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 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 Foundation Course VI Attendance

Absence from a clinical rotation can have a significant impact on patient care and the education of all students in the rotation. All absences must be for valid reasons and these include illness and family emergencies, job interviews, a unique justifiable educational opportunity, 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 absence must be discussed in advance with the Section Chief of the rotation. The Section Chief decides whether the requested absence is permissible or not. Any days missed for an unexcused absence, and those in excess of 2 days of excused absence, must be made up at the discretion of the service. Students will be given a grade of incomplete until all requirements for the rotation have been met. Cumulative absences across all rotations are tracked and reviewed by the Foundation Course VI leaders.

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 Foundation and Distribution 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- =.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 distribution period for changes to enrollment or grade option in classes which begin in that period. 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:

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 fifteen 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.

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 Foundation Courses

Comprising a significant majority of the professional curriculum, 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 foundation course is a prerequisite to the immediately following foundation course. A student receiving a failing grade in a foundation course will not be allowed to continue in the subsequent foundation course(s).

Academic Actions:

A student who, over the course of their enrollment earns a grade of F in two foundation courses, or a grade of D+ or below in three 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 foundation course in any one semester, or a grade of D+ or below in two 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 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 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 repeats a semester shall be required to take all foundation courses normally offered during that semester, unless exempted by the faculty responsible for teaching the course.

Academic Actions: 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.

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 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.2
3. Respect for intellectual property is essential in an academic community.2
4. Copyright ownership is defined by federal law and university policy is structured within this context.2
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 (420 Computing and Communications Center (CCC) tel #607-254-4545) to discuss your situation. When possible, a student should initiate the process in the summer before his/her 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. You will also need to provide the Office of Disability Services with the following information: 
•  Documentation of your disability, in writing, from a physician who  is familiar with your diagnosis.
•  Recommendations from the physician based upon your needs for accommodation in a veterinary environment.
•  In addition, a copy of the above documents should be sent to the Office of Student and Academic Services in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

As soon as the Office of Disability Services reviews your documentation, they will send their written recommendation regarding appropriate accommodations for your disability to the CVM Office of Student and Academic Services. It is very important that we receive their 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 Director of Student Development and Academic Services (S2 009 Schurman Hall. Tel #607-253-3700). Again, a student should initiate the process in the summer before his/her 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.

Please let us know what accommodations you have been granted in college and graduate school, and on standardized tests. While your prior history is relevant for determining reasonable accommodations, you should realize that we might not grant the same accommodations that you have received in the past. Your request for accommodations will be carefully reviewed according to what is reasonable and appropriate given the nature of your disability and the essential components of our academic program.

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, and then by 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. Specifically: It is the student's responsibility to inform the CVM Director of Student Development and Academic Services of the nature of their disability, and if accommodations will be necessary.

The student must furnish documentation of the disability to the Cornell University's Office of Student Disability Services.
To protect students' confidentiality, the Office of Student and Academic Services will not initiate communication with faculty about accommodations unless the student requests it.

Once the request for accommodations has been approved by the Office of Student Disability Service and the Office of Student and Academic Services, the student will be provided with a letter to present to instructors in the courses the student is enrolled in. It is the student's responsibility to inform the course instructor of the need for accommodation.

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 the Assistant Dean for Veterinary Student Services and Admissions and the 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 and signed by the student and by any faculty or staff who observed the accident or who are responsible for the area where the accident occurred.

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 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 woman or to her 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 her 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. She 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 woman has rights and the responsibility for decisions concerning her pregnancy based on medical opinion regarding safety and childbearing. She should expect due consideration from everyone associated with her during her pregnancy, whatever her decisions may be. At the same time she is 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 her and her 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.

Statement on Racial Prejudice
The Deans' Council condemns unequivocally any and all behavior based on racial prejudice or discrimination and calls upon the University administration to maintain and, whenever necessary, to increase its efforts to eliminate racist behavior on campus. In addition, the individual members of the Council pledge to take whatever steps are required to root out such behavior within their units. Among actions that might be taken at Cornell at this time, the Deans' Council wishes to lay special emphasis on the following:
1.    Provide human relations workshops and other sources of information and encourage all members of the University community to take advantage of the opportunities thus provided, to understand more fully the nature of racism, particularly in its less obvious and more subtle manifestations.
2.    Make known both centrally and locally the names of individuals and offices best equipped to deal effectively with complaints about incidents of racial prejudice, whether from students, staff, or faculty.
3.    Urge those who experience racial prejudice or discrimination to re-port such behavior promptly.
4.    Move quickly to investigate all allegations of racist behavior on campus and impose appropriately severe penalties on those found guilty of such behavior, while protecting complainants against retaliation.

Recognizing that each member of the community bears a responsibility for ensuring that Cornell is free from intolerance, the Deans' Council welcomes any suggestions from faculty, students, and staff aimed at dealing more effectively with racial discrimination and prejudice. Any student complaints about racial discrimination or harassment should be made to the Dean. (Adopted by Dean's Council on January 20, 1987)

Religious Holidays

Cornell University complies with New York State laws effective July 1, 1992 requiring that all public and private institutions not discriminate against students for their religious beliefs. As such, excerpted from sections 3 & 4 of the law:

"(3) It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative make available to each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to...make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days..."
"(4) If...classes, examinations, study or work requirements are held on Friday after 4 o'clock post meridian or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, study or work requirements...shall be made available on other days, where it is possible and practicable to do so..."

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 $370 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:

 Link to Policy on Relations with Corporate Sponsors and Vendors