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House Officer Training Program Guidelines

REG 05.20.36 - College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) House Officers

Additional Resources:

Definitions And Objectives

House Officer Training at the NC State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), is organized into two postgraduate clinical training programs:

Intern and resident appointments are not subject to the State Personnel Act, and do not fall in the EPA faculty or EPA professional categories.  Interns and residents are categorized as postdoctoral scholars and are subject to the rules and regulations of the postdoctoral scholars and house officers University regulations ( House officers receive 12 paid vacation and 12 sick days per year, pro-rated the first year of employment. In addition, there are approximately 10 paid holidays each year. Holiday clinical duty may be required and all vacation and holidays will be scheduled at the discretion of the individual program coordinator.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies in Conjunction with or following a Residency

Master of Specialized Veterinary Medicine (MSpVM)

The MSpVM degree is required for some House Officer programs and permissible by others. Interested residents should contact their faculty advisor and the CVM Student Services Office for further information. This is a non-thesis graduate program that includes the same advanced clinical specialty training as in the residency program but with graduate course credit given for the clinical training. In addition, MSpVM students take a biostatistics and an ethics course. The requirements for some MSpVM programs may include other graduate courses, a project, and/or one or more publications. Candidates enrolled in a 3-year residency program must establish North Carolina residency during the first year of their program unless they are not a United States citizen. The MSpVM program should be completed in 2 years.

MSpVM Graduate Program for Residents - NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine


The creation of a non-thesis Masters of Specialized Veterinary Medicine (MSpVM) graduate program was done to enhance scholarship and competitiveness of veterinarians completing advanced specialty training at the CVM. The program is designed to provide experiences appropriate for certification in the specialty college related to their area of study. Clinical and diagnostic material handled through the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and affiliated units will provide the basis for this training. Courses will incorporate seminars, rounds and journal club activities; individual supervised training; independent study programs; and basic statistics. Many of the programs will require a project and publication(s) to be completed as part of the requirements.

Each MSpVM student will have a unique graduate program focused in his/her clinical specialty area and directed by a graduate committee comprising faculty experts from this clinical specialty and other specialty areas. The MSpVM Program enables the College to document more clearly the effort that faculty commit to advanced training in 17 different veterinary specialties.  This graduate track helps sustain the outstanding success the College has achieved in attracting the top national and international veterinary graduates for post-graduate clinical training.

Residents in the MSpVM Program will receive tuition benefits and health insurance through the Graduate Student Support Plan. The plan provides benefits for students registered for at least 9 credits each semester for four semesters.  However, MSpVM graduate students will be required to pay student fees. The current fee schedule can be found on the University Cashier’s Office website:

Application Criteria

Applicants must be a US citizen (or equivalent for tuition purposes), have a DVM/VMD or equivalent degree, and have a documented history of academic excellence. All applicants must meet minimum criteria for acceptance into the NC State University Graduate School including a minimally acceptable Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. Applicants will be selected for participation in the MSpVM program by the faculty of the specialty area identified by the applicant. Acceptance decisions will be based on academic performance while enrolled in a DVM/VMD or equivalent program, letters of recommendation, professional experience, and perceived ability of the individual to complement the needs of our training program.

Specialty Areas

Each enrolled student will concentrate his/her studies in one of the existing clinical specialty training areas at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additional training specialties may be created as warranted by demographic, economic and social changes that impact the profession.

Current areas of Specialty Training at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine include:

Student Advisory Committee

Each student will have an advisory committee comprised of at least three graduate faculty. The committee shall include: a primary advisor in the selected specialty area, a second faculty member from the same specialty area or a related discipline and a faculty member from an unrelated discipline.

Plan of Work and Course Requirements

Enrolled students will complete 2 or 3 years of training depending on the requirements in the specific specialty area. During the first year, the student will have a house officer appointment as a resident and will predominately participate in specialty training in the Veterinary Health Complex. During years 2 and 3, the student will be enrolled in the MSpVM graduate program and will receive graduate course credit for clinical assignments, seminars, and for other courses required by the program. The student will complete a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours by the completion of the program.

Each student will complete general course requirements specified for all students in the MSpVM program and additional elective course requirements in his/her specialty area. The general course requirements for students in the Masters of Specialized Veterinary Medicine track are:

The student and his/her advisory committee will determine the courses selected to complete the balance of the required 36 credit hours. A minimum of 18 credit hours in letter-graded courses are required to earn a degree at NCSU. The following courses represent those that could be used by MSpVM students to complete the credit hour requirements for their degree.

Existing Courses

Educational Objectives

To provide advanced training in clinical specialty areas of veterinary medicine to prepare graduates to qualify for certification examinations given by one of the veterinary specialty boards.

To provide advanced training in the conduction of applied research in veterinary medicine so that graduates gain skills necessary to conduct independent research.

To provide advanced training in clinical instruction so that graduates will be qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of faculty positions in schools of veterinary medicine.

Ph.D. Degree

Residents who are interested in pursuing a M.S. or Ph.D. graduate degree should contact the CVM Student Services Office for further information. The Comparative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program presently has 5 areas of concentration: Infectious Disease, Morphology/Cell Biology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Population Medicine. Other interdepartmental areas include but are not limited to: Immunology, Physiology, Veterinary Public Health, Toxicology and Microbiology. Also, the Internal Medicine Clinician Investigator Program provides clinical training in small animal veterinary internal medicine and graduate research training toward the Ph.D. degree. Residents who are not candidates for a graduate degree may take graduate courses by registering for Post-Baccalaureate Studies through the Registration and Records Office, with approval of their Resident Committee. This applies only to United States citizens.  A maximum of 12 credit hours can be transferred into a doctoral program provided the coursework is 500 or 700 level and you earn a B or better. Please note that a student’s degree clock begins from the date of the first course taken that is used in the plan of work.


The Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs (FCHOP) is responsible for administering the House Officer Training Programs including the MSpVM program. The House Officer Coordinator is responsible for advertising, communicating with applicants, and maintaining documentation. The Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services has final approval for all matters pertaining to House Officer Programs.

New House Officer Programs or Expansion of Existing Programs

The department heads and specialty faculty establish priorities for initiating House Officer Programs, and determine the requisite number of residents and sequencing of appointments. The Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs will recommend approval of house officer positions based on the merits of each proposal, the availability of funding, and the overall needs of the Veterinary Health Complex and the CVM. The Dean’s Cabinet is the final authority for approving house officer positions. It is strongly preferred that all internships begin the last full     week in June and residency programs begin on July 15th.

Operational Procedures

Recruitment and Communications

The American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC) Matching Program Directory ( is used to advertise most clinical training positions (excluding Avian, Non-Domestic Avian, Pathology (Anatomic and Clinical), Laboratory Animal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Poultry Health Management). Notices may also be sent to veterinary colleges. One page program descriptions on available House Officer programs are sent to the AAVC Matching Program for the Directory, and in response to inquiries. Internship and residency programs that do not participate in the Matching Program can be advertised in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and other appropriate sources.

All residencies and internships, regardless of how they are offered, must follow all NCSU Affirmative Action regulations, and be approved by the FCHOP and the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services. This includes advertising in appropriate professional journals.

Application Documentation

House Officer candidates must furnish the following information. Prerequisites for each program other than those listed below are available in the AAVC Matching Program Directory.

  1. Application form
  2. Transcript of all university grades, which would provide proof of the DVM (or equivalent) degree from a school recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association before beginning the program.
  3. Curriculum vita, including a description of internship or clinical experience (clinical programs)
  4. Letter of intent, indicating reasons for seeking training, motivating factors, and anticipated use of training following completion of program
  5. Two (internship) or three (residency) letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to professional abilities and interpersonal skills


House Officers will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Demonstrated professional performance
  2. Professional goals, as stated in the intent letter
  3. Letters of evaluation
  4. Academic record

Programs Participating in the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program

The House Officer Selection Committees will consist of representatives of the specialties having primary responsibility for that House Officer program. The Committees will rank the candidates in order of preference. Their recommendations will be submitted to the House Officer Coordinator who will submit the rankings to the VIRMP Matching Program. North Carolina State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Unmatched Positions

Positions left open after the Match may be filled at the discretion of the specialty faculty, Department Head, and Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services. The same procedures must be followed as for matched positions, including the NCSU Affirmative Action guidelines.

Programs Not Participating in the AAVC Matching Program

Faculty within the specialty will rank the applicants and offer positions based on the ranking. The same NCSU Affirmative Action guidelines will be followed as for the matching program.


The House Officer Coordinator will notify successful House Officer candidates by e-mail after receiving the results of the VIRMP Match. Each applicant will receive formal notification of the outcome of his/her application from the AAVC Matching Program office. An official letter clarifying the terms of the CVM appointment is sent from the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services’ office.

Policy for Unfunded House Officer Positions


The goal, and expectation, for the House Officer Program at the CVM is to seek the most highly qualified applicants available through matching programs and/or competitive application while providing equal opportunity. House officers are highly valued assets to the college, future colleagues of our clinical professions, and every effort will be made to recognize and respect house officers through compensation for their work. Acceptance of house officers for unfunded positions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

An unfunded position is defined as any position that is not funded for the entire training period by the CVM or an approved non-CVM organization (e.g. US military, CIIT, pharmaceutical company, national or foreign government agency). Funding by the trainee, trainee family, or other private individual does not qualify as an approved non-CVM organization.

Unfunded position(s) must be well justified and are intended as temporary means to maintain program continuity, stability and service obligations. Unfunded positions should not be used to expand a program. Unfunded position must be mutually beneficial to both the applicant and the College.

Program directors should be especially diligent to ensure unbiased selection of high quality candidates. Individuals in unfunded positions should have the same responsibilities and receive the same training as individuals in paid positions.

Program Description, Justification and Approval

The FCHOP will review all applications for unfunded house officer positions and Request for Hire will be denied if the following criteria are not met:

Review of Unfunded Positions

The program director will commit to making every effort to acquire funding during the tenure of an unfunded position. The program director will meet with FCHOP annually to discuss funding for positions that remain unfunded.

Candidate Qualifications

The qualifications of candidates for an unfunded position shall meet the same minimal standards as those for paid positions and be equivalent or better than the standards required for admission to the NCSU Graduate School (GPA 3.0/4.0 and a Test of English as a Foreign Language score > 550 if English is not the candidate's native language).

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

A written MOA signed by the Associate Dean of Veterinary Medical Services and the unfunded candidate should include the following:

Offer Letter

A selected candidate is required to sign an offer letter, which will explain that this is an "at will" appointment.  

Faculty Advising for House Officers

The faculty members in the clinical section responsible for a given House Officer program will select a Program Coordinator for each resident or each internship program. This person will be identified within 30 calendar days of the beginning of the House Officer’s program, and his/her name forwarded to the House Officer Coordinator.

All House Officers will be supported by a House Officer Committee.  Interns will be asked to choose a mentor in their particular field of interest. The Intern Program Coordinator will provide the interns with a list of faculty who have agreed to act in the mentorship role. The interns will forward their mentor name to the Intern Coordinator.  Resident Committees will consist of at least 3 members that will include the Program Director, another faculty member within their specialty and a faculty member from a differing specialty. 

Interns Program Coordinators have the option of allowing the intern to choose a committee consisting of three faculty members (two within their specialty and one outside their specialty) in lieu of a mentor.  The committee will evaluate the interns’ progress and provide at least two written evaluations during the course of the program.

The Program Coordinator will be responsible for seeing that all essential meetings are held, and that progress reports are submitted. All evaluations and decisions affecting the House Officer will be submitted to the House Officer Program Coordinator within 30 days of each evaluation meeting.

House Officers are evaluated a minimum of twice yearly. Each service will use a universal evaluation form, with additions as appropriate for the specialty service (Program Coordinators are responsible for seeing that forms are distributed). Input on performance from faculty and staff will be invited. The House Officer and their advisor will sign each evaluation form. A written summary of the House Officers progress will be prepared and submitted to the House Officer Coordinator by December 1 and April 1 of each year. This summary document will be signed by, and a copy given to, the House Officer.

In the event an evaluation includes a “does not meet standards” ranking in any category, the House Officer Coordinator will notify the FCHOP committee chair. The FCHOP chair may follow up with the advisor and or house officer with any concerns.   If an evaluation results in an overall score of DID NOT MEET STANDARDS at any time, a review of the House Officer by his/her House Officer Committee, the Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs and the Associate Dean of Veterinary Medical Services is required within 10 working days to determine whether the House Officer will continue in his/her program.

Scheduling for House Officers

Schedules for House Officer duties will be available at the beginning of the program. The House Officer, in conjunction with his/her Committee, is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the schedule is followed.

House Officer Seminars

All House Officers will attend a minimum of 70% of the House Officers Seminars, unless additional absences have been approved by the FCHOP prior to the absences. Each House Officer will present at least once during their house officer experience at the CVM.

Potential Conflict of Interest Activities

House officers and graduate students are not permitted to participate in the practice of veterinary medicine or other consulting activities for pay outside of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Evaluation of the Residency Training Program

FCHOP will review individual House Officer Programs and recommend revisions or modifications. All interns and final-year residents will complete an on-line exit interview. FCHOP will forward the results of these interviews to respective department heads, advisors, and the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services

Administrative Rules and Procedures of the Veterinary Health Complex

House officers should review the Administrative Rules and Procedures Manual of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. To access the manual online, go to the College of Veterinary Medicine website (, select “Full Site Contents” then select “Hospital Manuals-Restricted Access” under Veterinary Teaching Hospital, then select “Continue Login”, then enter your user ID and password, then select “Standard Operating Procedures”.

The regulations and guidelines that govern the House Officer program will be periodically reviewed and evaluated  by the Faculty Committee on House Officer Program and the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services.