Academic Programs Catalog

College of Veterinary Medicine

Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

The professional veterinary medicine program is designed to provide basic and applied medical education with flexible, high-quality clinical training opportunities that prepare career-ready graduates. Graduates may become licensed as private veterinary practitioners in any state, and they are well positioned for successful pursuit of a wide variety of careers, including those in: (1) private practice, general or specialized by species or discipline; (2) government, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Army and Air Force, and state, county, and local health agencies, for important work related to livestock disease control, meat and poultry inspection, development of biological products, prevention of the entry of foreign animal diseases, and public health; (3) biomedical research at colleges and universities, government agencies, biological and pharmaceutical companies, or private medical research institutions, for the benefit of animals and people; and (4) education, typically at colleges of veterinary medicine.

The professional program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Admission to the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine strives to select individuals with the academic ability, preparation, motivation, emotional intelligence, and social competence to succeed as veterinary students and future veterinarians. Student diversity is promoted to help meet the needs of a diverse society. A wide variety of experiences are represented in each entering class, with academic backgrounds including the sciences, the arts and humanities, and various advanced degrees.

A new class of students begins the four–year professional program each fall semester. Applications for admission and related materials must be received by the deadline as specified by the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).

Factors considered by the Admissions Committee in determining an applicant’s relative competitive position are:

  1. Academic performance: A minimum last-3-semester grade-point average (GPA) in combination with a minimum science prerequisite GPA of 3.0 is required for an application to receive review.
  2. File review of nonacademic experiences and attributes fitting to the values of the College.
  3. Multiple Mini Interviews by faculty, staff, alumni, and other vested individuals trained to assess for the qualities considered important for positive professional outcomes (by invitation).
Applications, regular or transfer, are reviewed by the Committee on Student Admissions. Final selection of applicants is based on a combination of academic performance, evidence of significant accomplishments in nonacademic areas, and performance in interviews.

Applicants are considered for admission in the following order of priority:
  1. Residents of the state of Michigan, as defined by Michigan State University. (Since Michigan State University is a public, tax-assisted institution, admission priority is granted to residents of Michigan.)
  2. Residents of states other than Michigan, including U.S. Territories and Trust Possessions.
  3. All others.
Requirements to be completed by students prior to enrollment:

All science prerequisite requirements must be completed by students prior to the application deadline each year. All science prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale in each course and a minimum science prerequisite GPA of 3.0. Up to 50% of the science prerequisite requirements may be satisfied with binary grading. General education requirements must be completed by July 1 prior to fall matriculation. Each course must receive a minimum grade of 2.0.   

Science Prerequisite Courses
College Algebra and Trigonometry (or precalculus or calculus)
Physics I and II with laboratories
Chemistry I with laboratory
Biology I and II with laboratory
Organic Chemistry I and II with laboratory
Upper Level Biology Elective (3 credit minimum), such as Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Immunology, Genetics, Microbiology, or Histology
Advanced Placement (AP) credits are accepted for College Algebra and Trigonometry, Physics I and II, Chemistry I, and Introductory Biology I and II.

General Education Requirements

Prerequisite individual General Education courses must receive a minimum grade of 2.0 (C) on a 4.0 scale. All general education requirements must be completed by July 1 of the matriculation year. If a bachelor's degree will be earned by July 1 of the matriculation year, all general education requirements are considered fulfilled and individual courses will not be reviewed. A Baccalaureate degree is not required.

Arts and Humanities - two courses.
Social Science - two courses.
English - one course (3 semester credits) of English composition.

Advanced Placement (AP) credits are accepted to fulfill any of these requirements.


This pathway has been established by the College of Veterinary Medicine in cooperation with the Honors College at Michigan State University in order to provide an admission avenue for students who wish to complete a bachelor's degree consisting of advanced, scholarly studies in concert with their entry to the four–year professional veterinary medical degree program.  All Michigan State University preveterinary students who are members of the Honors College may choose to participate in this program.  Up to ten MSU students may be chosen each year to be granted admission to the veterinary medical program contingent upon completion of a bachelor's degree in a major of the students choice.

The following components will be considered in selecting candidates for this admission pathway:

  1. Completion of at least 50 percent of the required preveterinary science courses.
  2. Minimum 3.5 cumulative and preveterinary science grade–point averages.
  3. Bachelor's degree program proposal planned in consultation with the Honors College advising staff and a departmental honors advisor demonstrating enriched, advanced, and scholarly work in a major of the student's choice.
  4. Evidence of quality veterinary and animal exposure.
  5. Completion of at least three Honors College experiences beyond the minimum preveterinary requirements.
  6. Performance in the regular veterinary admission criteria including grade–point averages, and file review.
  7. Personal statement describing the scholarly content of the proposed bachelor's degree program and its relevance to the individual's career and personal goals.
  8. Evaluations from the advisor in the student's degree program, a veterinarian, and an individual of the applicant's choice.

Students who wish to enter the professional veterinary medical program before earning a bachelor's degree may apply through the regular veterinary admission process.

The College of Veterinary Medicine's Committee on Student Admissions selects the candidates for this pathway and reserves the right to modify the criteria and process. Applications not meeting the above criteria will be dismissed.

Academic Standards

Once admitted to the Veterinary Scholars Pathway, students must maintain a 3.5 cumulative and preveterinary science grade-point average during completion of the Honors College degree.

Additional Information

For additional information concerning admission to the professional program, contact the Admissions Office, College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medical Center-South Building, 784 Wilson Road, Room F-104 Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824–1314. Note:  Prospective applicants should maintain contact with the College's Admissions Office for current information.

Statement on Advanced Status

Rarely will students be considered for admission to the program with advanced standing.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree

  1. The University requirements for the bachelor's degree as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog.
  2. Preveterinary program requirements.
  3. At least 56 credits of the professional program in Veterinary Medicine.

Health Requirements for Students in the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

  1. The student must be covered by a personal health insurance policy throughout enrollment in the program.
  2. The student's tetanus vaccination must be current throughout enrollment in the program.
  3. The student must have a rabies vaccination prior to participation in senior clerkships. Rabies vaccination is recommended for entering students.
  4. The student must participate in TB monitoring which consists of two TB tests, one in the first semester and one at graduation.
Requirements for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in Veterinary Medicine

Completion of the following 157-credit, four-year professional program with a grade-point average of at least 2.0. Completion of the college's core competencies during the four-year professional program. Students must successfully complete all pre-clinical core competencies before matriculating to the clinical phase of the curriculum.

SEMESTER 1 (Fall) (19 credits) 2
VM 500 Veterinary Science I 1
VM  501 One Health I  1
VM  502 Veterinary Doctoring I  1
VM  503 Veterinary Career and Practice Management I  2
VM  515 Animals in Society  3
VM  516 Musculoskeletal System I  3
VM  517 Nervous System I  3
VM  518 Cardiovascular System I  3
VM  519 Cutaneous System I 
SEMESTER 2 (Spring) (19 credits)
VM  504 One Health II  1
VM  505 Veterinary Doctoring II  1
VM  506 Veterinary Career and Practice Management II  1
VM  520 Respiratory System I  3
VM  523 Immunologic and Hematologic Systems I  3
VM  525 Digestive System I  3
VM  527 Endocrine System I  3
VM  528 Reproductive System I  2
VM  529 Urinary System I  2
SEMESTER 3 (Fall) (19 credits)
VM  507 One Health III  1
VM  508 Veterinary Doctoring III  1
VM  509 Veterinary Career and Practice Management III  1
VM  530 Veterinary Science II  4
VM  531 Immunologic and Hematologic Systems II  3
VM  534 Cutaneous System II  3
VM  535 Reproductive System II  3
VM  536 Respiratory System II  3
SEMESTER 4 (Spring) (19 credits)
VM  510 One Health IV  1
VM  512 Veterinary Doctoring IV  1
VM  537 Veterinary Career and Practice Management  IV  1
VM  565 Cardiovascular System II  2
VM  568 Urinary System II  3
VM  569 Musculoskeletal System II 2
VM  571 Nervous System II  3
VM  575 Digestive System II  3
VM  577 Endocrine System II  3
SEMESTER 5 (Fall) (19 credits)
VM  539 Veterinary Career and Practice Management V  1
VM  578 Clinical Reasoning I  8
VM  579 Clinical Reasoning II  7
VM  580 Surgical and Anesthetic Skills  3
SEMESTER 6 (Spring) (17 credits)
VM  581 Clinical Reasoning III  5
VM  582 Veterinary Clinical Experience  3
Complete 9 credits in required or elective clerkships.
SEMESTERS 7 (Summer), 8 (Fall), 9 (Spring)
Students will be required to complete 30 required clerkship credits and an additional 15 credits of elective clerkship credits. Students complete their 9-credits of Preceptorship during Year 4 through enrollment in VM 611. The 9 credits in VM 611 must be completed in three consecutive, separate enrollments in consultation with the student’s advisor. Satisfactory completion of semesters one through six of the professional curriculum is required for enrollment in any of the listed clerkships.
LCS 616 Large Animal Medicine and Surgery 6
PDI 630 Diagnostic Pathology Clerkship 3
SCS 611 Diagnostic Imaging Clerkship 3
SCS 625 Small Animal Primary Care Clerkship 3
SCS 626 Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery Clerkship 3
SCS 646 Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery Clerkship 3
SCS 647 Small Animal Internal Medicine Clerkship 3
SCS 648 Anesthesia Clerkship 3
SCS 695 Emergency and Critical Care Medicine Clerkship 3
LCS 610 Clinical Problems in Large Animal Clinical Sciences 3
LCS 611 Research Problems in Large Animal Clinical Sciences 3
LCS 613 Special Problems in Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Off-Campus Sites 3
LCS 614 Equine Clinical Proficiency Clerkship 3
LCS 615 Equine Emergency and Critical Care Clerkship 3
LCS 621 Practice-Based Ambulatory Clerkship 3
LCS 622 Advanced Equine Clinical Clerkship 3
LCS 623 Equine Musculoskeletal Diseases Clerkship 3
LCS 624 Equine Theriogenology Clerkship 3
LCS 625 Equine Herd Health Clerkship 3
LCS 626 Advanced Equine Surgery Clerkship 3
LCS 627 Advanced Equine Medicine Clerkship 3
LCS 628 Techniques in Equine Anesthesia and Surgery 3
LCS 632 Advanced Food Animal Medicine and Surgery 3
LCS 640 Large Animal Anesthesia Clerkship 3
LCS 646 Equine Neonatal Medicine Clerkship 3
LCS 647 Concepts of Agricultural Practice Clerkship 3
LCS 660 Wildlife Disease Ecology and Management 3
LCS 677 Veterinary Preceptorship 3
LCS 678 Government and Corporate Veterinary Practice 3
LCS 679 Food Animal Production Medicine I 3
LCS 682 Food Animal Production Medicine II 3
LCS 685 Ruminant Health Problem Solving Clerkship 3
LCS 690 Veterinary Public Health Field Experience Clerkship 3
LCS 691 Veterinary Public Health Research Clerkship 3
MMG 690 Veterinary Microbiology Clerkship 3
PDI 610 Veterinary Gross Anatomy Dissection 3
PDI 611 Research Problems in Veterinary Anatomy 3
PDI 631 Necropsy Clerkship 3
PDI 632 Problems in Veterinary Pathology 3
PDI 633 Special Problems in Veterinary Pathology 3
PDI 634 Endocrinology Clerkship 3
PDI 635 Special Problems in Histopathology and Cytology Clerkship 3
PDI 636 Aquatic Animal Medicine Clerkship 3
PHM 658 Research Problems in Pharmacology or Toxicology 3
SCS 613 Diagnostic Ultrasound Clerkship 3
SCS 630 Spay/Neuter Clerkship 3
SCS 640 Cardiology Clerkship 3
SCS 641 Comparative Ophthalmology Clerkship 3
SCS 642 Zoo and Wildlife Clerkship 3
SCS 644 Dermatology Clerkship 3
SCS 651 Advanced Comparative Ophthalmology Clerkship 3
SCS 654 Clinical Medical Oncology Clerkship 3
SCS 670 Clinical Nutrition for Small Animals 3
SCS 690 Veterinary Molecular Biology Clerkship 3
SCS 693 Problems in Small Animal Clinical Sciences Clerkship 3
SCS 694 Small Animal Specialty Practice Clerkship 3
VM 611 Veterinary Externship 3
VM 690 Special Problems in Veterinary Medicine 3
VM 692 Career Development and Business Skills 3

Student Performance

The Committee on Student Performance monitors student performance in accordance with established College standards and offers assistance to students experiencing difficulties in the professional curriculum. An important function of this committee is to determine the reasons for student difficulties and recommend study schedules, counseling, and other means of helping the student perform in a satisfactory manner. The Committee on Student Performance may take appropriate academic disciplinary action consistent with the academic standards of the College and the Medical Student Rights and Responsibilities document.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Refer to the statement on Student Rights and Responsibilities in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section of this catalog.