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Vet Med, CALS create collaborative program

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 38 - August 10, 1995

Students interested in pursuing a career in food-animal veterinary medicine can now earn a B.S. from Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a D.V.M. degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in a combined seven-year joint degree program recently established by the two schools.

"Training veterinarians to meet the agricultural needs of the state and region is one of our most fundamental commitments," said Veterinary College Dean Peter Eyre. "This collaborative program with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will ensure that we will continue to do so."

Andy Swiger, CALS dean, said, "We look at this as one more way we can serve Virginia's agricultural industry and serve our students. I believe it is an unusual opportunity for students who are interested in livestock and who want to become veterinarians.

"It will cut the time and cost for the student, will be a more efficient use of our resources, and will help the state's food-animal industry," Swiger added.

Under the combined degree program, students enrolled in the CALS complete prerequisites for the VMRCVM's DVM program during their first two years of undergraduate school, then apply for admission to the VMRCVM before a special admissions committee comprised of faculty members from each college.

Once admitted, they complete the course content of the first year of the DVM program as part of the third and fourth year of the B.S.-in-agriculture program, and subject to continued satisfactory academic performance, they are guaranteed admission to the VMRCVM as second-year veterinary students.

Up to five slots per year of the veterinary class have been earmarked for the new program, according to Michael Reardon, career adviser in the College's Office of Academic Affairs.

Students participating in the program will sign a contract which obligates them to concentrate their veterinary medical studies in the college's food-animal or government-and-corporate veterinary-medicine track. In exchange, they are provided with an opportunity to develop a more strategic approach to their undergraduate education and save a year's tuition at the professional school, Reardon said.

Students enrolling in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences during fall 1995 are eligible to apply for admission to the special program, Reardon said.