Incoming Students

Student with child at Open HouseWelcome to the Class of 2025!

Welcome to the Cornell veterinary community! Starting a new academic journey is exciting. To make sure it’s not also overwhelming, we invite you to use the information and resources on this page. It will help you navigate your transition to the veterinary college and the Ithaca community.

Time Sensitive Items

Please note that certain items require timely action on your part to ensure a smooth transition.

To Do List 

Academic Calendar
*please note dates are subject to change

New Student OrientationStudents at orientation

Orientation will begin on Thursday, August 12th and classes will begin on August 16th.  Orientation details will be emailed in August.  There is a Pre-Orientation course in Canvas that has your list of supplies and information to prepare for the transition to vet school.  There will be a Littman Stehoscope representative at the college on Tuesday, August 17th at 3pm during Orientation for those that would like to wait and test drive stethoscopes before purchasing.

Student Health Insurance 

Health Insurance is mandatory for all full-time registered students at Cornell. Students need to confirm enrollment or waive by July 31st.  After this time if you have not waived the insurance, you will automatically be enrolled in the Student Health Plan.  For details on the SHP visit the Student Health Plan webpage.  

Waiver/Appeal ProcessA student jogs down Libe Slope past Uris Library and McGraw Tower in summer.

The Office of Student Health Benefits is partnering with Gallagher Student to offer a new SHP Enrollment/Waiver/Appeal experience for students. For more information about the Enrollment/Waiver/Appeal process for students and for details on enrolling spouses, domestic partners, and children please visit website.  Please be aware of Enrollment/Waiver/Appeal deadlines.

Students who successfully waive or appeal will be charged an annual Student Health Fee to support equitable access to low-cost care at Cornell Health and to help support campus-wide services.

The Office of Student Health Benefits is located at 110 Ho Plaza. For directions, contact information, and more about the services they provide please visit the Student Health Benefits webpage.

Rabies Vaccination

Prophylactic (pre-exposure) immunization against rabies is mandatory for all veterinary students because of an increased risk of exposure to rabies in this area. The College requires that students be vaccinated either prior to enrollment or through the Cornell Health. The cost of the pre-exposure rabies vaccination series (3 shots, 1.0 ml. Intramuscular) is covered by your health insurance IF you are enrolled in the Cornell Student Health Insurance Plan (SHP or SHP-M).  If you do not have the Cornell Student Health Plan you may still receive the vaccination series through Cornell Health for a fee. The fees are paid by the student to University Health Services via bursar bill or credit card.

If you plan on waiving the Cornell Student Health Plan, you may wish to look into the coverage and cost of the rabies vaccination series though your health insurance, prior to arriving at Cornell,  If you have already received a pre-exposure or post-exposure vaccination series you must present written proof from the institution where the vaccines were administered. This should include the product type, route of administration, dose and dates of the series. You must bring this information with you to Orientation.

Cornell Health schedules rabies vaccination clinics for first-year students at the college during Orientation.  The subsequent vaccinations in the series are also scheduled at the college.) If you have had prior rabies vaccinations, you must bring documentation with you to determine your status and current needs.

Use the Listserv to communicate

The members of the veterinary community at Cornell rely heavily on email listservs to communicate. Each DVM class has its own listserv. Students can post messages to just their listserv or to other class lists. Vet college listservs are used to share information related to academic and social life.

Review the Student Handbook 

Use as a reference guide throughout your four years as a veterinary student. It contains vital information on Financial Planning, Curriculum, College and University Policies and Support Services. Please note we are currently reviewing the 2021-2022 handbook and there may be updates throughout the summer.

Browse the internal student website

  • Once you have activated your Cornell Net ID you can access the (password protected) internal student site:
  • In order to access the internal home page from remote locations you must have a VPN installed. The instructions to install the VPN can be found at
  • Please ensure that your operating system software is up-to-date and the latest version of Java (found at is installed on your computer prior to installing the VPN.

Explore Ithaca

Ithaca offers a tremendous quality of life for students and long-term residents. Ithacans enjoy the diversity of a large city and the familiarity and friendliness of a small town. Learn more about what Ithaca can offer you.