Courses of Study 2020-2021 
    Jan 28, 2021  
Courses of Study 2020-2021

This information applies to the graduating class of 2021 only.

In the School of Veterinary Medicine 

The D.V.M. program is made up of two types of courses: Foundation and Distribution. All students take Foundation courses at the same time, in a prescribed sequence. The entire program takes four years to complete.

Foundation courses account for approximately 70% for the credits required for graduation, reflecting the College’s commitment to a broad, generalize veterinary education.

Distribution courses make up the remaining 30% of the credits required for graduation and offer students an opportunity to pursue their individual interests through a system of structured choices.


Foundation Course Requirements

Foundation Courses (credits noted in parentheses)

Total Foundation Course Credits Required: 97.5


Foundation (Core) Clinics (2 credits each)

Total Foundation (Core) Clinics Credits Required: 29

Pathway Clinics

Must complete 1 Pathway — 14 credits (7 Blocks)

Small Animal Equine General (Mixed) Exotic Pets/SA Zoo and Wildlife Production Animals

Primary Care Surgery

LA Medicine/LA Surgery

Neurology Neurology SA Medicine LA Medicine/LA Surgery
Neurology OR Small Animal Medicine LA Medicine/LA Surgery

LA Medicine/LA Surgery

Primary Care Surgery LA Medicine/LA Surgery LA Medicine/LA Surgery
Anesthesia Anesthesia OR Neurology SA or LA E/CC Anesthesia OR SA E/CC Cardiology

Spec. Topics Ambulatory

Neurology LA E/CC

Special Topics Ambulatory

Oncology Theriogenology Spec. Topics Ambulatory

LA Medicine/LA Surgery

LA Surgery/LA Medicine Lab Animal OR SA Medicine Exotics/Zoo (3 blocks) Spec. Topics Ambulatory
Cardiology Theriogenology Cardiology OR Oncology

Wildlife, Exotics, Zoo Animal Medicine (2 blocks)

Oncology Equine Specialty

Primary Care Surgery

    Primary Care Surgery


Distribution Course Requirements

Part I: Distribution Sets I, II, III, IV, V, VII — Minimum Credits Required

Set IR: Courses Associated with The Animal Body: Required 3
Set IA: Courses Associated with The Animal Body: Aligned 0
Set II: Courses Associated with Cell Biology & Genetics 0
Set III: Courses Associated with Function & Dysfunction 0
Set IV: Courses Associated with Host, Agent, & Defense 0
Set V: Courses Associated with Animal Health & Disease 5.5
Set VIA: Courses Associated with Applied Clinical Rotations 0
Set VII: Courses Associated with Veterinary Practice 1
SRT Projects   0

Part I Credits Required from Specific Sets: 9.5

Total Part I Credits Required: 31


Part II: Distribution Set VI — Rotations Associated with Applied Clinical Education
(May be satisfied by completing three of the rotations below, or by repeating a Core or Pathway rotation more than your core and pathway require.)


  • Advanced Ambulatory & Production Medicine
  • Clinical Wildlife and Exotic Animal Medicine
  • Primary Care Surgery
  • Cardiology
  • Equine Specialty
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Clinical Oncology
  • Small Animal Dentistry
  • Theriogenology
  • Shelter Medicine
  • Clinical Pathology Rotation
  • Large Animal ECC
  • Farrier Skills for Veterinarians
  • Clinical Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Opportunity Block








(Apply for credit at least four weeks prior to starting rotation.)

Total Part II Credits Required: 4 (3 blocks)

Total Distribution Credits Required (Part I and II): 35


Administrative Requirements

  • Payment of any outstanding amounts due the College of Veterinary Medicine or other units of Cornell University
  • Completion of Exit Interview required of all financial aid recipients



  • It is your responsibility to know the requirements for graduation and to complete them on time. You may check your progress towards degree completion using the “Academic Requirements” tab in student center. Be aware that courses with “R” and “Incomplete” grades do not count.
  • Complete any course(s) for which you receive an “Incomplete” within the time specified by the course instructor and notify my office, in writing, immediately upon completion.  Then, check your grade record on Student Center a week or two later to confirm that the grade has been recorded.  This is important since faculty members are entitled to sabbatical leave, retirement, and other absences from the college, and may not be around to help clean up your record the last minute before graduation.


Curriculum Milestones

The DVM program includes three Curriculum Milestones that each student must successfully complete before advancing to the next phase of the program. These exams assess students’ knowledge, technical ability, and other clinical skills that develop across a number of required courses, and many aspects of the professional curriculum. The Milestones are clinical skills assessments held at key points during the pre-clinical portion of the curriculum. They help to document developmental steps, and ensure that students are competent in a number of fundamental skills before taking on more complex challenges as they progress through the program.

As degree requirements, the Milestones are not affiliated with a particular course. Rather, when successfully completed, the results are recorded on the student’s transcript. The Milestones are administered using the format of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). To help students track their progress, audits of their degree requirements include the Milestones.


Other Requirements

To receive the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree, candidates must successfully complete curricular requirements, pay all fees, and be recommended for graduation by the faculty of the college.