Cornell University Vet School, Ithaca, NY – America’s BEST

Is Cornell a Good Vet School?

Yes. Cornell Vet School is among the top-rated vet schools in the US. It is also one of the top three higher education institutions in veterinary medicine in the North Eastern United States. In addition, the university offers top-rated veterinary medical education, animal medicine, and biomedical research.

Its core mission to advance the health and well-being of animals and people through education, research, and public service, is what drives the college. If you are looking for the best vet college in the US, you are in the right place. Read through this comprehensive, unbiased review of the institution.  

The History of Cornell Vet School

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine was established more than 150 years ago. However, the history of teaching veterinary medicine dates back to 1894, when the college was launched. Ezra Cornell was adamant that the university institutes a chair of veterinary medicine.

Cornell instructed the university’s first president, Andrew D. White, to find the best-qualified person to teach veterinary medicine and surgery courses. In this regard, White sought the services of Dr. James Law, who was a renowned veterinarian and teacher. Dr. Law was a graduate of the Edinburgh Veterinary College in Scotland.

Dr. Law came in with a dedication to train veterinarians rigorously. He even urged Cornell to set much higher requirements for a veterinary degree than other veterinary institutions.

In 1871, the university faculty resolved that a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (BVS) degree would last for four years. 

Additionally, they also agreed that a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree would last for two years. No other veterinary institution in the US was offering this degree program at the time.

Dr. Law’s first classes were held in the fall of 1868. 

His class comprised students pursuing degrees in agriculture and biological sciences. It also had a few students studying for veterinary degrees. Myron Kasson was the first student to earn a degree in veterinary medicine from the university in 1871.

In 1872, Daniel Salmon also graduated with a BVS, and four years later, he earned the first DVM degree in the country. Later, Salmon served as the founding chief of the US Bureau of Animal Industry. The organization is popular for identifying the pathogen Salmonella and initiating the fight against contagious diseases.  

For a period of around 20 years, Dr. Law lobbied state legislators for funding to help finance the expansion of Cornell’s veterinary program into a legitimate college. Then, finally, after, a gauntlet of speeches, letters, visits, and editorials bore fruit in the spring of 1894.

March 21st was a historic day for Cornell as New State Governor Roswell P. Flower signed the legislation that chartered the veterinary college. This move meant that the Cornell University Vet School became the first college at the institution to be supported by the state.

Luckily, Flower was brought up on a farm, so he appreciated the needs of livestock owners. However, he was also aware of the dangers that diseased animals and their products posed to humans. As a result, the New York State Veterinary College was established at Cornell.      

All The Good Stuff That Cornell Has on Offer

Where is Cornell Vet School Located?

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is located at the intersection of Route 366 and Tower Road in Ithaca, New York, 14853. You can use the University’s interactive map to find your way to the institution.

How Many Students Are Accepted Per Year?

Because of Cornell’s reputation as an international leader in Veterinary Medicine, training globally usually receives many applications from prospective students.

Data from the admissions department shows that the Cornell Vet School acceptance rate is 16%. Out of 1147 applications, 186 applications were accepted when you break this percentage down, while 110 of the accepted enrolled.

Admission Criteria for US Students 

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is a world-renowned leader in veterinary medical education, biomedical research, animal medicine, and public health. It offers the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Course (DVM), Ph.D., Master’s, and combined degree programs.

Its reputation means it attracts students from all over the world. As a result, they have stringent admission criteria to ensure that they only pick the best. If you are planning to apply for admission, here are some critical things you should know:

Holistic Requirements

The Admissions Committee at the university considers the potential of all the applicants in a rigorous academic program. Here is the formula that the Admissions Committee uses:

  • Overall GPA – 20%
  • Prerequisite GPA – 25%
  • Quality of Academic Programs – 10%
  • Animal/Veterinary/Biomedical Experience – 20%
  • Non-Cognitive Skills – 10%
  • All other Achievements and Letter of Evaluation – 10%
  • Personal Statement – 5%

They use this formula to ensure that all the applicants have the background to succeed in the curriculum. However, the procedure also has a subjective side that reveals more about the applicants’ achievements, character, knowledge, and experience within the veterinary profession.

They also go for applicants who also demonstrate excellent leadership skills, dedication to serving, working with others, and commitment to veterinary medicine.

Admission Requirements for DVM

This course offers students hands-on learning in top-of-the-range learning facilities. It also provides students the chance to learn in context. As you take this course, you will also get the opportunity to network with a unique global academic network.

Prerequisite Courses

English Composition

Prospective students must have two semesters or three-quarters of writing-intensive courses. The minimum credits are six-semester credits or nine-quarter credits. If you have studies in social sciences or literature, they are regarded as writing-intensive courses.

If you have come from a college that does not teach English Composition, you can fulfill this requirement with any course in which more than 50% of your grades assess your writing ability.

Other course titles on transcripts that the institution accepts automatically include Technical Writing, Writing, Dissertation, and Thesis. However, AP, Foreign Language, or Communications credits are not acceptable.

Biological Science with Lab

Prospective students must have two semesters or three quarters and a minimum of six-semester credits or nine quarter credits for this course.    

Alternatively, you will fulfill this prerequisite if you have a full year of general biology or zoology within a  lab. For prospective students with Advanced Placement credit for general biology, they need to enroll in a full year of higher-level biology courses within a lab.

General (Inorganic) Chemistry with Lab

You must also have undergone two semesters or three quarters with at least six-semester credits or nine quarter credits. The expectation is that you should have done a full year of general chemistry within a lab.

The Admissions Committee will also accept AP credits with grade four or more.

Organic Chemistry

You must have one semester of organic chemistry with at least three-semester credits or 4.5 quarter credits. Lab experience is also recommended.

Advanced Life Science Course

You must have one semester of this course with at least three-semester credits and 4.5 quarter credits. You can also present a 300 to 400 level course at junior or senior level.

However, the Microbiology course can start from level 200 and above. Other general courses accepted include microbiology, immunology, psychology, and genetics.


You need one semester, but a full academic year is preferable. You should have at least four-semester credits or six-quarter credits. Laboratory exposure is also preferred but is not mandatory. It also comes under the titles physiological chemistry or biological chemistry.

It is advisable to take it at the upper-division level with the prerequisite of organic chemistry. Major topics covered are proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, metabolism, and biosynthesis.

The majority of the colleges offer a complete biochemistry course in one year. However, if you go to a college offering biochemistry as a full-year course, you need to take the entire class. Then, the institution will note your additional credits for the bonus quality of the academic program.

Physics with Lab

Similarly, you must also have two semesters or three-quarters of this course. Thus, you should have at least six-semester credits or nine quarter credits.

The institution advises that this ought to be a full-year course in college physics with laboratory experience. However, calculus is not mandatory. The Admissions Committee also accepts Advancement Placement credits with a grade of four or higher.  

Admission Criteria for foreign students

The institution also accepts applications from international students. In addition, the university allows international students to compete for non-NY State resident positions.

The Cornell University Vet School Admissions Committee also expects international students to fulfill the Holistic Requirements stipulated above.

Also, suppose your undergraduate was not taught in English. In that case, you must have undertaken a minimum of one year or 30-semester credits at a recognized college or university in the United States.

International prospective students from countries where English is not the first language must also submit their TOEFL scores. The minimum requirement is at least 100 Internet-based, 250 Computer-based, or 600 Paper-based or higher.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and MCAT are not part of the requirements. However, all your coursework taken outside the United States will be converted into the US credits and grades system. You will have to find organizations that offer this service, albeit at a fee.

You will also need an international Credentials Report except for Canadian Colleges and Universities. But, Canadian colleges and universities that are not in the United States credit and grade system must complete a credential report and send it to the institution’s admissions office.

Suppose your transcripts are listed in a language other than English; you must translate them to English. Additionally, international students accepted in the DVM degree program must complete a “Certification of Finances” form. 

They should also provide documentation of their capability to cater for all four years financially.   

Educational Opportunities

Apart from the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program, other educational opportunities are offered at the institution. They include:

Biomedical & Biological Sciences (BBS) PhD Program

This interdisciplinary program consists of remarkable graduate students researching basic, clinical, and translational life sciences. The faculty also boasts respected mentors and research professionals.

The course is based at the heart of biomedical research at the Cornell-Ithaca campus in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Combined Degree Program

The institution offers a combined DVM/Ph.D. Degree Program. The program seeks to integrate the most thorough basic scientific and clinical training. This comprehensive form of education ensures that the graduates will be at the frontline of biomedical science and the veterinary profession in teaching, medicine, and academic research.   

Other Educational opportunities

Cornell Vet School offers a wide range of extra learning opportunities to students interested in broadening or deepening their education. Here are the other educational opportunities you can explore at the institution:

Expanding Horizons

This program offers Cornell veterinary students a unique opportunity to get the feel of veterinary medicine in a developing country. In addition, the program provides grants to Cornell Veterinary students interested in experiencing veterinary medicine in developing countries.

You get to spend up to 10 weeks in a developing country that engages in veterinary research or hands-on veterinary experience in the program. Some top countries on the Expanding Horizons Program include Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, and Madagascar.

Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University

This is a unique summer research experience for veterinary students at Cornell interested in broadly influencing the veterinary profession through a science-based career.


This is a program designed for students, established scholars, and clinicians. It focuses on the welfare of the aquatic environment and its inhabitants with hands-on fieldwork.

Summer Dairy Institute

The Summer Dairy Institute is a more advanced training program for aspiring dairy veterinarians facilitated at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Veterinary Investigator Program (VIP)

The VIP program is a 10-week summer program specially designed for new Cornell students and first and second-year veterinary students. It offers them a detailed and rewarding exposure to biomedical research at the highest level of inquiry.  

The program aims to motivate students to pursue the study of research problems relevant to veterinary medicine.

Residencies and Internships

Internships are non-degree programs that last for one year. They seek to provide training for practice, clinical teaching, and specialty-board eligibility.

Usually, a one-year rotating internship in medicine and surgery is a requirement for Cornell’s residency programs and board certification. In addition, the university’s animal hospital offers internship programs for various programs.

On the other hand, residency programs offer the residents top-level clinical proficiency in a particular clinical discipline. In addition, the programs allow the resident to meet the postgraduate education requirements of the specialty board related to that discipline.

It also helps the participants to gain experience in professional veterinary medical education and teaching. The Cornell University Hospital for Animals offers several clinical residency programs.


The Cornell University Hospital for Animals welcomes registered veterinary students from other colleges who want to participate in clinical rotations with its veterinary students. The visits are limited to six weeks, with no more than four weeks in one service.

However, the institution will determine requests for an extension on a case-by-case basis. Prospective students must also demonstrate competence and proficiency in written and spoken English to facilitate the educational process and client communication.    

Other services offered

Cornell vet school also has a hospital that offers world-class animal care. The facilities in Ithaca, NY include:

  1. Companion Animal Hospital– for dogs, cats, birds, exotic and other domestic animals.
  2. Small Animal Community Practice– specializes in dogs and cats.
  3. Equine Hospital– for horses.
  4. Equine Park– a park for horses.
  5. Nemo Farm Animal Hospital– takes care of cows, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys, and camelids.
  6. Ambulatory– offers services for sheep, goats, pigs, camelids, cows, and horses.
  7. Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital– takes care of native wild animals.
  8. Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program– for companion animals in shelters.  


The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine comprises world-class academic departments, centers, and institutes. These different components of the institution work together to foster thorough education and significant research.  

The departments include:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Clinical Science
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

The centers at the institution are:

  • Center for Veterinary Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Cornell Dairy Center of Excellence
  • Cornell Feline Health Center
  • Cornell Wildlife Health Center
  • Cornell Veterinary Biobank

The institutes are:

  • Baker Institute
  • The Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research
  • Summer Dairy Institute

Other Programs

The university runs a support program that takes care of entrepreneurship, research, training, care, and a one health program through different giving schemes.

Financing your Veterinary Education

You need to have a proper plan of how you will finance your Cornell University Vet School tuition. The college has Student Financial Planning staff whose work is to help students get rid of financial barriers. They also help students make informed choices in how they invest in their academics.

The college also offers financial aid services and monetary management to guide students through the whole process.  

Unique Activities for Students to do in New York

There are many fun things that students can do in NYC. In addition, the city is home to extraordinary events throughout the year. Here is a list of some unusual things you can engage in to enjoy the best of what the city offers:

Indoor Skydiving at iFly Westchester

At iFly, you can enjoy the thrill of Skydiving without any of the danger. iFly Westchester is a themed wind tunnel specially designed for Indoor Skydiving. Here, you will not have to worry about jumping, lousy weather, or danger. As a result, you will indeed have a jolly good time to spend with family or friends.

Helicopter Ride

You can also take a unique helicopter tour and enjoy the view of NYC. Helicopter tours are among the most famous and fun activities to do in NYC. In fact, it is more fun if it is your first time. While on tour, you will enjoy NYC’s top landmarks, including the Hudson River and its bay.

Central Park

You have not been to NYC if you don’t visit Central Park. It is a historic green hub at the heart of Manhattan. The grounds offer an unmatched venue for picnics and horse-drawn carriage rides. Moreover, there are the wild inhabitants of the Central Park Zoo.

The Beast

You can also take the ride of your life on The Beast as it blasts across New York Bay. The Beast is a luxury jet boat and one of the most exciting things you can do in NYC if you are an adrenaline junkie. While at it, you will enjoy panoramic sights of midtown and lower Manhattan.

You will also need your camera at hand for the Statue of Liberty. During the ride, you will also enjoy live music on the wet roller coaster voyage.  

Catacombs of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

Can you handle a spooky night? Yes? Then you must go behind the scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. The tour gives you access to the off-limits and secluded areas of the Basilica grounds. You will also get the chance to visit the only active catacombs in NYC.

Madame Tussauds

You can also visit Madame Tussauds to meet your heroes. During your visit, you will rub shoulders with the likes of Hulk and take selfies with George Washington. You will also have time to explore the astounding waxwork world. 

It is the only place where politicians and pop stars stand beside each other.

Aire Ancient Baths

If you need to balance your mind and body while in NYC, you must visit the Aire Ancient Baths. It is located in an industrial building from 1808. The Aire offers an experience of sensations that usually runs through various thermal baths and massages. You will also enjoy other experiences which you find to be very amusing.   

Entertainment on the Ride

You can also climb on board The Ride, an interactive bus that offers a show-stopping evening of celebrations and entertainment. You will enjoy live shows and sightseeing as you ride through the streets. The panoramic windows will ensure you enjoy front-row seats.

While on the ride, you can sit back and relax as dancers, comedians, and singers entertain you. If you are talented, you can join the onboard karaoke to show off your singing prowess.

Art Heist

Take your friends on a challenge to recover a priceless painting within 60 minutes. The Escape Room Game is located in Manhattan, and it offers an immersive experience as you indulge in this unique adventure.

The adventure requires you to solve several puzzles and riddles using hints, clues, and strategies to accomplish the game’s objectives. Can you escape in time? You earn your freedom if you manage to get out of the room on time. You only have 60 minutes, so better hurry up!

Visit Renowned Filming Locations

Most of the top-rated TV shows and movies are typically filmed in New York. This tour offers you the opportunity to visit some of the big-screen sights. All you have to do is to get on board a comfortable coach and travel around Manhattan. The tour involves stopping at iconic locations from TV series such as The Sopranos, Gossip Girl, and Sex and the City.

Cycling Over Brooklyn Bridge

Nothing beats the feeling of cycling across New York’s most celebrated bridge on a fun bike tour. While at it, you will enjoy the view of the city’s skyscrapers across the East River. The bridge connects Brooklyn with Manhattan Island and offers an elegant way to enjoy the sights.

If you are keen, you will spot movie filming locations in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The bridge itself is an architectural masterpiece.

The Observation Deck

Do you want to admire the impressive view of Manhattan? Then, you need to head over to the observation deck of the One World Observatory. It offers dramatic city views that usually turn paranormal during sundown.     

The observation deck offers visitors an all-around view of the city. Among the three most known observation decks, the One World Observatory is the tallest. It provides a convenient solution if you want to visit several attractions in the city.

Besides, the deck also offers some unmatched technological features for visitors. For instance, you will enjoy virtual reality, theater shows, and video guides. It is also strategically located, offering the best views of the harbor, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

The Final Say on Cornell

Are you an aspiring vet professional? Are you interested in studying college veterinary medicine? Well, Cornell University Vet School is your best bet. As revealed in this review, the institution is regarded as one of the best vet schools globally.

With years of experience, the university boasts some of the most qualified staff members and world-class facilities. As a result, the application process for prospective students is straightforward, including for international students.

Apart from the academic programs, the university also offers internship and externship programs. In addition, it also has animal hospitals that provide the trainees hands-on experience in their field of study. So, if you are interested in studying vet-related courses, Cornell Vet School should be top of your list.

Leave a Comment