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Curriculum Requirements

To complete the program in 1 calendar year, students must earn a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester (fall, spring, and summer) for a total of 36 credits. This includes core course work, 1 required on-site laboratory per semester, and elective courses. Students may also choose to pursue their studies at a more moderate pace to accommodate other professional and personal commitments. For additional details read our program handbook.

Eimeria macusaniensis oocyst
      Eimeria macusaniensis oocyst (foreground)
      Other Eimeria spp. oocysts (background)

Laboratory Instruction

Students must take 5 credits of laboratory instruction (with 5-6 full days of instruction in the laboratory being equivalent to 1 credit). We recommend students take a minimum of 1 laboratory credit each semester on the Cornell University campus. Lab options offered at Cornell University are detailed in Table 2.

In the final semester, students will be required to complete a literature review-based capstone project with guidance from program faculty.

Table 1

Required courses and credit value
Core Courses Credits
Parasites of Domestic Animals* 2
Introductory Pharmacology* 1
Antiparasitic Drugs 1
Federal Government’s Role in Animal Health


Parasitologic Diagnostic Methods Video Lab 2
Organisms as Lab Models 1
Early Drug Discovery 1
Antiparasitic Vaccines 1
Regulatory Approvals 1
Scientific Writing and Critical Review of Literature 1
Statistics for Efficacy Studies


Capstone Project Research 3
Total Credits 16

Table 2 

Required labs, credit value, and location
Laboratories Site Credits
Parasite Identification CU 1
Non-Morphologic Parasite ID CU 1
Advanced Parasite ID CU 1
Cases with Lab Specimens – Lg Animal CU 1
Cases with Lab Specimens – Sm Animals CU 1
The Parasitologic Necropsy Lab CU 1
Parasitologic Histology Lab OTH 1

*If students already possess the DVM degree (or equivalent), the requirement for taking the Parasites of Domestic Animals and Introductory Pharmacology courses is waived. 

‡This laboratory is required for all students.

Table 3

Electives and their credit value
Elective Courses
Course Credits
Biting Flies and Myiasis 1
Fleas and Lice 1
Ticks 1
Apicomplexa 1
Excavata 1
Internal Parasites of Dogs 2
Internal Parasites of Cats 1
Internal Parasites of Cattle 2
Internal Parasites of Pigs 1
Internal Parasites of Sheep 2
Parasites of People   2
Imaging of Parasites In Vivo  1
Drug Discovery– The Big 12  1
Alternate Parasite Control Approaches in Sheep and Goats 1
Greek and Latin Languages and the Zoological Code of Nomenclature 2
Wildlife Parasitology 2
Parasite Eradication Programs 1
Paleoparasitology 1