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Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

NYS College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University seal
Established 1894
Type Contract
Veterinary school
Dean Michael Kotlikoff
Academic staff 265[1]
Postgraduates 335[2]
Location Ithaca, NY, USA

The New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University was founded in 1894. It was the first statutory college in New York. Before the creation of the college, instruction in veterinary medicine had been part of Cornell's curriculum since the university's founding. In 1868, when Cornell opened, there was little formal study of veterinary medicine in the United States; with the creation of the veterinary school, Cornell became a pioneer in the field.


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Extension 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Cornell co-founder Ezra Cornell requested the creation of a chair of veterinary medicine. Cornell's other co-founder and first president, Andrew Dickson White, was asked by Ezra Cornell to find the best-qualified person to teach veterinary-related courses at the university. Dr. James Law, from the Edinburgh Veterinary College in Scotland, was chosen for this role. Under pressure from Dr. Law, Cornell set unprecedented standards for veterinary degrees: four years' study for a bachelor's degree in the field, and two years' additional study for a doctoral degree in the field. (Later, when New York State finally established Cornell's Veterinary College, a high school diploma would be required to be admitted to it, which was a high requirement for the time). The first D.V.M. degree from Cornell was awarded in 1876 to Daniel Elmer Salmon, a man who went on to become the founding head of the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry. He is also noted for initiating the fight against contagious diseases. The school was also a pioneer in educating female veterinarians.

Deans of the NYS College of Veterinary Medicine
James Law 1894–1908
Veranus Alva Moore 1908–1929
Pierre Augustine Fish 1929–1931
William Arthur Hagan 1932–1959
George C. Poppensiek 1959–1974
Edward C. Melby, Jr. 1975–1984
Robert D. Phemister 1985–1995
Franklin M. Loew 1995–1997
Donald F. Smith 1997–2007
Michael I. Kotlikoff 2007–Present

State legislation creating Cornell's Veterinary College[3] was signed on March 21, 1894 by former New York Governor Roswell P. Flower, a man who had become convinced of the value of veterinary medicine to the health of people by virtue of prior personal farm experience. The enabling legislation creating the college also provided state funds for a veterinary building at Cornell. The building opened in the fall of 1896.[4] The state funded a new veterinary complex for Cornell and the college in 1957 on the east edge of the campus. Today, this complex is the largest veterinary complex in higher education in the United States.[5]


Veterinary Research Center

Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine 2013 is one of only three veterinary colleges and schools in the Northeastern United States, and one of 28 such colleges and schools in the United States. The college is noted for its comprehensive programs, including the Cornell Hospital for Animals, the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, which houses the New York State Diagnostic Laboratory, the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, a center for canine and equine research, the feline health center, and biomedical research laboratories. The innovative DVM degree program includes combined problem -based and didactic instruction in the biological basis of medicine, training in primary and referral veterinary care in the veterinary teaching hospital and ambulatory services, and instructed practice in the Community Practice Service primary care clinic. Direct access to numerous innovative dairy farms in the upstate New York region facilitate training in food animal medicine. Cornell is consistently ranked the best veterinary college in the nation.[6]

The College of Veterinary Medicine offers programs in veterinary medicine that lead to the degrees of D.V.M., and M.S. and Ph.D. through the Cornell Graduate School. Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine also consistently ranks amongst the best in its field, being regularly selected as the best college for veterinary medicine by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges edition.


Cornell Secures $22 Million State Grant for Veterinary School Expansion and they were originally going to us the $22 million to renovate Cornell’s veterinary research tower but there is not enough money for all the renovations they want to do. Instead Cornell is going to use the money to expand their class size. Right now Cornell has a class size of 102 and with this grant they can expand it to 120 students. The construction for these expansions is supposed to begin in the summer of 2012 and be done by the summer of 2015.[7]


  1. ^ About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University
  2. ^ Cornell Factbook - Professional Schools Enrollment
  3. ^ N.Y.S. Education Law § 5711.
  4. ^ It is now a part of Ives Hall.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2009-01-07,
  6. ^ Vet College is No. 1 in U.S. News rankings
  7. ^ "news/Cornell-secures-22-million-state-grant-for-veterin/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/761833?contextCategoryId=44924 Cornell Secures $22 Million State Grant for Veterinary School Expansion – DVM". DVM. Web. 18 Mar. 2012.

External links

  • New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell
  • History and Archives of the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Cornell Feline Health Center
  • Consultant Online computer-assisted veterinary diagnosis

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