Student Handbook

DVM Student Handbook

DVM Curriculum

Graduation Requirements

To receive the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree, candidates must successfully complete curricular requirements, pay all fees, and be recommended for graduation by the faculty of the college.
Graduation Requirements 
Progress toward degree requirements may be accessed anytime at Student Essentials under "my requirements"

Core (Foundation) and Elective Courses

Core (Foundation) Course are courses that all students must successfully complete to graduate. They cover material that has been determined to be essential for all veterinarians

Elective Courses allow students to explore areas to which they have not been exposed and to pursue a deeper understanding of areas of interest. The range of educational formats used in elective courses is highly variable, including lecture, discussion, independent project, laboratory, and research and clinical experiences. Faculty are encouraged to be creative and are supported in the development of innovative formats. The number of students in each elective course ranges from a few to more than eighty.

To assist first-year students in choosing Elective courses, informational meetings are held in the fall that provide an opportunity for students to learn more about the range of courses from which to choose. Most students find talking with upperclassmen particularly helpful in making decisions about which courses to take; it is also useful to seek the advice of faculty. 

Scheduling Elective Courses

Most elective courses are scheduled over 4 or 8 weeks during the Spring semester (Periods AB and CD).  First, second and third-year students enroll in elective courses during the AB period of the Spring Semester (January-March).Third-year students also enroll in elective courses during the CD period of Spring Semester (March-May). In general, students are not permitted to enroll in elective courses while they are enrolled in core courses. There is a limited number of exceptions to this (e.g. Poisonous Plants; Senior Seminar).

Elective Credits
Students are required to complete 31 credits (not including elective clinical rotations) for the veterinary degree. All students in the DVM Program must be enrolled as full-time students. Students must carry a minimum of 12 credits per semester to maintain their full-time status. There is a 23.5 credit limit per term.

Informational Meeting
To assist first-year students in choosing Elective courses, an informational meeting is held in the fall that allows for questions and answers, and provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the range of courses from which to choose. Most students find talking with upperclassmen particularly helpful in making decisions about which courses to take; it is also useful to seek the advice of faculty. While it may seem daunting to complete 31 Elective credits in four years, the vast majority of students have no trouble meeting the requirements for Elective credits by the time they graduate. Because first-year students are enrolled in VTMED 5220: Neuroanatomy, a demanding 2-credit Foundation course, it is strongly recommended that they do not enroll in more than 7 Elective credits. Generally, first-year students will also take a 3-credit Elective course associated with The Animal Body (Set IR), which will further their understanding of anatomy in a species other than the dog. Students should choose their remaining Elective courses carefully, to ensure that the workload is manageable.

Fall Semester Elective Courses
First-year students should not enroll in any Elective courses during the Fall term. Very few Elective courses are offered in the Fall term. Second, and third year students may enroll in them if their schedules permit. Students wishing to enroll must do so using the Student Service Center at by the stated add/drop deadline. Students with questions about adding or dropping a course should refer to the Add/Drop policy in the College and University Policies section of this Handbook or contact the College Registrar.

Spring Semester Elective Courses
The college participates in online pre-enrollment for Spring semester courses. Once the list of available courses is posted (usually in mid- September), each student must login to Cornell’s student center and enter his or her course choices according to the instructions provided. The pre-enrollment dates change every year, typically, start at the end of October and run through the first part of November. Each student is required to verify that their choice of courses and grade options (if a choice of grade option is offered) are correctly listed and clearly identify any errors (incorrect course or grade option, missing course, etc.) on the self-service website at:

It is imperative that students review and verify their enrollment information for accuracy and completeness for each term. Any errors (incorrect course or grade option, missing course, etc.) must be promptly corrected or reported to the College Registrar. No credit or grade will be given for courses a student attends without being properly enrolled. Conversely, a failing grade will be assigned for courses in which a student is enrolled but fails to attend or officially drop. 

Clinical Rotations

All students must satisfactorily complete
  • 26 credits of core clinical rotations
  • 14 credits of pathway clinical rotations
  • 6 credits of elective rotations 

A complete list of Core Clinical, Elective Clinical and Pathway Rotations is listed here

Curriculum Milestones

The DVM program includes four Curriculum Milestones that each student must successfully complete before advancing to the next stage of the program. These exams assess student abilities across a range of competency domains as they develop in the professional curriculum. They ensure that students are competent in a number of fundamental skills before taking on more complex challenges as they progress through the program. As degree requirements, the milestones are not affiliated with a particular course. Rather, when successfully completed, the results are recorded on the student’s transcript. To help students track their progress, audits of their degree requirements include the Milestones. The guidelines for the four Milestones are below.

First Year OSCE – Physical Examination: Appropriate remediation and retesting will be conducted as needed for any student who does not pass. If, after remediation a student does not pass this exam, the Class Teachers will be convened, and a decision will be made by that group on how to handle the student’s technical or knowledge-based limitation(s) based upon the Colleges Academic Standards and the Technical Skills guidelines.                              

Second Year OSCE – Surgical Skills: Students are required to pass the Surgical Skills OSCE before participating in surgical exercise laboratories. Appropriate remediation and retesting will be conducted as needed for any student who does not pass this exam. If after remediation a student does not pass the Surgical Skills OSCE, the Class Teachers will be convened, and a decision will be made by that group on how to handle the student’s technical or knowledge-based limitation(s) based upon the College’s Academic Standards and Technical Skills guidelines.

Third Year OSCE – Clinical Skills: A student who does not pass the Third Year OSCE will be permitted to work on their area(s) of weakness during the clinical year of training. Clinical rotations will be identified in which the deficient skill(s) can be reassessed. If those identified rotations(s) is/are successfully completed, the Milestone will be considered complete. If a student does not pass the Third Year OSCE and then demonstrates deficiencies in one or more of the identified clinical rotations, or, in the rare case in which at student’s performance on the Third Year OSCE is deemed extremely deficient (for instance failing grades on all portions of the OSCE), the Class Teachers will be convened to make recommendations, based up on the College’s Academic Standards and the Technical Skills guidelines.              

Fourth Year Milestone: A student earns this milestone by successfully completing their clinical year requirements, including any required remediations assigned by the Clinical Assessment and Teaching Support Committee. Students who do not earn this milestone by the end of the clinical year will have up to 7 clinical rotation blocks to successfully complete their required remediation and earn the milestone. Students who do not earn this milestone within this time frame will be administratively withdrawn from the college with no opportunity to reapply or otherwise continue in the DVM program.

Working in Tutor Groups

Tutorial groups form the core of the first year and a half of the professional curriculum. Each group is composed of six to eight students that typically meet in three, two-hour sessions per week. You will be assigned to a new group for each course. Students are presented with a case designed to draw out topics for study. The group identifies and prioritizes learning issues as they work through the case. Between group sessions, all members are responsible for researching the learning issues and then returning to group ready to share and discuss the topic. Tutorial group sessions provide the opportunity to share, apply, synthesize and integrate your work, and to refine your comprehension of the material as you work together as a group. Lectures, wet labs, computer cases and large group discussions supplement tutorial discussions and autonomous learning.

Why Problem Based Learning?

Why problem based learning (PBL)?  Here are some comments from students:

"Students teaching students is a more interesting and better way to learn." 
Many students have stated that they feel best about the tutorial experience when the group works together to build a knowledge base:  "I like the opportunity we have to discuss the material and work things out even when we don't think we can."  Other students appreciated the opportunity for "more intellectual discussions and interactions."  One student described how this works on a personal level:  "It helped my learning greatly to hear from other students who understood certain material better than I did -- I was less hesitant to ask them to explain. I personally am very hesitant to ask questions during lecture, so the small group was a good place for me to get better answers from the tutor and other students.  It also helps me learn better when I do understand something to explain it out loud.  This exposes gaps in logic, etc., that I might not otherwise work out."

"Concepts discussed in the small groups are easier to remember."
Through group discussion, most students feel not only do they understand the material more thoroughly, but the knowledge is more permanent.  Memory is based on associations, like a spider web.  The more levels that link concepts, the more easily that information is accessed.  PBL cases provide an example of clinical application to emphasize the importance of the learning issues.  Cases also provide a structural framework in which to integrate learning issues and help forge a complete understanding of the big picture.  One student commented that the entire active learning process of finding the sources, sorting out the relevant facts and then digesting the information has meant that "I've understood concepts more thoroughly and have been able to integrate facts better." Another student has described how active learning allows "the knowledge you acquire [to creep up] on you until it is really a part of your thinking." "Small group discussion about cases develops my clinical reasoning skills." Several students have mentioned that the small groups help them to think "clinically."  They approach the animal broadly at first and then focus in on the problem presented.  "You learn to think about what you want to know [about the patient] and why."  Learning how to develop and rule out a list of differential diagnoses is a critical aspect of clinical skills.  In addition, cases are presented complete with radiographs and results of diagnostic tests, when appropriate.  Students enjoy the repeated exposure to this type of data, increasing their comfort level and analytical abilities.

"Working in small groups helps me improve my interpersonal skills and learn about my classmates."
A positive experience in a tutorial group appears to be linked to mutual respect and sensitivity.  Students note that different personalities and learning styles are inevitable in a small group, but tolerance and understanding are needed to work well together.  Most students agree that diversity within tutorial groups facilitates discussion of the case.  For example, having varied backgrounds in veterinary medicine leads to "bouncing ideas off one another and figuring a lot out before looking at any reference books."  One student commented that the "exposure to different ways of looking at some problems" was particularly valuable coming from peers rather than faculty. Working through problems in group and developing mutual respect lead to critical lifelong skills.  As a professional, you will need to work with the diverse personalities of your colleagues and clients.  Many students have commented that they enjoy the increased interaction and "bonding with faculty and classmates." 

"Working in small groups helps me evaluate my own progress."
The small group discussions provide an opportunity to compare your level of  understanding to that of the other students. Most students judge their level of knowledge on their ability to participate in the group discussion, either by asking pertinent questions or contributing information.  As one student said, "I was able to tell the level other students had reached in the material I was working on.  I was able to get immediate feedback on my understanding of the material."

"It allows me flexibility with my time and my learning".
Many students enjoy not being "chained to a lecture hall." Time management and self-motivation are essential skills for success in this curriculum.  The freedom to manage one's own time allows students to maintain a job, personalize study habits, and volunteer in CPS, the wild-life clinic, ENICU, etc. The ability to ensure a balanced life allows for a much happier, healthier, more positive student.

In sum: "The curriculum has enabled me to polish my communication skills and to become more involved in the entire learning process.  In doing this, it has also helped to foster greater scientific curiosity as well as helped to perfect problem solving skills."

The Role of the Tutor

The faculty tutor is included in the group session to ensure your success. The tutor’s job is to help you and your group achieve each of the goals of the curriculum, and realize the potential of the tutorial process. He or she must walk the finest line between guiding the group and leading it. The tutor’s job is to listen to the group's discussion, to guide by asking probing questions, and to challenge the group's depth of knowledge. The tutor helps to refocus the discussion from inevitable tangents and to clarify the issues when the discussion gets messy. The tutor ensures all important learning issues are identified, and helps summarize and integrate the learning issues back into the case  discussion.  The tutor accomplishes all of this by turning the questions back onto the group.  In keeping with their role as facilitators rather than lecturers, the tutor is not there to give mini-lectures or give “the answers” to the group, but to help the group work effectively together.  They often only ask questions to lead the group to explore a different aspect or to help refocus the discussion.  A key to effective tutoring is identifying problems and knowing what, when, and how much to interject. 

In summary, one student described the tutor's role in relation to the group process:
"A successful tutorial group works through a case in a systematic manner, develops attainable, well thought out goals for the case and the Block in general, follows through on learning issues and explores them in detail.  An effective tutor ensures the above happens by asking pertinent questions, keeping the group on track, clarifying objectives, and picking up loose ends for additional learning issues."

Tutors are also often used as moderators for processing group problems or personal advisement.  They can be used outside of group sessions as resource faculty on any issue.  Most are reluctant to answer direct questions in group, feeling these questions are learning issues for the group to research.  
While the tutor is there to help, you are responsible for your own education. Be willing to work through difficulties and to actively change what does not work to optimize your educational experience.

Learning Issues

The cases are written to reveal specific topics for study.  What defines a learning issue?  Anything you don't know that comes up in a case.  Learning issues are developed and tailored to fit the course, the case and the previous knowledge base of the group members.  Often detailed or tangential learning issues are proposed. These can aid greatly in understanding the big picture.  However, these issues are usually just researched in the context of the case to understand the complexities and interrelations of systems. When listing and prioritizing learning issues, first of all, remember which course you are in!  This will save you from studying physiology in Block 1 and medicine in the physiology Block 3. 

Developing Learning Issues
You will need to learn quickly how to manage your own learning in order to make good use of your tutorials and independent study time. Each case is carefully written to prompt study of particular topics. As you discuss a case you will make note of many things that you don’t yet know by keeping a running list of potential learning issues on the flip chart provided in your tutorial room. At the end of each tutorial session you will review, refine and prioritize that draft list into the actual learning issues that you will study for the next tutorial session. Studies of students’ learning in problem based learning have shown that student-generated learning issues serve as the main starting point for students’ individual study and help structure and direct the discussion in the next tutorial. Given the central role of learning issues in the tutorial process, it is wise to consider what makes good learning issues. 

In addition to prioritizing and refining your learning issues at the end of each tutorial, it can be helpful to agree on an agenda to start the next tutorial. Which learning issue will you start discussion with? How will you present or discuss it? Who will start the discussion? Major learning issues are researched and studied by all group members. Case discussions are richer if everyone is prepared to discuss the topic and, ultimately each individual will be ac-countable for their understanding of the major learning is-sues. However, there are often tangential or minor learning issues that emerge in a case discussion that would help the group better understand the case or simply satisfy  curiosity. Those minor or tangential learning issues are often divided up among the members.  

Good Learning Issues Are:
1.    Relevant to the case. Learning issues should clearly arise from prioritized hypotheses and must be both relevant and fundamental to addressing the concepts that arise in the case.
2.    Related to the course objectives. While the case might prompt many issues that you are unfamiliar with, your learning issues should be framed primarily by the objectives of the course in which you are enrolled. The course objectives and concept maps printed in your course guides are a useful tool for prioritizing learning issues. Your learning issues for each case should be consistent with the overall course objectives and concepts. 
3.    Specific and well-defined, rather than broad. (Review topics can be broader since you are already familiar with those areas.)
4.    Realistically manageable in your time limits. You will want to pare down your list of learning issues, prioritize them, and define them in ways that make them doable before the next tutorial.
5.    Clearly stated, so that you, your group mates, and your tutor understand them.
6.    “Owned”by the students. Learning issues should be generated by you (not your tutor) and be meaningful to you, as they form the foundation of your independent study. They should be at an appropriate level, given the previous knowledge of the members of the group. 

Students often find that the hardest part of PBL is learning to trust themselves in the development of the learning issues, and in particular, deciding for themselves the appropriate depth and breadth to pursue. While this can be a difficult task for students who are accustomed to having teachers define exactly what they need to study, the skill and practice of managing and directing your own learning is invaluable. When you get to the CUHA, faculty will expect you to read up on the cases. Like your tutors in the early part of the curriculum, they will not hand you articles or textbooks and tell you what to read for the  following morning. They will expect you to locate and review relevant  readings yourself. After graduation, you will also need to continue to learn about new cases you encounter and new developments in  medicine and science. You will be making the choices about how to  address those learning needs and determining the appropriate breadth and depth to pursue. In that regard, the problem based learning  process treats you like a professional from the first day of your  veterinary education and simulates the learning situations you will  encounter throughout your career. 

Preparation for Tutorial Group

Using Available Resources
There are many resources available to you, including a world-class library with its Core Resource Center and reserve materials; the Modular Resource Center; dry lab modules; web resources, your own classmates and faculty. One of the greatest benefits of diversity within your class is the wealth of knowledge gained from collective past experience in one field or another. You also have access to faculty experts in many fields who want to help. The resources available are endless, but it will be up to you to seek them out and make the most of them. 

Each course guide contains an annotated bibliography of texts that may be helpful for that course and a list of associated resource faculty who have expertise that relates to the cases in that course. Multiple copies of suggested texts are held on reserve or in a special  “Core Resources” section in the library. Nevertheless, students do buy their own reference texts to build a professional library for use through-out the DVM program and in their future practice. Which texts you buy and when you choose to buy them are your own decisions. You may want to try several texts before making a purchase. Upper-class students also can offer advice on which texts they’ve found most useful. Borrowing or buying used books from other students can be another cost-efficient way of accessing books, although be wary of used books for sure. The best references may be the ones that upper-class students keep, not the ones they choose to sell. 

As there isn’t an assigned reading list for each week, you will need to choose your own sources that best answer the questions that arise during your tutorial discussion and best address your learning issues. In addition to textbooks, you will use a number of other learning resources. You will learn to use Medline—a bibliographic database of citations in the medically related disciplines—to access current research and literature reviews. Each tutorial group is provided with an allowance for printing, so you can print particularly useful articles for your peers in your tutorial group. To assist students in locating key articles, the College has also developed its own on-line database of references to research papers and chapters that students and faculty have found to be especially good resources for Foundation courses. Rather than search through hundreds of items found on broad search categories in MedLine, you may search and choose among a more se-lect group of papers referenced in the Veterinary College Literature Database. Interactive computer programs available in the Wiswall (Dry) Lab, developed by the College, offer simulations, animations, prediction tables, audio and video elements. In the Modular Resource Center, students can work at learning stations (“modules”) with hands-on, visual exhibits. For each module, students’ exploration of three-dimensional models, radio-graphs, slides, plastinated or wet specimens and other materials is guided by brief written scripts. 

Study Wisely
Reading an overview chapter relevant to your learning issues gives a big picture and introduces complexities that may not have been immediately obvious. With that overview, you can move on to more detailed or specialized sources that go into greater depth, address more specific questions or offer other perspectives on the topic. Taking good notes (be sure to write down the reference from which you are taking your notes) or bringing these sources to tutorial sessions helps to verify facts or share helpful pictures/diagrams. If you find a particularly good reference, you may use your group’s NetPrint account at the library to make copies for others in your group. In addition, while studying it’s a good idea to write down your questions in the margin or on a separate page. This reminds you of your thought process and helps start or focus a discussion in the tutorial. 

As you are studying, it can be easy to lose the forest for the trees. Effective learning requires that knowledge be organized into an understand-able conceptual structure that captures relationships among ideas and intertwined concepts. Each foundation course has a conceptual frame-work of its own presented in the course objectives and course concept map in your course guide and used to structure the entire course. It is critical that you to spend some time thinking about the cases in the con-text of the overall course objectives. You will need to correlate the course concept map and the course objectives with each case. Constructing your own objectives for each case and representing and visually organizing the major concepts of each case will be helpful. Concept maps, diagrams, flow charts or outlines are some of the ways that students organize what they are learning from multiple sources.

Be Prepared
The success of a tutorial depends on the preparedness of the group. Without a common knowledge base upon which to discuss the issues, frustration quickly arises. Tutorials are an opportunity to refine and integrate what you have previously studied and to clarify future learning issues. In one student’s words, “Like everything else - you get out of it what you put into it.” If you focus your study on the learning issues that your group prioritized, make good use of your learning resources, spend some time synthesizing what you have learned from various sources and apply your learning back to questions arising from the case, you’ll be well prepared. 

Keep Up!
The nature of group discussion requires a solid chunk of work done consistently throughout the week. The vast amount of material to learn and the quick progression of cases does not allow time to catch up from previous weeks or to study by cramming. Time management skills are critical in balancing other aspects of your life with your academics. 

If your group is having problems (i.e. interpersonal conflicts) be honest about them, talk about them and work them out—don’t allow them to ruin group dynamics for the entire course. 

Use Your Group
The other members of your group are a valuable resource. They each bring a unique set of experiences and knowledge that can contribute to the success of your discussions. Make use of the individual strengths in the group. You may also want to study with other members of your group outside of tutorial time or arrange a special meeting as a group outside of formal tutorial sessions for extra review or for discussion of a topic not covered due to time constraints. Most tutors are willing to attend extra meetings if the group desires. 

Work together as a class. All of the students in the College share an interest in and commitment to the health and welfare of animals and humans. You do not need to compete with your classmates. You will be working together in class, in the CUHA, and as professional colleagues in the future. Learning to cooperate as part of a team is a valuable skill to take into your future practice, when you will always be working with colleagues, clients and other staff members. 

Working in a Tutorial Group

Tutorials are an important part of your education in your first year and a half. Actively participating in the group process is the most effective way of achieving the educational goals of the program. Participation includes sharing ideas and knowledge, asking for clarification or an explanation, building on (and critiquing) the contributions of others, and facilitating effective group process and problem-solving. Each group will develop its own way of approaching the core parts of the  tutorial process. Both the tutor and students in the group must ensure that all aspects of the tutorial process are given attention. 

As one student put it:
"Any student having difficulty understanding something should speak up right away for two reasons.  First of all, the tutor will be alerted to where you are having difficulties and will be better able to help.  The other students, also, may see your confusion and be able to clear it up -- sometimes even better than the tutor.  Second of all, nobody knows nothing  so if you speak up right away, you can share what you do know as well as what you don't understand.  If you wait until every-body else has spoken, then chances are what you knew was already said, and you will feel like you have nothing to contribute."

Establish Ground Rules
On the first day of a new tutorial group, you’ll introduce yourself and meet your tutor and fellow students. This first session is a good time to clarify your expectations for the group and to establish some group norms or ground rules. Once the ground rules are negotiated and agreed upon, they are a resource that can be referred to later as a part of routine tutorial evaluation, or if conflicts arise. From your own previous experience working in groups, brainstorm the “rules” you want to follow in your tutorials. The following list serves as a guide to some of the things that you might expect of yourself, your group mates and your tutor. Once you agree upon your own ground rules in your own words, you might want to type them up and distribute the agreement to all members and keep a copy in your tutorial room. 

Sample Ground Rules
The purpose of the tutorial is to support students’ learning related to the course objectives. The tutorial is one of several integral parts of the course. The tutor’s role is to facilitate the reasoning and learning process. Working with an understanding of the objectives of the case and the course, knowledge of veterinary medicine, and an appreciation of case based learning, s/he will guide the students toward appropriate areas of study.

Attendance and punctuality are mandatory.  How much time will we wait if someone is late?  Do we start immediately at the dedicated time, whether all members are present or not?  A student, who is sick and must miss a tutorial, must call another group member before the tutorial?  Are there religious holidays that members of the group would like to observe and for which we would like to make alternate arrangements?

Students and the tutor will come prepared for the tutorial. The group cannot skip steps in the deliberation of cases.  They must use all steps (stating facts, raising questions, hypothesizing, listing information needed to confirm hypotheses, identifying learning issues).

Do you want to establish a plan for the next tutorial meeting at the end of each tutorial meeting (e.g. starting with a review of major learning issues)? How do you want to identify learning issues (e.g. write on butcher pa-per as we go along, prioritize at end of session, summarize, decide which issues all group members will research and which are personal learning issues that individuals will investigate)?

Groups must evaluate their process as a group and as individuals on a regular basis. (e.g. at the close of each tutorial). The learning process is cooperative.  All students in the group must contribute to the group by sharing their ideas, useful resources, and thinking aloud so that others can benefit from their reasoning, knowledge and experience. Everyone has something to offer. Sharing will contribute to our common goal of learning. All members of the group share responsibility for maintaining positive group dynamics and advancing the discussion in useful and relevant ways. Students will ask questions when they do not understand and will suggest alternative explanations when appropriate. Students will share material resources equitably—including library re-sources, MRC resources and the copy account.

The tutor and all students will show respect for all members of the group. How do we expect “respect” to be manifested?  Students will speak one at a time and not interrupt their classmates inappropriately? Tutor and students will listen and indicate so with appropriate verbal and nonverbal behaviors?  All members will acknowledge and build on the contributions of other students.

Students will abide by the Honor Code (See Chapter 4, section 2).

Some of us suggest that ground rules be set up from the very beginning so that both the students and the tutor have a safe and comfortable way to express their thoughts and opinions about how the group is functioning. Another suggestion is to have each student rotate through the position of 'leader'; this student would raise issues, ask questions, and draw other students into the discussion rather than having the students sit back and let the tutor fulfill this role. Both the students and the tutor should feel responsible for pointing out problems or even potential problems so they can be dealt with in a timely fashion to avoid the real pitfalls of a dysfunctional group.  As one student put it, "you can't expect students .... to be friends or even have to like [each other], but they got into vet school, they are intelligent and deserve a modicum of respect." Group dynamics need to be regulated.  If there is a problem, work it out before it becomes World War 3, or before there are only two days until assessment.

The Tutorial Ethic:  MUTUAL RESPECT
A core ethic in the tutorials— and the College more broadly— is mutual respect. Each person in your tutorial group brings a different back-ground, different experiences and knowledge, and different perspectives.  All are talented, bright, highly motivated, and desire a veterinary career that will advance animal and human health. If you value the unique experiences that each person brings to the group, the diversity within your group will enhance your group’s interactions and your education as a whole. 

When you walk into your first session, you are placed in a random group with six strangers.  In a situation like this, it is easy to feel isolated or separate from others, sensing differences rather than similarities. Mutual respect allows the effective communication that is essential to success in tutorial groups, class discussions, and clinical interactions.  Assumptions and stereotypes about people can be barriers to that communication.  Make the effort to get to know your colleagues and to appreciate and celebrate each person as an individual.  As previous students have noted, “humility in realizing others have important things to say and teach that you may not know” and the “ability to accept that you may be wrong” go far in establishing a good educational climate. 

Process Regularly
Talking about your experiences in the group and your perceptions of your own and your class-mates’ progress is a vital part of the communication that will help you get to know each other better and work better together.  You should take a few minutes at the end of each tutorial for an informal evaluation of how well you and your group are progressing on the various goals of the tutorial process. This end-of-tutorial evaluation, commonly called processing, is essential in addressing any problems that may arise in the group and making sure that the group functions optimally.

Processing is one aspect of the tutorial process that some people find awkward.  Yet, those few minutes of self and peer evaluation are critical to ensuring that there are open channels of communication within the group, and that everyone is becoming progressively better at the variety of skills and knowledge that the tutorial process is designed to pro-mote.  You may find it helpful to use the forms which are enclosed as guides for the tutorial evaluation process. You may take them to your tutorial (or make copies to leave in your tutorial room) as a tool for enhancing tutor group productivity.

The form entitled “End-of-Tutorial Evaluation” outlines the dimensions of performance that you, your colleagues and tutor are evaluating. These dimensions closely match the educational goals of the tutorial process. While you won’t have time to thoroughly evaluate all of these dimensions every day, you may want to focus on different dimensions at different times to ensure that you are attending to all relevant parts of a successful tutorial. The “Group Process Evaluation Form” is a sample form that describes in more detail satisfactory and unsatisfactory group behaviors on “problem solving and reasoning” and “interpersonal/group process/communication skills.”  Again, while the form is too lengthy to be used in its entirety every day, you might like to select parts of this form as a “checklist” when doing your end-of-tutorial processing. The individual “Feedback by Tutors to Students (and Student Self-Assessment Guide)” form is also a useful tool that you may want to reflect on regularly.  How well are you, individually, doing on each of the items described on that form?  How well are other individuals in the group doing?  Finally, you may want to revisit your ground rules from time to time to ensure that you are all fulfilling the expectations you agreed on at the beginning of the course.

Both students and tutors are responsible for pointing out problems or potential problems so they can be dealt with. Sometimes feedback—particularly when it is criticism of peers or your tutor—can be difficult to give. People often have ideas about how to improve the tutorial, but they just don't know how to communicate it to others for fear of offending or creating tension.  It can be particularly difficult if you are the first one to talk about a problem. But, if one courageous person can break the ice, it’s much easier for everyone else to share their feelings and bring up additional concerns. Following the suggestions on the form “Giving Constructive Feedback” might make it easier to express your feelings and to comment constructively on your peers’ and tutor’s behaviors. These criteria are useful in a variety of contexts where you are giving feedback, including educating clients about animal health and care requirements, communicating with technicians or associates, and even completing written course evaluations at the end of a term. 

Constructive feedback is a way of helping people to consider changing their behavior in ways that will improve their learning or professional development.  It gives information about the effect a person’s work or actions have on other members of the group. Criteria for useful feedback include:
  • Feedback should be directed primarily at a person’s performance or behavior rather than at the person him/herself.
  • Feedback is directed at behavior which the receiver can do something about.  Reminding another person of a shortcoming over which s/he has no control leads to frustration, not learning.
  • Feedback is specific rather than general. Giving specific examples helps illustrate specific points. To make a general statement about another person’ s work as a whole does not tell a person which parts of her/his performance or actions need changing and which might serve as models.
  • Feedback is both positive and negative. A balanced description of a per-son’s behavior or actions takes both the strong and the weak points into account. Both types of feedback provide information that the receiver can learn from.
  • Feedback is descriptive rather than judgmental. Describing one’s own reaction to another person’s work leaves the receiver free to decide whether and how to use the feedback.  Avoiding judgmental language reduces the other’s need to respond defensively.
  • Feedback takes into account the needs of both the receiver and the giver of the feedback.  What you say to people about their performance 

Tutor Room Etiquette

Tutor rooms are favorite places to study for many students. However, there are students from three classes as well as fourth years and faculty who use these 16 rooms for studying and meetings. To avoid conflicts, simple courtesy to others is crucial.

Some basic courtesies include:
  • Clean the room after each use. Pick up your trash, wipe down the table, etc.
  • Do not remove the tutor room resources. They are for use in the tutorial room only. This also includes chairs. Sometimes a meeting involves more people than chairs are available in that room. If you must “borrow” from another room, please put them back.
  • Tutor room scheduling is handled by Kate Davenport in the Facilities Office. AV support is managed by Dave Frank and the Educational Support Services team. At certain times throughout the academic year, select tutorial rooms may be available for college functions, scheduled meetings or faculty committees. All other tutor room use is restricted to tutorial group meetings and student study. Rooms are not reserved by the presence of your belongings!

Interpersonal Challenges

When asked to describe the ideal tutor group, certain themes are proposed by almost all students.  These include a positive attitude, an open mind, mutual respect, patience, forgiveness, and humor. Working intensely within a small group necessitates the development of good interpersonal skills, such as active listening and honest, direct communication without attacking or as-signing blame.  The need to respect each others' opinions and thought processes is constantly emphasized by students.  The "humility in realizing others have important things to say and teach that you may not know" and the "ability to accept that you may be wrong" goes far to establish good group dynamics.

Time is allotted in each tutorial session for discussion of problems or thoughts on group interactions or dynamics.  Take advantage of this time to process; use your tutor as a mediator if necessary.  Processing requires tact and naked honesty.  It is difficult to criticize peers and faculty, especially to be the first one to talk about a problem.  If one per-son can break the ice, it's much easier for everyone else to share their feelings and bring up additional concerns.  Deal with problems before they interfere with your education.

Example 1:
Nick has a strong personality and often leads his group in discussions.  Caroline is a bit quieter and doesn't like to argue with Nick because she feels he becomes strongly defensive.  Several times this has stopped Caroline from contributing a conflicting opinion.  Slowly, Caroline be-comes angry and builds resentment towards Nick. Unfortunately, the group has no clue about Caroline's feelings and Caroline, to avoid confrontation, doesn't chase down issues that confuse her.  Caroline begins to dislike the group sessions because she doesn't feel comfortable dis-cussing the learning issues.  Consequently, her contributions decline in quality and quantity, her attitude sours and the whole group begins to feel tension. A problem within the group is a group problem. Caroline needs to ex-press her feelings and discover (with Nick) why he makes her feel reluctant to contradict him.  Nick may be able to adjust his speech patterns, volume, or tone of voice.  It may be that other members have similar feelings as Caroline, but are also reluctant to discuss them.  Once the problem is discussed, the rest of the group is now able to be sensitive to the situation, pick up on subtleties of their interactions, watch their own behavior and in general, be more attentive and thus more able to avoid or resolve situations as they arise.

Example 2:
Heidi is a natural-born leader.  She enjoys working with a group.  Unbeknownst to her, no one likes her as a leader.  When Heidi makes a suggestion or begins to direct the discussion, another group member, Jeff, feels the issue is not the most relevant to discuss.  Jackie also has her own opinions, but Heidi always speaks first and her thoughts aren't  bad ones, so Jackie usually goes along with them.  However, the group sessions end before Jeff and Jackie can bring up their own questions and learning issues. This is one of the most common complaints about group dynamics.  Though Heidi thinks she may be incorporating other people's opinions, she doesn't realize her own assertiveness may be altering the group's process.  The other members of the group need to vocalize their feelings and most importantly, speak up and be assertive throughout the session. If no one will offer another choice, by default, the most outspoken person will dominate.

Example 3:
Becky is a moderate group member.  She will often contribute, loves to draw on the board and will try to motivate her group as necessary.  However, group life is difficult. She has a personality conflict with Ed, a well-meaning, sincere, but trying member.  Ed's learning style is much different.  He has a shorter attention span and often requires people to repeat themselves several times over because he is still writing down the last concept.   Continual disruptions over learning styles leads Becky to "give up" on the group.  She studies the material on her own, but rarely contributes and barely seems to listen to the group discussion.  Much to the other group members' dismay, Becky even falls asleep during a session. An absent group member is just as frustrating as a domineering one.  A positive attitude, motivation, and active participation are truly required for an effective learning process. There are times in group sessions when an individual realizes he isn't understanding the material.  Often times, a quick explanation by the rest of the group is sufficient to fill in the few missing gaps.  Unfortunately, other times, the material is too dense or the individual's gaps are too broad to address in group.  Students tend to understand the difference and know when to pause for an explanation or if they know their own knowledge level is far below the group's, they follow as best able, and study to catch up before next session. Personality conflicts are the most sensitive issues to deal with.  This is a difficult situation.  No one is in the wrong and no one feels they are obligated to adjust their own behavior.  But for this group to work effectively for everyone, a compromise or decision must be reached regarding Becky's and Ed's behavior.  Becky may become more involved in re-viewing concepts (on the board, since she likes it so much), Ed may be able to work on his concentrating skills and come in more prepared.  Groups are often criticized because they are held to the "lowest common denominator," yet this may benefit all members by providing opportunities for peer teaching and repetition.  Teaching the material is the best way to learn it. 

Every group has its own personality. An individual's personality may change depending on the other students in the group. When personalities or learning styles conflict, the only way to improve the situation and make the process an effective learning experience for everyone is to vocalize the problem and make an effort to solve to problem. "Students need to realize that they're working as a group for everyone's educational benefit - everyone needs to participate and offer something. These groups are a major part of their education, actually, the biggest part. If there is a problem with a group, it needs to be dealt with early otherwise everyone's education will suffer."

Troubles With Tutors
Problems don't only exist among the group members; often the tutor's personality and style also conflicts with a student or the group as a whole.

Example 1.  (Absent tutor):
Tim's group, although comprised of good students, has a tutor that rarely speaks and allows the group to ramble around trivial matters and talk themselves in circles.  When the tutor does ask a question, Tim thinks that they had satisfactorily discussed it 15 minutes ago.  Consequently, Tim never knows if they had not covered the information to sufficient depth or if his tutor was just not paying attention. Tim and Molly frequently ask the tutor if they are discovering all the major learning issues.  No matter how well or poorly the group session went, the tutor just says, "You're doing fine, don't worry."  Molly and Tim talk with friends in other groups who seem to be relaxed with the process. The disparity of tutor interaction and styles frustrates them even more. They feel that they are not getting what they need to know. Even more frightening is that they're not sure what they do need to know. Frantically studying, Tim reads every book on the subject covered in the case and spends hours wrestling with minuscule details, while Molly stresses so much she can't even concentrate. The tutor never inspires trust in the group process or even in his own comments. Inadequate tutor participation often leads to mistrust. When students feel the tutor is not fulfilling his role adequately, the group must ad-dress the tutor with their concerns.  Here, the tutor doesn't seem to pay attention, yet tells the group they're doing fine. How can the group believe they're OK if the tutor isn't listening to the discussion?  The tutor needs to clarify what it is that the group is doing fine with.  He may say "You've hit all the major issues" or "that was an good correlation be-tween concepts" or "you narrowed down the differential diagnoses logically."  The group may ask for more reassurance until they are comfort-able with the learning process.  However, one of the goals of PBL is to encourage the students to decide for themselves the depth and breadth of material to study. Repetition of the phrase, "you're doing fine" from a trusted tutor helps to verify the student's own decisions regarding the material.

Example 2.  (Overzealous tutor):
Anne's tutor was very excited with the opportunity to be involved with the tutorial process.  The tutor actively led the discussion, forging far ahead of her understanding.  The tutor would ask very directive, specific questions.  Len seemed to know all the answers and the tutor took his understanding for comprehension from all members of the group.  Anne didn't understand the progression behind the tutor's line of questioning.  She panicked that she wasn't smart enough and wasn't learning the right things.  Ellen was resentful of the tutor "quizzing" her group.  She thought the tutor didn't let the group work for itself.  The tutor seemed to have a specific agenda in mind and so directed the discussion with leading questions instead of allowing them to reason it out on their own.  Ultimately this led to a silent group, unwilling to go where the tutor led them, resentful of the tutor’s misinterpretations of the group process; the six brilliant students had a less than fruitful tutorial experience. A tutor may interfere with the group process by his/her own eagerness.  The PBL learning experience depends on the group process itself, not simply the coverage of material. This group needs to discuss the problems arising from the tutor's extreme directive. The students need to explain to the tutor that they need to discover the progression of questions through their own conversation.  The agenda needs to emerge from the group's need to understand, not the tutor's need to teach.

Example 3.  (well-meaning tutor):
Sue's tutor doesn't direct her group, but his ongoing comments fore-shadow the next day's discussion or the next case.  Frequently, he'll give away the diagnosis or list the case objectives, depriving the group of the opportunity to reason out the case and discover the learning is-sues along the way.  Sue and her group don't feel guided by the tutor's comments, rather, they feel left out of the process entirely.  The group tried to address the problems with their tutor quite early on.  Unfortunately, the tutor reacted poorly.  He felt he was doing the right thing by "helping" the students and felt slighted that the group didn't want his input. Subsequently, the tutor alternately sulked and foreshadowed, leaving the group unsure of his mood and thus more tentative to look to the tutor for guidance. A well-meaning but ineffective tutor may negate the PBL experience.  Again, the whole PBL experience must be derived from the students' own exploration of the issues. The tutor's reaction to the group's criticism only worsened the situation.  The group may seek additional help and advice to manage the tutor, but sometimes the group must pull themselves together and lead each other with their own knowledge and intuition. The expectations that students have regarding the role of the tutor influence their interactions.   Students feel the tutor is obligated to guide them sufficiently to prevent them from dwelling on tangents. However, what might feel off track for one student may feel fine for an-other.  Although the tutors are there to provide guidance, the group may need to guide them in the appropriateness of their timing and comments.

In short, if the functioning of the tutorial group depends upon the inter-action of students and tutor, then it is important that you do your part to develop a good rapport with the tutor and within the group.  Some students have mentioned that individuals in their small groups did not express dissatisfaction with the functioning of the group until after the semester was over (a little late). Use processing time as a format for discussing problems. Talk to the tutor, either as a group or privately regarding your expectations of each other.  The tutors are here for you and are usually most willing to adapt to further your educational needs. If you are not satisfied, seek out others (e.g. the Course Leader, or Dr. Kathy Edmondson) to help resolve the conflict.  Written evaluations are taken seriously and tutors have responded positively from them.

Learning Resources

Wellbeing at CVM 
Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library

Learning Environments

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) provides a variety of learning spaces. The combination of spaces serve the demands for group and individual study that are an integral part of the CVM academic experience.

The Bilinski Lab (Wet Lab, C2 029, VMC) is a space equipped with 64 PC workstations for students to access online resources, and utilize specialized software during lab exercises. There are microscopes available to accommodate large group lab sessions.  

The Clinical Skills Lab ("junior surgery", C2 555 CPC) supports a variety of laboratory activities associate with Blocks 5 and 7 including surgical exercises. This area contains an audio-visual system designed to supplement the hands-on learning opportunities presented during laboratories and workshops.

The Wiswall Lab (Dry Lab, S2 166, VEC) which is newly renovated has 64 PC workstations and seating for 128 students.  The lab has been designed to facilitate learning in small groups, and is available to students via card access at all times.

There are printers available in both the Wet and Dry labs.  Each student will have a $15 print credit per year on their CU print account to use with the lab or library printers.

If you have questions or requests for support in the Labs, please contact the Educational Support Services (ESS)-

Tutorial Spaces
Tutorial spaces are located on the the first and second floor of Schurman Hall. These are flexible use spaces that can act as classrooms, a quiet study area, or accommodate large and small groups. Each space includes presentation technology such as an interactive whiteboard and wireless projection. The option to display your own device or use of a local PC is also available for your convenience. 

Training in Tutorial Spaces
If you are interested in scheduling an individual or group training on the new technologies available in the tutorial spaces, please contact the Educational Support Services Team:

A great resource, both before you arrive and when you are a student, is the college’s student website: This site contains useful information and links that can help you familiarize yourself with the college. In order to access the internal home page from remote locations you must have a VPN installed. Instructions for installing VPN:

The college’s website,, also contains helpful information about the college, including faculty and staff directories and news updates featuring stories of interest to members of our college community.

Modular Resource  Center
The Modular Resource Center (MRC) is located in the anatomy wing, in rooms S2 063 and S2 065. The MRC is designed to be an interactive visual library where you learn by actually examining specimens instead of just reading about them. The MRC is continually expanded and updated. The MRC is open to all members of the vet school community and is accessible twenty-four hours a day. In each room, there are carrels set up as independent learning units.  Each module is a multi-media resource and may contain specimens, figures, panels of transparencies, radiographs, models, skeletal preps and glass slides. All of these are related by an accompanying interactive script. The modules are arranged in clusters that concentrate on a particular theme such as a system or region of the body so that the modules build upon each other in complexity. Where appropriate, the modules are designed to be multilevel: they integrate material that spans the continuum from gross to microscopic to ultra-structural. These modules are highly interactive and concentrate on the clarification of concepts rather than being the source of all data on a particular subject. Particular modules are very popular during certain Blocks and cases. Peak hours tend to be 6-10 PM, and afternoons during exam time.

The faculty members are an excellent resource. Each Foundation course guide maintains a list of resource faculty and their contact information. Students are encouraged to arrange meetings  (individual, tutorial group or entire class) with the faculty for review sessions, or assistance with a particular slide set or topic. Faculty may also suggest additional resources, such as journal articles or particular texts, that students may find useful. A listing of faculty can be accessed on the Dry Lab computers including their e-mail address, office location, and personal and academic interests.

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center
The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) is a unit within the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. The AHDC operates in close partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The AHDC is the only full service multidisciplinary animal disease diagnostic facility in the State of New York and New England. It is dedicated to improving the health of animals and to preventing infectious diseases or conditions that have an impact on animal and human health, thus supporting the economic well-being of the animal industry while providing an important public service.  Testing is provided in a variety of disciplines for food- and fiber-producing, companion, performance, zoo, exotic, and wildlife animals. The laboratory has over 5,000 active accounts with clinics and practicing veterinarians who submit samples from all of the United States and some foreign countries. Over 140,000 cases are received every year, which generated almost 1.0 million individual tests. The AHDC provides all the laboratory testing needs for the CUHA patients. The testing service component of the laboratory is supported by a vital and ongoing commitment to basic research, which applies directly to specific emerging disease problems as well as to gaining a more comprehensive understanding of disease processes. The mission of the AHDC has expanded by way of its inclusion as a founding member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).  Under the NAHLN the AHDC has been involved in national surveil- lance programs for Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease, Classical Swine Fever, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Chronic Wasting Disease, and Scrapie. Soon the AHDC will have capabilities for diagnosing Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Vesicular Stomatitis.

The AHDC provides full service diagnostic and consultation in many areas including; infectious and parasitic disease services (bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, serology/immunology, and virology): clinical analytical services (clinical pathology, endocrinology, comparative coagulation); toxicology services (organic and inorganic toxins, heavy metals, and feed analyses); udder health and quality milk (Quality Milk Production Services); outreach services (veterinary support services program, NYSCHAP programs, agriculture health and safety programs); as well as receiving, shipping, medical records, and export/regulatory services (including the operation of the CEM equine quarantine center).

Studying For Exams

The best preparation for an exam is to study effectively throughout the course. Study from your group’ s learning issues every day and be sure you can answer the questions that arose in the context of the case that prompted the learning issue. Ask yourself questions as you study and look for the answers to them in your reading. Make note of questions you have as you study and concepts that you don’t understand. You will need to maintain an intense and disciplined study schedule.  It is difficult to state a certain number of hours each day that you will need to devote to independent study because it will vary for each person. However, you are strongly advised not to take on any additional commitments such as part time jobs, club responsibilities or new pets during the first semester. Furthermore, it is recommended that you talk frankly with your partner and/or family about changes in family and home responsibilities and expectations, because you will need to allow study time in both the afternoon and the evening. To accommodate your school demands, you are likely to need to negotiate changes in childcare, care giving, cooking and/or housekeeping duties. When studying for long hours, be sure to take frequent, short breaks. You will be more productive if you give yourself a 10-15 minute break for each hour of study. 

Make use of the resources that are available to you. Studying from a Modular Resource Center module may not be your favorite study habit, but if there is a module relevant to the case and your learning issues, make the time to work through it. You may feel shy about approaching faculty members with questions, but faculty experts actually complain when students DON’ T come to them. Use those experts to help you understand the material you are studying. If you don’ t understand, ask.
Use the objectives included in the course to guide you (and your group’s) study.  Refer to the objectives frequently to reinforce the conceptual framework for the course. In Course I, students find that the objectives printed at the end of the dissection guide are one of the most useful study guides. Be sure you can meet each of the objectives for each of the laboratories. Organizing what you are learning will be critical. It is helpful to create concept maps, diagrams, flow charts or outlines to organize, group, categorize and prioritize what is learned from multiple sources. 

Be prepared for tutorials and for lectures and laboratories.  If the lecture notes are handed out in advance of the lecture, read them.  You will get more out of lectures if you are prepared for them.  Most lecturers assume that you have already been introduced to the topic through your tutorial and independent study and that the lecture will go into greater depth or synthesize material from a variety of sources.

Review continuously and immediately.  Re-read your lecture notes shortly after the lecture.  Ask yourself if there were any parts you didn't understand or had questions about. Review your laboratories in the same way.  Return to the laboratory and repeat and review the lab to reinforce it while it is fresh.

Conduct a self-assessment.  Most of the Foundation courses offer a mock, practice exam or previous years' exams (often with model answers). ,These exams will give you an idea of the kind of questions that are asked and the breadth and depth that is expected. Make good use of the sample exams. Approach a mock exam like you'd approach the real exam by actually "taking" the exam, answering the questions (on the topics you've had to date in the course) to your best ability, without referring to the answer key. Then grade it against the answer key.  This will give you a more accurate picture of how well you are doing than if you just look over the questions and answers. Once you’ve “graded” yourself, see what areas you are weakest in.  Is there a particular case that you need to review?  Are you consistently weak in histology, while you’re doing well in gross anatomy?  Were there some types of questions that you had particular difficulty with?  Consider what you need to study in order to get those questions right and also how you need to study.  Do you need to change your study approach?

Remember, faculty, staff and your fellow students in the College want you to succeed. You have been carefully selected from a very competitive pool of applicants. Ideally, everyone will pass, and progress to the DVM. There are many people who want to help you to achieve that goal.  Please make use of all the resources that are available to you.  If you have any concerns, you can discuss your study strategies with your tutor, the course leader or a faculty expert, or academic support specialist. In addition, regular individual help sessions can be arranged with a faculty expert, if needed.

Study with others. Groups or study partners can be helpful because they force you to explain your understandings. Verbal explanations and visually representing your knowledge to your peers with diagrams ot charts reinforces your learning, and ensures that you are able to coherently and concisely answer key questions about the material. Asking each other questions helps you look at the material in ways you don’t when studying alone. Hearing other students’ explanations can also help you check your own understanding. Setting agendas for study group meetings can help you stay focused. 

 Faculty Advisors

All first-year students are assigned a faculty advisor. Yours will guide you through the duration of the DVM program. will serve as your formal faculty advisor for the duration of your DVM program. You will have the opportunity to meet your faculty advisor during orientation. During the course of your DVM training, you may find that your personality and interests lead you to develop stronger relations with another faculty member. You may then, choose to switch advisors by first asking them if they are willing to serve as your advisor, and then informing the Office of Student and Academic Services of your desire to switch. Of course, we hope that you will develop many positive relationships with faculty who advise you in an informal capacity on a variety of issues.

Making use of the CUHA

The mission of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA) is to provide leadership in patient care, education, clinical investigation and scientific innovation.  
CUHA  provides veterinary services for Ithaca and the Northeast, treating  approximately 21,000 animals in the hospital and more than 40,000 animals at area farms each year.  

Equine, Nemo, and Companion Animal Hospitals

The Equine, Nemo Farm Animal Hospital, and Companion Animal Hospitals provide primary care and clinical specialty medicine for animals that are brought to the CUHA.  Clinical specialty departments include Anesthesiology, Behavior, Cardiology, Dentistry, Dermatology, Emergency/Critical Care, Exotics and Avian Medicine, Imaging (including Diagnostic Ultrasound, CT, MRI, and Nuclear Medicine services), Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Shelter Medicine, Surgery, Theriogenology, Wildlife, and Zoological Medicine.   Horses admitted for treatment are housed in Wards A – D of the Equine Hospital. Cattle and other farm animals are housed in the stalls of the Nemo Farm Animal Hospital.  Small animal patients are kept in the Intensive Care Unit, Intermediate Nursing Care, or one of the six wards or four runs off the in-house treatment rooms.

Equine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ENICU)
The ENICU is partially staffed in the springtime by students who are enrolled in the Elective class VTMED 6539, Disorders of Large Animal Neonates. The class is open to 1st- through 3rd-years and one of the requirements is that each student must sign up for ten “on-call” shifts. These are four-hour periods during the night and on weekends. If there is a critically-ill foal in the ENICU during the student’s shift, he or she comes in to monitor it. Duties include checking IV fluids, taking vital signs, performing physical therapy and milking the mare. While the hours may seem inconvenient, the experience is rewarding. 

Ambulatory & Production Medicine Service
Large-animal medicine is practiced at local farms by the Ambulatory & Production Medicine Service.  The service has seven specially equipped field vehicles that carry veterinary equipment for dairy cattle, horses, sheep, goats, and swine at approximately 400 farms and stables in the surrounding area.  Students can receive academic credit for participation in an early ambulatory rotation during summer or holiday breaks by signing up for VTMED 6620 "Introduction to Ambulatory Primary Care Medicine."  For information about other opportunities to participate in the ambulatory service, speak to one of the clinicians: Dr. Daryl Nydam, Dr. Mary Smith or Dr. Jessica McArt.  

Small Animal Community Practice
Our community practice, housed in a stand-alone facility as of June 2018, offers full services for our patients of all life stages including preventive medicine, radiology, dentistry, and surgery. Our primary care practice is designed to provide our clinical year students with experience in appointments, procedures, surgery, client communications, and cloud-based electronic medical records to prepare them as entry level veterinarians upon graduation from the CUCVM. The goals and design of the Small Animal Community Practice is to mimic a non-academic general practice setting where students act as primary case clinicians collecting histories, performing physical exams, assessing their patients, and creating diagnostic and therapeutic plans individualized to a given patient and client. Student clinicians are supervised by rotation faculty and supported by licensed veterinary technicians.

Wildlife Clinic

If you have an interest in native wildlife or would like to learn more about avian medicine, consider becoming a volunteer for the Wildlife Clinic to gain hands-on experience. The clinic, a component of the Wildlife and Zoological Medicine Service, is staffed by veterinary students under the supervision of Dr. Noha Abou-Madi, Dr. Jamie Morrisey, Dr. Ricardo De Matos, service residents, and technicians. The clinic provides care for injured wild reptiles, mammals and birds (ranging from songbirds to raptors). Wildlife rehabilitators and local people who find sick or injured animals bring them to the clinic where they are treated until ready for rehabilitation and release. Usually, two to four students are scheduled per day to handle treatments. Volunteer workers commit to one to two days per month. Supervisors and supervisor trainees work at least three consecutive days per month. Through your volunteer experience in the wildlife clinic, you’ll learn how to give an avian physical exam, make differential diagnoses, fill out the necessary paperwork, and much more. If you have a strong interest, there are opportunities to participate in surgery, anesthesiology, and radiology as well. Look for information on wildlife rounds presented by service faculty and residents. Sign-up sheets for the Wildlife Clinic will be put into your student mail folders early in the school year; or contact Dr. Noha Abou-Madi (, Dr. Ricardo De Matos (, or Dr. Jamie Morrisey ( 

Senior Seminars

During their fourth year, all students must present an oral seminar as a requirement for graduation. Senior Seminars are on Wednesday afternoons at 4:30. They are open to all students, faculty, and staff.   Topics range from a presentation of the treatment of an individual patient to a general discussion of a disease.  Attendance at Senior Seminars provides information on disease processes, diagnostic procedures, and treatment protocols as well as exposure to the case load, students, and clinicians working in the CUHA. 


Rounds are open to everyone, but geared toward students. They are presented by 4th-year students on rotations, residents, interns, or faculty members, and are very interactive. The cases are usually animals that are currently in the CUHA and are selected for their teaching value. The presentations include a complete history of the animal, diagnostic images, summaries of how the case has been handled to date, and, in the large animal hospitals, usually the patient itself.

At first, rounds are difficult to follow simply due to terminology. A little perseverance goes a long way and pays off with increased knowledge and comfort level with the material. Rounds may focus on different aspects of veterinary medicine such as coming up with differential diagnoses, discovering and analyzing the history and presentation, choosing diagnostic procedures, or deciding between various treatments. The rounds schedule can be accessed here: The schedule lives within the College of Veterinary Medicine Intranet, Be sure VPN has been downloaded, as this site has many helpful resources. Under the UNITS tab, select "CUHA", and the rounds schedule is posted under HOSPITAL ROTATIONS/EMERGENCY SCHEDULES.

Clinical Pathology Teaching Laboratory

A small laboratory is located just off the Bilinski Learning Laboratory (Wet Lab) in C2 029B for student use. There are basic supplies for performing and analyzing fecals, blood smears, and urine samples. A combination-button lock has been installed on the hall side of the student lab. Students may get the code from CPS, or Dr. Araceli Lucio- Forster. Any other questions about use of this area should be directed to Dr. Lucio-Forster ( 

CUHA Professional Attire Policy

The physical attire and appearance of hospital personnel has a significant impact on the perceptions of the overall quality of care being provided and the professionalism and competence of the individuals providing that care. Proper appearance and uniforms not only present a professional image to clients, they help prevent the spread of disease. Uniforms should be clean and neat and should not be worn outside of the hospital unless traveling to and from work.

Appropriate dress for veterinary medical students serving in a clinical setting or dealing with clients on behalf of the CUHA consists of the following:
Cornell University Hospital for Animals issued identification badges are required for any student who is in the hospital on rotation, for a class or educational purpose, for work duties, or for volunteer duties. The identification badge should be worn so that the name and class year face outward.

In the Companion Animal Hospital, students must wear a white lab jackets with a business style shirt or sweater; business slacks, khaki trousers or knee-length tailored skirt; and business shoes. Long sleeves may not be worn under short- sleeved jackets. Denim attire of any color is not professional attire. Open-toed shoes or sandals may not be worn at any time on duty for safety and infection control purposes. Athletic shoes may be worn for functions in the surgical suites. Blue student scrubs must be worn in surgery.

In the Equine/Nemo Farm Animal Hospitals, students wear coveralls and sturdy, washable boots.  Blue scrubs must be worn in surgery. Before leaving the premises, boots should be disinfected in the foot baths in the hospitals. Boots and coveralls should be removed in the student locker rooms and carried home in plastic bags for cleaning. Open-toed shoes, sandals or casual footwear are not permitted.

On the Ambulatory & Production Medicine Service, students must wear coveralls and washable, sturdy boots. When returning to the college from ambulatory visits, boots should be disinfected at the wash station. Boots and coveralls should be removed in the student locker rooms and carried home in plastic bags for cleaning. Open-toed shoes, sandals or casual footwear are not permitted.

For infection control and safety purposes, the following apply:
Wearing scrubs and observation gowns is prohibited in non-patient care areas of the veterinary college, including the library, cafeteria and laboratories. Wearing blue student scrubs outside of the hospital, or to enter or exit the facility, is prohibited. Wearing false fingernails is prohibited, due to bacterial growth carried under the artificial nail. Wearing hoop earrings, facial hoop rings, or other dangling jewelry is strongly discouraged for safety reasons.

CUHA Rules

CUHA’s Annoying Rules for Good Reasons
The hospital staff thought it would help you navigate your way around the CUHA if you knew some of the “unspokens,” or what we have entitled, “Annoying Rules for Good Reasons.”  If you have any questions, please stop by the Office of Hospital Operations, C2 209, anytime. 

Annoying Rule:  Please do not use the hospitals as a walk-through from the parking lot to the lecture halls and other areas of the college. Use the VMC entrance.
Good Reason:  Infection control for our health-compromised patients. The added traffic makes it nearly impossible to keep the hallways clean at our busiest times of day and spreads potentially fatal diseases.

Annoying Rule:  Wear your name tag whenever you are in the CUHA, especially on the weekends.
Good Reason:  Safety —yours and the animals’. Unfortunately, intruders are more common these days and staff are asked to challenge any-one who is unknown to them. Your name tag, a self-introduction, and a rabies vaccine are your passes into the CUHA.

Annoying Rule:  When coming into the CUHA, please introduce yourself to the staff and students on duty in the area you are visiting.
Good Reason:  It’s polite, it lets us know you are “one of us,” and we may be able to help you out. We can also alert you to any sensitive matters, such as a client-witnessed euthanasia that may be occurring, etc.

Annoying Rule:  Use the foot baths in Equine/Nemo Farm Animal Hospital (EFAH). Every time.
Good Reason:  Infection control—for you and the animals.

Annoying Rule: Wash your hands between patients! Every time. If possible, let the client see you do so before you start examining their animal.
Good Reason:  Infection control—for you and the animal; and for good client relations. Perception of quality is based on things the client can readily judge, such as hygiene, cleanliness of the environment, compassion of the clinician, etc.

Annoying Rule: Please do not enter the ICUs unless you have a clinical reason to be there. “Clinical reason to be there” includes an assigned case, a pharmacology class assignment, follow-up on a case that's on the "interesting cases" board.  If it is very busy, such as at treatment times, please come back later when things have quieted down.
Good Reason:  Infection control and a quiet atmosphere are essential to the ICUs. Since the ICUs are the places in which our most seriously ill are housed. The patients need peace and quiet, and those attending the animals need to be able to concentrate fully on their patients. 

Annoying Rule:  Don’t parade the animals around the CUHA, no matter how cute they are.
Good Reason: Infection control.

Annoying Rule: Don’t wear black-soled shoes in the Companion Animal Hospital.
Good Reason: The scuff marks require hand-scrubbing to clean. 

Annoying Rule:  Children—yours or others’—should not be brought to the CUHA while you are on duty.  Visitors of any age should not touch patients or enter patient care areas.
Good Reason: For infection control, safety, legal liability issues, and the client’s perception of professionalism.

Annoying Rule: “Post no bills” on the walls or doors in the CUHA; use the bulletin boards only.
Good Reason: Because we are open to the public, we have to limit what’s posted in the public areas of college. On the practical side, it peels the paint off, looks unprofessional, and there are infection control issues in some areas.

Annoying Rule:  If you jam open a door in the Equine/ Nemo Farm Animal Hospital with a broom handle, do not walk away and leave the handle in the door, even if you’ re just going up to isolation. Always remove it from the door when you re-enter the building.
Good Reason: Safety, safety, safety, safety, safety - yours and the animals’.

Annoying Rule: Check the “Interesting cases” bulletin board in the Equine/Nemo Farm Animal Hospital and near dentistry in the Companion Animal Hospital.
Good Reason: The faculty and house staff list their most interesting cases currently in the hospital. Check the animal’s history, follow along in the medical record, ask questions of the students and others involved in the case, examine the animal (with permission) and learn more. 

Please ask questions and use a good mind. It’s why you and the hospital staff are here!

University and College Policies

Please familiarize yourself with these  policies, which address a range of topics, including such things as attendance and classroom conduct, leaves of absence, grading, course registration, and academic standards and integrity. 


Regular class attendance is expected in all courses. Notification of an excusable absence (limited to scholaraly activity, medical or family emergencies, and conflicts with religious observances) should be given to the Assistant Dean for Veterinary Student Services and Admissions (Dr. Jai Sweet). The Assistant Dean, in consultation with the course instructors, will inform the student if the absence is excused. When an absence is excused, students may work with the instructors to make up the missed work, as is practical and feasible. 
Unexcused absences do not entitle students to make up the work missed.

The University faculty established the following rules for all classes that fall in the two days immediately preceding the vacation periods during the academic year:
  1. No instructor may change the time of classes except with the specific approval of the Dean of the College.
  2. The quantity and quality of work given during these periods must conform to that given during the remainder of the term regardless of class attendance.
  3. Students should recognize that many laboratory exercises, particularly those involving live animals, cannot be rescheduled and must be attended unless excused for an unavoidable absence.
Policy for Core Course VI Attendance

Student absences from a clinical rotation can have a significant impact on patient care and the education of all students. Excused absences, a maximum of 2 (3 during 3-week rotations), are granted for specific circumstances; all other absences are considered unexcused absences. Excused absences do not require makeup and these absences should not be reflected within the student’s rotation grade. It is at the faculty’s discretion if and how an unexcused absence will be reflected in the student’s rotation grade and/or if the absence will need to be made up. Students will be given a grade of incomplete until all requirements for the rotation have been met based on the faculty's discretion; when in doubt, the standard policy is that all unexcused absences are made up. Previously granted leniency, whether to the student or their colleagues, is not a valid justification for challenging the aforementioned standard. While students are granted 2 excused absences per rotation (3 during 3-week rotations) for specific circumstances, the routine and frequent use of excused absences is considered unprofessional and an abuse of this policy. Cumulative absences across all rotations are tracked and reviewed by the Foundation Course VI leader.

A guideline for determining whether an absence is considered excused versus not excused has been created to improve clarity and provide consistency to this process (see associated flow chart); however, while faculty are strongly encouraged to utilize these guidelines, whether an absence is excused versus unexcused is the sole determination of the section chief or associated course faculty regardless of these guidelines. All absences include illness and family emergencies, job interviews, a pre-approved scholarly activity, licensing exams and religious observances. In case of acute illness or family emergencies, the student should contact the faculty on the service directly and immediately for special arrangements. Beyond emergency situations, all requests for an excused absence must be discussed at least 2 weeks in advance with the Section Chief of the rotation. Proof of excused absences is not necessary unless requested; students are expected to utilize excused absences professionally and are held to the professional standards of the Honor Code. All other reasons for absences are considered unexcused absences. Examples include but are not limited to travel for opportunity blocks, personal events, excused absences extending beyond the allotted amount, and failure to provide adequate notice.

Exams and Grading


Students should prepare and be present for examinations on the dates and times scheduled by the instructors, and should not plan any other events on examination dates.  Only in cases of excusable absence (limited to medical or family emergencies, and conflicts with religious observances) may instructors consider rescheduling an examination for a student. Notification of an excusable absence on scheduled examination dates should be given to the Assistant Dean for Student Services and Admissions. The Assistant Dean, in consultation with the course instructors, will inform the student if the absence is excused. Students with excused absences must contact the course instructors to make arrangements for making up a missed exam. Unexcused absences do not entitle students to alternate examination arrangements. 

Grading Policies

Students will be evaluated at the end of each Core and Elective course 59-lower= F and awarded a grade which will represent the composite of the grades from each component of the evaluation process, as determined by the course leader. Course faculty have the prerogative not to use the full range of the grading scale depending on the course objectives, course content, and the nature of assessment methods used.

For each course, students may choose to be notified of their grades by the faculty member responsible for the course by using one of two grading options, the letter grading option (A,B,C,D, or F) or the S/U grading option.

Grading System

The official University grading system is composed of letter grades with pluses and minuses. Passing grades range from A+ to D–; F is failing. INC denotes a grade of incomplete, NG denotes a non-graded course, NGR signifies no grade reported, and R is the grade given a for an in-progress multi-semester course. The grades of INC, NG, NGR and R do not have quality-point equivalents attached. The quality-point equivalents are below:

A+ =4.3 B+ =3.3 C+ =2.3 D+ =1.3
A   =4.0 B   =3.0 C   =2.0 D   =1.0
A– =3.7 B– =2.7 C– =1.7 D– =0.7
F   =0.0

Letter grade values are combined with course credit hours to produce an average based on a 4.3 scale. Grade point average is calculated by multiplying the credit hour and quality point equivalent for each course and then dividing by the total number of credits taken.  The cumulative average is the sum of the products of all the grades at Cornell divided by the total number of credits taken.

S/U Grades

The purpose of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) system is to encourage students to venture into courses outside their main areas of familiarity without great risk to their academic record.  The distinction between S and U is not the same, however, as that between pass and fail in the letter-grade system. In the S/U system, S indicates performance that would be graded C- or higher, and U indicates performance that would be graded below a C-. Students earn credit toward the fulfillment of graduation requirements for course grades of S, but not for course grades of U. Grades of S or U are not assigned numerical value and thus are not averaged in with other grades in computing grade point averages.

The various schools and colleges differ in the restrictions they place on the election of S/U grading over letter grading.  However, in those courses where college rules and course procedures allow it, the election is a student option that must be exercised prior to the end of the drop period for that course. 

Incomplete Grades

The grade of incomplete is appropriate only when two basic conditions are met:

1. the student has substantial equity at a passing level in the course with respect to work completed; and

2. the student has been prevented by circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as illness or family emergency, from completing all of the course requirements on time.

An incomplete may not be given merely because a student fails to complete all course requirements on time. Such a practice would be open to abuse; by deferring completion of some major course requirement, a student could gain advantage over his or her classmates by obtaining additional time to do a superior job.  This is not an option that may be elected at the student’s own discretion.

While it is the student’s responsibility to initiate a request for a grade of incomplete, reasons for requesting one must be acceptable to the instructor, who establishes specific make-up requirements.

The consequences of failure to complete all course work within the time permitted will depend upon the policy of the student’s college.  Some colleges convert the incomplete to a grade of F; others let the incomplete stand on the student’s transcript.  In either case, the option to make up the work is lost.  It is the responsibility of the student to see that all incompletes are made up before the deadline and that the grade change has been properly recorded with the student’s college registrar.

Please note: Once a student completes the course the faculty will submit a grade change to the College Registrar’s Office to update the grade.  All updated incomplete grades are noted on the student’s transcript with an asterisk. 

Grievances Regarding Academic Grading & Evaluation Procedures

This guideline suggests that avenues of discussion and appeal available to DVM degree candidates who believe that they have been unfairly evaluated, but it is NOT an appeals process by which grades may be challenged. Both College and University guidelines clearly define the rights of faculty members to evaluate students' performance and assign grades. Often the evaluation includes a subjective component. In such cases the faculty member should indicate at the start of a term the requirements and expectations and be willing to explain at the end of the course the basis on which any particular subjective evaluation was made. A student may request from the course instructor an explanation of the criteria and information used in making a subjective evaluation. Whenever possible, differences of opinion should be resolved through open and candid discussions between these parties. If, after these discussions, the student believes that the subjective evaluation was not a fair appraisal of performance or was based on prejudice or inaccurate information, the student may appeal in writing to the Chair of the Department, who will review all issues and recommend a resolution. The next level of appeal available to student is the Dean. The final option within the College is by written appeal to the General Committee.  This elected faculty committee may (1) decline to pursue the matter on the basis of lack of substantial merit (2) present the case to the entire faculty, with permission of the petitioner or (3) conduct a thorough investigation and make recommendations to one of both parties.  


The college allows one week at the start of each elective period for changes to enrollment or grade option in classes which begin in that period. Please note some courses may have a different add/drop deadline and will be communicated via email and/or the class note. Enrollment changes during this open add/drop period may be made on the self-service website ( unless otherwise instructed. After the first week of instruction, a course may be added with permission of the instructor and a $100 fee will be assessed. Dropping a course after the first week of instruction will result in a W on the student's transcript and an assessment of a $100 fee.

The student should check their enrollment record on after submitting an add/drop request to verify that the transaction has been recorded. A late fee of $100 per course will be charged for correction of errors reported after the end of the applicable add/drop period.

Credit will not be awarded for a course in which the student was not officially enrolled, even if the student attended all classes and completed the work. This is a Cornell University policy that may not be waived by the college.

Clinical Rotation Add/drop please see Clinical Year Policies below.

Auditing Courses: The university does not permit veterinary medical students to audit courses.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses: DVM Students are not permitted to enroll in non-VTMED courses at the University. 

Fees and Tuition

Non-Registration & Non-Payment of Fees & Tuition
Students in the Veterinary College who fail to register and pay fees by the end of the third week of classes (that is, by the time registration is frozen for reporting purposes) will be informed in writing that they are no longer eligible to attend classes in the Veterinary College. The Cornell University Registrar has the responsibility to enforce this policy. For more information please see

Full-Time Student Status
All students must maintain full-time status for each of the eight regular semesters (Fall & Spring) comprising the DVM program. Full-time status is determined by registering for a minimum of 12 academic credits per semester.

Academic Standards Core (Foundation) Courses

Comprising a significant majority of the professional curriculum, core (foundation) courses are required of all students. They are scheduled in sequential blocks of time and vary in length and teaching modality. Course syllabi include descriptions of course expectations, and the basis upon which student grades are calculated. These may vary across courses, and it is the student’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with the policies of the courses in which they are enrolled.

Each core course is a prerequisite to the immediately following course. A student receiving a failing grade in a core course will not be allowed to continue in the subsequent core course(s).

Academic Actions:

A student who, over the course of their enrollment earns a grade of F in two core (foundation) courses, or a grade of D+ or below in three core (foundation) courses, will be administratively withdrawn from the college with no opportunity to re-apply or otherwise continue in the DVM program.

A student who earns a grade of F in one core (foundation) course in any one semester, or a grade of D+ or below in two core (foundation) courses in any one semester, will be placed on a required academic leave of absence. The student may not advance to the subsequent semester. However, the student will be permitted to return the following year to repeat the semester in which the above grade(s) was (were) earned.

A student, who earns a grade of D+ or below in one core (foundation) course in any one semester will be placed on academic warning and required to earn a grade point average of 2.0 or above in core (foundation) courses taken the following semester in which they are enrolled. A student who does not achieve this 2.0 grade point average will be placed on a required academic leave of absence. The students may not advance to the subsequent term. However, the student will be permitted to return the following year to repeat the semester in which they failed to earn the required grade point average of 2.0 or above.

Policy for repeating a semester:

A student may only repeat one semester during the course of their enrollment in the DVM program. A student who must repeat a semester is required to retake all core (foundation) courses which they did not previously meet academic standards. The student will not be eligible to repeat previously successfully completed coures to which they met academic standards for. 

Academic Actions: Core (Foundation) Course VI, Clinical Rotations

A student who receives a grade of U on a core or pathway clinical rotation will be required to repeat that rotation.  

A student who receives a grade of U on an elective clinical rotation will be required to complete an additional rotation in order to meet the 3-elective rotation graduation requirement.    

A student who receives a grade of U on any clinical rotation (core, pathway or elective) must successfully complete a remediation program developed by the Clinical Assessment and Teaching Support Committee.  

A student who receives a grade of U on 4 clinical rotations (including core, pathway and elective rotations) will be administratively withdrawn from the college with no opportunity to reapply or otherwise continue in the DVM program.

Committee for Students Denied Reregistration

If, according to the Academic Standards, the student is denied permission to continue in the program, the student may appeal to the Committee for Students Denied Reregistration within 3 days of their being notified.  That committee will meet with the student and make their decision regarding the student's academic status within one week of the Class Teachers’ meeting.  The student may continue in the academic program until the Committee reaches a decision.  If the Committee finds that there were substantial extenuating circumstances that led to the student’s poor academic performance, and that the extenuating circumstances are likely to be resolved, such that the student can successfully continue with the academic program, the student may be permitted to continue in the curriculum according to the terms laid out by the Committee.  If the Committee denies the appeal, the student will be withdrawn from the program.

Clinical Year Policies

All clinical rotation requirements must be completed during the clinical year. A failure to complete clinical rotation requirements during the clinical year may result in a delayed graduation. 

Policy on Clinic Scheduling Changes:
One hallmark of Cornell’s professional curriculum is the flexibility students have to tailor many clinical experiences in support of their professional goals. All students may request up to three preferences regarding their schedule for clinical rotations. These requests must be made at the time students formally select a Clinical Pathway by completing an on-line Preference Sheet and submitting it to the College Registrar (at the end of the second year of study). Typically, the vast majority of these requests are honored. The faculty recognize that occasionally additional opportunities or circumstances arise after a student’s schedule has been set, and that a change may be desirable or necessary. Once students have received their clinical year schedules they can make up to three changes provided the following criteria are met: 1) the student requesting the change is the only student affected by the change, and 2) the reasons for the change are well substantiated, and approved by the Course Leader(s) of Foundation Course VI. Students are allowed a maximum of 20 requests to make changes or additions to their clinic schedules. Students are strongly encouraged to use their preferences judiciously, and to explore potential revisions to their Clinical Pathways before they begin clinical rotations. 

Clinical Year Add/Drop: 
Clinical rotation requests for changes, additions or drops, (including those for VTMED 6605 Special Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine) must be submitted one month prior to the start date of the rotation block. Clinical enrollment requests may be made using the online clinic scheduling tool and/or the online Opportunity Block application. Within one month of the start date of the rotation block, a rotation may be added if space is available and a $100 fee will be assessed. Dropping a rotation within one month of the start date will result in a W on the student’s transcript and an assessment of a $100 fee.  

Pathway Revision Guidelines:
A pathway revision is used to replace an existing service in a pathway with a different experience (here at Cornell or elsewhere as an Opportunity Block VTMED 6605). The maximum number of revisions a student can make is three. During the scheduling process the revision requested via the online approval system and must completed and approved by both Pathway Advisors by the June 1st deadline. Revisions are not possible for SA ECC, LAECC and Clinical Neurology. After the June 1st deadline no revisions may be made until after the schedules are  released in September. Students can then request revisions and the requests must be made by April 15th  deadline. If the request meets the parameters for revision (meeting the minimum or maximum numbers on a rotation) we will then request the Pathway Advisors approval (specific instructions to come when the schedules are released). 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All graduation requirements for the DVM degree must be completed within six years of a student's initial registration in the DVM program. This requirement applies to all veterinary students except those participating in DVM/PhD degree pathway.

For all students on leave, responsibility for maintaining eligibility to return to the DVM curriculum rests with the student. Failure to meet the applicable time of completion requirements will be deemed unsatisfactory performance, resulting in dismissal. If a student does not return from a leave at the conclusion of the set time period, and has not received an extension in writing, the individual will be deemed to have withdrawn from the Veterinary College. He or she may reapply through the College's admissions process and, if admitted, complete the entire DVM program.

The DVM/PhD degree pathway consists of two years in the DVM program, up to four years in graduate training, followed by two years in the veterinary program. For this degree pathway, all graduation requirements for the DVM degree must be completed within eight years of a student's initial registration in the DVM program.  

For students who follow the DVM/PhD degree pathway, SAP will be evaluated based on their enrollment in the individual programs. SAP standards for each program apply at the time the student is enrolled in either the DVM or PhD as their primary course of study. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations (General Provision CRF 668.34) require that Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine review the academic progress of students who apply for and/or receive financial assistance.

Satisfactory academic progress is comprised of three areas as required by federal regulations. A student must complete their degree within a specified period, demonstrate they are progressing through their program at a pace that will ensure graduation within the maximum timeframe, and achieve a GPA that is consistent with meeting graduation requirements. This regulation applies to each financial aid applicant, whether a previous recipient or not.

This policy on satisfactory academic progress relates specifically to students who apply for and/or receive federal financial aid and/or Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine scholarships and grants. In addition to meeting the standard for receiving financial aid, students must also meet the academic standards defined in the University & College Policies section of the Student Handbook.

Financial Assistance Programs Affected

Health Professions Student Loan

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Federal Direct PLUS Loan

Federal Work Study/ VETSEP

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarships

Annual Evaluation

Annual financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) evaluations will be completed at the end of each academic year and cannot take place until final grades have been posted. This review will determine academic eligibility for the upcoming summer, fall, and spring terms. Every student who applies for financial aid must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress, regardless of whether they are a first-time applicant or have received financial aid in the past. Any financial assistance offered for the year ahead is subject to cancellation if the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress were not met in the year prior. 

Incoming first year and new transfer students will be considered for financial aid for one academic year prior to the evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress. At the end of the first academic year of attendance at Cornell University, all students will be evaluated based on the standards of their designated academic level. They will then be reviewed annually until graduation. Students who transfer to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in January will be evaluated at the end of their first semester. 

When a student returns from a period of non-attendance from Cornell, all prior academic activity will be included in future SAP evaluations.  Students will be notified of their failure to meet the SAP standards via their Cornell email account

Maximum Time Frame for Degree Completion

College of Veterinary Medicine policies specify that a student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. The maximum time frame in the College of Veterinary Medicine is measured in credits. DVM students must complete 174.5 credits to graduate. Therefore, the maximum time frame for degree completion is 261.75 attempted credits (174.5 x 150% = 261.75). Students may petition the Curriculum Committee through the college registrar for additional semesters if extenuating circumstances exist.

Credits counted in the maximum time are all attempted credits (even when not a financial aid recipient). Attempted credits include:

  • Earned credits -Passed (A through D-), Satisfactory (S)(SX)
  • Repeated courses -both attempts
  • Withdrawal
  • Failures -Failed (F), Unsatisfactory (U) (UX)
  • Incomplete
  • All accepted transfer credits

Federal regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of 'W' from its calculation of the maximum time frame.

Required Completion Rate

Federal regulations require that a student must progress through their program at a pace that will ensure graduation within the maximum timeframe. Progress is measured for students cumulatively and is calculated using standard rounding rules. To graduate within the maximum timeframe, a student must earn at least 67 percent of their attempted credits. Earned credit hours include:

  • Grades of A through D-or S(X) (with credit)
  • Transferred credits -provided they meet degree requirements

Required Grade Point Average

Federal regulations require the student to meet minimum cumulative GPA standards to retain eligibility for aid. To meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Earned letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F (including repeated courses) are counted toward the GPA.  INC (incomplete), W (withdrawal), S(X)/U(X) (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory), and GPA from transfer credits are not counted toward the GPA.

Additionally, the Higher Education Act requires a specific review of GPA at the end of a student’s second academic year (after four semesters).  Any student with a cumulative GPA under 2.0 after four semesters will be failing to meet SAP standards.

Treatment of Special Academic Situations

Academic Amnesty/ Expulsion: Title IV regulations do not allow for academic amnesty or expulsion of grades. All courses applicable to a student’s major (whenever taken), are included when evaluating a student’s satisfactory academic progress. 

PE Coursework: Excluded from SAP evaluations and not eligible for Federal Aid.

Remedial Coursework: Does not occur at the graduate or professional level at Cornell and as a result, has no impact on SAP.

Failure to Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students failing to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will lose their financial aid eligibility. They will be notified in writing of their status by the Office of Student Financial Planning. Students terminated from receiving financial aid can reestablish eligibility by successfully completing the cumulative credits and GPA required for SAP. Neither paying for one's classes nor sitting out a semester is sufficient to reestablish the financial aid eligibility of a student who has failed to meet SAP. If a special or unusual circumstance contributed to a student's lack of satisfactory academic progress, the student may appeal the denial of financial aid.

Financial Aid Appeal Process

The letter of denial from the Office of Student Financial Planning will describe the appeal process and a link to the appeal form will be provided.  This form provides the opportunity to appeal for reinstatement of your student aid eligibility. This form should only be completed if you have encountered extenuating circumstances that prohibited you from meeting financial aid satisfactory academic progress.  

Valid reasons for a SAP appeal include death of a relative, an injury or illness or other extenuating circumstances. Circumstances related to an outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the illness of a student or family member, compliance with a quarantine period, or the general disruption resulting from such an outbreak will also be considered under extenuating circumstances. Lack of awareness of withdrawal policies or requirements for financial aid satisfactory academic progress are not acceptable reasons to appeal.  

The appeal must explain why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed in the situation that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation. The Office of Student Financial Planning may request additional documentation at any point while evaluating an appeal. Documentation examples include but are not limited to, a letter from a doctor, medical care provider, or objective third party (e.g., a minister, social worker, counselor, facilitator, or other professional) that supports the student’s situation. 

The appeal must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Planning within the College of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation. The director will respond to the appeal in writing within two weeks of receiving the complete appeal.

If the appeal is approved and the college determines that the student should be able to meet cumulative SAP standards by the end of the fall semester, the student may receive aid during the fall semester while on financial aid probation. If the appeal is approved and the college determines that the student will require more than one semester to meet cumulative SAP standards, the college may develop an academic plan specifically for the student and the student may receive aid during the fall semester while on financial aid probation. All students on financial aid probation during the fall semester will have their SAP reevaluated before the spring semester.  To remain eligible for financial aid during the spring semester, the student must be meeting cumulative SAP standards, or standards specified in their academic plan.  Students who fail to make SAP by the end of the fall semester will have their future financial aid eligibility terminated and will be notified in writing by the Office of Student Financial Planning.  As stated previously, students terminated from receiving financial aid can reestablish eligibility by successfully earning the cumulative credits and GPA required for SAP.

If the appeal is denied by the Director of Student Financial Planning, the student will be notified by email of the decision.  This notification will also make the student aware of their opportunity to respond and provide more information and documentation regarding their extenuating circumstances, if applicable.  While there is no official appeal deadline, all information should be submitted during the term the student is seeking aid, and not after.

Federal regulations prevent a student from submitting the same appeal two semesters in a row. However, there is no limit to the number of appeals a student can submit if they can document there are new circumstances preventing the student from making SAP. Similarly, there is no limit to the number of semesters a student can be on financial aid probation as long as an approved appeal or academic plan is in place and the student continues to make progress toward their degree.

Copying and Recording

In accordance with Cornell University policy 1, students may not replicate, reproduce, copy, transfer, or distribute material from lectures, laboratories, or clinical rotations without the express prior permission of the instructor. This includes, but is not limited to, making audio, video, or still-image recordings. Students who have the express consent of an instructor to record a class must make their own arrangements to make recordings.

Those students who request that any session be recorded, either electronically or via traditional note-taking, because of disability (must have accommodation letter from SDS) or unavoidable absence should contact the Office of Student and Academic Services to make arrangements. In cases of ongoing need, the Office of Student and Academic Services will make arrangements with the instructors and obtain course-wide approval.

The use of recordings and other derivative materials, including class notes, is restricted to personal use. At the discretion of the instructor and course leader, violations of this policy may be referred to the College of Veterinary Medicine Honor Board. This policy shall be communicated to the Faculty and Students at the start of each academic year.

1. Faculty members have rights to privacy within their lectures and the reasonable expectation that their knowledge is shared only with those students who are members of their classes.
2. There is a longstanding tradition that members of the university own the copyright to their academic and creative efforts regardless of medium.
3. Respect for intellectual property is essential in an academic community.
4. Copyright ownership is defined by federal law and university policy is structured within this context.
5. Reproducing, displaying, or distributing copyrighted material with-out permission infringes on the copyright holder's rights and is a violation of fed. law, the Campus code of Conduct, the Code of Academic Integrity and the Policy on Responsible Use of Electronic Communications.
       Cornell Univ. Code of Academic Integrity,
       Cornell Univ. Copyright Policy

It should be noted that there is currently a revised draft Copyright Policy - Draft Document, Intellectual Property Committee, On-Line Forum Current Topics: Rev.pdf

IT Policy Office: Rights and Responsibilities:

A Word about Personal Computer and Cell Phone Use in Lectures and Classes
We recognize that, for some, a laptop computer in lectures can be a valuable tool for taking notes, but computer use should be limited to the task in hand and should be respectful of others. For people sitting behind you in a lecture theater, it can be extremely distracting if you are reading or sending email, viewing video clips or doing other things that are unrelated to the learning objectives of the class. For this reason, some classes on campus do not allow the use of personal computers during lectures. We are reluctant to impose such a Draconian rule. However, we hope that in the future those of you that do use laptops in class will limit their use to note-taking. Similarly, while text messaging may be less obtrusive, any cell phone use is inappropriate during a lecture or other class, except in an emergency.

Statement of Essential Skills and Abilities

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (DVM) signifies that the holder is a veterinarian prepared for entry into the practice of veterinary medicine with must acquire broad scientific knowledge and technical skills necessary for them to function independently in a wide array of clinical, research, and other situations.
Candidates for the DVM degree must demonstrate the requisite skills and abilities to satisfy both the overall and course-specific requirements of the curriculum.

Moreover, students must be able to function safely and effectively in multiple environments such as classrooms laboratories, examinations, large and small animal clinics, and a variety of animal environments.  Exposure to chemicals (e.g., medications, disinfectants, anesthetics, tissue fixatives) and pathogens are unavoidable during veterinary school and beyond. 

Veterinarians are governed by a code of ethics and professional behavior that forms a social contract between the profession and society.  The DVM degree is conferred only after the student has achieved satisfactory mastery of the necessary scientific and clinical knowledge as well as technical skills, while also demonstrating the professionalism, attitudes, and behaviors that are consistent with the professional degree of veterinarians. Throughout the curriculum, students must demonstrate a high level of compassion for all animals and people, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, the highest moral and ethical standards, and a motivation to serve, and they are expected to interact effectively with people of all ethnic, social, cultural, and religious backgrounds. 

Essential Requirements
The following information will familiarize applicants and students with the abilities, skills and attitudes expected to meet the requirements of the curriculum and the profession.  The avowed intention of an individual student to practice only a narrow part of clinical medicine, or to pursue a non-clinical career, does not alter the requirement that all veterinary students take and achieve competence in the curriculum required by faculty.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University has an ethical responsibility for the safety of patients and clients with whom students and veterinarians interact and interrelate.  Patient and client safety  and well-being  are therefore essential factors in establishing requirements involving the physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities of candidates for admission, promotion and graduation. 

Candidates for the DVM degree must be able to elicit and receive a variety of inputs from their environment, including tactile, visual, and auditory stimuli, then process these inputs based on their knowledge and experience, and finally make appropriate responses that include both verbal communications and a variety of physical actions. 

A candidate for the DVM degree must demonstrate abilities and skills in five areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual(conceptual, integrative and quantitative), behavioral, and social. 

I.   Observation: The candidate must be able to observe and make assessments from required demonstrations and experiments, including but not limited to anatomic dissection, microscopic analyses, animal/patient demonstrations, and radiographic and other graphic and diagnostic images.  A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand, and assess findings. They must perceive and interpret signs of fear, aggression, and other potentially dangerous behaviors exhibited by various animal species.  Observation requires the functional use of vision, hearing, and some sensation, often in complex situations in veterinary health care environments.

II.    Communication:  A candidate must be able to elicit information, establish rapport, offer explanations, and to describe changes in behavior, activity, and posture. Communication includes not only speech, but also interpretation of nonverbal cues, and reading and writing in English.  The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and in a timely manner with all members of the health care team.

III.   Motor Function:  A candidate must have sufficient motor skills to use scientific and diagnostic instrumentation, to carry out animal restraint and essential diagnostic procedures, including palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other components of a physical exam on live animals, to perform surgical manipulations, and to conduct dissection and necropsy on cadavers.  A candidate must be able to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general care, surgery, and emergency treatment to patients of all species.  In addition, the candidate must be able to escape physically dangerous contacts with animal patients.  Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch, vision, and hearing.

IV.   Intellectual (Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative): Problem solving, a critical skill of veterinarians, requires that a candidate be able to obtain, retrieve, analyze, integrate and synthesize information from multiple sources efficiently and accurately. 

In addition, a candidate should possess the ability to measure and calculate accurately, to perceive three-dimensional relationships, and to understand the spacial relationships of structures.  Candidates must be able to formulate and test hypotheses that enable effective and timely problem-solving in the diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinical situations.  In many cases, these decisions and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers are time-sensitive.   Thus, candidates must demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and abilities to process multiple situations simultaneously. 

V.  Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must be able to fully utilize his or her intellectual abilities, exercise good judgement, promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and to develop effective relationships with their companions, peers, staff, colleagues, and with clients. S/he must be able to work effectively as a member of a health-care team, and must be able to tolerate physically and emotionally taxing workloads, to function effectively under stress, and to display flexibility and functionality in the face of uncertainties inherent in assessing patients’ health problems.  Candidate need to be able to both elicit and convey information to clients and staff in a timely  and effective manner, using both oral and written formats. S/he must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of veterinary medicine, and function within both the law and the ethical standard of the veterinary profession.  The candidate is expected to demonstrate a high commitment to professional behavior the includes, but is not limited to, demonstration of competence, compassion, integrity, lifelong learning, concern for others, interpersonal skills, collegiality, interest, and promotion of the public good. These personal qualities, abilities, and skills will be assessed during the admission process and throughout the educational program.  In addition, applicants and enrolled veterinary medical students must be able to perform the duties of a veterinary student without endangering the lives of patients, caretakers, colleagues and staff, or themselves.   In order to complete required courses, students are expected, at a minimum, to work with dogs, cats, horses, and cows.  Other species are commonly seen (e.g. rabbits, warm and cold-blooded small and exotic pet species, llamas and alpacas, etc.). 


It is our intention to provide reasonable accommodations for students with qualifying disabilities. The accommodations apply to classroom and examination situations and activities based in the Hospital for Animals.

In order to begin the review process for your request for accommodation(s), you should contact the Office of Disability Services (Cornell Health - 110 Ho Plaza; tel #607-254-4545) to discuss your situation. When possible, a student should initiate the process in the summer before their matriculation, or, if later, as soon as the disability arises. This office will offer you advice and guidance on the services available to students at the University. 

Once you have registered with SDS and been approved for academic accommodations, you can follow the process for Requesting your Accommodation Letter. It is very important that your Course Leaders receive your recommendation as early as possible as it is a precondition for any action taken concerning accommodations by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students who believe they are entitled to an accommodation should also make contact with the CVM Assistant Dean for Veterinary Student Services and Admissions (S2 009 Schurman Hall. Tel #607-253-3700). Again, a student should initiate the process in the summer before their matriculation, or, if later, as soon as the disability arises. In order to make decisions based upon an individual's specific situation, it may take some time to determine what is appropriate and fair given the nature of the disability as well as the requirements of veterinary education.

It is possible that either the Office of Disability Services or the CVM Office of Student and Academic Services may request additional documentation, to speak directly with your physician concerning the accommodation, and/or that you be evaluated by another medical professional.

The final authority regarding accommodations rests with the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students' Responsibilities Related to Accommodations for Disabilities
Requests for accommodations must be approved first by the Office of Student Disability Services in consultation with the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students requesting accommodations are responsible for providing appropriate documentation of their disability. Students who received accommodations for disability share responsibility for ensuring their needs are addressed.

Should there be a change in condition that results in a need for different conditions, or should the approved accommodations prove to be ineffective, the student must request modification through Office of Student Disability Services.

All students, including those receiving accommodations, are bound by the academic policies of the College, including the Honor Code.

Accident Reports

The College requires a record of accidents which occur to students in the course of their educational program. All student accidents which occur in the College should be reported to the Office of Hospital Administration. A Student Accident Report form must be completed by the student.

Alcohol Use and Smoking

It is the policy of this College that no student shall be allowed to have alcoholic beverages on the College premises during academic hours (7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the academic semester). Requests for alcoholic beverages to be served at other times must be made to the Dean's office.

The following Cornell regulations apply to all academic and administrative units, staff, faculty, students and other campus organizations, as specified. University departments may impose other requirements or restrictions for the service of alcoholic beverages. Individuals and organizations should consult with the appropriate department to determine what additional regulations might apply to them.

New York State Law: It is illegal in New York State for alcoholic beverages to be made available, by sale or otherwise, to anyone under 21 years of age, or to anyone who is visibly intoxicated. It is recommended that there be no sale or service of alcoholic beverages at events where the majority of participants will be under the age of 21.

All-You-Can-Drink-Events: "All-you-can-drink" events and all types of drinking contests are prohibited. At events where admission is charged, alcoholic beverages must be purchased and served on an individual basis. The charge for alcoholic beverages must be separate from the charge for admission into the event. At events where alcohol is provided at no charge, alcoholic beverages must be served on an individual basis. 

Concerts and Athletic Events: Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at concerts or at inter-collegiate athletic events. While waiting in line for these events, no person shall possess or consume alcoholic beverages.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Food: Sufficient quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available at all times during an event at which alcohol is served. An alcoholic punch or beverage must be clearly labeled as such. 

Advertisements and Promotion: No organization may include inducements for excessive alcohol consumption when promoting events. Promotional material should high- light the availability of non-alcoholic refreshments. Promotional materials should not make reference to the amount or brand names of beverages which will be served.

Responsibility of Sponsors: Individuals sponsoring an event will be responsible for establishing measures to prevent alcoholic beverages from being sold or distributed to people under twenty-one years of age or to people who appear intoxicated. Such measures should include, but are not limited to, requiring proof of age before individuals are served, appointment of a Responsible Person(s) and training of bartenders and people who are supervising the dispensing of alcoholic beverages. The sponsoring organization must leave the premises in good order after an event.

Responsible Person(s): At events where alcoholic beverages are served, there must be a designated individual to serve as the person responsible for the event. This person is called the Responsible Person(s) and must be listed on the campus event registration form by the authorized representative of the sponsoring group.

Registration: All campus organizations (defined as a group that has a majority of its membership from the Cornell community, with at least some student representation) serving alcoholic beverages at events on campus or on University-owned or managed property must register that event A more detailed document detailing violations and penalties, procedures for obtaining a beer permit and registration and facilities requirement may be obtained from the Office of Student and Academic Services.

Smoking, including the carrying of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe or other device used for smoking tobacco, is prohibited in all indoor facilities, enclosed bus stops and university-owned or controlled transportation vehicles except for following: 
•    Enclosed indoor facilities regularly occupied by one person and not frequented by the public
•    Enclosed smoking areas  as maybe established and designated by the University for this purpose
•    Individual dwelling rooms
•    Enclosed indoor work areas not frequented by the public, including for this purpose; university owned or controlled vehicles, where the area is occupied exclusively by smokers
•    Common residential areas of fraternity houses, sorority houses, residence hall, or other rooming and boarding facilities, other than co-op dining facilities situated in such residential areas
•    Certain conventions, meetings open to the public or private social functions not sponsored by the University when consistent with the provisions of Chapter 67 of the Ithaca Municipal Code

Use of Animals in Teaching

The College's Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching believes that applicants should know and understand the following information before accepting a position at the College:
1.    Live animals will be used for teaching in certain obligatory core courses.
2.    No terminal procedures are performed on live animals used in teaching core courses.
3.    The College conforms to the rules for the care of such animals as outlined in "Guiding Principles in the Care and Use of Animals" as approved by the Council of the American Physiological Society and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: DHEW publication Number 86-23 (Revised 1985).
4.    Each course in which animals are used receives a formal review annually by the College Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching.
5.    Any concerns regarding live animal use in teaching should be addressed first to the faculty member responsible for that course. Alternatively, students may choose to address their concerns to the Chairperson of the Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching, whose name may be obtained from the Dean's Office. The Chairperson may initiate discussion between the Committee and the faculty member responsible for a particular course without involving the student, if anonymity is desired by the student.

Classroom Use for Meetings

Public teaching space is scheduled through Kate Davenport, CVM Space Coordinator, located in the Facilities Office S1-167. Or by email or phone 607-253-3806.

Reservations should be made well in advance of the planned activity. Individuals should not ask to reserve a tutor room for studying. Use of the tutor rooms for this purpose is on a first come, first served basis. Access to the lecture halls is with your college ID.  

All groups using College facilities are expected to:
•    Reserve the desired space.
•    Sign out and return any keys as directed (if applicable). 
•    Report any damage to or breakdown of equipment at the time the room.
•    Leave all rooms in good condition.
•    Make sure all lights and equipment are turned off.

CUHA Discount Policies

Students and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine are allowed certain discounts for services rendered by the CUHA. These discounts are limited to a maximum of three pets for each student. The animals must live with the student. The student discount policy permits waiving of all professional service fees levied by the CUHA up to a maximum of 20% of the total bill, excluding all Ambulatory visits, Diagnostic Laboratory, Pharmacy, and Clinical Pathology charges. Test fees incurred through the Diagnostic Laboratory and Clinical Pathology must be billed at full charge. Professional service fees include normal examination fees, daily professional service fees, surgery fee. Emergency fees are not part of the discount policy. The animals must be registered with CUHA business office.

Various pet foods are available to students and staff of the College at a significant discount. Students and staff are allowed to purchase a designated amount per month. Foods may be purchased only for personally owned animals. If you have personally owned animals with you while you are a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine, you are welcome to take advantage of the patient program of the CUHA.

If you have questions, contact Larry Parlett, Team Leader, Materials Management, at or  607-253-3227.

Dress and Appearance Standards

Students should be conscious of the need to represent the profession appropriately whenever they are working with clients or representing the school at functions, such as at Open House, visits to schools and outside groups, when giving tours of the College and when meeting with such groups as the College Advisory Council and Alumni Association. Participation in clinical laboratory activities requires appropriate clinical or laboratory uniforms.

All incoming students are given a name tag. Name tags are important and should be worn in all laboratory and clinical settings where faculty and staff interact with you on a one-to-one basis, in small groups, or when students meet the public in an official capacity. Replacements for lost or broken name tags can be obtained from the Office of Student and Academic Services. When you start working in the hospital, you will be issued a new identification tag. This new tag will replace the one you are given your first year.

Harassment, Violence, and Stalking

Cornell University will not tolerate sexual abuse, harassment, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual coercion, or other forms of sexual violence by or against students, staff, faculty, alumni, or visitors. University Policy 6.4 prohibits community members from engaging in prohibited discrimination, protected status harassment, and sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault/violence.

It is vital that our community understand the procedures and processes that exist to report sexual harassment, assault and discrimination, which falls under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of  1972 to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in educational institutions.

The Title IX Coordinator Team 
Any student, staff, or faculty member who has concerns about sexual or related misconduct—including gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual misconduct—is encouraged to seek assistance from those listed below.  Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators will provide information on resources for assistance and option to address concerns.  While you may reach out to anyone listed below for an informational conversation or to report a concern, the Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator assigned to your constituency may be best able to help you.

The Coordinators will maintain your privacy to the greatest extent possible, but are not confidential resources. For confidential help, please visit the university’s list of confidential resources.
Title IX Office:
150 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY, 14853

The Title IX Coordinator oversees the University’s compliance with Title IX; its ongoing education and primary prevention efforts; its investigation, response, and resolution of all reports of sexual and related misconduct under this policy; and its efforts to eliminate prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. The University Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for receiving complainants against students and issuing interim measures in matters involving students in Ithaca-based locations. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff and Faculty has the primary responsibility for receiving and investigating complaints against staff and faculty members.

Cornell strongly encourages individuals who have experienced, have knowledge of, or have witnessed gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual and related misconduct committed by or against students, staff, or faculty to report the incident immediately to the University.

For sexual and related misconduct—including gender-based harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, or other forms of sexual misconduct—report the incident through the following options: 

Contacting the University’s Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator by telephone, email, or in person during regular office hours.  
See contact information for Title IX staff:
Submit an incident report online.

Contact the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) at 607-255-1111 or 911 for emergency assistance.

Complaints may also be made to a faculty advisor, Chairperson of the Department involved, the Dean, or to the Assistant Dean for Veterinary Student Services and Admissions (Dr. Jai Sweet 607-253-3700). 

Complaints to Veterinary staff and faculty, whether or not they remain anonymous are required to be forwarded to the University Title IX Office to ensure all resources have been offered and all rights explained to the complainant.

In an emergency or for additional reporting options, CUPD is staffed with officers who have extensive training regarding sexual harassment and violence, sensitivity to those affected, and available resources. They want to hear from you – whether it’s to respond in a crisis, investigate a crime, gather important evidence, or protect your safety. For more detailed definitions, information about policy 6.4, support services and reporting options, see

Leaves of Absence

Sometimes students find it necessary to postpone their studies for a while. Some reasons to take a leave may include: time needed for a special project, the need to re-kindle motivation and enthusiasm in academic study, financial difficulties, time needed to renew self-confidence and health, or career experience in an internship or job. A Leave of Absence is requested if/when you must leave the University and plan to return at a later time. A leave is granted upon request for a minimum of one year and maximum of two years. 

A Leave of Absence requested after the final drop deadline carries the following implication of a "W" notation will be entered for the courses in which a student is registered.

To submit a voluntary/personal leave or Withdrawal request please use this University Leave/Withdrawal Form

Voluntary/Personal Leaves

The Faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine expects students to complete their course of study in four years. In certain instances, a student in good standing may apply to take a leave of absence for medical, personal, or other reasons prior to the completion of the degree. Such leaves should ordinarily commence upon the completion of the course in which the student is enrolled. In extraordinary circumstances, permission may be given for a leave to begin sooner.  A student on a leave of absence may not participate in any courses in the professional curriculum.

A student considering a leave should consult with the Assistant Dean for Student Services and Admissions. If the student is a recipient of financial aid, he/she must meet with the Director of Student Financial Planning before taking any leave. The leave is granted for a specific period of time, after which the student is expected to resume coursework. The student will receive a letter indicating the date by which the student must notify the College of their intent to resume studies and the date by which studies must resume. A student who fails to return at the end of a period of voluntary leave or who fails to provide written notice of intent to return at the end of a period of voluntary leave will forfeit the privilege of re-entering the professional curriculum. At the Assistant Dean's discretion, return from leave may be postponed if space is unavailable in a class.

A student returning from leave must certify that they have not received any felony or misdemeanor charges or convictions while on leave. Students on leave will not be allowed to attend core (foundation) courses of the professional curriculum; a student on personal leave who wishes to participate in any other courses in the professional curriculum must be enrolled in the course and registered as extramural students. Grades for extramural coursework are not included in the GPA calculations for fulfillment of requirements for a veterinary degree.

Health Leave

May be taken if a student consults with the Health Leaves Coordinator about this option; the Vet College will grant and readmit a student from a medical leave only upon the recommendation of the Health Leaves Coordinator, and outstanding academic requirements, if any, are met.  More information on the Health Leave of Absence process can be found on the Cornell Health website. A student on a leave of absence may not participate in any courses in the professional curriculum.

A student may be placed on an involuntary medical leave if a student engages in or is likely to engage in behavior which (1) poses a danger to self or others, (2) causes significant property damage, or (3) significantly disrupts the learning environment of others. 

Involuntary Leaves

Involuntary leaves are handled on a case-by-case basis. Any student placed on Involuntary leave will receive written documentation of the terms of the leave, including a description of any conditions that must be met before they return to full-time study, if permitted.  Involuntary academic leave takes effect on the date the college faculty take action through formal vote. The motions brought forward by the Class Teachers Committee will include a reference to the date the Assistant Dean for Learning and Instruction informed the student that s/he may no longer attend class, or continue in the professional curriculum. Involuntary leaves for other reasons will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The effective leave date will be determined by the Judicial Administrator's Office, or by the date of college faculty action. A student on a leave of absence may not participate in any courses in the professional curriculum.


If, in mid-semester, a student decides to withdraw from Cornell University, with no intention of returning, they must submit the University Withdrawl Form.  The student’s withdrawl from the university will be effective the date the student submits the form.

Personal Pets in the College

Privately owned pets are not permitted in the College. The only exceptions to this rule are guide dogs, other service dogs, and private pets being brought to the College clinics or hospitals as patients, or to class for instructor-sanctioned classroom use. Students bringing pets into the College in violation of the rules will be required to remove the animal from the College immediately.

Pregnancy Guidelines

The potential for human injury always exists in the practice of veterinary medicine, and it increases whenever an involved person is pregnant. Undoubtedly, the greatest hazards are accidents which can occur while working with animal patients, and which might cause physical trauma to the pregnant person or to the unborn child. Added hazards exist through exposure to toxic drugs, infectious agents, inhalation anesthetics, or radiation.

•    Contact a physician immediately to get recommendations for a plan to minimize exposure to the hazards that may be associated with a veterinary student's assignments.
•    Provide a signed statement from the physician which defines permitted limits of exposure to possible hazards during the pregnancy.
•    Inform administrators in clinical veterinary medicine of the pregnancy as early as possible in order that steps may be taken to conform to the plan developed by the physician.

1. The student may take a leave of absence, if they believe that it is the best course of action for their health and safety during pregnancy.    
2. They may continue as a regular student with some schedule and assignment changes. This option may not delay or only slightly delay the time of graduation. This option may not be without risks.

Continuing with schedule changes depends upon:
-Changes that can be made in an individual's schedule of clinical assignments which are prepared in advance for an entire calendar year.
-Certification by an attending physician of any constraints and of the individual's physical ability to continue full participation in aspects of the educational program.

It is recognized that the pregnant student has rights and the responsibility for decisions concerning their pregnancy based on medical opinion regarding safety and childbearing. They should expect due consideration from everyone associated with them during their pregnancy, whatever their decisions may be. At the same time they are expected to complete each and every requirement of the veterinary curriculum by a schedule or plan that can be implemented and by which the risks are deemed assumable by them and their physician. A faculty member may refuse to allow a pregnant student to participate in assignments or activities whenever that faculty member or most clinicians consider that the potential for accidents or for exposure to hazards is high. (Adopted by the Faculty of the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Fall, 1982)

Prejudice and Discrimination

Prejudice and discrimination have no place in a free society. In an academic community, individual worth is measured without regard to racial or ethnic origins, sexual preference or other characteristics irrelevant to personal performance.  Diversity of background, interests, talents, etc. in our community is one of the College's great strengths. The Dean, other members of the Administration and the faculty are committed to increasing and fostering diversity in the student, faculty and staff populations of the College. As members of the veterinary community, all students must be sensitive to the feelings and concerns of other members of the community. Prejudicial, discriminatory and/or insensitive comments or actions directed at others on the basis of their race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual preference or other personal characteristics will not be tolerated.  

To report a bias incident please use this link.

Reporting is confidential and open to all

Anyone who directly witnesses or experiences bias activity (or finds evidence of or hears about past bias activity) on the Cornell campus or in an area that impacts the Cornell community should intervene in the moment as appropriate (e.g., contact Campus Police at 911, if a crime is in progress, or interrupt the behavior in as much as the observer feels skilled and safe). A report of the incident should be made as soon as possible.

Religious Holidays

Cornell is committed to supporting students who wish to practice their religious beliefs in keeping with its institutional values and compliance with New York State law. The nature and scope of accommodations will vary based on a variety of factors. Please browse the categories below to find answers to some common questions. If you have specific questions regarding Religious Holiday accommodations please contact CVM Assistant Dean for Veterinary Student Services and Admissions (Dr. Jai Sweet; 

Health Insurance Policy

Health Insurance is mandatory for all full-time registered students in the University. As a professional student at the College of Veterinary Medicine you may choose to purchase the Student Health Plan through Cornell University, OR waive the Student Health Plan if you have other comparable health insurance.

All DVM students will be automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) and charged a mandatory premium. To view rates:

The charge for the SHP premium will appear on your July bursar bill. Students enrolled in SHP may choose to pay their annual insurance premium in over an 8-month period. The SHP has been developed especially for Cornell University students to provide access to comprehensive health services both on campus and around the world.  The SHP exceeds all of the standards for student health insurance developed by the American College Health Association and the requirements of the U.S. Affordable Care Act.  It provides coverage for on- or off-campus health care from August 1 - July 31 of the following year.  It continues coverage for students taking a leave of absence. To enroll dependents, please contact  the Office of Student Health Benefits to fill out the necessary forms before September 30.

For more details about the SHP, its coverage, and to locate providers, contact the Office of Student Health Benefits located at Cornell Health, Levels 4, 110 Ho Plaza, telephone 607-255-6363 or e-mail:
Details may also be found at:

If you can demonstrate that you have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell’s requirements, you may apply to waive or appeal the automatic SHP enrollment:
Students who successfully waive or appeal SHP will be charged an annual Student Health Fee to support equitable access to low-cost care at Cornell Health Services and to help support campus wide-services.

All Cornell students, irrespective of what health insurance they have, can get comprehensive and affordable medical and mental health care on Cornell’s campus.

Enrollment in SHP is mandatory for all international students. Exceptions to this rule will be granted only in very few circumstances. Please contact the Office of Student Health Insurance for more information.

Optional Dental and Vision Plan
Every Cornell University student is eligible to enroll in Cornell’s Dental and Vision Plans regardless of what health insurance s/he carries.  For more information on these plans please visit:

Honor Code

 The Honor Code was founded by the students of the Class of 1963, revised during the 2014-2015 academic year, and is based on the principle that responsibility for ethical conduct rests with the student. This system depends upon the personal integrity of each student and upon all students working together to ensure that it is effective.
The Student Administrative Board for the Honor Code, composed of two representatives from each class, deals with problems relating to student conduct. This board receives information concerning misconduct and breaches of the Honor Code, reviews the information and reaches a decision. When appropriate, the Student Administrative Board institutes disciplinary action by presenting its recommendations to the Faculty Administrative Board. 

Honor Code of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
The Honor System is a highly prized way of life to be zealously guarded. It is an educational asset to the core curriculum that strengthens the quality of veterinarian graduating from Cornell by providing an opportunity for students to learn to govern themselves with honor and personal integrity. Honesty and integrity are essential to building successful relationships among professional colleagues and the public. Therefore, these values are foundational to our professional education.

While the College of Veterinary Medicine is part of the greater Cornell community, the unique demands of our program require a specific code of governance as an alternative to Cornell University’s Code of Academic Integrity. Realizing the need for the development and the expression of moral standards of conduct, we, the students of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, do hereby avail ourselves of the inspiration afforded by this Honor Code, and submit ourselves to guidance by the precepts herein enumerated, in the hope that the habits and insights gained will enhance enduringly our performance of honorable, constructive, and satisfying service in our personal and professional lives. The following articles shall serve us in our ethical education:

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1- Name
1.  The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Honor Code.

Section 2- Purpose
1.   To promote ethical and professional standards of personal conduct among students in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
2.    To instill in the student the qualities that will uphold the honor and integrity of the veterinary profession.
3.    To build character through individual responsibility and worthy actions.
4.    To promote better education through a spirit of friendly relations and mutual respect among students and faculty.

Article II: Application

Section 1- Audience
1.    This code shall apply to all students enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
2.    Students of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are subject to Cornell University’s Code of Academic Integrity when taking courses outside of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
3.    Students of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are subject to Cornell University’s Campus Code of Conduct at all times. In the event of a conflict between provisions of this Honor Code and the Cornell University Campus Code of Conduct, the Campus Code of Conduct takes precedence over the Honor Code.

Section 2- Venue and Scope
1.   This code is applicable to student conduct in all relationships and interactions connected to the educational process of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
2.   Students are expected to maintain the highest levels of integrity and professionalism while interacting with their peers, instructors, staff, patients, clients, and members of the general public. This expectation applies in the classrooms and clinics of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, during externships and other off campus educational programs, and while engaged at college-associated, community, or professional events.
3.   As health professionals, our actions reflect not only on ourselves, but also on our school and the entirety of our profession. Actions that reflect negatively on either our school or our profession are regulated by the Honor Code and will be addressed in accordance with the policies outlined herein.

Article III: Rules of Conduct

Section 1- Introduction
1.    As set forth in the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity preamble: 
Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell student in all academic undertakings. Integrity entails a firm adherence to a set of values, and the values most essential to an academic community are grounded on the concept of honesty with respect to the intellectual efforts of oneself and others. Academic integrity is expected not only in formal coursework situations, but in all University relationships and interactions connected to the educational process.
2.    Professional behavior is of the utmost importance in our field. Our actions, whether public or private, can either enhance or detract from our personal and collective credibility.
3.    In order for the Honor Code to ensure an ethical and professional culture, it requires students to actively participate in its implementation. Therefore students are expected to report violations of the Honor Code to the Student Representatives, as detailed in Article V.1.1.
4.    Failure to maintain confidentiality of the proceedings and deliberations constitutes a violation of the Honor Code as outlined in Article VIII.2.1.
5.    Fraudulent or malicious accusations of violations of this code are an abuse of the Honor System. Any attempt to misuse the Honor System to harm the reputation or advancement of others constitutes a violation of the Honor Code.

Section 2- Conduct Regarding Academic Integrity 
1.   Students are expected to adhere to principles of academic integrity at all times. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, behaviors described by the following examples:
a.    Students shall not give, receive, or take aid from any source during examinations unless otherwise specified by the instructor in the syllabus.
b.    During examination, no electronic devices may be used unless otherwise specified in the course syllabus. Electronic devices that are within plain sight during an examination will be treated as if they were accessed during the examination. Instructors may give verbal permission for the use of personal electronic devices during an examination on a case-by-case basis. 
c.    There shall be no communication between students concerning an examination either during the examination period or afterward, until all students have completed that examination.
d.    Students shall not unjustifiably absent themselves from an examination. This extends to missing deadlines on take-home examinations or Internet-based examinations.
e.     Students are expected to work independently on all assignments, and may not consult course materials or information from previous iterations of the course unless otherwise specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.
f.    Students shall take any computer-based examinations on a Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine owned computer by default, unless otherwise specified by the instructor in the course syllabus.
g.   A student shall in no way misrepresent his/her work, fraudulently or unfairly advance his/her academic status, or be a party to another student's failure to maintain academic integrity. A student assumes responsibility for the content of the academic work he/she submits, including papers, examinations or laboratory reports, etc.

Section 3- Conduct Regarding Personal Property
1.   Students are expected to respect the personal property of individuals and institutions. This expectation is violated by behaviors including, but not limited to, those described by the following examples:
a.    Students shall not intentionally or carelessly mark, tear, misuse, or otherwise damage any book, library item, or college equipment.
b.    Students shall not appropriate any property belonging to another individual or the College. This includes but is not limited to the unauthorized sharing of intellectual property, such as past examinations or class notes and photographs, and physical property, such as the contents of student lockers and mailboxes.
c.    Violation of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals’ policy on Confidentiality of Patient and Client Information constitutes a violation of this Honor Code. Release of information concerning client owned animals, including but not limited to medical information or records, photographs, and billing information, is prohibited unless expressly authorized by the client via written permission. This applies to all living patients, cadavers, tissues, and samples.
d.    Information about university owned animals is restricted in a manner consistent with Article III.3.1.c. Statements in course syllabi can constitute written permission for the use of information concerning university owned animals, including, but not restricted to, photographs taken in laboratories.

Section 4- Conduct Regarding Professional Behavior
1.  Students are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the professional standards outlined by the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Further, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine holds students to standards of Behavioral and Social Attributes outlined by the Statement of Essential Skills and Abilities in the Student Handbook. Meeting these standards of behavior is requisite for receipt of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Expectations for professional behavior include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
a.    Veterinary students shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the codes and laws applicable to licensing and good standing in the veterinary profession.
b.    Students shall show respect to peers, instructors, staff, and clients. The same expectation applies in the classroom and the clinic as well as to all correspondence outside of the classroom and the clinic.
c.    Students shall behave in a manner that supports an environment conducive to learning. Habitually engaging in distracting behavior detracts from the ability of others to learn.
d.    If, while representing the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, students make statements reflecting their own views, they must make clear that the views expressed are their own and not the views of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Section 5- Conduct Regarding Patients
1.  A student shall not neglect or abuse animals. This extends beyond direct abuse of an animal, and includes ensuring accurate and truthful records of medical history. Dishonesty in the hospital regarding physical exam findings, procedures, and treatments may cause an animal harm and will be considered as neglect and/or abuse.
e.    Students are expected to comply with all policies of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Article IV: Organization

Section 1- Membership of the Student Administrative Board
1.    The Student Administrative Board shall be composed of eight voting members, consisting of two representatives from each class.
a.    After the graduation of the current fourth-year Representatives and prior to the election of the new first-year Representatives, the Stu-dent Administrative Board can fully operate with six Representatives.
2.    The internal hierarchy is as follows and shall be implemented by the board members. The duties described below may alternate between representatives from the respective class; ideally a single representative should carry out the responsibility throughout the duration of a particular case.
a.    One fourth-year Student Representative serves as a liaison to be present upon request to the Faculty Administrative Board, except in the event of an appeal of a Student Administrative Board decision.
b.    One second-year Student Representative serves as the Chairperson. The duty of the Chairperson is to organize and run the meetings and investigations.
c.    One first-year Student Representative serves as the Secretary. The duty of the Secretary is to record the proceedings of Student Administrative Board meetings.
3. Representatives are elected to serve until graduation.
a.    It shall be the duty of the second year Representatives to organize the election of the new first-year Representatives during the first academic semester at their discretion. New Representatives shall assume their duties immediately after elections.
b.    Under the Honor Code, any student may petition the Chairperson to impeach a Representative. A successful petition includes a list of grievances followed by signatures of no less than 25% of the class of which the representative is a member. If the Chairperson is the member to be impeached, one of the two fourth-year Representatives should be petitioned instead. A member may be removed from the board by unanimous vote of the Student Administrative Board; the impeached member is not permitted to vote.
c.    Any Representative of the Student Administrative Board may petition to the Board to impeach another Representative. This matter shall be handled internally, and a unanimous vote of the Student Administrative Board is required; the impeached member is not permitted to vote.
d.    In the event that a Representative wishes to resign, they shall submit a written statement to the Student Administrative Board stating their intent.
e.    If a Representative is impeached or resigns, the remaining Representative from their class will organize an election for their replacement.

Section 2- Membership of the Faculty Administrative Board
1.    The Faculty Administrative Board is an ad hoc committee assembled by the Dean or his/her designate. The Faculty Administrative Board will consider cases at the request of the Student Administrative Board as outlined in Article VI.2.4.
Section 3- Faculty Advisors to the Student Administrative Board
1.    Two faculty members shall be identified by the Student Administrative Board as Faculty Advisors.
a.    Selection process of Faculty Advisors shall be left up to the Student Administrative Board.
b.    The term for a Faculty Advisor is indefinite.
c.    A Faculty Advisor may be replaced when either a faculty member wishes to step down or the Student Administrative Board wishes to re-place the Faculty Advisor based on a majority vote of quorum.
2. Faculty Advisors act in an advisory capacity for the Student and Faculty Administrative Boards. The Advisors may sit as a non-voting, confidential observer at Student Administrative Board meetings and hearings. The Faculty Advisors shall advise on matters of Honor Code application, and act as a liaison between the Student and Faculty Administrative Boards, when needed. Due to the turnover of graduating Stu-dent Administrative Board members, the Faculty Advisors will provide continuity regarding the historical application of the Honor Code.

Article V: Procedure

Section 1- Reporting a Violation
1.    It shall be the duty of any student or faculty member in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to report any violations regarding a student under the provisions of this Code to a Representative of the Student Administrative Board. Any violation should be reported as soon as possible. Personal contact is preferred, however electronic means of verbal communication, such as telephone calls, are accept-able.
2.    Witnesses may be called upon to meet with the Student or Faculty Administrative Board as part of their investigation.
3.    The anonymity of witnesses will be maintained with respect to the public and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine community at large. The identity of witnesses will be shared amongst the members of the Student and Faculty Administrative Boards to facilitate the investigation.
4.    The identity of a witness may be shared with other witnesses or the accused during the process of investigation outlined in Article V.3.2 if deemed necessary by the Student Administrative Board. It is imperative to a just process that attempts are made to verify testimony and identify potential bias. Circumstances may arise under which revelation of identifying information or an individual’s identity is unavoidable in this process.
5.    All witnesses and the accused are barred from communication relating to the incident by the requirements for confidentiality outlined in Article VIII.2.1 Initiating any such communication will constitute a violation of the Honor Code.
6.    Knowingly making a fraudulent report of a violation constitutes a violation of the Honor Code as described in Article III.1.5.

Section 2- Meetings
1.    It shall be the duty of the Representative to report a suspected violation to the Student Administrative Board after he/she (the Representative) has been notified. Electronic notification of an incident is accept-able as long as the message does not include details of the incident.
2.    The initial description of the incident must be delivered in person by the Representative to the rest of the Student Administrative Board. Written forms of communication are not an acceptable format.
3.    Meetings shall take place in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine behind closed doors. Teleconferences, although discouraged, are an acceptable format to communicate with Representatives that are away from the College and can be used to make quorum.
4.    It shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Student Administrative Board to call a meeting of the Board within five school days after notification. As long as every effort has been made to accomplish the initial meeting in five days, time extensions are acceptable. Exceptions include but are not limited to Winter/Summer vacation or emergencies where making quorum is impossible. 

Section 3- Investigation
1.    The Student Administrative Board shall have the authority to carry out investigations concerning alleged violations of the Honor Code.
2.    It shall be the duty of the Student Administrative Board to interview the witnesses and accused, in separate conferences, as well as any other person brought to the attention of the Board that appears to have pertinent information, and to consider all evidence and testimony that will ensure a just decision. It is the responsibility of each class Representative to establish meeting times with individuals in their respective class. Teleconferences, although discouraged, are an acceptable format for investigations.
3.    In an incident in which multiple people are accused of violations, such violations will be treated as separate cases.
4.    The accused has a right to bring an advisor to the investigation. However, the advisor may not speak on behalf of the accused. This conference serves to be an academic investigation and not a legal proceeding.
5.    The Student Administrative Board Secretary shall keep a written record of all interviews, proceedings, deliberations, and recommendations. These records are to be kept confidential as defined in Article VIII.1.2.
6.    In the instance of repeated infractions, any accusation of an infraction beyond the first shall be confirmed by at least one additional witness other than the witness of the first infraction.

Section 4 - Deliberation
1.    Initial deliberation by the Student Administrative Board will focus on the identification of specific sections of the Honor Code that may have been violated by the accused. Each section of the Honor Code that is identified as relevant to the case will constitute a separate charge.
2.    Prior to final deliberation, the accused will be informed of the specific violations that they are charged with. The accused is not obligated to respond to the charges but may chose to acknowledge a violation or offer any additional statements in their defense.
3.    The members of the Student Administrative Board will make a final deliberation on each charge brought against the accused. They may decide either to try a charge or to dismiss it. If a charge is to be tried, Student Representatives will evaluate whether clear and convincing evidence exists that a charge constitutes a violation.
4.    A charge is tried by a vote of the Student Representatives. A quorum of at least seventy-five percent of active members must be met. Six affirmative votes are required to find a violation for matters heard by an eight-member Board and five affirmative votes are required to find a violation for matters heard by a six-member Board.
5.    During deliberation, past violations shall not influence the Student Administrative Board’s verdict.

Article VI: Actions Following Deliberation

Section 1- Actions in the Absence of a Violation
1.   If following deliberation by the Student Administrative Board, the accused is not found to have violated the Honor Code, it shall be the responsibility of the Student Administrative Board to inform the accused of their decision within twenty-four hours after the decision has been reached. The ideal method of informing the accused is through a letter personally delivered, however during special circumstances, informing the accused via electronic means is acceptable, with the consent of the accused. 
2.    The Student Administrative Board will inform a third-party with prior knowledge of the incident and legitimate educational interest (e.g. Course Leader, Hospital Director) that the accused has been found innocent.
3.    Per University policy, faculty members may not impose grade sanctions in the event that the accused is acquitted on charges of violations of academic integrity. The Faculty Handbook states:
The evaluation of the quality of the student’s work is solely up to the instructor, but the grade must not contain a punitive element for an offense against academic integrity if the student has been found innocent of this offense by a duly constituted board.
4.    The matter will be dropped with all records of investigation and deliberation destroyed after forty-eight hours.

Section 2- Actions Following the Finding of a Violation 
1.    If, following deliberation by the Student Administrative Board, the accused is found to have violated the Honor Code, it shall be the responsibility of the Student Administrative Board to inform the accused of their decision within twenty-four hours after the decision has been reached via personally delivered letter. The letter shall contain reference to the specific portions of the Honor Code that have been violated. The ideal method of informing the accused is through a handwritten letter, however during special circumstances, informing the accused via electronic means is acceptable, with the consent of the accused.
2.    If the accused is interested in discussing the matter further, at least two representatives of the Student Administrative Board will make themselves available at presentation of the decision to discuss the findings.
3.    If deemed necessary, the Student Administrative Board may inform a third-party with legitimate educational interest and authority on the situation (e.g. Course Leader, Hospital Director) by unanimous vote. The accused will be informed of this disclosure in the letter described in Article VI.2.1. A Course Leader or faculty member responsible for the course in which a violation of academic integrity took place may impose grade sanctions.
4.    If the Student Administrative Board feels that the violation merits punitive measure above and beyond recognition of a violation or informing a third party, they shall request the ad hoc formation of the Faculty Administrative Board. The Student Administrative Board will make their recommendations for punitive measures to the Faculty Administrative Board and deliver to them all of the proceedings regarding the case thus far. Written recommendations of the Student Administrative Board will be presented to the Faculty Administrative Board by the fourth-year Student Liaison. The accused will be informed of the referral in the letter described in Article VI.2.1.
5.    Previous violations of the Honor Code may be grounds for the recommendation of additional punitive actions to the Faculty Administrative Board at the discretion of the Student Administrative Board.
6.    Recommendations to the Faculty Administrative Board for punitive actions may include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following:
a.    Grade Sanctions: Grade Sanctions are defined as alterations to a student’s grade for a course, examination, or assignment. With the recommendation of a grade alteration, the Student Administrative Board, the Faculty Administrative Board, and the Course Leader shall work closely to define a just and fair grade alteration. The final decision regarding a change in a student’s grade rests with the faculty member in charge of the course. In addition, after the investigation, the Course Leader may impose grade sanctions of greater or lesser severity than those recommended by the Student Administrative Board or Faculty Administrative Board as long as the punishment is not arbitrary or capricious. 
b.    Probation: Probation is defined as a strict warning whereas if a second incident of a significant severity occurs, the student shall be either suspended or expelled.
c.    Suspension: Suspension is defined as the temporary arrest of a student’s education where the student may resume their education at a future defined date.
d.    Expulsion: Expulsion is defined as the removal of a student from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine with no intent of allowing the student to return.
7.    The Faculty Administrative Board shall consider the recommendations of the Student Administrative Board in their deliberations. The Faculty Administrative Board has the ability to impose probation, how-ever, grade sanctions must be recommended to the Course Director and suspensions and expulsions to the Dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Article VII: Appeals

Section 1- Appeal of a Student Administrative Board Finding of Violation
1.    It shall be the right of any student to appeal the decision of the Stu-dent Administrative Board to the Faculty Administrative Board within forty-eight hours after receiving the decision of the Student Administrative Board. In such an event, the proceedings of the Student Administrative Board shall be made available to the Faculty Administrative Board. 
2.    The appeal shall specify the reasons why the finding of a violation is erroneous.
3.    The Faculty Administrative Board may uphold or overturn the ruling of the Student Administrative Board that a violation occurred.
4.    If the ruling of a violation is overturned all Student Administrative Board recommendations for disciplinary actions related to that violation will be retracted. Any grade sanctions based on the finding of a violation will be invalidated. The Student Administrative Board will draft a letter to the accused stating that the ruling has been overturned and will destroy records of the case in accordance with Article VI.1.4.

Section 2- Appeal of a Faculty Administrative Board Finding of Violation
1.    It is the right of the student who is dissatisfied with the finding of a violation by the Faculty Administrative Board to appeal to the Dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. In such an event, all proceedings from both the Student and Faculty Administrative Boards shall be made available to the Dean. In the absence of the Dean, the Dean may appoint a substitute to hear the case. The Dean or substitute may consult with the faculty of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as a whole.
2.    The appeal shall specify the reasons why the finding of a violation is erroneous.
3.    The Dean or appointed substitute may uphold or overturn the ruling of the Faculty Administrative Board that a violation occurred.
4.    If the ruling of a violation is overturned all Faculty Administrative Board recommendations for disciplinary actions related to that violation will be retracted. Any grade sanctions based on the finding of a violation will be invalidated. 

Section 3- Appeal of a Disciplinary Action
1.    If a student wishes to appeal a disciplinary action this appeal must be made to the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. In such an event, all proceedings from both the Student and Faculty Administrative Boards shall be made available to the Dean. In the absence of the Dean, the Dean may appoint a substitute to hear the case.  The Dean or substitute may consult with the faculty of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine as a whole.
2.    The appeal shall specify the reasons why the disciplinary action is in-appropriate.
3.    The Dean or substitute may decline to carry out the disciplinary action, recommend that the disciplinary action be modified, or affirm the disciplinary action.

Section 4- Appeal Based Upon New Evidence
1. If substantial new evidence becomes available, the accused may appeal to the board that made the original decision. This appeal is not subject to the forty-eight hour limit specified in Article VII.1.1.

Article VIII: Records and Confidentiality

Section 1- Maintenance of Records
1.    The Faculty Advisors of the Student Administrative Board will main-tain copies of letters from the Student Administrative Board and Faculty Administrative Board to the accused indefinitely.
2.    Records documenting the processes of investigations and deliberations by the Student Administrative Board and Faculty Administrative Board will be maintained in confidentiality until final decisions on violations and recommendations have been made, and until appeals have been resolved. Records of investigations and deliberations will then be destroyed.

Section 2- Public Announcement and Confidentiality 
1.    The proceedings of the Student Administrative Board and information from which an individual’s identity may be elucidated are strictly confidential. Public revelation of any such information by Student Representatives, witnesses, or the accused constitutes a violation of the Honor Code.

Article IX: Notification

Section 1- Elective
1.    A copy of the Honor Code will be distributed to all incoming first year veterinary students, new students (transfers, rotations), externs/interns, and all faculty members concerned, at the beginning of each school year. This may be in either electronic or print form.
2.    It shall be the duty of the Student Administrative Board to introduce the Honor Code to the entering first year students before the end of the second week of the Fall semester. It is the responsibility of all students to read and understand the Honor Code. Ignorance of the information in this code is not an excuse for violation.

Article X: Procedures for Retirement or Amendment

Section 1- Introduction
1.    The Dean of Faculty of Cornell University has ultimate authority to approve deviations from the Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is permit-ted to act under the guidance of this Honor Code in lieu of the Code of Academic Integrity by the Dean of Faculty. Therefore, any decision to retire or amend the Honor Code must be approved by the Dean of Faculty.
2.    This Honor Code may be amended or retired at any time.

Section 2- Student Retirement
1.    This Honor Code may be retired at any time by a petition. One-fourth of the students enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine must sign a petition and bring that petition to the attention of the Chairperson of the Student Administrative Board. After a successful petition, a vote must ensue where two-thirds of all students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine vote in favor of retirement, in order for the petition to pass. This vote will be organized by the Chairperson of the Student Administrative Board.

Section 3- Faculty Retirement
1.    This Honor Code may be retired at any time by a petition. One-fourth of the faculty with teaching responsibilities in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine must sign a petition and bring that petition to the attention of both the Chairperson of the Student Administrative Board, the Faculty Advisor(s) of the Student Administrative Board, and the Dean. For the petition to pass a vote must ensue where greater than two-thirds of the faculty with teaching responsibilities in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine vote in favor of retirement of the code. This vote will be organized by the Dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Section 4- Post Retirement
1.    Once the Honor Code has been retired, the Honor Code of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine would immediately be replaced by Cornell University’s Code of Academic Integrity.

Section 5- Amendment
1.    Any request for amendment to the Honor Code must be presented to the Student Administrative Board with a written petition signed by no less than twenty-five students operating under the Honor Code. The Student Administrative Board shall then present the petition to the entire student body for consideration, and the Chairperson shall be responsible for the voting procedure. This petition shall be presented to the student body within two weeks after the Student Administrative Board has received it. If the petition meets the approval of the student body by majority vote, it shall be forwarded to the faculty for consideration. If the petition meets the approval of the faculty by majority vote, it shall be forwarded to the Dean of Faculty. With the approval by the Dean of Faculty, the petition will become an amendment

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Please note that all policies and procedures are subject to change.