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 Learning and Instruction (Dr. Kathy Edmondson). 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.

A student who wishes to participate in a conference or other scholarly activity should complete the form 'Request for Excused Absence due to Scholarly Activities' (available in the office of Student and Academic Services, S2009 Schurman Hall), and obtain a signature of the affiliated research, academic or activity advisor. The form must be submitted to the office of the Assistant Dean for Students and Instruction during the first week of the courses in which the absence would occur. The Assistant Dean will in turn consult the appropriate instructors. When a 'Scholarly Activities Absence' is approved, students may work with the instructors to make up the missed work, as is practical and feasible. Some curricular experiences may be impossible to replicate. If participation in a Scholarly Activity conflicts with a scheduled course examination, it is the student's responsibility to work with the course instructor(s) to make alternate examination arrangements, if possible. Some examinations may be impossible to reschedule or replicate.
Policy for Attendance in Foundation Course VI, Clinical Rotations
Students are expected to be present every day during their scheduled rotations. 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, licensing exams, a unique justifiable educational opportunity, 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 with and approved 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.  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 Students and Instruction. 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.

The Letter Grade Reporting Option.  
Letter grades (A,B,C,D, or F) will be provided to the student.  Examinations will be corrected and re-turned with errors and omissions noted.
The S/U Grade Reporting Option.  
All grades will be reported to the student as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory; with Satisfactory=C- and above, and Unsatisfactory= D+ to F. On examinations, errors and omissions by students will be indicated, but the letter grade (A,B,C,D, or F) will not be reported to the student.

For either grade option, steps will be taken to ensure the complete confidentiality of individual students' work and results.

A grade of incomplete is designated by "INC". The grade "R" is given at the end of the first term of a year-long course. The student is responsible for re-enrolling in the following term in any course for which a grade of R is received. The grades of INC and R do not have quality points attached. A grade may be changed only if the instructor made an error in calculating the original grade.

Incomplete Grades
A grade of incomplete is appropriate only when a student has substantial equity in a course but is unable to complete course requirements on time because of circumstances beyond the student's control, for example, accident or illness.

The course requirements or alternatives acceptable to the instructor must be completed within one year or by the end of the next scheduled offering of the course and before graduation. The instructor has the option of setting an earlier time limit. Upon completion of the course requirements or expiration of the make-up period, the instructor will submit a grade for the course. If the requirements are not fulfilled within the specified time, a grade of F will be recorded.

It is the responsibility of the student to see that all grades of Incomplete are made up within one year (or have met an earlier deadline if one has been set by the faculty member) and that the grade has been properly recorded with the college registrar.

In making their report to the faculty, the Class Teachers Committee will indicate which students are being recommended for advancement with grades of Incomplete, and the proposed timetable for completion. If, after the make-up period has ended, the student's term grades include two or more D's or any F's, the same Class Teachers Committee will reconvene to review the student's performance and make recommendations to the faculty in accordance with existing academic policies.

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. 

Term Grade Reports
Grades may be viewed on the Student Service Center- approximately 2 weeks after the end of the distribution period or term.

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 par-ties.  


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 his/her 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 Assignments: 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

Special Project and/or Research Projects: See instructions for credit limitations. Maximum of 10 credits total can count toward the 31 Distribution credits required for graduation.

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

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

Academic Standards : Foundation Courses I - V and VII
Each Foundation course is a prerequisite to the immediately following Foundation course. No student may attend a Foundation course without having passed the immediately preceding course, regardless of the time the new course begins within a semester. 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 her/himself with the policies of the courses in which s/he is enrolled.

A student who achieves a grade of F in two Foundation courses, or a grade of D+ or below in three Foundation courses, shall not be allowed to continue in the DVM Program.

A student who achieves 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, shall be denied permission to advance to the subsequent semester; however, the student will be permitted to repeat the semester in which the above grade(s) was (were) received.

A student, who achieves a grade of D or below in one Foundation course, shall be placed on academic warning and shall be required to attain a grade point average of 2.0 or above in Foundation courses taken the following semester. 

A student, who does not achieve this 2.0 grade point average shall be denied permission to advance to the subsequent term; however, the student will be permitted to repeat the semester.

Policy for repeating a semester: A student who has been denied permission to advance may only repeat once. 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 Standards - Foundation Course VI, Clinical Rotations
A student who receives a grade of F or two grades of D on core clinical or pathway rotations will be placed on academic warning.

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

A student who receives two D grades on core clinical or pathway rotations will be placed on academic warning but will not be required to repeat those rotations.

A student cumulatively receiving more than one grade of F or more than two grades of D or lower on required clinical or pathway rotations throughout Foundation Course VI shall be denied permission to continue in the course (or graduate).

Upon receiving a first grade of F or a second grade of D, the student will be notified as soon as possible by the Assistant Dean for Students and Instruction that s/he is on academic warning for the balance of Foundation Course VI, and the clinical rotations class teachers committee shall be convened to make recommendations to the College Faculty at the next earliest faculty meeting.

A weighted average of all required clinical rotations (including pathway rotations) will be calculated to determine a final grade for Foundation Course VI. This grade will be used to determine advancement (graduation) of students starting Foundation Course VI on academic warning.

Policy on Clinic Scheduling Changes
One hallmark of Cornell’s professional curriculum is the flexibility students have to tailor many clinical experiences to support their professional goals. All students may request up to three preferences regarding their schedule for clinical rotations. These preference requests must be made at the time students formally select a Clinical Pathway, by completing an online form at the end of the second year of study. The majority of students’ 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 clinic schedules, they may 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 strongly encouraged to use their preferences judiciously, and to explore potential revisions to their Clinical Pathways and schedules before they begin clinical rotations.

Academic Standards Distribution Courses

Whereas the College Faculty has not instituted minimum yearly credit requirements for Distribution courses, receiving a grade of D or F for individual Distribution courses will not, by itself, constitute grounds for denial to advance to the subsequent semester. However, only courses for which a passing grade (D or above) is achieved will count towards the minimum credit requirement for graduation (=31.0 credits from sets I, II, III, IV, V and VII plus 6 credits from set VI) or towards fulfilling minimum requirements for Distribution courses from required sets. Furthermore, no more than four Distribution courses with unsatisfactory grades will count towards the minimum credit requirements for graduation. The foregoing does not compromise the prerogative of the College Faculty which may, under unusual circumstances, make exception to these guidelines.

Pathway Revision Guidelines

Students’ pathway selections may not be changed, but the rotations that comprise their pathway may modified. Students may replace an existing service in a pathway with a different experience, either here at Cornell or elsewhere as an Opportunity Block (VTMED 6605). The maximum number of pathway revisions students may make is three, and each must be approved by both pathway advisors. Before any substitutions are implemented, the staffing needs of the CUHA must be met, such that the minimum or maximum numbers of students on a rotation are maintained. Revisions may be requested during the clinic scheduling process using an online tool, which must be completed by early June. After clinic schedules have been distributed to students, providing the number of changes has not exceeded three, students may request additional revisions to their pathways. The process for requesting changes prior to October 1st is the same as it is during the clinical scheduling process: students must complete an online form, and both pathway advisors must approve the change. Revisions are not possible for the LA Surgery II, Neurology, and SA ECC rotations. All pathway revision requests must be made by October 1. Late pathway revision requests (submitted after October 1st) must meet the criteria outlined above, and include a justification for the experience and an explanation for why the request falls beyond the deadline. The request must then be approved by both pathway advisors, and the Course VI Course Leaders. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All graduation requirements for the DVM degree must be completed within six years of a student's initial registration in the veterinary program. This requirement applies to all veterinary students except those participating in Track 1* of the dual DVM/PhD degree program.

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.

*Track 1 is expected to consist of two years in the DVM program, three years in graduate training, followed by two years in the veterinary program. If necessary, students in this track of the Dual Degree program may petition both the Curriculum Committee and the Dual Degree Oversight Committee for an extension of the graduate training period. This request should be made at least one semester before the scheduled return to the DVM program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Recipients

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.

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. S/he 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 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 his/her disability, and if accommodations will be necessary.

The student must furnish documentation of the disability to the Cornell University's Office of 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 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 Senior Director of Student Development and Academic Services 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 (Office of Student and Academic Services: S2 009 Schurman Hall, 3-3704, 

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, Assistant Dean (Katherine Edmondson, 607.253.3773) or to the Senior Director of Student Development & Academic Services (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

Guidelines for Leaves of Absence

Voluntary 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 considering a leave must consult with and submit an application to the Senior Director of Student Development and Academic Services. 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 written authorization for the leave will specify the effective leave date, the date by which the student on leave must notify the College of intent to resume studies and a date by which studies must resume. A student who fails to return at the end of a period of authorized leave or who fails to provide written notice of intent to return at the end of a period of authorized leave will forfeit the privilege of re-entering the professional curriculum. At the Dean's discretion, return from leave may be postponed if space is unavailable in a class.

A student returning from leave must certify that he/ she has 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. 

Personal Leave
In rare instances, a student who for personal reasons is unable to advance to the subsequent Foundation course, may be granted a personal leave. Personal leaves are arranged by the Senior Director of Student Development and Academic Services after the application has been submitted by the student. The Dean of the College has final approval of all personal leaves and will review the status of all students returning from leaves. The effective date for a personal leave of absence is the student's last date of attendance. 

Health Leave
A student who, for health reasons, is unable to complete required coursework or advance to the next Foundation course may be considered for a voluntary health leave. 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. Since the purpose of a health leave is to allow time away from the College to receive medical and/or mental health treatment, health leaves are usually for 6 months or more and are arranged on an individual basis with the Dean's office and the Director of Student Services and Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with University Health Services. A student on health leave may not participate in any courses in the professional curriculum. Health leaves of absence are processed in conjunction with the University Health Services but authority for granting the leave, and for permitting a student to return from a leave, rests with the Dean of the College. Specific procedures must be followed to return from a medical leave, including providing a statement to the University Health Service from attending medical professional(s) detailing the student's progress and stating that the student is ready and able to resume a full, rigorous work load; that statement will be reviewed by a designated University health official who will consult the College and the student's physician regarding the essential facts and obligations of the individual's program. Further information is available in the Policy Notebook for Cornell University or from University Health Services. The College uses the effective dates for health leaves that are determined by University Health Services.

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 s/he returns 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.

The effective date for withdrawals will be the date the student notifies the college in writing of her/his decision to withdraw.

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: