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About the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences are excited to offer a new opportunity for SDSU students interested in veterinary medicine. South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (UMN CVM) are offering a new collaborative Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM).  Students first complete all their pre-veterinary requirements and apply to the new program for admission to the professional program. Students in the professional program complete the first two years of their veterinary medical education at South Dakota State and the final two years at University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine on the St. Paul campus. The first 20-student cohort will begin classes on the SDSU Brookings’ campus in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department in August 2021. 

The formal application process for the first class of 20 students will open in the summer of 2020 and applications will be due in early fall 2020. The new collaborative program will concentrate on preparing veterinary students for food animal or mixed animal practice. An initial set of priority objectives for our new program includes helping to address a growing shortage of food animal veterinarians, creating additional opportunities for South Dakota students to pursue careers across the spectrum of veterinary medicine, while supporting a growing agriculture-based industry in the Upper Midwest and addressing the growing concerns of student debt in veterinary education. South Dakota students participating in the new program will pay tuition based on in-state rates, realizing savings of thousands of dollars per student over their entire veterinary education.

During the first two years of SDSU’s professional school, local and regional veterinary practices will provide opportunities for our students to integrate the fundamental veterinary sciences with the clinical veterinary sciences. 

The new Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine will replace a formal agreement that has been in place since 1993, under which the state of South Dakota has provided funding for six South Dakota students each year to attend Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine with South Dakota providing funding for the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition. The Iowa agreement will remain in-place until current South Dakota students, attending Iowa State (prior to 2021), have completed their professional veterinary training in 2024.

It is a distinct honor for me to be selected and to come back to South Dakota State to help develop and build the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine.  I look forward to working with students, faculty, veterinary practitioners and animal industry leaders as we positively influence agriculture and the next generation of veterinarians! 

For more information about SDSU’s Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine, please contact the SDSU Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at 605-688-5171, or email Dr. Gary Gackstetter, Director of the Professional Program Veterinary Medicine, at gary.gackstetter@sdstate.edu 

- Gary D. Gackstetter, Director, Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine