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College of Veterinary Medicine

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History and Overview

The College of Veterinary Medicine was authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1965 and opened its door to students in 1976.

Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine is concerned with the total health of all members of the animal kingdom–including man. Modern veterinarians serve the needs of the public in a variety of significant ways: prevention of disease in animals and humans, enhancement of animal agriculture and wildlife management, humane health care of animals, research on diseases of animals and provision of wholesome food.


  • To educate veterinarians for Florida’s specific needs.
  • To perform research on metabolic and infectious diseases of animals. These investigations will provide new knowledge concerning diseases of domestic animals, will assist in the control of devastating subtropical diseases that must be controlled in order to provide wholesome food for our nation and developing countries, and will provide insight into human diseases for which animal models exist.
  • To provide a veterinary medical center necessary for training of interns, residents and graduate students, and for continuing education of practitioners.
  • To provide a resource for dissemination of current information to veterinary practitioners, state and federal agricultural and public health agencies, and consumers of food and health services.
  • To serve as a center where veterinary practitioners can consult with specialists and where animal patients can be referred for sophisticated diagnostic procedures. This will provide a service to practitioners and afford veterinary students access to more cases and a greater variety of disease entities.


The professional curriculum provides a nine-semester program consisting of a core curriculum and elective clinical experiences (clerkships). The core provides the body of knowledge and skills common to all veterinarians.

The first four semesters concentrate primarily on the basic medical sciences. Additionally, students are introduced to physical diagnosis, radiology and clinical problems during the first year. The core also includes experience in each of the clinical areas (clerkships). The elective clerkships permit students to study in depth those aspects of both basic and clinical veterinary medical science most relevant to their interests and needs.

Three phases of study within the veterinary medical curriculum are based conceptually on the study of the normal animal (Phase I), the study of disease processes and therapy (Phase II), and clinical applications (Phase III). Phases I and II are organized on an organ system basis; each system is considered in turn, an approach that lends itself to the concept of comparative medicine. Phase I occupies the first two semesters of the curriculum; Phase II the second two semesters. After four semesters of study, the student enters rotations through the clinical clerkships of required or core clerkships and elective areas of concentration.

Students enrolled as full-time veterinary students participate in the professional degree program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). A total of 150 semester credits are required for graduation. Students with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.50 or above on courses in the professional curriculum are graduated with honors. A cumulative GPA of 3.75 or above is required for magna cum laude (high honors) recognition.

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