Gain experience in small animal medicine, large animal medicine, or pursue a mixed track to learn concepts of both small and large animal medicine. Develop a knowledge base and skillset that are suited for a career in a private practice, public health, research, or education.

Your curriculum provides education and training that emphasize case-based and hands-on learning during all four years. You will progressively advance in knowledge and application of normal biology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine, surgery, clinical reasoning, and professional skills.

Equipped with lesson planning and instructional design support, faculty craft course content to engage students in classrooms, labs, and clinics.

man and woman with dog

Clinical training from faculty experts

Starting from year one, hands-on training is integrated into coursework, and clinical rotations begin in year three. Throughout the four-year program, learn alongside and pursue mentorship from board-certified practitioners who represent 28 veterinary specialties.

Establish the clinical fundamentals in years one and two through observation in the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, a series of experiential exercises within the Foundations of Veterinary Medicine course, and hands-on laboratories as part of your training in anesthesia, bioanalytical pathology, anatomic pathology, neurobiology, surgery, and theriogenology.

Make your clinical experience your own:

  • Choose from three tracks: small animal focus, large animal focus, or mixed animal focus.
  • Tailor your clinical experience with in-house clinical rotations; local, regional, or international externships; or a combination of both.
  • Gain exposure to diverse animals and professions through local partnerships with the CDC, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, USDA, National Wildlife Research Center, Dumb Friends League, dairies and feedlots, wildlife animal sanctuaries, and small animal shelters.

James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital

male vet student gives dog eye exam

Your future of caregiving

Whether you want to serve as a private practitioner, improve access to care for underserved communities, prevent disease in your local community, or work at a biotechnology company protecting animal and human health, your curriculum will help shape your veterinary education.

Tailor your training by selecting courses that align with your professional interests in clinical practice, public health, research, education, and beyond.

CSU's well-rounded curriculum promotes clinical, professional, and relational skills, with unique course offerings in:

  • Animal welfare: Required second-year course blends foundational concepts with hot topics, focusing on emotional intelligence and the importance of open mindedness when working in novel settings. Through weekly lectures and activities led by nationally-recognized welfare experts, students engage in topics like equine rescue work, zoo management, and the ethics of keeping pets.
  • Client communication: Internationally-recognized core curriculum is designed to help students graduate with the confidence and skills they need to build partnerships with colleagues and clients.
  • Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy certification: Core training throughout all four years that culminates in certification designed to improve the euthanasia experience for the animal, caregiver, and veterinary team.
  • Fear Free® Veterinary Certification Program: Required course for incoming students that demonstrates how to facilitate veterinary visits that eliminate fear, anxiety, and stress and create an experience that is better and safer for animals, caregivers, and veterinary healthcare teams.
  • The Healer's Art: Elective course centers on four topics - Wholeness, Grief and Loss, Mystery and Awe, and Service - to explore student experiences, beliefs, and values related to working as a veterinary medical professional. CSU was the first veterinary school in the country to offer this course.
  • Spanish for the Veterinary Professional: Nine-credit Spanish language program helps students break the Spanish-English language barrier to improve client relationships and expand access to animal care. Specifically for veterinary students, the program was created as a partnership between the D.V.M. Program and the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Program content and design is informed by data gathered from a comprehensive language needs analysis conducted alongside veterinary professionals in predominantly Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S., Colombia, and Mexico.
  • Surgical skills training: Students receive surgical training during every semester of the D.V.M. Program. Core principles and surgical skills are established in years one and two through classroom and wet lab learning that focus on repetition of skills with immediate performance feedback to facilitate growth towards mastery. Students will continue to apply and develop these skills in years three and four through additional hands-on opportunities, like entry-level surgeries on models, cadavers, and live patients. Students may also take clinical or laboratory electives that align with their professional interests and future career goals, including species-specific advanced procedures and surgical decision making in field settings.
  • Veterinary practice management: Elective course provides an introduction to management of veterinary practice finances, marketing, personnel, and client relations.


The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at Colorado State University prepares students to pursue professional licensure in Colorado. Students seeking licensure in other U.S. states or territories beyond Colorado are strongly encouraged to work with the academic department and the applicable professional licensure board in the state in which they intend to pursue licensing prior to enrollment at CSU to ensure all licensure requirements are satisfactorily met. Please review the Professional Licensure Disclosure for more information.