Frequently Asked Questions
1) What are selectives?
Selectives are special topic courses that are one or two weeks in length. One week of a selective corresponds to one semester hour of credit. Selectives expose students to areas of veterinary medicine with which they may be less familiar and allow students with a clear interest to gain expertise in their chosen field.
2) When are selectives instructed?
There are two weeks at the end of each semester that are reserved for the instruction of selectives. Selectives are instructed during the two weeks after final exams end.
3) What is the grading method for selectives?
Selectives are graded by the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory method. The grade will appear as an “S” or a “U” on your official university transcript.
4) How do I register for selectives?
During each semester, you will receive the following in your student mailbox: a selective registration form, and instructions on how to complete and return your registration form. The Selectives Catalog for the current semester is available here.
Selective registration is done on a priority system rather than a first come first serve basis. Third year students register first, second year students register second, and first year students register third. Furthermore, each student is assigned a random order number. Students are registered according to the randomly assigned order number, which is indicated on each selective registration form. The order number also gives each student priority within their class. For example, there are two students within the Class of 2016 that are assigned order numbers of 3 and 23. The student that has order number 3 will have priority to register for selectives over the student who was assigned order number 23.
5) How are the priority order numbers generated?
The random order generation tool is used through a data analysis software program. The tool randomly assigns each student within a class a different number each time the program is run. Order numbers are never reused.
6) How do focus areas impact selective registration priority?
Students who have declared a focus area will have priority to register for those selectives that are REQUIRED (not recommended) for their focus area. If a selective is required for a certain focus area, the focus area requirement will be listed under “focus area priority,” in the catalog given to students during selective registration. Students must complete the focus area declaration form in order to have priority. Students can declare their focus area as early as the Spring semester of their first year, but no later than September 15 of their third year.
Considering focus areas, Fall selective registration will still be done through the priority system as follows:
- 3rd year student with declared focus area
- 2nd year student with declared focus area
- 2nd year undeclared student
- 1st year students
Priority order numbers will be used as the basis for registration for students within the same class who have declared focus areas. For example, two 3rd year students have declared the Equine focus area, they both want to take Equine Dentistry, and their order numbers are 3 and 23. The student with order number 3 would have priority over the student who has order number 23.
Students with a Mixed Animal or Clinician Scientist Focus are a little different: they each declare one of the other focus areas as an area of interest and are given priority right behind the focus area students.
7) What is the penalty if I have declared my focus area and I would like to change it to a different focus area?
Students who switch from one focus area to another will be given priority behind other students in that focus area. The last date a student can switch focus areas is September 15, third year.
8) I am a third year student who has declared a focus area. Can a second or first year student who has declared a focus area get in a selective before me?
Yes, but only when a selective is required for a focus area. If a selective is a requirement for a focus area, the registration process would be as follows: 3rd year students with that declared focus area will be registered first, 2nd year students with that declared focus area will be registered second, and all other students (either with another focus area or undeclared) will be registered after that by year and order number.
9) What does “None” refer to under the focus area priority heading?
Those selectives that are notated by "None" are open to any student regardless of declared focus area. The selective process for these selectives will be by year and order number.
10) How many credits of selectives do I need?
It is mandatory that each student earn 12 selective credits before they begin their fourth year clinical rotations. Therefore, each student needs to take (2 credits) of selectives each semester during the first, second, and third years.
11) Can I earn selective credit for extramural experiences in the summer and break?
No, students may not pursue more than (2 credits) of selectives in a semester and these must be completed during selective weeks with the exception of NCSU faculty sponsored International trips and Professional Meetings. If a student completes an extramural experience in the summer or during breaks (with prior approvals, etc.) they can apply for elective credit for the semester immediately following the experience, only. The student must still complete two selective credits in that semester. "Banking" of selective credit is not allowed.
12) What are professional meetings?
There are a wide variety of professional meetings, conferences, and conventions that veterinary related associations conduct each year. DVM students are invited to attend these meetings and may be eligible to get credit for their attendance. Students must follow the Professional Meeting Guidelines set forth in the selective catalog in order to receive credit for their attendance at a professional meeting.
13) What is an extramural experience?
An extramural experience is when a student sets up a visit with an outside veterinarian or a practice/clinic to gain further clinical skills. Students do not have to have a practice experience arranged before registering but must complete the extramural registration form with signatures and turn in to Student Services at least one month prior to selectives. The student evaluation, which is to be completed by the supervising veterinarian, and the student report are due in student services within one month of experience.
Extramural Paperwork is avaible on line.
14) Why do we register for selectives so early?
Selective registration occurs in September, which is two months before selectives are instructed. The two months in between registration and instruction permits the instructors to finalize their selective budgets and acquire the appropriate textbooks and/or supplies for the selective.
15) Do the selectives have course descriptions?
Yes. Each year a selective catalog is created. The selective catalog can be viewed online.
16) Why are there minimum and maximum enrollment numbers for selectives?
It takes a budget to run each selective. A minimum enrollment number is put in place to justify the cost of conducting the selective. A maximum enrollment number is put in place to limit the amount of students registered for a selective. We need to consider room space and van rental space. Additionally, it ensures that each student will have a unique learning experience. Once a selective reaches maximum enrollment, it will be closed to other registrations.
17) What happens when a selective does not reach minimum enrollment?
The selective is cancelled, as we could not justify the cost of running the selective without minimum enrollment. If a selective is cancelled, student services will contact each student enrolled.
18) Can I add a selective that is at its maximum enrollment if I obtain instructor permission?
No, all students must follow the selective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Obtaining instructor permission to add a selective that is closed is unfair to your classmates who have abided by the priority system rules.
19) Can I find a fellow student who is willing to switch selectives with me?
No, all students must follow the selective guidelines that have been set forth with the priority system. Switching selectives with another classmate is unfair to other students who have abided by the priority system rules.
20) Are there other DVM courses that could count as a selective?
We give students selective credit for VMC 999 – Veterinary International Studies.
21) How will I know which selectives are available/closed when I register?
It is important to list your first, second, third, fourth and fifth choice on your registration form so that if a higher priority choice is closed, you can be registered for your second choice, etc.
22) Do I have to do a course evaluation form for selectives?
Yes. The Academic Affairs Office will send you an online link to the course evaluation form you’ll need to complete. Additionally, course evaluation forms will be placed in the student mailboxes. All course evaluation forms are to be returned to the Academic Affairs Office.
23) Can I take a selective more than once?
It is common for students to take extramural experiences more than once. There are a few instances in which students would like to take a selective again, however, the permission of the selective instructor is required.
24) Can I get paid for my extramural experience selective.
No, you cannot get paid for your practice experience.
25) Can I split the weeks of VMC 992Z – Active Learning in the VTH like we can split the weeks for practice experience selectives?
No, students cannot split the weeks of the Active Learning in the VTH. Active Learning in the VTH is on a block clinical schedule and the clinical coordinators only approve students for two consecutive selective weeks.
26) Can I switch my selective with another student?
No, students cannot switch their selective with another student. Switching defeats the purpose of having the order number system and would be unfair to those students who had the next order number to take the selective.
Questions regarding Selectives should be directed to the Scheduling Coordinator.