Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Veterinary Medicine Major, DVM

The primary objective of the college is to enable students to attain essential knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors to meet the varied needs of society and the veterinary profession. The professional curriculum provides an excellent basic science education in addition to training in diagnosis, disease prevention, medical treatment, and surgery. Each class begins in August and graduates four years later in May. Graduates are qualified to pursue careers in the many facets of veterinary medicine and related health professions.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

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.

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 uses 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 (the following Monday if that date falls on a weekend). Non-Tennessee applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.00 scale for applications to be considered. Tennessee applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.80 on a 4.00 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.

Technical Standards for Admission

Additionally, admission is conditional on the candidate’s having the ability to satisfy Technical Standards for admission. Technical Standards are designed to communicate the necessary intellectual and physical abilities, and behavioral and social attributes of all candidates and students. These standards are not intended to deter candidates for whom reasonable accommodation will allow successful completion of the curriculum. Consult the college’s admissions Web site for a full description of the Technical Standards for Admission.

Academic Standards

  • Satisfactory completion of the professional curriculum requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or greater on a 4.00 scale. The college’s Committee on Academic Progress will review a student’s standing if any one or more of the following occurs:
    • A student’s cumulative grade point average, or grade point average for any academic semester, falls below a 2.00
    • A student fails a course or receives a grade of “D”
    • A student demonstrates unsatisfactory clinical performance
    • A student receives multiple unsatisfactory marks within a single clinical rotation or repeated across three or more rotations
    • A student fails to adhere to the standards of professional conduct
    • A student fails to pass the VEA examination after two attempts
  • The committee might recommend or require an academic plan, actions, or resource acquisition to promote academic success. Failure to adhere to academic standards may result in academic probation; requirement that a course(s), term(s), or year(s) be repeated; suspension; dismissal with ability to reapply; permanent dismissal; or other appropriate measures.

Credit Hours Required

  • The curriculum requires successful completion of 153 credit hours, of which 62 will be completed within the final four semesters.

Required Courses

  • Contact the College of Veterinary Medicine for full course details.
    • The first five semesters generally follow the traditional fall and spring sessions with the summer break following years one and two. The final four semesters of the professional curriculum begin immediately following semester five and are continuous clinical rotation experiences.
    • Development of a strong basic science foundation is emphasized in the first two semesters. 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 normal radiology, along with beginning professional skills that include finance, business, ethics, and communication skills. Considerable integration of subject matter is incorporated during this year.
    • The third through fifth semesters include the study of diseases, their causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention, and courses are team-taught on an organ system basis.
    • The final four semesters are devoted to intensive education in solving animal disease problems involving extensive clinical experience in the Veterinary Medical Center. Each student will participate in clinical rotations in the Veterinary Medical Center and in required externships (preferably off-campus), with options to participate in research and alternative career studies.
    • Innovative features of this curriculum include student-centered, small group, applied learning exercises in semesters one through four; dedicated clinical experiences in the Veterinary Medical Center in semesters one through four; and elective course opportunities in semesters two through nine which allow students to focus on individual educational/career goals. Students enrolled in the DVM program may register for up to 10 hours of graduate courses, and these 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, wellness, and practice management.

Non-Course Requirements

  • In addition to the above course requirements, students in the professional program must complete the following non-course requirements. In the event that a requirement cannot be met due to absence, a waiver or remediation must be approved by the coordinator of the requirement and the associate dean for academic affairs.
    • Team-Building Leadership Camp: A 2-day, off-campus experience to build cohesion, develop cooperation, understand differences in working styles, and enhance trust among members of each incoming class. This camp provides participants with opportunities for self-exploration and personal knowledge growth through experiencing themselves outside their comfort zones. The camp takes place each August before the official start of the fall semester.
    • Professional Development in Conflict Management: Conflict management includes intensive educational opportunities during which 3rd-year students explore different styles of conflict response, effective self-management, and solutions for conflict resolution.
    • UT Peer-Assisted Communication Training (PACT): PACT is required for 2nd-year students. During this event, students learn core communication skills, through a partnership with Zoetis and their FRANK Communication program. Students then have a chance to practice those communication skills in simulated client interactions, typically portrayed by rising 3rd-year veterinary students.
    • College Research Day: The goals of the college research day are for students to learn the fundamentals of delivering scientific presentations to an audience of peers and to appreciate the role of research in veterinary medicine. Students in their first and second years must compose critical reviews of a specified number of talks attended.
    • Career Day: In collaboration with the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association and held on-site or in conjunction with a local or regional conference, provides students with content on job search and selection, navigating financial options for salary, and student debt management. Students have the opportunity to interact with various veterinarians to explore job options, while learning tips for finding the right job for them.
    • Rabies vaccination or protective titers are required.
    • Health insurance is required.
    • Comprehensive Examination: Students in the 3rd year may be required to sit for a comprehensive examination that serves as a formative assessment of foundational science knowledge and contributes to program assessment and ongoing improvement.
    • Clinical Skills: Students must demonstrate competency of a minimum number of clinical skills by the conclusion of the 9th semester.