Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Feb 24, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

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 (174.5 credits of in-person study).

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: 26 (13 Blocks)

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

Large Animal Medicine Neurology Neurology Small Animal Medicine Ambulatory (2 blocks)

Neurology OR Small Animal Medicine

Large Animal Surgery Large Animal Medicine Primary Care Surgery Large Animal Medicine Primary Care Surgery
Anesthesia Anesthesia OR Neurology Small Animal OR Large Animal Emergency & Critical Care Anesthesia OR Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care Cardiology OR Dentistry Large Animal Medicine

Large Animal Emergency & Critical Care

Ambulatory Oncology Theriogenology Large Animal Surgery

Small Animal Emergency & Critical Care

Large Animal Surgery Large Animal Surgery Lab Animal OR Small Animal Medicine (2 blocks) Wildlife, Exotics, Zoo Special Topics Ambulatory
Cardiology Theriogenology Cardiology OR Oncology

Wildlife, Exotics, Zoo

Wildlife, Exotics, Zoo (1 additional block) OR Wildlife Medicine Theriogenology


Equine Specialty Primary Care Surgery Wildlife, Exotics, Zoo (1 additional block) OR Wildlife Medicine    

Distribution Course Requirements

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

Set I-R: Courses Associated with The Animal Body: Required 3
Set I-A: 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 VI-A: 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
  • Cardiology
  • Primary Care Surgery
  • Clinical Wildlife, Exotic and Zoo Animal Medicine
  • Equine Specialty
  • Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Clinical Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Small Animal Dentistry
  • Theriogenology
  • Shelter Medicine
  • Clinical Pathology Rotation
  • Clinical Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Farrier Skills for Veterinarians
  • Large Animal ECC
  • Opportunity Block
  • Wildlife Medicine









Total Part II Credits Required: 6 (3 blocks)

Total Distribution Credits Required (Part I and II): 37

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

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.