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    Jan 29, 2023  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Veterinary Medicine, DVM


To qualify for admission to the professional program of the College of Veterinary Medicine, a candidate must have completed at least the minimum pre-veterinary course requirements listed below. These may be completed at any accredited college or university that offers courses equivalent to those at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Pre-veterinary course requirements must be completed by the end of spring term of the year in which the applicant intends to enroll. Biochemistry requirements must have been satisfactorily completed within five years of the time the applicant wishes to enter the program.

Course Requirements

Semester Credit Hours

English 6
1 Humanities and Social Sciences 18
Physics 8
General Chemistry 8
Organic Chemistry 8
2 Biochemistry 4
General Biology 8
Genetics 3
3 Cellular Biology    3
  Total 66

1 May include, for example, courses in English literature, speech, music, art, philosophy, religion, language, history, economics, anthropology, political science, psychology, sociology, and geography.
2 Exclusive of laboratory.
3 It is expected that this requirement will be fulfilled by a course in cellular or molecular biology.

Admission Procedures

Admission of new students is for the fall semester, with first priority given to residents of Tennessee.

The College of Veterinary Medicine utilizes the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) for all applicants. Instructions for making application for admission may be obtained from the Office of the Associate Dean, The University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine, 2407 River Drive, Room A102, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4550, or online at VMCAS (

The deadline for receipt of the completed application materials is September 15. Non-Tennessee applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for applications to be considered.

Applications are accepted from non-US citizens who must also meet the English language requirement established by the Admission Guide for Graduate International Students.


The curriculum of the College of Veterinary Medicine is a nine-semester, four-year program. Each class begins in August and graduates four years later in May. The first three years generally follow the traditional fall and spring semesters with the summer break following years one and two. The final year of the professional curriculum begins immediately following semester six and is a continuous clinical rotation experience extending over 54 weeks.

Development of a strong basic science foundation is emphasized in the first year. Courses consist mostly of pre-clinical subjects of anatomy (gross and microscopic), physiology, immunology, bacteriology, virology and parasitology. Also included in the first year are clinical subjects of physical diagnosis and epidemiology. Considerable integration of subject matter is incorporated during this year.

The second and third years include the study of diseases, their causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention, and courses are team-taught on an organ system basis.

The final year (three semesters) is devoted to intensive education in solving animal disease problems involving extensive clinical experience in the Veterinary Medical Center. Each student will participate exclusively in clinical rotations in the Veterinary Medical Center and in required externships (preferably off-campus).

Innovative features of this curriculum include six weeks of student-centered, small group, applied learning exercises in semesters one through five; three weeks of dedicated clinical experiences in the Veterinary Medical Center in semesters three through five; and elective course opportunities in semesters four through nine which allow students to focus on individual educational/career goals. Students enrolled in the DVM program may register for up to 10 credit hours of graduate courses, and these credit hours will be credited toward the DVM. Elective study offers a unique educational alternative for students in the College of Veterinary Medicine and is intended to enhance professional growth, concentration in an area of interest, and career opportunities.

In addition to education in the science and art of veterinary medicine, students receive instruction in paramedical subjects such as animal behavior, medical communication, professional ethics, jurisprudence, economics, and practice management.

Students in the second semester of the 3rd year are required to pass a comprehensive examination prior to transitioning to clinical training. The curriculum requires demonstrated competency of a minimum of 200 clinical skills by the conclusion of the 9th semester and successful completion of 165 credit hours.

Veterinary Public Health Concentration

A veterinary public health concentration is available for students enrolled in the DVM curriculum and graduate veterinarians. This concentration is part of the Master of Public Health degree in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. For more information, see Public Health in this catalog. The College of Veterinary Medicine shares governance of the concentration through the Public Health Academic Program Committee, and student advisors within this concentration are faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine. This concentration requires a separate application to the MPH Program.


Accelerated DVM-MS Program, Animal Science Major

For qualified students, the Department of Animal Science offers an accelerated MS degree program for individuals pursuing a doctor in veterinary medicine degree. Qualified veterinary students may use up to 9 credit hours of veterinary medicine courses to count toward both the doctor of veterinary medicine degree and the MS degree. To this end, a student may earn the DVM and MS in about 5 to 5.5 years rather than the 6 to 6.5 years otherwise required.

Normally, students will be considered for conditional admission to the program during, or immediately following, their first year of study at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Efforts related to identifying a graduate mentor and starting a research-based project in consultation with a graduate advisory committee (that meets MS committee requirements) are appropriate in and around or following the first year of veterinary study.

To be considered for conditional admission to the program, a student must have completed at least one semester of coursework required for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. A student must also coordinate the provision of three letters of recommendation and complete a personal interview with individuals who compose the Graduate Committee in the Department of Animal Science and College of Veterinary Medicine. Conditional admission of a student must be approved by both the Department of Animal Science, the Graduate School, and College of Veterinary Medicine.

The student must have earned a grade of at least a “B” in all A–F-graded courses eligible to be used for graduate credit; courses used for graduate credit (maximum 9 credit hours) must be approved by both the individual’s Graduate Committee and by the Department of Animal Science Graduate Director. These courses must be identified in advance, in consultation with the student’s Graduate Committee, and must be listed on the Animal Science Conditional Admission Form for the Five-Year DVM-MS program. The conditional application for admission form is obtained from the Animal Science Graduate Program Director and must be completed, signed, and submitted to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Graduate School for final approval and processing.

Conditional admission into this type of accelerated program does not guarantee acceptance into either the Graduate School or the MS program. Students will normally apply for admission to the Graduate School and to the MS program during their fourth year of study in the DVM program, following the same procedures that all other MS student applicants follow. At that time, GRE scores must be submitted as part of the application for admission into the Department of Animal Science. Students will be fully admitted to the MS program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the Animal Science MS program. Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are officially enrolled in the Department of Animal Science Graduate Program.