Incoming Students

Student with child at Open HouseWelcome to the Class of 2024!

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 Calendars

New Student OrientationStudents at orientation

Orientation will begin on Thursday, August 13th and classes will begin on August 17th.  Please make your travel arrangements according to the guidelines below: 

The following information applies to all students traveling to the Ithaca area for instruction during the fall 2020 semester.

Anyone traveling to New York state needs to follow guidelines for travelers. Please check the website often as quarantine rules may change. At this time, there are no exemptions from the 14-day quarantine for students traveling from listed states.

Covid-19 testing:

All members of the DVM classes have been added to a COVID-19 Resources Canvas course where you can find answers to many of your questions.  Once you have been tested, please send the results to Student Services at  Please use COVID-19 test results in the subject line. 


If you are currently outside the US and have questions about your reentry into the US in light of COVID-19 travel restrictions, please contact the Cornell Office of Global learning for guidance.  

If you are traveling back to Ithaca from an international destination, it is recommended that you be tested for COVID-19 prior to departure and quarantine for 14 days after your arrival in Ithaca.

If you are unable to arrive in Ithaca for the start of the Fall semester due to international border travel restrictions, please contact Dr. Jai Sweet at for assistance with a remote learning plan.

Student Health Insurance 

Health Insurance is mandatory for all full-time registered students at Cornell. All DVM students will be automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) and charged a mandatory premium.  For details on the SHP visit the Student Health Plan webpage.

The SHP Premium rates for the 2020-2021 Plan Term (August 1, 2020-July 31, 2021) will be available by May 31 at this website:

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.

Time to act!

  • The Waiver/Appeal process will be open on June 30,2020.
  • The Enrollment/Waiver/Appeal deadline is July 31, 2020.

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. In the past this has been during Orientation.  We will update your class on when and how this clinic will happen in 2020. (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.

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.