mississippi state university college of veterinary medicine faculty

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers 4-year DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree. Students must complete a three-semester community education requirement at the Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Experiment Station and another three-semester clinical internship at a veterinary teaching hospital in Mississippi.

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Mississippi State University College Of Veterinary Medicine Faculty

Breaking Barriers: NC State's Path to More Inclusive Veterinary Medicine -  NC State Veterinary Medicine

The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is dedicated to creating an inclusive teaching, learning and working environment. We are a diverse College of Veterinary Medicine where people’s ideas, culture, ethnicity, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic, geographic, and educational background, and beliefs are accepted, appreciated, and respected. We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination. We strongly believe that interacting with diverse peers within the College helps improve critical thinking, intellectual engagement and academic skills, and affirm the dignity and equity of our students and members of the CVM community.

Applying to the College of Veterinary Medicine

Your future in veterinary medicine begins at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine! Our graduates are practice-ready upon graduation, as is evidenced by our near-perfect national board exam (NAVLE) pass rate, outstanding employment rate, and their higher-than-average starting salaries. MSU CVM wants you to succeed and will prepare you to do so!

Our graduates are highly sought after and are offered opportunities to work all over the world in a variety of different capacities! 

The structure of our curriculum provides an extensive amount of hands-on, clinical experience, which is appealing to many employers. To prepare for clinical instruction, students in phase 1 follow a set curriculum for the first two years. MSU students receive core instruction in all major domestic species and do not “track.” Phase 2 begins in the third year with required clinical rotations in the majority of our clinical service areas. The fourth year provides time (26 weeks) for students to focus on their career interest through their choice of externships and elective coursework. 

In light of many colleges and universities offering alternative grading options for the spring 2020 term as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Admissions Office at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will accept all satisfactory and passing grades for prerequisite classes taken only during the spring 2020 term. Following our normal protocol, any student making an unsatisfactory grade in a prerequisite class must successfully complete a retake of the class (with a grade of C- or higher, passing, or satisfactory) prior to submitting their application through VMCAS. 


Transcripts must be submitted to VMCAS from all institutions attended by the stated VMCAS deadline. This includes any high school/college dual credit coursework or AP credits. AP credits must either appear on your official college transcripts and be equivalent to the appropriate college-level coursework or your institution’s Registrar’s Office must provide us with an AP Certification listing the AP credit and the equivalent college-level course it fulfilled. If AP credits are not listed on your official transcript, contact your institution’s Registrar’s Office to have an AP Certification sent to [email protected]. Exempted credits or waived requirements from an undergraduate institution will not be accepted for fulfilling prerequisite coursework. Credit hours must be awarded.  

Failure to submit all transcripts could result in an incomplete application. If coursework from one institution is listed as “transfer coursework” from another institution, the official transcript from the transfer institution must be sent to VMCAS as well. 

Do not submit transcripts to MSU for the verification process. Transcripts sent directly to MSU CVM will not be evaluated as a part of your application. ate transcripts will not be accepted.  

If you are taking courses during summer 2021, wait until summer grades are posted before sending transcripts to VMCAS. VMCAS will only verify your trnscripts one time during the admissions cycle.  

Veterinary students listen to a lecture

MSU DVM program Academic Requirements

A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 is required to be eligible for the MSU DVM program.  

Course Requirements

We require the prerequisites listed below for entry into our DVM program. Although all prerequisites do not have to be completed by the time of application submission, it is highly encouraged. If an applicant has been out of college for more than 5 years, the student must update their coursework by completing 12 semester hours of upper-level science courses by the spring semester of the anticipated year of enrollment. Exceptions may be made for applicants working in a clinical or research setting. Applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to submitting an application may waive the following prerequisites: Communications, Writing, and Humanities/Social-Behavioral Science/Fine Arts.   

The same course cannot be used to satisfy two prerequisite requirements. Upper-level science elective courses refer to junior, senior, and/or graduate level courses that are typically numbered 3000, 4000, or higher.  

Prerequisite courses in which a grade lower than a C- was earned must be repeated (not in progress) before the application is submitted. 

Oral Communications – 3 semester hours

Writing – 3 semester hours

Humanities, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts – 15 semester hours

Math – 6 semester hours

Biology I and Biology II – 8 semester hours*

Microbiology – 4 semester hours

Chemistry I and Chemistry II – 8 semester hours*

Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry II – 8 semester hours*

Biochemistry – 3 semester hours

Physics I and Physics II – 6 semester hours

Upper Level Science/Math – 12 semester hours

Students on the Quarter System

Why Should I Study in Nantes?

Students on the quarter system are required to complete a 3-quarter sequence in biology, chemistry and organic chemistry. Applicants with questions regarding the course(s) taken or offered at their undergraduate institution that satisfy the prerequisites should complete the prerequisite substitution form and email it to [email protected].

Non-Academic Requirements

The MSU CVM Admissions Committee considers non-academic qualities in the initial review of applications to select candidates for interviews. The committee seeks to admit students who will succeed not only in the classroom, but also in clinical and research settings, and ultimately, in the profession.  

Letters of Recommendation

Three electronic letters of recommendation (eLORs) are required as a part of the admissions process. The VMCAS application allows each applicant to submit the names and email addresses of evaluators. At least one of the evaluators must be a veterinarian.  

We recommend registering your evaluators as soon as possible to allow them an ample amount of time to complete your eLOR.  Evaluators are strongly encouraged to provide a letter of recommendation that is reflective of the required rubric evaluation completed on behalf of the applicant. Supplying detailed information related to the rubric characteristics is highly beneficial. 

Additional recommendations beyond the three required will not be considered in the admissions process. eLORS must be submitted electronically to VMCAS (not MSU CVM) by September 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. No recommendations will be accepted after this deadline. 

Hint: When selecting evaluators, be sure to choose individuals who know you well enough to elaborate on your experience, motivation and dedication. Then follow up with them to be sure they have correctly submitted the materials to VMCAS prior to the deadline. 

Animal Experience

It is important to track and log any animal experience you gain throughout your undergraduate career. Animal experience comes from a variety of sources but must include the care for animals or the husbandry of animals.  

Veterinary Experience

Experience under the supervision of a veterinarian is a vital piece of the MSU CVM application. Applicants should track and log all experiences gained, whether the hours are paid, volunteer or shadowing. The Admissions Committee stresses the importance of gaining quality veterinary experience hours that reflect the vast array of career opportunities available to you as a veterinarian.  Applicants should be active participants in these hours. This is often seen through hands-on interaction but can also be accomplished through quality knowledge of experiences where hands-on learning was not possible.  

Research Experience

Participating in research can lead applicants to discover specialty areas within veterinary medicine providing a broader understanding of the profession. Both formal and informal research experience provides students with problem-solving skills that are essential in the veterinary field. It is important to explain any animal or veterinary research, as well as any other field or lab-based research experience, including whether the experience provided an opportunity to present or publish your findings.

Extracurricular/Volunteer/Leadership Experience

Veterinarians are expected to be leaders in and contributors to their communities. Students aspiring to become veterinarians should start early in their college careers building a record of service, leadership and involvement through student clubs, civic organizations and outreach projects. Students may also demonstrate positive characteristics and attributes by gaining work experience and research experience, even if it is not related to animals or the veterinary profession.  

Personal Statement 

The one-page essay should provide the Admissions Committee with a clear picture of the applicant’s reasons for choosing a career in veterinary medicine and the reasons the applicant is a good candidate for veterinary school. It is important to include details that will differentiate one applicant from another while avoiding repeating information that is included in other parts of the application. The essay should convey the applicant’s passion for veterinary medicine and incorporate information that demonstrates character, ideals and aspirations through a conversational tone. Essays should be original, thoughtful and well written.  

MSU CVM Faculty at IMMS

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Debra P. Moore, DVM 
Assistant Clinical Professor, CVM Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine 
Dr. Moore is onsite to provide full-time medical care for all sea turtles and dolphins at IMMS. She also teaches veterinary students and conducts gross necropsies. 

Dr. Mark Lawrence, DVM, PhD 
Professor and Director, MSU Global Center for Aquatic Food Security 
Dr. Lawrence is a veterinary microbiologist who specializes in aquatic animal medicine and directs the GEBF-funded MSU/IMMS collaborative program. 

Dr. Stephen Reichley, DVM, PhD, CertAqV
Assistant Clinical Professor, Global Center for Aquatic Food Security & Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine
Dr. Reichley is a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian who specializes in aquatic animal and population health performing diagnostic, research, outreach, and teaching activities. 

Dr. Christa Barrett, DVM,CertAqV
Clinical Instructor, CVM Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine
Dr. Barrett completed a veterinary internship under the MSU/IMMS collaborative program and provides medical care for marine mammals and sea turtles, supports recovery of stranded animals, conducts necropsies, and teaches veterinary students. 

Pre-Veterinary Undergraduate Program - Animal Science Department - William  H. Darr College of Agriculture - Missouri State University

Dr. Tim Morgan, DVM, PhD, Dipl. A.C.V.P. 
Professor, Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine 
Dr. Morgan is a board-certified veterinary pathologist who leads gross necropsy and 
histopathology of dolphins and sea turtles and teaches veterinary students. 

Dr. Attila Karsi, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Karsi is a molecular biologist specializing in health and genomics of aquatic animal species. He is conducting genomic analysis of dolphins and sea turtles in the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Bill Epperson, DVM, MS, Dipl. A.C.V.P.M. (Epidemiology) 
Professor and Head, Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine 
Dr. Epperson is a board-certified veterinary epidemiologist and conducts epidemiological assessment of sea turtle and dolphin mortalities and teaches veterinary students. 

Dr. Alison Lee, DVM, Dipl. A.C.V.R. 
Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences 
Dr. Lee is a board-certified veterinary radiologist who provides analysis in conducting and interpreting radiographs, CT scans, ultrasounds and MRI scans of marine animals and teaches veterinary students.

Sea Turtles & Marine Animals Team

In addition to this team, other veterinary specialists at MSU CVM provide expertise to support the health care of sea turtles and marine mammals. These specialists include:

Dr. John Thomason (DVM, MS, Dipl. A.C.V.I.M.), who is board-certified in veterinary internal medicine and conducts diagnostic examinations of marine animals utilizing gastroscopy/endoscopy and serves as a consultant for medical management of cases.

Dr. Caroline Betbeze (DVM, MS, Dipl. A.C.V.O.), who is board-certified in veterinary ophthalmology and conducts examination and medical management of eye problems in sea turtles and dolphins.

Dr. Andrew Shores (DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. A.C.V.I.M. (Neurology) and Dr. Michaela Beasley (DVM, MS, Dipl. A.C.V.I.M. (Neurology), who are board-certified veterinary neurologists and conduct CT and MRI scans of live sea turtles and dolphins and provide neurology consulting.

Dr. Matt Williams (DVM, Dipl. A.C.V.P.), who is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist responsible for diagnostic support of cytology, blood CBC and serum chemistry for marine animals.

Fish & Shellfish Team

MSU CVM is also unique in offering a team of aquatic animal medicine diagnosticians and researchers to support the health of fish and shellfish.

This team includes 11 faculty who specialize in virology, bacteriology, parasitology, toxicology, pathology and immunology, making it the largest team of aquatic animal health specialists in the U.S. In addition, MSU CVM has five board-certified veterinary epidemiologists, giving it the largest group of veterinary epidemiologists among U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine to conduct outbreak investigations.

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