposite each other, so students will have to choose between courses.

Will there be any limitations to what courses I can sign up for (based on schedule, focus area, experience, enrollment caps)?

There will be schedule limitations with some electives scheduled opposite other electives. There will be no limitations or priority enrollment given based on focus area or experience. Laboratory based electives or courses not focused strictly on lecture may have enrollment caps due to class structure or limited resources involving facilities, faculty/staff and animals.

For electives without enrollment caps, how will enrollment occur?

Toward the beginning of the preceding semester, Student Services will alert students to when and how registration will occur for core electives without enrollment caps. There will be a deadline by which to register.

For electives with enrollment caps, how will enrollment occur?

Toward the beginning of the fall semester, students interested in taking any of the three spring courses with enrollment caps will need to declare their interest. Student Services will alert students to when and how this process will occur. Those declaring an interest will be assigned a random lottery number. Students will then be live

Some of the electives are scheduled opposite of required core course labs, how will this work?

Two of the electives with enrollment caps are scheduled opposite core courses that run divided labs. Once enrollment has been completed, instructors in the core courses will be given a list of students in the elective and will ensure that those students are scheduled for the laboratory session that is not on the same day

What if I cannot attend registration or miss the submission deadline?

Registration will either occur via an online form or live registration. You are required to participate in registration and must qualify for and receive an excused absence from the Office of Academic Affairs if you are ill or otherwise unable to attend and/or meet the deadline. Fall registration historically has been through a form. Spring

Can I switch courses after registration?

No. Faculty may need to prepare for the class based on enrollment and allowing flux could impact preparations. Additionally, dropping core electives could create a domino effect, particularly with those with enrollment caps.

Can I add an elective that is at its maximum enrollment if I obtain instructor permission?

No, all students must follow the elective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Obtaining instructor permission to add a core elective that is closed is unfair to your classmates who have abided by the priority system rules.

Can I switch my elective with another student?

No, all students must follow the elective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Switching electives with another classmate is unfair to other students who have abided by the priority system rules.

If I am taking more than the core electives credits for that term, can I drop the extra credit(s) and, if so, what is the last date by which I can drop?

Maybe. While dropping a course is not recommended, if you find that the additional elective credit is too much for your schedule, you can petition to drop your course. However, you must contact Kirk Nuss at and Academic Affairs prior to end of the second full week of classes. In reviewing the request, considerations will be

Can I add an elective after initial registration and what is the last date by which I can add?

Yes, should space exist in a core elective that does not have an enrollment limit, you can email Kirk Nuss at to add this elective. However, you cannot add a new elective after the first day of class as any missed class could irreparably put you behind.

If someone drops an elective with limited enrollment, can I request to take this spot?

No. As core electives with limited enrollment cannot be dropped, slots should not become available. But, in the unusual instance that this occurs, movement into the course will not be allowed.

Do core electives factor into my GPA and my academic performance?

They do. As these are graded and required courses, they will be part of your cumulative and term DVM GPA. Additionally, the grades from these courses will be subject to the academic standards policy outlined in the academic handbook found here.

What are selectives?

Selectives are special topic courses that are one or two weeks in length. One week of a selective corresponds to one semester hour of credit. Selectives expose students to areas of veterinary medicine with which they may be less familiar and allow students with a clear interest to gain expertise in their chosen field.

When are selectives instructed?

There are two weeks at the end of each semester that are reserved for the instruction of selectives. Selectives are instructed during the two weeks after final exams end.

What is the grading method for selectives?

Selectives are graded by the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory method. The grade will appear as an “S” or a “U” on your official university transcript.

How am I informed about selectives and registration?

Early each semester, you will receive an email from Student Services directing you to the selective catalog for that semester and advising you of your randomly generated selective registration number for your class.  The Selectives Catalog for the current semester is available here. Selective registration is done on a priority system rather than a first come

How do I register for selectives?

Registration will happen at lunch on different days for each class. Student Services will notify you by email of what day and time your class will register for selectives and in what room. On that day, you will lineup in order of your registration number and will proceed with registration. Be prepared with many choices

How will I know which selectives are available/closed when I register ?

Along with the selectives catalog link, you will have access to a dynamic link that will show you open seats for selectives. Even in line, you can monitor real time selectives availability.  This will allow you to adjust your choices dynamically. A screen will be available during registration to monitor class status.

What if I cannot attend registration?

You are required to attend registration and must qualify for and receive an excused absence from the Office of Academic Affairs if you are ill or otherwise unable to attend. If there is a chance of this happening, we suggest you elect a  classmate to register for you. I recommend giving them explicit directions and

If I want to register for an extramural or professional meeting, do I have to attend registration?

Yes. Everyone must attend registration and go through the registration process. Unless the extramural requires instructor permission, you don’t have to turn in your extramural registration form or professional meeting form at registration (although it is encouraged, if possible). These registration forms will be required these at least 30 days prior to the selective for

How are the priority order numbers generated?

The random order generation tool is used through a data analysis software program. The tool randomly assigns each student within a class a different number each time the program is run. Order numbers are never reused.

How do I receive consideration for selectives required by my declared focus ?

Focus area priority is no longer granted for selectives in most situations. However, if you have declared a focus area prior to the term deadline, AND the course is required (not just recommended) by your focus area (e.g., Equine Dentistry for the equine focus area), AND this is your last opportunity to take the course,

What is the penalty if I have declared my focus area and I would like to change it to a different focus area?

Students who switch from one focus area to another will be given priority behind other students in that focus area. The last date a student can switch focus areas is September 15, third year. Changing focus areas is not encouraged and must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Can I register for a course requiring Instructor Permission prior to receiving permission ?

No. You must have written permission from the instructor present in order to register for a course that requires instructor permission. Please bring this with you in printed form. You can print a faculty email and/or receive written permission from the faculty member.

Should I obtain Instructor Permission for courses that are not my first choice?

Definitely. As selectives are competitive, many of your top choices could be gone once you register. It is better to have permission and not need it then to need permission and not have it.

Can I switch courses after registration?

No. Selectives are often small, intimate experiences, and seats are at a priority. If you vacate a seat, it might mean a course not making, someone not being able to take that course that you occupied or create a domino effect. This is why it is essential to be ready for backup options during registration

How many credits of selectives do I need?

It is mandatory that each student earn 12 selective credits before they begin their fourth year clinical rotations. Therefore, each student needs to take (2 credits) of selectives each semester during the first, second, and third years.

Can I earn selective credit for extramural experiences in the summer and break?

No, students may not pursue more than (2 credits) of selectives in a semester, and these must be completed during selective weeks with the exception of NCSU faculty sponsored international trips and Professional Meetings. If a student completes an international extramural experience in the summer (with prior approvals, etc), he or she can apply for

What are professional meetings?

There are a wide variety of professional meetings, conferences, and conventions that veterinary related associations conduct each year. DVM students are invited to attend these meetings and may be eligible to get credit for their attendance. Students must follow the Professional Meeting Guidelines set forth here in order to receive credit for their attendance at a professional

What is an extramural experience?

An extramural experience is when a student sets up a visit with an outside veterinarian or a practice/clinic to gain further clinical skills. Students do not have to have a practice experience arranged before registering but must complete the extramural registration form with signatures and turn in to Student Services at least one month prior

Why do we register for selectives so early?

Selective registration occurs early so that instructors can commit to their schedules, finalize their selective budgets and acquire the appropriate textbooks and/or supplies for the selective.

Do the selectives have course descriptions?

Yes. Each year a selective catalog is created. The selective catalog can be viewed online.

Why are there minimum and maximum enrollment numbers for selectives?

It takes a budget to run each selective. A minimum enrollment number is put in place to justify the cost of conducting the selective. A maximum enrollment number is put in place to limit the amount of students registered for a selective. We need to consider room space and van rental space. Additionally, it ensures

What happens when a selective does not reach minimum enrollment?

The selective is cancelled, as we could not justify the cost of running the selective without minimum enrollment. If a selective is cancelled, Student Services will contact each student enrolled.

Can I add a selective that is at its maximum enrollment if I obtain instructor permission?

No, all students must follow the selective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Obtaining instructor permission to add a selective that is closed is unfair to your classmates who have abided by the priority system rules.

Can I find a fellow student who is willing to switch selectives with me?

No, all students must follow the selective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Switching selectives with another classmate is unfair to other students who have abided by the priority system rules.

Do I have to do a course evaluation form for selectives?

Yes. The Academic Affairs Office will send you an online link to the course evaluation form you’ll need to complete. Additionally, course evaluation forms will be placed in the student mailboxes. All course evaluation forms are to be returned to the Academic Affairs Office.

Can I take a selective more than once?

It is common for students to take extramural experiences more than once. There are a few instances in which students would like to take a selective again; however, the permission of the selective instructor is required. Some selectives are not repeatable.

Can I get paid for my extramural experience selective?

No, you cannot get paid for your practice experience.

Can I split the weeks of VMC 992 – Active Learning in the VHC like we can split the weeks for practice experience selectives?

Typically no. However, a few Active Learning experiences can be taken first week or second week. These exceptions will be indicated in the catalog as 1 week selective options. Other than these exceptions, students cannot split the weeks of the Active Learning in the VHC. Active Learning in the VHC is on a block clinical

Can I switch my selective with another student?

No, students cannot switch their selective with another student. Switching defeats the purpose of having the order number system and would be unfair to those students who had the next order number to take the selective.

Why do some courses appear multiple times in the catalog with different section numbers?

The first digit of the three digit section number indicates what week the selective is offered. If it is offered in Week 1 for 1-credit, it will begin with a 1; if it is offered in Week 2 for 1-credit, it will begin with a 2; and if it is offered for both weeks for