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Educational Opportunities

Cornell DVM students have a broad range of exciting, additional educational opportunities beyond the core curriculum. Students can tailor their DVM program to their passion—from research, to working with animals in rural and international communities.

FARVets International

What is FARVets?

FARVets (Feral, abandoned, rescued animals) organized by Cornell veterinary faculty member Dr. Paul Maza, is dedicated to implementing projects abroad to assist local animal welfare organizations with their missions of vaccination, increasing animal welfare awareness via pet education, treating medical conditions and addressing overpopulation by holding sterilization surgery clinics. The typically week long program includes wellness procedures such as physical examinations, vaccinations, parasite control and other medical procedures as necessary and possible. During the surgery clinics, students perform examinations, anesthesia, and perform and assist with ovariohysterectomies and castrations, and surgery recovery.  In addition, students work with local veterinarians and animal shelter staff and volunteers to communicate and educate the local pet owners on aspects of pet health and welfare. Cornell vet students have traveled to Mexico, Grenada and Costa Rica as part of the program. Plans are made for working with communities in Belize, Peru and Taiwan.

Field Techniques in International Wildlife

Organized by veterinary faculty members Dr. George Kollias and Dr. Jamie Morrisey, this experience aims to provide veterinary students the opportunity to learn about various non-native species and gain hands on experience working with these animals.  Students learn about local cultures and work with wildlife sanctuaries, refuges and bioparks in developing nations.  Examples of opportunities include assisting in performing dental work on jaguars and health examinations on tapirs and howler monkeys.  Coursework at the Tropical Education Center complements fieldwork.  Current programs occur in the Honduras and Belize.  Trips usually occur 1-2 times a year during Winter and Summer breaks.

Research Opportunities

Veterinary Investigator Program

This is a 10-week summer program designed to provide first- and second-year veterinary students with a rigorous and rewarding exposure to biomedical research at the highest level of inquiry and to motivate students to pursue the study of research problems that are relevant to veterinary medicine. In addition to a hands-on research experience in their mentor's laboratory, it is expected that students will participate in all associated lab activities and VIP specific sessions and events.

Leadership Program

The Leadership Program for Veterinary Scholars is a unique summer research experience for veterinary students who seek to broadly influence the veterinary profession through a science-based career. The program is an intensive, research-oriented initiative. It combines faculty-guided research with student-directed learning through participation in modules, workshops and group discussions. The activities encourage responsible leadership, critical thinking and the development of teamwork skills. The program also highlights graduate training opportunities calculated to promote the professional development of program alumni as independent scientists and public health professionals.


Aquavet provides a limited number of fellowships for students to pursue an eight-week summer program designed to stimulate research in aquatic animal medicine. AQUAVET is sponsored by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, and presented in collaboration with three marine science institutions at Woods Hole, Massachusetts: the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Summer Dairy Institute

This eight-week summer course is designed for third- and fourth-year veterinary students from an AAVMC-accredited institution who are interested in dairy cattle. The course consists of classroom and wet lab instruction as well as a number of farm activities.

Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation Fellowship Program

This ten-week program allows first-, second- or third-year veterinary students from College of Veterinary Medicine in the United States and abroad to participate in current projects at the Equine Genetics Center of the Baker Institute for Animal Health. Start dates are flexible for any consecutive 10-week period between May and September.

Sustainable Biodiversity Fund

Protecting the diversity of the earth's biota is critical for sustaining global ecosystem services, natural pest control on farms, and the preservation of four billion years of irreplaceable evolutionary history. Cornell University is uniquely positioned to foster novel research addressing the most pressing questions in biodiversity research, pushing the envelope and crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries to achieve a sustainable future.

Externships and Opportunity Blocks


Externships are brief (usually 2-4 weeks) work opportunities away from the College for which credit is not given. Students seeking special work experiences may do so through externships. Private and corporate practice, humane societies, governmental agencies, and pharmaceutical/pet food companies offer externships. Compensation may or may not be offered.

Externship Opportunities

Biomedical Research

Business Management     

Corporate Veterinary Careers




Food Animal

Government/ Public Policy and Public Health Sites


Laboratory Animal Veterinary Careers

Large Animal Resources




Wildlife, zoological and exotic resources

Additional Resources:

Opportunity Blocks

Students in their sixth, seventh and eighth semesters may obtain off-campus clinical experience for credit in institutional setting with established teaching programs, or in facilities offering unique clinical or research experiences. Proposed programs must be approved by the faculty coordinators of the block who will then determine appropriate university credits. Lists of approved opportunity blocks are available at


Internships are non-degree programs that provide training for practice, clinical teaching, and specialty-board eligibility. Generally, a one-year rotating internship in medicine and surgery is prerequisite for residency programs and for board certification. A directory of available internships is published by the AAVC each year (available in mid-September and accessible online).