college of veterinary medicine iowa state

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

DVM Program

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine professional degree program at Iowa State University is a four-year program with three years of pre-clinical classroom instruction followed by one year of clinical training in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine. At the conclusion of the program, Iowa State students are prepared as “practice-ready” veterinarians. Our beyond the classroom experiences include internships, externships, international programs, mentorships, and the opportunity to work not only in the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center but with Iowa Veterinary Specialties clinic in Des Moines, the Swine Medicine Education Center, Great Plains Veterinary Education Center and Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo.

Our graduates demonstrate competency in knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, aptitudes and behaviors in the practice of veterinary medicine and surgery in a broad range of species.

The Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE).

Class of 2022 Curriculum

The list below is the core curriculum for students at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Every effort has been made to make the list accurate as of the date of publication. However, all policies, procedures, fees, and charges are subject to change at any time by appropriate action of the faculty, the university administration, or the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. See policy updates for the most current information.

Approved unanimously by CVM Curriculum Committee 7/27/2016

Iowa State University Catalog

Course Descriptions

Browse by year:

VM-1

Fall Semester CourseTitleCredits
BMS 330Principles of Morphology I (anatomy)6
BMS 333Biomedical Sciences I (microscopic anatomy/physiology-cells)6
BMS 335Molecular & Cellular Basis of Disease1
BMS 336Veterinary Nutrition2
BMS 339Clinical Foundations I1
BMS 345Case Study I1
VCS 311Veterinarian in Society I (careers)R
VCS 391Clinical Imaging (Radiology)1
Total Credits 18
Spring Semester CourseTitleCredits
BMS 331Principles of Morphology II (anatomy)4
BMS 334Biomedical Sciences II (microscopic anatomy/physiology-systems)6
BMS 337Neuroanatomy3
BMS 346Case Study II (clinical correlations)1
VMPM 380Veterinary Immunology2
VPth 342Anatomic Pathology I3
VDPAM 312Introduction to Animal Welfare1
Total Credits 20

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VM-2

Fall Semester CourseTitleCredits
VMPM 386Veterinary Microbiology5
VPth 372Anatomic Pathology II4
VPth 376Veterinary Parasitology4
VPth 377Case Study III (clinical correlations)2
VCS 313Veterinarian in Society III (ethics)1
VCS 393Principles of Surgery3
Total Credits 19
Spring Semester CourseTitleCredits
BMS 354General Pharmacology3
VMPM 378Case Study IV2
VMPM 387Veterinary Virology3
VMPM 388Public Health and the Role of the Veterinary Profession3
VCS 394Principles of Surgery Lab1
VCS 395Small Animal Surgery2
VCS 398Anesthesiology2
VPth 425Clinical Pathology4
Total Credits 20

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VM-3

Fall Semester CourseTitleCredits
BMS 443Pharmacology and Therapeutics3
VCS 314Veterinarian in Society IV (Communication/leadership1
VCS 436Small Animal Internal Medicine3
VCS 444Small Animal Medicine4
VCS 445Equine Medicine2
VCS 449Surgery Laboratory3
VDPAM 450Disturbances of Reproduction4
VCS 385Grand Rounds SeminarR
Total Credits 20
Spring Semester CourseTitleCredits
VMPM 437Infectious Diseases and Preventive Medicine3
VPth 409Intro to Vet Cytology and Lab Techniques1
VDPAM 426Veterinary Toxicology3
VDPAM 445Production Animal Clinical Medicine3
VCS 399Ophthalmology1
VCS 440Introduction to ClinicsR
VCS 448Diagnostic Imaging and Radiobiology3
VCS 315Veterinarian in Society V (veterinary law)1
VCS 385Grand Rounds SeminarR
Total Credits 15

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VM-4

The fourth year (summer, fall and spring semesters) is designed to be flexible and to provide for species emphasis. Students must complete 44 credits during their fourth year. They must take a required block and one option block. The required block rotations are multi-species oriented and exist in all types of clinical practice. Preceptorship credit can be earned at approved government agencies, research laboratories, veterinary practices, and other approved university hospitals.

In several cases, students are given the option of choosing between two courses to meet a requirement. For instance, the required block equine requirement can be met by taking VCS 457 (Equine Medicine), VCS 464 (Equine Field Services) or VCS 458 (Equine Surgery). In such cases, students are given the opportunity to provide their preference in the schedule optimizer. However, there are not always sufficient slots to meet all preferences, so some students will not receive their first choice, but will be assigned to the alternative course.

ISUCVM Fourth Year Curriculum; Approval Dates: ISUCVM Faculty, April 29, 2018; Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee, Revised by ISUCVM Curriculum Committee for implementation – 08-20-2018, Revised 8/06/18.

To be awarded the degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, candidates must have passed all required courses in the curriculum of veterinary. Candidates must have earned at least 4 elective credits during the VM1-3 year on a graded basis of A, B, C, D while enrolled in the College of Veterinary Medicine and a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the veterinary medicine curriculum. Candidates must also have given a grand rounds presentation (VCS 495-Seminar).

Total Credits required during senior year: 44

Graduation Requirements: 160

See the following four options:

Small Animal Option

**Small animal option students, VCS 455 and 456 each must be taken at least once.  One of the courses satisfies the overall required block requirement, the other satisfies the small animal option requirement.

Required Block: (Total 20 Credits required of all students)

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine2
VCS 455 or VCS 456Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery or Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery (as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 457/VCS 464/VCS 458Equine Medicine (457)/Equine Field Service (464)/Equine Surgery (458)
(must have one equine course as assigned by the schedule optimizer)
2
VCS 460Radiology2
VCS 463Primary Care2
VCS 466Veterinary Anesthesiology2
VCS 468Intensive Care4
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery2
VPTH 456 and 457Necropsy and Clinical Pathology (Taken together as one 2-week block)2
VCS 495Grand Rounds Presentations (non-credit)R
Total Credits 20

Required courses for Small Animal Option ONLY= 6 credits:

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine2
VCS 455 or VCS 456**Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery or Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery (opposite of one as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 469Ophthalmology2

 

Selective Choices (Total = 0 credits required):

There are no selectives required for this track.

 

Electives (Total = 18 credits required):

Electives strongly recommended by the VCS Curriculum Committee for students planning on entering small animal or mixed animal practice include:

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 409Oncology2
VCS 441Canine Rehabilitation2
VCS 446Clinical Neurology (not currently offered)2
VCS 452Clinical Dermatology2
VCS 475Cardiology Rotation2
VCS 482Veterinary Dentistry and Oral Surgery2

Additional Small animal electives offered include: 

Electives may include external experiences for credit including: shelter medicine external electives (VCS 459 A, B, & C, D and VCS 437); preceptorships at private, corporate, ISU-affiliated, or public practices/institutions that fulfill the requirements for VCS 419 (Preceptorships in small animal or equine) for a maximum of 6 credits; and/or any other course offered by the College. Preceptorships, defined as learning experiences or time spent at a veterinary practice away from the College, must follow course guidelines to qualify for credit.

Students may repeat any course offered in the general core, required small animal track, or electives one additional time (shown above as required) for credit, depending upon availability and with permission of the instructor-of-record for that clinical rotation unless otherwise noted in the ISU Catalog. 

Unscheduled Time Off (Total = 4 blocks [8 weeks]): This time will fall randomly throughout the schedule to allow time for interviews, unapproved preceptorships, additional rotations and/or personal time.

Small Animal Option credit summary:

Required = 20, Option required = 6, Selectives = 0, Electives = 18Total = 44

Equine Option

**Equine option students, VCS 457 and 464 each must be taken at least once.  One of the courses satisfies the overall required block requirement, the other satisfies the equine option requirement.

Required Block: (Total 20 Credits required of all students)

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine I and II2
VCS 455 or VCS 456Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery or Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery (as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 457/VCS 464/VCS 458Equine Medicine (457)/Equine Field Service (464)/Equine Surgery (458)
(must have one equine course as assigned by the schedule optimizer)
2
VCS 460Radiology2
VCS 463Primary Care2
VCS 466Veterinary Anesthesiology2
VCS 468Intensive Care4
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery2
VPTH 456 and 457Necropsy and Clinical Pathology (Taken together as one 2-week block)2
VCS 495Grand Rounds Presentations (non-credit)R
Total Credits 20

Required courses for Equine Option = 6 credits:

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 457 or VCS 464Equine Medicine (457) or Equine Field Services (464)**2
VCS 458Equine Surgery2
VDPAM 471EEquine Reproduction2

Selective choices (Total = 12 credits required):

Selectives can usually be taken more than once. Choose from the list below.

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 447Equine Veterinary Diagnostic Skills2
VCS 452Clinical Dermatology (repeatable by permission)2
VCS 457Equine Medicine2
VCS 458Equine Surgery2
VCS 464Equine Field Services2
VCS 465Farrier2
VCS 469Ophthalmology2
VDPAM 471CComparative Reproduction2
VDPAM 471EEquine Reproduction2
VCS 476EEquine Anesthesia2
VCS 481Equine Dentistry2

Electives: 6 credits required

Electives may include external experiences for credit (i.e., preceptorships) that fulfill the requirements for VCS 419 (Preceptorships in small animal, equine or zoo and exotics) or VDPAM preceptorships (VDPAM 420, 424, 479, 482, or 485) or any rotations offered in the 4th year. Preceptorships must follow guidelines to qualify for credit.

Unscheduled Time Off (Total = 4 blocks [8 weeks]): This time will fall randomly throughout the schedule to allow time for interviews, unapproved preceptorships, additional rotations and/or personal time.

Equine Option credit summary:

Required = 20, Option required = 6, Selectives = 12, Electives = 6Total = 44

Mixed Animal Option

Required Block: (Total 20 Credits required of all students)

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine I and II2
VCS 455 or VCS 456Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery or Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery (as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 457/VCS 464/VCS 458Equine Medicine (457)/Equine Field Service (464)/Equine Surgery (458)
(must have one equine course as assigned by the schedule optimizer)
2
VCS 460Radiology2
VCS 463Primary Care2
VCS 466Anesthesiology2
VCS 468Intensive Care4
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery2
VPTH 456 and 457Necropsy and Clinical Pathology (Taken together as one 2-week block)2
VCS 495Grand Rounds Presentations (non-credit)R
Total Credits 20

Required courses for Mixed Animal Option = 4 credits:

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 452Clinical Dermatology2
VCS 469Ophthalmology2

Selectives: Group A (Total = 6 credits required):

Selectives can usually be taken more than once. (They must be taken twice to count twice). Choose any courses listed as selectives from the Food Animal or Equine Option.

Selectives: Group B (Total = 2 credits required):

Selectives can usually be taken more than once. They must be taken twice to count twice. Choose from the list below and/or courses listed for the small animal option.

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 409Oncology2
VCS 452Clinical Dermatology (repeatable by permission)2
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine2
VCS 455Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery2
VCS 456Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery2
VCS 459A, B, C, D or ESmall Animal (Over) Population Medicine and Surgery2
VCS 463Primary Care2
VCS 469Ophthalmology2
VCS 476Veterinary Anesthesiology2
VDPAM 471E,SEquine or Small Animal Reproduction2
VMPM 486Laboratory in Public Health2

Electives: 12 credits required

Electives may include external experiences for credit (i.e., preceptorships) that fulfill the requirements for VCS 419 (Preceptorships in small animal, equine or zoo and exotics) or VDPAM preceptorships (VDPAM 420, 424, 479, 482, or 485) or any rotations offered in the 4th year. Preceptorships must follow guidelines to qualify for credit.

Unscheduled Time Off (Total = 4 blocks [8 weeks]): This time will fall randomly throughout the schedule to allow time for interviews, unapproved preceptorships, additional rotations and/or personal time.

Mixed Animal Option credit summary:

Required = 20, Option required = 4, Selectives Group A = 6, Selectives Group B = 2, Electives = 12Total = 44

Food Animal Option

Required Block: (Total 20 Credits required of all students)

CourseTitleCredits
VCS 453Small Animal Medicine I and II2
VCS 455 or VCS 456Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery or Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery (as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 457/VCS 464/VCS 458Equine Medicine (457)/Equine Field Service (464)/Equine Surgery (458)(must have one equine course as assigned by the schedule optimizer)2
VCS 460Radiology2
VCS 463Primary Care2
VCS 466Veterinary Anesthesiology2
VCS 468Intensive Care4
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery2
VPTH 456 and 457Necropsy and Clinical Pathology (Taken together as one 2-week block)2
VCS 495Grand Rounds Presentations (non-credit)R
Total Credits 20

Required courses for Food Animal Option = 4 credits:

CourseTitleCredits
VDPAM 488/VDPAM 455Clinical Microbiology Lab and Diagnostic Lab (Taken together as one 2-week block)2
VDPAM 476Food Animal and Camelid Field Services2

 

Selectives (Total = 10 credits required):

Selectives can usually be taken more than once, but do not dually count. Choose from list below.

CourseTitleCredits
VDPAM 420Preceptorship in Veterinary Medical Practice1-6
VDPAM 420AMixed Animal Practice w Food Animal Emphasis Preceptorship1-6
VDPAM 420BGeneral Mixed Animal Practice Preceptorship1-6
VDPAM 420CGovernment Preceptorships1-6
VDPAM 421A-PGreat Plains Vet Education Center (see dept. complete listing)1
VDPAM 422Beef Cattle Calving (Prereq. VDPAM 310) (NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED)1-2
VDPAM 424Diagnostic Pathology preceptorship2
VDPAM 451Clinical Embryo Transfer2
VDPAM 455Diagnostic Lab Practicum2
VDPAM 463Iowa Feedlot (requires 421D)2
VDPAM 465Animal Welfare2
VDPAM 471FTheriogenology: Food Animal2
VDPAM 476Food Animal and Camelid Field Service (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 477Food Animal and Camelid Medicine and Surgery2
VDPAM 478ASwine Production Management and Consulting (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 478BSwine Clinical Pharmacology and Treatment Management (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 478CSwine Emerging Diseases Diagnosis and Management (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 479Applied Swine Production Medicine Preceptorship (prereq. VDPAM 310)1-6
VDPAM 480Advanced Swine (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 481Advanced Cow/Calf (prereq. 2 sem. of VDPAM 436)2
VDPAM 482Applied Beef Production Medicine Preceptorship (prereq. VDPAM 310)1-6
VDPAM 483Beef Production Medicine (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 484Dairy Production Medicine (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 485Applied Dairy Production Medicine Preceptorship (prereq. VDPAM 484)1-6
VDPAM 488 and 455Clinical Microbiology Lab (488 1 cr.) and Diagnostic Lab Program (455 1 cr.) (Taken together as one 2-week block) 2
VDPAM 494Advanced Dairy Production Medicine (prereq. VDPAM 310)2
VDPAM 495Advanced Small Ruminant Production Medicine (prereq. VDPAM 486)2
VPTH 456 and 457VDPAM 498Necropsy (456) and Clinical Pathology (457) (Taken together as one 2-week block)Poultry Medicine22

Electives: 10 credits required

Electives may include external experiences for credit (i.e., preceptorships) that fulfill the requirements for VCS 419 (Preceptorships in small animal, equine or zoo and exotics) or VDPAM preceptorships (VDPAM 420, 424, 479, 482, or 485) or any rotations offered in the 4th year. Preceptorships must follow guidelines to qualify for credit.

Unscheduled Time Off (Total = 4 blocks [8 weeks]): This time will fall randomly throughout the schedule to allow time for interviews, unapproved preceptorships, additional rotations and/or personal time.


Food Animal Option credit summary:

Required = 20, Option required = 4, Selectives = 10, Electives = 10Total = 44

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