Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2009-2011 Courses and Programs

Iowa State University Catalog

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College of Veterinary Medicine

John U. Thomson, Dean
Donald D. Draper, Associate Dean for
Academic and Student Affairs
Donald L. Reynolds, Associate Dean for
Research and Graduate Studies
Eldon Uhlenhopp, Interim Associate Dean
for Outreach and Operations

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 Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 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 D.V.M./M.S., DVM/Ph.D., D.V.M./M.P.H. 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 benefits 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.

Any required science courses taken the spring term prior to matriculation requires a grade of B (3.00) or better to fulfill the requirement. Remaining non-science 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: One year of composition or writing emphasis courses. May include business or technical writing.

Engl 150, 250, 302, 309, or 314 6 cr.

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

Sp Cm 212, 223, or 312 or ComSt 214 or
Ag Ed 311 3 cr.

General Chemistry with Laboratory*
One year series for biological science majors with one semester lab.

Chem 177-177L, 178 7 cr.

Organic Chemistry with Laboratory*
One year series with one semester lab.

Chem 331, 331L, 332 7 cr.

One semester (no lab required)
BBMB 301 3 cr.

General Physics with Laboratory*
First semester of a two-semester series with lab. Must include mechanics, fluids, heat and thermodynamics, vibrations, waves and sound.
Phys 111 4 cr.

General Biology with Laboratory*
Two semester series with lab each semester. A Bachelor’s degree in Biology fulfills this requirement.
Biol 211, 211L, 212, 212L 8 cr.

Genetics *
Must include Mendelian and molecular genetics.
Biol 313 or Gen 320 3 cr.

Mammalian Anatomy or Physiology*
Human anatomy or physiology will also fulfill this requirement (no lab required).
An S 214, BMS 329, Biol 155,
or Biol 255 or Biol 335) 3 cr.

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 University and MUST meet the University’s minimum requirement in the appropriate subject area. 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 Supplementary Application found at the College of Veterinary Medicine website. The deadline for filing the VMCAS application, evaluations and transcripts is October 1. The supplemental application, and processing fee are due to the College of Veterinary Medicine postmarked by October 15.

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 must be taken prior to October 15 of the year the applicant applies and the scores must be received by October 31.), animal and veterinary experience, essays, recommendations and personal development (leadership, citizenship, etc.) are given consideration in the selection of candidates. An interview will be required for those applying to enter Fall 2008 and later.

Approximately one-half of the positions available are reserved for residents of Iowa. The College of Veterinary Medicine has implemented a Cooperative Program in Veterinary Medicine with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Nebraska residents and contracts with the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and New Jersey. 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

BBMB 420—Physiological Chemistry

BMS 330—Principles of Morphology I

BMS 331—Principles of Morphology II

BMS 333—Biomedical Sciences I

BMS 334—Biomedical Sciences II

BMS 337—Neurobiology

BMS/VCS 339—Clinical Foundations I

BMS 345—Case Study I

BMS 346—Case Study II

BMS 354—General Pharmacology

BMS 443—Pharmacology and Therapeutics

VCS 311—Veterinarian in Society I

VCS 312—Veterinarian in Society II

VCS 313—Veterinarian in Society III

VCS 314—Veterinarian in Society IV

VCS 315—Veterinarian in Society V

VCS 385—Seminar

VCS 391—Clinical Imaging

VCS 393—Principles of Surgery

VCS 394—Principles of Surgery Lab

VCS 395—Small Animal Surgery

VCS 398—Anesthesiology

VCS 399—Ophthalmology

VCS 436—Small Animal Internal Medicine

VCS/VDPAM 440—Introduction to Clinics

VCS 444—Small Animal Medicine

VCS 445—Equine Medicine

VCS 448—Diagnostic Imaging and

VCS 449—Junior Surgery Laboratory

VCS/VDPAM 450—Disturbances of

VDPAM/V PTH 426—Veterinary Toxicology

VDPAM 445—Clinical Medicine

V MPM 378—Case Study IV

V MPM 380—Veterinary Immunology

V MPM 386—Veterinary Microbiology

V MPM 387—Veterinary Virology

V MPM 388—Public Health and the role of the Veterinary Profession

V MPM 437—Infectious Diseases and
Preventive Medicine

V PTH 342—Anatomic Pathology I

V PTH 372—Anatomic Pathology II

V PTH 376—Veterinary Parasitology

V PTH 377—Case Study III

V PTH 409—Introduction to Veterinary
Cytology and Laboratory Techniques

V PTH 425—Clinical Pathology

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 can participate in rotations focused on small animals, horses, or food animals. 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.

Students may choose from the following list of clinical rotations.


Beef Production Medicine


CDC Epidemiology

Clinical Microbiology

Clinical Pathology

Community Practice

Dairy Production Medicine


Diagnostic Laboratory

Equine Field Services

Equine Medicine

Equine Surgery


Food Animal Medicine and Surgery

Food Supply Field Services

Intensive Care/Emergency Medicine





Orthopedic Surgery

Public Health Laboratory


Small Animal Medicine

Small Ruminant Production Medicine

Soft Tissue Surgery

Swine Production Medicine



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.