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The MU College of Veterinary Medicine has several foci of strength. One is the unique clinical curriculum. The curriculum in the last two years requires six continuous weeks in each of seven clinical specialties. Teaching is done in a form of apprenticeship with as much pragmatic involvement as possible in the Teaching Hospital. The design of teaching within blocks is highly flexible and permits frequent adaptation and improvement. Graduates are offered an average of nearly three jobs each.


University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine History

In the 1950's, veterinary medical students relied on the microscope as their primary diagnostic tool.

Veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri began in 1884. It progressed through five stages — a course in veterinary science, a department of veterinary science, a school of veterinary medicine in the division of agricultural sciences, a school of veterinary medicine as a separate division, and finally, a College of Veterinary Medicine.

In 1885, the first vaccine-virus laboratory in the United States was established at the veterinary science department. A veterinary laboratory was erected in 1887. In early years, staff veterinarians taught courses to medical and agricultural students, conducted research on tick fever, and investigated livestock disease throughout the state.

The College's first building, Connaway Hall, was built in 1910-11 to house veterinary science faculty who taught courses to agricultural students, investigated animal and poultry diseases, performed diagnostic and extension work, and produced animal vaccines.

The professional curriculum leading to the DVM degree was established in 1946 to offer educational opportunities to World War II veterans. In 1950, 26 new veterinarians graduated in the first class.

From 1946-65 there were 30 students, all Missouri residents, in each of the four classes studying for the DVM degree. In 1965, class size doubled and non-residents were admitted in response to federal funding incentives. These federal “capitation” funds offered to alleviate a national shortage of veterinarians and stimulated another class size increase (to 76 students) in 1976. In the early 80's, the national need for veterinarians stabilized, federal funding was withdrawn and enrollment was lowered in the interest of quality education and efficient space planning. The College has graduated more than 2,600 veterinarians since 1946.

A teaching hospital was built in 1961, and a diagnostic laboratory and a teaching-research building were added in 1977. Clydesdale Hall, a 149,000-sq.-ft. medical teaching hospital, was completed and occupied in March 1993 (and was remodeled in 2000 to remain at the forefront of clinical education). A multi-million dollar renovation to the veterinary medicine building and Connaway Hall were completed in 1997 and 1998, respectively.


MU is the only Missouri institution to award the doctor of veterinary medicine degree (DVM), graduating approximately 100-110 new veterinarians each year.

The University of Missouri’s professional program leading to a DVM boasts a unique curricular structure, which provides nearly two years of hands-on training in the College’s general and specialty clinics. Years one and two focus on instruction in high-tech, computer-based classrooms and labs. Years three and four provide clinical instruction, including six weeks in each specialty: ophthalmology, cardiology, orthopaedics, oncology, dentistry and community medicine.

The DVM professional curriculum is integrated with MU veterinary services, including statewide animal disease diagnostic services, and extension and continuing education programs for animal owners and veterinarians.

The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination Council on Education requires a minimum pass rate of 80 percent on the licensing examination to maintain full accreditation. Since 2009, University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine graduates have had pass rate of 100 percent.

Campus Strengths and Opportunities

Mizzou is one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine and a nuclear research reactor on one campus – and one of a handful of public universities with veterinary medicine, nursing, medicine, agriculture, animal science, nuclear research, and health professions on the same campus.

MU is one of only 34 public U.S. institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities, whose members are top-tier schools noted for outstanding teaching and research endeavors.

MU is home to the largest United States’ producer of radioisotopes for diagnosing and treating cancer.

MU’s National Swine Resource and Research Center is the country’s only repository and distribution for swine models. MU also houses the only Rat Resource and Research Center and one of three Mouse Resource and Research Centers in the United States. The College of Veterinary Medicine is a key partner in the One Health, One Medicine Mizzou Advantage, a campus initiative that is opening opportunities to expand on pioneering work in comparative medicine by connecting with research and instruction in health care delivery, policy, business models, medical ethics, and the culture of healthy living.

College of Veterinary Medicine faculty and graduate students are among the more than 1,000 life scientists at Bond Life Sciences Center who are working to improve human and animal health, food and the environment.

The MU Life Science Business Incubator helps launch startup companies, many of which grow from student and faculty discoveries. Among the companies is Equinosis, which makes and markets the Lameness Locator, an advanced system for diagnosing lameness in horses.

Veterinary medicine researchers have access to the International Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine, a campuswide research center dedicated to the discovery and application of fundamental and translational medical science based upon previously unexplored chemistry combined with nanotechnology and the bioscience

The College of Veterinary Medicine has access to the Low-Level Radiation Laboratory, located within the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. This low-level, whole-body radiation counter measures natural and induced radioactivity.

At the MU Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, veterinary medicine scientists join those from such fields as biochemistry, biological engineering, electrical engineering, and medicine, physiology to apply their particular expertise to health problems like hypertension, cancer, cystic fibrosis and heart disease.

Veterinary medicine scientists work within MU Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research, part of our nation’s bio-defense effort. This $16.5 million facility aids researchers in fighting pathogens such as West Nile virus. It includes research laboratories and associated research-support areas, and is one of only 13 such structures in the United States.

College of Veterinary Medicine faculty conduct radiobiological experiments at the Nuclear Reactor Research Facility, the largest university-based research nuclear reactor in the nation.

MU and its biochemistry researchers, including those in the College of Veterinary Medicine, have a $2.3 million high-powered nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR), only the second of its generation in the United States and the only one in Missouri. Scientists use the NMR to see molecules in three dimensions and view their interactions. Understanding these interactions is crucial to understanding health and disease.


The MU College of Veterinary Medicine is home to one of the oldest, largest and most respected laboratory animal medicine residency/comparative medicine research training programs in the country. It has been continuously funded by competitive National Institutes of Health grants for more than 30 years.

The Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), a collaboration between the College of Veterinary Medicine and Sinclair School of Nursing, is on the leading edge of programs and studies focused on the benefits of human-animal interaction.

The University of Missouri Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory is a global leader in the convergence of human and animal medicine, conducting research on some of the most challenging joint and bone problems, including osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint problem that afflicts millions of people.

Collaborative efforts between MU researchers in veterinary medicine and human medicine have helped create new pharmaceuticals and medical techniques, including Quadramet, a radiopharmaceutical that relieves the pain of bone cancer.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is an acknowledged partner in MU’s life sciences research efforts, providing graduate students significant research opportunities across many disciplines.

Mizzou ranks No. 8 in the nation and No. 15 in the world for the influence of its plant and animal sciences research from 1999 to 2009 (Thomson Reuters).

MU established the first vaccine-virus laboratory in the United States, in 1885.

MU is a leader in equine lameness research and veterinary oncology research.


Each year, the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital cares for about 17,000 hospitalized animals and thousands more on farms. Many of these animals come from the Columbia area for primary care and emergency care, while others are referred by veterinarians throughout the Midwest for the College’s specialized clinical services.

Specialized clinics within the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital include small animal, food animal and equine.

The College’s location between two metro areas – St. Louis and Kansas City – and adjacent rural areas offers a strong caseload in companion, equine and food animal species, as well as opportu-nities for collaborative research, instruction and pursuing externships.

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University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine


Veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri began in 1884.


College of Veterinary Medicine 1600 East Rollins University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211

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