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Degree Overview

The recently revised, integrated DVM curriculum uses active learning and builds the relationship between the basic sciences and the clinical cases graduates will see in their practices. During the first three years of the DVM program, students focus on the study of the normal animal, the pathogenesis of diseases and the prevention, alleviation and clinical therapy of diseases.

The program concludes with 13 months of clinical rotations in the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, where students learn methods of veterinary care and develop skills needed for professional practice. Students can choose from more than 65 rotations, ranging from Acupuncture to Zoological Medicine. The fourth year includes up to 10 weeks of externship experiences at off-campus sites of the student’s choice.

DVM students attend class full time, Monday through Friday, from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students do not have classes during the summer semesters between their first and second, and second and third years of the program. Students attend class for one full calendar year, including summer semester, during their fourth year.

The following courses are taught during the first two years while at SDSU.

Course NameCredits
Jackrabbit Orientation and Leadership Experience I2
Microscopic Anatomy I2
Integrated Biochemistry and Physiology7
Anatomy I4
Clinical Skills I1
Professional Development I1
Critical Scientific Reading 1
Preventative Medicine4
Course NameCredits
Jackrabbit Orientation and Leadership Experience II2
Professional Development II2
Anatomy II3
Clinical Skills II1
Physiology II4
Basic Pathology2
Agents of Disease I4
Microscopic Anatomy II2
Clinical Correlations I1
Veterinary Genetics and Genomics1
Non-Traditional Pets1
Thrive Through Life4
Course NameCredits
Agents of Disease II5
Pharmacology I2
Systemic Pathology5
Clinical Pathology I3
Clinical Skills III2
Clinical Epidemiology2
Public Health2
Small Animal Medicine I2
Diagnostic Laboratory2
Large Animal Medicine I2
Professional Development III1
Course NameCredits
Small Animal Medicine II5
Small Animal Surgery I3
Large Animal Medicine II3
Large Animal Surgery I3
Veterinary Imaging I4
Pharmacology II2
Clinical Skills IV2
Clinical Pathology II3
Avian Core2
Clinical Correlations1

Years 3 and 4, including clinical rotations, are taught by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. For more information about the year 3 courses and year 4 clinical rotations, please visit University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.


Students in the SDSU PPVM will earn their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the UMN CVM. Earning a DVM from the UMN CVM qualifies graduates to take the licensing exam in every state provided they pass the national exam and meet the state non-academic guidelines (background check, etc).  

DVM students must pass both state and national board licensing exams in order to practice. The national exam is called the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination and is offered in the fall and the spring. Those wishing to practice in South Dakota must also take the South Dakota Board of Veterinary Medicine licensing exam. Information regarding licensure in other states can be found National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Additional licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Please check with any state you are considering practicing in for specific details.