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Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

The role of the veterinarian in our society has continually evolved as new challenges arise. Today's veterinarian has a multitude of career opportunities not only in private practice, but also in public practice, industry and areas dealing with the environment, community health, food resource management, wildlife preservation, space exploration, and marine biology.

Teaching provides opportunities to train new and eager students in the classroom. Researchers participate in the cutting-edge advancements in veterinary medicine that may lead the way to applications in human medicine. The diversity of this profession is exciting, rewarding and limited only by your imagination!

Prospective Applicants:

Students interested in a veterinary medical education at Purdue must complete 2 - 3 years of required course work in order to be eligible to apply to our program.  Required courses must be completed with a "C - " grade (1.7 on a 4.0 scale) or better in each course and applications must maintain a competitive cumulative grade point average. Applicants with questions regarding the available courses to meet pre-requisites offered at their undergraduate institution should email vetadmissions@purdue.edu for pre-requisite course determination.  Applicants must have a cumulative GPA (including all course repeats) of no less than 3.00 to receive consideration.

Information regarding Purdue's pre-requisite course requirements in the 2014 VMSAR is incorrect.  Please click here for the correct pre-requisite course requirements.   

Information for the DVM Class of 2019 Applicants:

The course verification form for Class of 2019 applicants is now closed.

DVM Curriculum Accreditation Status and NAVLE information:

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.  The last site visit was in October 2011 and the next site visit will be in 2018. View the current Purdue Veterinary Medicine NAVLE data

DVM Degree Retention and Completion:

Graduating Class Number of Students Admitted Number of Students
Not Completing DVM
Absolute Attrition*
2009 68 2 2.9%
2010 70 10 14.3%
2011 70 2 2.9%
2012 70 3 4.3%
2013 70 4 5.7%
2014 70 3 4.3%

*Student who leave program and never return

Required Textbooks for DVM Curriculum:

View the current Required Textbook List for the DVM Curriculum

DVM Program Admission Information

Preparing for the Admissions Process

Current DVM Students Talk About Purdue

Below is a YouTube playlist that contains mutliple videos featuring current DVM students talk about why they chose Purdue Veterinary Medicine.

Why Purdue?

Purdue Advantage Slide ShowThe Purdue Advantage:

- Educating the entire veterinary team
- Small class size
- One-on-one interaction with faculty
- Hands-on animal learning sessions from day one
- National award winning educators
- Emphasis on international learning experiences
- Diverse and inclusive environment
- Access to faculty-led research experiences
- Focus on developing student leadership skills
- Opportunities for community engagement

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Curriculum


The DVM curriculum consists of four years of courses. Success in these courses is dependent upon a strong knowledge base gained from the pre-veterinary course requirements. The first two years of the curriculum focus on the basic sciences while the third and fourth years focus on clinical sciences. A minimum of 18 credits per semester is required in years 1-3. Additional elective courses may be taken.

Problem-based learning is incorporated throughout the first and second years in the Applications & Integrations courses. Students work in groups of 7-8 under the guidance of a tutor (a faculty or instructional staff member who helps to guide the group through the learning process). Clinical cases are studied with the emphasis on applying basic science information that is being learned concurrently in other courses to understand the pathophysiology and treatment of these cases. These courses foster the development of problem-solving skills, communication skills and teamwork skills.

A series of animal handling courses, Behavior, Husbandry and Diagnostic Techniques I-III, are taught throughout the first and second years, giving students the opportunity to work with live animals from the beginning of veterinary school. Students learn animal handling and husbandry, physical examination techniques, sample collection techniques and a variety of other clinical skills on the major domestic species (e.g. dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep, pigs). All students gain experience with all the major domestic species.

The Purdue DVM curriculum incorporates tracking in the third and fourth years. All students take a core of didactic courses covering medicine and surgery of the major domestic species. During semester 5, students are required to choose a track from seven tracks (see fourth year curriculum for more information). Tracking allows the student to focus his/her clinical training along species lines. Students who do not wish to focus their training on particular species can choose the Mixed Animal Track which is a traditional multi-species curriculum. PVM first implemented tracking in the fourth year of the DVM curriculum in 1990.

Year 1

Fall Semester Credits
BMS 80100 Comparative Anatomy I 3.5
BMS 80700 Principles of Cell & Tissue Design I 3.0
BMS 81100 Systemic Mammalian Physiology I 3.0
BMS 81500 Veterinary Neuroscience 2.0
VCS 80100 Behavior, Husbandry & Diagnostic Techniques I 1.5
VCS 80400 Behavior in Domestic Animals 1.0
VM 82000 Applications & Integrations I 3.0
VM 89200 Principles of Professionalism and Jurisprudence 1.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0


Spring Semester Credits
BMS 80200 Comparative Anatomy II 3.0
BMS 80800 Principles of Cell & Tissue Design II 3.0
BMS 81200 Systemic Mammalian Physiology II 4.0
BMS 81300 Principles of Pharmacology 1.5
CPB 85300 Principles of Veterinary Immunology 2.0
VCS 80200 Behavior, Husbandry & Diagnostic Techniques II 1.5
VM 83000 Applications & Integrations II 3.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0


Electives Credits
VM 80900 International Veterinary Medicine 0.5
VM 86000 Early Origins of Vet Med 1.0
BMS 81900 Endocrine/Neural Basis of Seasonal Activ. of Birds/Mammals 1.0
BMS 52800 Avian Physiology 2.0

Year 2

Fall Semester Credits
BMS 81400 Basic & Applied Pharmacology I 3.0
CPB 85100 General Pathology 3.0
CPB 85201 Veterinary Parasitology I 3.0
CPB 85500 Veterinary Hematology & Cytology 2.0
CPB 85602 Veterinary Bacteriology/Mycology 4.0
VM 84000 Applications & Integrations III 3.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0


Electives Credits
VCS 89200 Forensic Veterinary Medicine 1.0
VCS 89300 Shelter Animal Medicine 1.0


Spring Semester Credits
BMS 81800 Basic & Applied Pharmacology II & Prin. of Toxicology 2.0
CPB 85202 Veterinary Parasitology II 2.0
CPB 85400 Principles of Epidemiology 1.0
CPB 85700 Veterinary Systemic Pathobiology 5.0
CPB 86000 Veterinary Virology 3.0
CPB 86100 Veterinary Clinical Chemistry 2.0
VCS 80300 Behavior, Husbandry & Diagnostic Techniques III 1.0
VM 85000 Applications & Integrations IV 2.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0


Electives Credits
VM 80900 International Veterinary Medicine 0.5
VM 86000 Early Origins of Vet Med 1.0
BMS 81900 Endocrine/Neural Basis of Seasonal Activ. of Birds/Mammals 1.0
BMS 52800 Avian Physiology 2.0

Year 3

  • Core/elective approach
  • Courses organized along species lines
  • Core courses
    • required for all tracks
    • cover all major domestic species and all major disciplines
  • Core - selection required courses
    • student must take a minimum number of credits in the discipline but can choose the species focus
  • Electives
    • chosen based on track and student's career goals
    • choices made in consultation with faculty advisor

Fall Semester Credits

Core Courses:

VCS 80600 Small Animal Medicine and Surgery I 3.5
VCS 80800 Equine Medicine and Surgery 2.5
VCS 80900 Ruminant Medicine and Surgery 2.0
VCS 81000 Swine Production Medicine 1.0
VCS 81100 General Surgery Laboratory 1.0
VCS 81200 Principles of Anesthesia, Surgery and Emergency Medicine 2.0
VCS 81300 Diagnostic Imaging 1.0
VCS 81400 Comparative Theriogenology 1.0
VCS 81500 Ophthalmology 1.0
VM 89500 Clinical Applications 2.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0
Core Selection Required
Toxicology (select minimum of one)
CPB 81600 Applied Small Animal Toxicology (offered spring only) 1.0
CPB 81800 Applied Large Animal Toxicology 1.0

Epidemiology (select minimum of one)
CPB 86200 Clinical Epidemiology for Companion Animals 1.0
CPB 86300 Epidemiology for Livestock Production 1.0

Diagnostic Imaging (select minimum of one)
VCS 82700 Small Animal Imaging (offered spring only) 2.0
VCS 82900 Equine Imaging 1.0
VCS 80616 Clinical Nutrition 1.0
VCS 84500 Small Animal Medicine Laboratory 0.5
VCS 89200 Forensic Veterinary Medicine 1.0
VCS 89300 Shelter Animal Medicine 1.0
BMS 80300 Topographical Anatomy of the Dog and Cat 1.0
BMS 80400 Topographical Anatomy of the Horse 1.0


Spring Semester Credits

Core Courses:

VCS 80700 Small Animal Medicine and Surgery II 2.0
VCS 81700 Achieving Success in Private Practice 1.0
CPB 86900 Vet Public Health & Zoonoses 2.0
VM 82500 Grand Rounds 0.0
Core Selection Required
Surgery Laboratory (select minimum of two)
VCS 81800 Small Animal Surgery I 0.5
VCS 81801 Small Animal Surgery I alt 0.5
VCS 82000 Small Animal Surgery II 0.5
VCS 82201 Small Animal Surgery II alt. 0.5
VCS 82200 Large Animal Surgery I  0.5
VCS 82300 Large Animal Surgery II 0.5

Toxicology (select minimum of one)
CPB 81600 Applied Small Animal Toxicology 1.0
CPB 81800 Applied Large Animal Toxicology (offered fall only) 1.0

Theriogenology (select minimum of one)
VCS 82400 Small Animal Theriogenology 0.5
VCS 82500 Ruminant Theriogenology 1.0
VCS 82600 Equine Theriogenology 0.5

Diagnostic Imaging (select minimum of one)
VCS 82700 Small Animal Imaging * 2.0
(*required for all tracks except food animal and non-practice)
VCS 82900 Equine Imaging (offered fall only) 1.0

VCS 80500 Small Animal Behavioral Therapy 1.0
VCS 83100 Advanced Equine Theriogenology Laboratory 2.0
VCS 83200 Equine Lameness 0.5
VCS 83300 Advanced Equine Medicine 1.0
VCS 83400 Food Animal Surgery 0.5
VCS 83500 Environments for Large Animal Species 1.0
VCS 83600 Introduction to Clinical and Equine Nutrition 1.0
VCS 83700 Clinical Nutrition for Ruminants/Swine 1.0
VCS 83800 Swine Production Medicine 1.0
VCS 83901 Beef Production Medicine 1.0
VCS 83902 Dairy Production Medicine 1.0
VCS 84000 Small Ruminant/Llama Medicine 1.0
VCS 84101 Advanced Ophthalmology 0.5
VCS 84300 Successful Practice Skills 0.5
VCS 84400 Client Communications 0.5
VCS 84600 Advanced Small Animal Medicine 2.0
VCS 84700 Advanced Small Animal Specialties 2.0
VCS 84800 Advanced Small Animal Surgery 1.5
VCS 85000 Small Animal Dentistry 0.5
VCS 85100 Medicine & Surgery of Non-traditional Pets 2.0
VCS 84000 Use & Care of Laboratory Animals 1.0
VCS 87000 Diagnostic Veterinary Cytology 1.0
VCS 80500 Topographical Anatomy of Production Animals 1.0
VCS 80600 Topographical Anatomy of Exotic Pets 1.0
BMS 52800 Avian Physiology 2.0

Year 4

The fourth year consists entirely of clinical rotations.  There are no didactic courses in the fourth year.  The fourth year begins the Monday following semester 6 final examinations and continues for a full 12 months.  

Click here for a complete overview of the fourth year curriculum.

The fourth year curriculum is determined by the student’s track. Track selection occurs during semester 5 while selecting electives for semester 6. The track chosen determines the required and elective blocks for the fourth year. There are seven tracks (Click on the individual track to see the plan of study for that track):

1. Equine track

2. Food animal track

3. Small animal track

4. Companion animal track (horses and small animals)

5. Large animal track (horses and food animals)

6. Mixed animal track (all species)

7. Non-practice track (for individuals targeting a career in industry or research)