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DVM Professional
Degree Program

DVM Program

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Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Professional Program

A billion-dollar North Carolina animal business, a great number of companion animals, the demand of students for an in-state education in veterinary medicine, and the emergence of Research Triangle as the largest environmental toxicology and biomedical research center in the world made the College of Veterinary Medicine a high priority need for the state.

Established in 1979, the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduated its first class of students in 1985. The college is the only one of its kind in North Carolina and is among only 28 veterinary colleges in the United States. Although one of the newest colleges of veterinary medicine, the NC State University program has already established a national reputation for excellence in teaching, research and community outreach. U.S. News and World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Graduate Schools ranks NC State University's College of Veterinary Medicine as number 3 in the nation. Located on 180 acres near downtown Raleigh, the College of Veterinary Medicine encompasses 20 buildings on its main site.

The college is unique among veterinary programs with an on-site teaching animal unit (TAU) that operates as a working farm. The TAU aids in hands-on instruction with large animal medicine and exposes students to basic agriculture principles and farm technology. The veterinary teaching hospital is a major referral center for practicing veterinarians from throughout the Southeast and admits 20,000 cases annually. These cases provide the material for clinical instruction and investigation for DVM students, interns and residents.

Goals of the Professional Program

The College of Veterinary Medicine educates veterinarians for a wide variety of positions.  The overarching areas of competence we want our graduates to have are veterinary medical knowledge, skills, awareness and a dedication to life-long learning. 


Graduates of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine will be able to effectively use their knowledge of comparative medical science in the provision of veterinary clinical care and other contexts in which veterinary medicine plays a key role. This will be characterized as the ability to:


Graduates of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine will be able to effectively use cognitive and psychomotor skills in the practice of veterinary clinical care and other contexts in which veterinary medicine plays a key role.  This will be characterized as the ability to:


Graduates of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine will be able to use their awareness of local, national, international and professional communities in which they practice to meet the needs of society in an effective and ethical manner.  This will be characterized as the ability to:

Lifelong Learning:

Graduates of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine will be life-long learners, continuously updating their knowledge, skills and awareness. This will be characterized as the ability to:

Accreditation and Licensing

The Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association accredits Colleges of Veterinary Medicine. The professional curriculum reflects those requirements necessary for accreditation. The college is fully accredited, and had its last site visit by the Council on Education in 2007. Accreditation site visits for schools with full accreditation typically occur on a seven year cycle, so the next accreditation site visit is tentatively planned for 2014. The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) pass rate that is required by the Council on Education for fully accredited programs is 80%. The pass rates for past classes from NC State for NAVLE were:

Class Percent
2004 99
2005 96
2006 95
2007 95
2008 95
2009 97
2010 95
2011 100
2012 94
2013 96
2014 96

Graduates must meet national and state licensing requirements to practice veterinary medicine.


Three departments are responsible for the research, service, and teaching functions of the College.

Description Of The Program

The academic professional program calls for two phases of education. A preclinical three-year phase is followed by a clinical phase in the fourth year of training. The first through the third year of the professional program are concerned with a gradual progression from a basic science presentation to a more clinical application of veterinary science. Two summer vacation periods are allowed in the first three years of the professional program. Each of the first 6 semesters in the curriculum are divided into a 13 week core course period followed by two weeks of "selectives." Individual selectives are one or two weeks in length, each week corresponding to one academic credit. All students are required to complete two credits of selectives in each of the first six semesters.  The format of the last or fourth year of the professional program calls for a "block system" approach to clinical education. The academic calendar is divided into 2-week or 1 month segments. Students are required to successfully complete a minimum number of courses for graduation. Off-campus experiences are possible in private practice, industry, federal government, and/or post-doctoral opportunities. Four 2-week vacation blocks are possible during the fourth year of the program.  The clinical program provides a heavy emphasis for actual "hands-on" clinical practice and is demanding both physically and mentally. Starting in 2005, students were required to select " focus areas" that determine the required rotations for the senior year and give priority for elective blocks in those focus areas. The curriculum as listed may be altered through normal University curricular change procedures and therefore should not be considered as a contract for graduation. The changes that are made reflect the dynamic demands of the profession and will be made periodically through faculty recommendations.