This is an archived copy of the 2012-2013 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

College of Veterinary Medicine

Lisa K. Nolan, Dean

Claire B. Andreasen, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

Departments of the College

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine
  • Veterinary Pathology

Other units of the college include the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Veterinary Education and Technology Services and Office of Curricular and Student Assessment. The college participates in interdisciplinary graduate programs in genetics; molecular, cellular and developmental biology; toxicology; immunobiology; and neuroscience.

Objectives of the Curriculum

The instructional objective of the College of Veterinary Medicine is to enable students to assume vital roles in society as productive health care providers and biomedical scientists. Such an education provides students with general learning, communication, and problem solving abilities; veterinary medical practice and research skills; and professional and ethical values.

The curriculum incorporates basic biomedical and clinical principles, clinical decision making skills, and exceptional clinical experience in small animal medicine and surgery, equine medicine and surgery, food animal medicine and surgery, and production animal medicine. Companion animal medicine and surgery are provided within the regionally recognized referral hospital through the community practice unit and equine field services. The college is located in one of the most intensive livestock producing areas in the United States. Because of this, students engage in extensive food supply veterinary medicine experiences and numerous diagnostic cases.

The professional curriculum is a four-year course of study leading to the doctor of veterinary medicine degree. Each of the first three years of the curriculum consists of two semesters while the fourth year has three semesters. Students are admitted into the professional curriculum after completing a minimum of 60 semester credits of required undergraduate coursework.

A strong and reputable basic science education during the first two years of the professional curriculum prepares veterinary students for a wide range of clinical experience during the last two years of the educational program. Fourth year students may choose to enhance their education by earning clinical elective credits at approved government agencies, research laboratories, veterinary practices and other university hospitals. Outstanding research programs in infectious diseases, food safety, neuroscience, immunoparasitology, evidence-based medicine, and many other areas provide opportunities for qualified students to participate in research.

Concurrent DVM/MS, DVM/PhD, DVM/MPH and DVM/MBA programs are available for qualified students who wish to obtain both veterinary and graduate degrees. Students must have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 128 semester credits in undergraduate and professional curricula in order to participate in the concurrent DVM/graduate degree program. Admission to the concurrent degree program is subject to the approval of the deans of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Graduate College.

The college is an important recruiting center for employers seeking veterinarians for private practice; industry; educational institutions; international agencies; federal, state and local governments; the armed forces; departments of public health; zoological gardens; and other related fields of professional activity. Graduates are highly sought after and typically have multiple employment offers upon graduation. Career services and an online job board are available for students.

Pre-veterinary Medicine Preparation

Admission Requirements

The College of Veterinary Medicine seeks students with diverse backgrounds and encourages students to enroll in baccalaureate programs in the college of their choice.

Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to complete a bachelor’s degree before applying to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Because veterinarians have varied career options, when deciding on an undergraduate major, the student should consider the area of veterinary medicine which interests them. For example, those who desire a career in clinical practice may wish to pursue a degree in biological science, animal science, agricultural economics, business, social science or humanities. Students with an interest in zoo or wildlife veterinary medicine may want to look at animal ecology, environmental studies or zoology. Future researchers may wish to consider genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, or biochemistry. Students who desire a career in public health (USDA, FDA, etc) or government (legislative/policy) may find benefit in any of the biological sciences or in political science. A degree in education may be valuable to those who envision themselves as educators in a College of Veterinary Medicine. These examples are only suggestions and are but a few of the many possibilities.

For the most current information regarding applications and admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine, please refer to the College web site at .

Applicants for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine must have attended an accredited college or university, have completed 40 semester credits prior to the deadline for filing an application for admission, and have completed 60 semester credits prior to the end of the spring term of the year in which the applicant seeks to be admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

All science requirements should be fulfilled by the time of application or scheduled for completion by the end of the fall term in which the applicant applies. However, if necessary, the applicant may complete up to two required science courses during the spring term prior to matriculation.

Required courses must be completed by the end of spring term prior to matriculation with a grade of C (2.00) or better. Required courses may not be taken during the summer prior to entering the program.

Credits earned must include the following Iowa State semester course offerings or their equivalents:

English Composition 6 cr.

One year of composition or writing emphasis courses. May include business or technical writing.

ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communicationarr †
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Compositionarr †
ENGL 302Business Communicationarr †
ENGL 309Report and Proposal Writingarr †
ENGL 314Technical Communicationarr †
† Arranged with instructor.
Oral Communications 3 cr.

May include public speaking, interpersonal communication, group or organizational communication or speaking emphasis courses.

SP CM 212Fundamentals of Public Speakingarr †
SP CM 223Intercollegiate Debate and Forensicsarr †
SP CM 312Business and Professional Speakingarr †
COMST 214Professional Communicationarr †
† Arranged with instructor.
General Chemistry with Laboratory* 7 cr.

One year series for science majors with one semester lab.

CHEM 177
  & 177L General Chemistry I
   and Laboratory in General Chemistry I
arr †
CHEM 178General Chemistry IIarr †
Total Credits0 †
† Arranged with instructor.
Organic Chemistry with Laboratory* 7 cr.

One year series with one semester lab.

CHEM 331Organic Chemistry Iarr †
CHEM 331LLaboratory in Organic Chemistry Iarr †
CHEM 332Organic Chemistry IIarr †
Total Credits0 †
† Arranged with instructor.
Biochemistry* 3 cr.

One semester (no lab required)

BBMB 301 Survey of Biochemistry

General Physics with Laboratory* 4 cr.

First semester of a two-semester series with lab. Must include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics, vibrations, waves and sound.

PHYS 111 General Physics

General Biology with Laboratory* 8 cr.

Two semester series with lab each semester. A Bachelor’s degree in Biology fulfills this requirement.

BIOL 211Principles of Biology Iarr †
BIOL 211LPrinciples of Biology Laboratory Iarr †
BIOL 212Principles of Biology IIarr †
BIOL 212LPrinciples of Biology Laboratory IIarr †
Total Credits0 †
† Arranged with instructor.
Genetics * 3 cr.

Must include Mendelian and molecular genetics.

BIOL 313Principles of Geneticsarr †
or GEN 320 Genetics, Agriculture and Biotechnology
Total Credits0 †
† Arranged with instructor.


Mammalian Anatomy or Physiology* 3 cr.

Human anatomy or physiology will also fulfill this requirement (no lab required).

AN S 214Domestic Animal Physiologyarr †
BIOL 155Human Biologyarr †
BIOL 255Fundamentals of Human Anatomyarr †
BIOL 335Principles of Human and Other Animal Physiologyarr †
† Arranged with instructor.
Humanities or Social Sciences 8 cr.
Electives 8 cr.
Total Credits Required 60 cr.

Science requirement

Credits in the previously specified courses will normally be earned on the traditional four-letter grading system with A as the highest grade and D as the lowest passing grade. All required courses must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better. It is generally expected that required courses have been completed within the past eight (8) years. AP or CLEP credits must be documented by original scores submitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine. CLEP credits may be accepted only for arts, humanities and social sciences. Credits in the preceding specified courses will not be accepted if earned under the pass-not pass grading system or similar options.

Application and Admission

Applicants must apply using the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). The VMCAS application may be found online at the VMCAS website ( under VMCAS). Those applying through VMCAS also need to complete the ISU Supplemental Application found at the College of Veterinary Medicine website. The Iowa resident deadline for filing the VMCAS application, supplemental application, processing fee, GRE scores, evaluations and transcripts is September 1. The deadline for all other applicants is October 1.

Any student wishing to use international coursework (including study abroad) to fulfill a preveterinary requirement must provide a transcript from the foreign institution.

A list of courses in progress at the time of submission and/or scheduled for completion by the end of spring term should accompany the supplemental application. Undergraduate college credits must average at least 2.50 on a 4.00 marking system for the application to be accepted. The preceding scholastic requirements are minimum and do not assure admission even though these requirements have been fulfilled.

Admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine is on a competitive and selective basis. Undergraduate GPA, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test score (the GRE for Iowa residents must be received by September 1, for all other applicants, it must be received by October 1), animal and veterinary experience, essays, recommendations and personal development (leadership, citizenship, etc.) are given consideration in the selection of candidates. Final selection of candidates is made after an on-campus interview.

Approximately one-half of the positions available are reserved for residents of Iowa. The College of Veterinary Medicine has implemented a Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Nebraska residents and contracts with the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Connecticut. A number of positions are also available to residents of other states. A few highly qualified international students may be accepted and are considered in the non-resident/non-contract applicant pool. Consideration is given equally to all applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, disability, or age, political beliefs, or marital or familial status.

For further information on these programs and contracts, please visit the College of Veterinary Medicine at and click on Admissions.

Curriculum in Veterinary Medicine

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the degree doctor of veterinary medicine, candidates must have passed all required courses in the curriculum in veterinary medicine, have earned at least 4 elective credits on a graded basis of A, B, C, D while enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and have at least a 2.0 grade-point average in the veterinary medicine curriculum.

Required Courses in the Professional Program

B M S 330Principles of Morphology Iarr †
B M S 331Principles of Morphology IIarr †
B M S 333Biomedical Sciences Iarr †
B M S 334Biomedical Sciences IIarr †
B M S 335Molecular and Cellular Basis of Diseasearr †
B M S 336Veterinary Nutritionarr †
B M S 337Neuroanatomyarr †
B M S 339Clinical Foundations Iarr †
V C S 339Clinical Foundations Iarr †
B M S 345Case Study Iarr †
B M S 346Case Study IIarr †
B M S 354General Pharmacologyarr †
B M S 443Pharmacology and Therapeuticsarr †
V C S 311Veterinarian in Society IR
V C S 313Veterinarian in Society IIIarr †
V C S 314Veterinarian in Society IVarr †
V C S 315Veterinarian in Society Varr †
V C S 385SeminarR
V C S 391Clinical Imagingarr †
V C S 393Principles of Surgeryarr †
V C S 394Principles of Surgery Laboratoryarr †
V C S 395Small Animal Surgeryarr †
V C S 398Anesthesiologyarr †
V C S 399Ophthalmologyarr †
V C S 436Small Animal Internal Medicinearr †
V C S 440Introduction to ClinicsR
V C S 444Small Animal Medicinearr †
V C S 445Equine Medicinearr †
V C S 448Diagnostic Imaging and Radiobiologyarr †
V C S 449Junior Surgery Laboratoryarr †
VDPAM 312Veterinarian in Society IIarr †
VDPAM 450Disturbances of Reproductionarr †
VDPAM 426Veterinary Toxicologyarr †
VDPAM 445Clinical Medicinearr †
V MPM 378Case Study IVarr †
V MPM 380Veterinary Immunologyarr †
V MPM 386Veterinary Microbiologyarr †
V MPM 387Veterinary Virologyarr †
V MPM 388Public Health and the Role of the Veterinary Professionarr †
V MPM 437Infectious Diseases and Preventive Medicinearr †
V PTH 342Anatomic Pathology Iarr †
V PTH 372Anatomic Pathology IIarr †
V PTH 376Veterinary Parasitologyarr †
V PTH 377Case Study IIIarr †
V PTH 409Introduction to Veterinary Cytology and Laboratory Techniquesarr †
V PTH 425Clinical Pathologyarr †
† Arranged with instructor.


Fourth Year

The fourth year of the veterinary medical curriculum is designed to be flexible yet provide a broad based clinical education involving all domestic species of animals. All students participate in rotations that are considered fundamental to any species orientation that the student might choose. In addition, students choose one of four options for additional study, including the Small Animal, Equine, Mixed Animal, or Food Animal Options. Students may obtain clinical elective credits by repeating on-campus rotations or participating in approved off-campus preceptorships at government, private or public agencies; other universities; or private veterinary practices.

The following rotations are required of all fourth year students in addition to the requirements of the track they choose.  A complete listing of track-specific requirements can be found at: :

V C S 463Primary Carearr †
V C S 453Small Animal Medicine Iarr †
V C S 473Small Animal Surgeryarr †
V C S 460Radiologyarr †
V C S 466Anesthesiologyarr †
V C S 468Intensive Carearr †
V C S 457Equine Medicinearr †
or V C S 464 Equine Field Services
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgeryarr †
V PTH 456
  & V PTH 457 Necropsy Laboratory Practicum
   and Clinical Pathology Laboratory Practicum
arr †
V C S 495SeminarR
† Arranged with instructor.


Any student who voluntarily withdraws from the College of Veterinary Medicine or who is dismissed from the College of Veterinary Medicine, after having successfully completed one or more semesters forfeits his/her standing and must make written application for reinstatement to this college a minimum of 60 days prior to the opening of the semester for which they seek to re-enter. Any student who voluntarily withdraws from the College of Veterinary Medicine prior to completion of one semester must re-apply for admission to the college in the general applicant pool.