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NC State DVM Students treating lizard

DVM Professional Program

Ranked as one of the top veterinary educational programs in North America, the CVM is the one of the few to offer an onsite teaching animal unit that operates as a working farm.

DVM Focus Areas 

The clinical program at NC State Veterinary Medicine provides a heavy emphasis for actual “hands-on” clinical practice and is demanding both physically and mentally. Students select “focus areas” to increase their depth of training in their intended area of post-graduate activity, while still retaining a broad based veterinary education. There are ten focus areas from which to choose:

Clinician Scientist

The purpose of this  focus area is to provide veterinary students with research opportunities that combine clinical and basic science. This focus area will be beneficial to two groups of students: firstly, those students who wish to pursue careers in basic science, and secondly, students that are interested in pursuing an academic career as a veterinary specialist.

Epidemiology, Public Health, and Public Policy

This focus area is for students who are interested in a career that involves identifying significant factors for the prevention and control of infectious and chronic diseases in animals, hazards to human health from animal origin, global health, an developing regulatory policy and standards for veterinary medicine.

Equine Practice

Designed to prepare a student for entry level equine practice. Students will have the opportunity to learn about colic and digestive diseases, ophthalmology, reproduction, and equine sports medicine.

Food Animal

Trains interested students in all the basic, many of the intermediate, and some of the advanced skills needed to be successful and influential in their chosen species and facet of modern food animal production. The scope of training and hence careers available are very broad and ranges from private practice for family farms/enterprises, incorporated farm operations, to integrated corporate food production systems on into government or corporate jobs in allied industry companies.

Laboratory Animal Medicine

A specialty that combines many elements of veterinary medicine, typically including clinical medicine, surgery, pathology, regulatory compliance, facilities and personnel management, and research. Laboratory animal veterinarians are employed in academia, industry and government, and have responsibilities for a wide variety of species.

Mixed Animal Practice

Designated for the student who would like to have a broad clinical education. Each student will choose an advisor, who will help to guide the choices among the selectives and electives. Students gain experience with many species of animals through clinical rotations in a variety of areas.


Allows the student extra time to prepare for one of two specialty areas: clinical pathology and anatomic pathology. These career paths require advanced training and board certification. Pathologists examine tissues samples, check the accuracy of lab tests, and interpret the results to facilitate a patient’s diagnosis and treatment.

Small Animal Practice

Combines many elements of veterinary medicine, including medicine, surgery, dermatology, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, clinical and anatomic pathology, diagnostic imaging, anesthesia, and nutrition, behavior, and practice management. Small animal general practitioners and specialists are employed in private practice, academia, and industry and are responsible for diagnosing and treating a wide variety of diseases.

Small and Exotic Animal Medicine

Designed for the student that plans to work with both small animal (dogs and cats) and exotic (nontraditional) animal species. The most common exotic animal species are birds (especially parrots and backyard poultry), small mammals (e.g. rabbits, ferrets and hamsters) and reptiles. A variety of other species, including wildlife, fish, and other vertebrate and invertebrate species are also seen by some exotic animal clinicians.

Zoological Medicine

Encompasses the practice of medicine and surgery in nontraditional species. It includes a number of different areas, including exotic animal private practice, aquatic animal medicine, wildlife medicine, and zoo practice. Zoological Medicine combines many elements of veterinary medicine, including preventative medicine, clinical medicine and surgery, pathology, clinical ecology, regulatory compliance, facilities and personnel management, and research.