The University of Illinois’s Veterinary School

If you are looking for an institution that can transform human, animal, and environmental health, the University of Illinois Veterinary School is your match. This institution touches the lives of millions of animals and their owners.

The Illinois vet school explores critical connections in human and animal health, agriculture, and the environment. It is among the veterinary colleges in Illinois which prepare the next generation of veterinary scientists. Let us find out more about it.

Illinois state

Why You Should Consider Studying at U of I Vet School

Everything that the Illinois veterinary school does seeks to make lives better. From the degree programs to outreach on key societal issues, UIUC vet med campus’ efforts go towards upgrading the welfare of people and animals. Also, the research that this institution carries out has a life-changing impact.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign vet school has three academic departments. It also has a full-service teaching hospital, a veterinary diagnostic laboratory of the state, and clinical, research, and diagnostic services based in Chicago.

This university offered its first veterinary course in 1870. Currently, the university has evolved significantly. For example, it is now offering an online educational program. Also, it prides itself in delivering on its land-grant mission of enhancing the lives of people in Illinois, nationwide, and globally.

Areas of Excellence

The University of Illinois Veterinary School boasts itself in several areas of excellence. Its initiatives encompass a wide range of interests and specialties.

One of this college’s strengths is the ability to address the most pressing societal needs. For this reason, this institution is a pillar that the local and national society can depend on when it comes to improving livelihoods.

UIUC also integrates educational innovation with real-world applications or services with academic training excellence. This aspect makes this institution stand out from other vet schools in Illinois.

The U of I Vets School also provides national and international leadership in the veterinary field. It also collaborates with researchers and organizations outside the university’s and college’s periphery.

UIUC Useful Strategies

The U of I employs several strategies that improve its operability every day. The campus uses some of these strategies more than once, given their impact on the operations of this institution. Also, this institution keeps on reviewing its strategies to evaluate their relevancy and feasibility. The methods are as follows:

Making Targeted Strategic Investments

One of the strategies that UIUC employs entails making targeted strategic investments toward college research activities. This strategy seeks to establish centers of excellence that generate revenue. These centers research infectious diseases, outbreak management, and emergency response, among other activities. 

This university also invests in critical research infrastructure. This investment forms the foundation of drawing extramural research funding. The acquisition enables the campus to improve the Vetmed research farm, expand diagnostics and research, and increase digital pathology potential.

The other investment goes towards developing infrastructure that can support entrepreneurial research activities. Such activities include research on animal models, drugs, and vaccines.  

Supporting Research Careers

This university hires creative and outstanding researchers with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. The skills and competencies of the researchers have to align with the priorities of the campus and college.

UIUC also supports equity, career development, and inclusion of everyone. This aspect depicts that the university believes in progressive value addition in people.

This university also actively promotes succession planning and the development of future researchers. The objective of this move is to pursue stability in its research efforts.

Create and Nurture Research-Focused External Interactions

To begin with, this university engages in innovative interdisciplinary programs jointly with other campuses. This move seeks to tap external resources from other institutions.

UIUC also uses incentives in collaboration with its external partners on interdisciplinary research. This move seeks to appease and attract prospective graduate and faculty students.

This campus pursues recognition for being a credible provider of animal diagnostics and models expertise. Also, the campus works collaboratively in a bid to improve its campus-level services and provide utility to college researchers.

UIUC also promotes equity and inclusion in its research outreach activities. It also expands collaboration activities with practicing veterinarians, the veterinary community, and state and federal agencies, among other entities.

This campus also seeks to strategically place its faculty members in international, national, and campus-level committees. Its other move entails promoting the private-public partnership in matters of translational research. Lastly, this campus seeks to make clinical trials available to its medical district veterinary clinic and veterinary teaching hospital.

Providing Impactful Research Mentorship and Experiences

This strategy applies to trainees at all campus levels. It seeks to reward and facilitate the submission of grant program proposals. The programs provide research experience to disadvantaged students and underrepresented minorities.

This campus also engages house officers in matters of research projects that align with their career progression. The campus also encourages students to participate in these research projects.

UIUC also revitalizes graduate programs to foster competitiveness required in the federal training grants. Also, the campus facilitates and prioritizes the participation of students who are research-interested in biomedical research. This move is to enhance combined degree program opportunities.

This campus also develops and requires formal instructions for all trainees to promote responsible research exercises. 

The campus also trains researchers to create awareness among the nonscientific communities regarding the importance of their findings and work. This move seeks to sensitize the general public on the consumption and support of the research findings that the campus raises.

If we are to list the reasons why you should join UIUC, the list can be sea-deep. We have not discussed how the campus provides transformative learning experiences, how it makes a societal impact, and stewards current resources for strategic development. If you join this campus, you will be a beneficiary of all these positive activities and their outcomes.

The History of Veterinarians in Illinois

The University of Illinois was the pioneer of veterinary education in Illinois. It offered its first course and surgery in 1870. Afterward, it started providing weekly horse clinics for local horse owners.

In the early twentieth century, the campus had a veterinary diagnostic laboratory that served the national agricultural industry. One of the main activities that the laboratory carried out was to run livestock disease eradication programs.

In 1919, the campus got operating authority from the state general assembly. However, the board of trustees formally established the college in 1944. This move was because of the growing demand for its services from veterinarians and farmers.

In 1945, the Illinois legislature approved funding for constructing a basic science laboratory on the campus. The completion of the laboratory was in 1952.

The first veterinary class in Illinois had 24 men who were WWII veterans. The class started in 1948. 

The campus conducted lectures and lab activities in an old sorority house. The large animal stalls and kennels were in a remodeled beef barn. Also, surgeries took place from the barn.

In 1952, a primary science building opened on Peabody Drive. It had an annex for research and diagnostic activities.

The first vet class graduated in 1952. In the same year, the campus offered its first Ph.D. degree. In 1953, the campus offered its first master’s degree to Dr. Lyle Hanson. He later joined the faculty.

In 1955, the campus completed a large animal clinic. It was on Maryland Avenue. However, the small animal clinic continued to run from the barn. Still, in 1955, Dr. Dorothy Safanie earned a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) from the campus. She was the first woman to get such a credential.

By 1962, the campus required extensive facilities. A year later, the campus identified its current 16 hectares (40 acres) site for relocation and construction of new facilities. This site is at the Urbana Campus’ southeast corner.

In 1971, the campus opened a Surgical-Obstetrical Laboratory (Clinical Skills Learning Center) and a small animal clinic. In 1976, the campus completed the building of a large animal clinic on the new site.

Regarding scholarships, the campus established its first scholarship (the Anna M. Gulick Scholarship) in 1964.

The state used the Food for Century III initiative to fund the construction of the current basic science building. The campus also used the funding to construct other facilities in the College of Agriculture. The objective of the C III initiative was to strengthen the educational and research underpinnings of the agriculture and food industries.

By April 1983, the campus had a $24 million facility that brought all college facilities together for the first time.

Three individuals played a vital role in developing the veterinary field in Illinois. To begin with, Dr. Lloyd Davis was the first individual to start veterinary pharmacology in Illinois.

The second notable individual was Dr. Norman Levine. He had an international reputation for his research on parasitic organisms, such as protozoa, that cause diseases in humans and animals.

The third notable individual was Dr. Erwin Small. He had spent over 50 years on the campus. Also, he was the organized veterinary medicine national leader.

Illinois started pedagogical research in the late twentieth century that employed models and simulations to enhance veterinary clinical skills. The move also sought to conserve animal resources.

In 1960, the Illinois Vetmed campus established a center for zoonosis research. One of the center’s objectives was to promote interdisciplinary research collaborations to improve animal and human health.

Notably, environmental toxicology and infectious disease were the critical research areas that the campus undertook in the second half of the twentieth century.

In 2004, the campus embarked on renovating its facilities after receiving a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant. The campus used the fund to expand and update its biomedical laboratory space in its primary sciences building.

Over time, the campus emerged as a vivid supporter of translational biomedical research. This research revolved around the molecular, genomic, and cellular levels that improved animal and human health.

In 2006, the campus adopted a strategic plan that steered the next three years. By 2009, the campus had started and implemented a veterinary curriculum that employed innovation. This curriculum integrated clinical competency in a four-year degree program.

The strategic plan made the campus a learning facility for comprehensive clinical skills. The plan also facilitated the establishment of a Center for One Health. It also supported the outreach and teaching mission in Chicago.

In the future, the campus intends to draw from its assets and a proven track of successful innovation to advance veterinary science and meet societal needs.

University Students

Information and Statistics on Vetmed at UIUC

  • Location: In the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign. 
  • Number of buildings: 651
  • Number of schools and colleges: 16
  • Site acreage: 2,578 hectares (6,370 acres)
  • Study programs: Over 100 graduate and over 150 undergraduate programs
  • How many students are accepted per year:  From the 2021-22 University of Illinois vet school admission statistics, the freshman enrollment was 8,303. 
  • Admission criteria for US students (who can apply): The Vetmed UIUC campus encourages students who wish to join it to take advanced courses. This move increases their admission chances at UIUC. In addition, the campus notes that students that take advanced courses prove that they can work hard. They also prove that they like challenges. 

The college also advises about the courses one should take in high school to become admissible. The following is the breakdown of the classes and their recommended duration:

  1. English: Required four years
  2. Math: Required three or three and a half years, recommended four years 
  3. Social sciences: Required two years, recommended four years
  4. Lab sciences: Required two years, recommended four years
  5. Language other than English: Required two years, suggested four years
  6. Flexible academic units: Required 2 years, recommended 4+ years

The campus also reviews the quality of a student’s extracurricular activities. It encourages students to engage in activities that they enjoy passionately. Also, the campus advises students to seek out opportunities and experiences that align with the field they want to major in while on campus.

Regarding the test score, the campus accepts either SAT or ACT. However, it does not have a bias toward either of the two tests. The campus also strongly recommends TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo English test to assess a student’s English command.

  • Admission criteria for international students: International students have to meet standard admission requirements for US students. Secondly, they should complete a study program that qualifies them for admission to various universities in their countries. Thirdly, international students should report their academic credentials when applying for admission at UIUC. 

The campus also requires some documents that depend on the country of an international student. However, first-year students should wait for admission before submitting the required documents. The documents include junior and senior high school transcripts, A-level certificates, and O-Level/IGCSE /GCSE certificates.

If an international student comes from a country that requires them to join military services after completing high school, the student should do it first before applying for admission.

After securing admission, an international student should complete other extra steps. First, they should complete their admission checklist. They should also obtain a student visa and verify their enrolment. Lastly, they should check-in before their classes start.

UIUC advises international students to never work with private organizations or agents when applying for admission. Instead, the students should work directly with the campus office of the undergraduate admissions.

  • Educational opportunities: Agricultural, consumer, and environmental sciences; applied health sciences, business, education, engineering; fine and applied arts; general studies, labor and employment relations; law, liberal arts, and sciences; informational sciences, media, medicine, social work, and veterinary medicine. 
  • Other educational opportunities: Corporate relations, community events and resources, U of I extension, 4-H youth development, outreach events
  • What else do they offer other than education: The University of Il veterinary hospital provides various services, including emergency 24/7, wellness care for dogs and cats, care for strays, and veterinary specialties. The campus also offers farrier services, referral services, and shelter medicine. Also, the campus offers a wildlife medical clinic. 
  • Departments/centers/institutes
  1. Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences      
  2. Applied Health Sciences               
  3. Aviation              
  4. Carle Illinois College of Medicine
  5. Education           
  6.  Fine and Applied Arts    
  7. Gies College of Business              
  8. Grainger College of Engineering               
  9. Information Sciences    
  10.  Labor and Employment Relations            
  11. Law       
  12. Liberal Arts and Sciences             
  13. Media  
  14. Medicine            
  15. Social Work        
  16.  Veterinary Medicine

Fun Activities to Do in Illinois

Art Institute of Chicago: Over 1.5 million people visit the Art Institute of Chicago every year. It is one of the oldest and largest museums in the country. What you can see in the institute ranges from modern art and photography to ancient textiles. 

The 300,000 pieces that the institute hosts include The Old Guitarist (by Pablo Picasso) and American Gothic (by Grant Wood).

Aurora Farmers Market: In this market, farm products pile tables high. You can get products ranging from artisan cheeses to just-pickled vegetables. This market is one of the oldest markets in Illinois. You can also enjoy live music that plays in this market. 

Bahá’í House of Worship: You can visit the Bahá’í House of Worship even if you are not religious. It is a glorious masterpiece that is rare. Also, it is the only of its kind in North America. It has a massive spherical design with windows that encircle its central dome. Its interior contains houses of worship, while its exterior features gardens with fountains. 

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm: This farm has over 200 animals. Also, it serves over 100 snacks and meals. This place is family-friendly, and it will remind you of country living. You can feed goats and milk cows on this farm. Also, you can watch pig races on this farm. 

Belleville Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market): This place takes after sixteenth-century Germany’s picturesque Christmas towns. It has several shops where you can buy almost everything, especially homemade goodies. 

You can also watch concerts, wood-carving demonstrations, sleigh rides, and carols in this place. This place lights up more on Christmas Eve. 

Calumet Fisheries: How about a smoked fish delicacy? Calumet Fisheries is one of the last remaining hotels that smoke fish over burning-wood fire. So you can eat your fish on the go from this hotel. Also, you can savor several seafood recipes on its menu, including eel, shrimp, and salmon.  

Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park: This park gives outdoor games a different meaning. For example, you can go ziplining or throw axes in this park. You can also view the world from a high place when in this park. Also, you can walk on suspension bridges and bounce on treehouse nets. 

Illinois Beach State Park: Illinois becomes the Caribbean when you visit its beach state park. It is a sun-soaked beach where you can recline and play with sand. Also, you can swim, fish, go boating, and play volleyball, among other beach fun activities. You can also watch canyons, wetlands, and dunes in the less crowded areas. 

Lincoln Park Zoo: When was the last time you saw lions, bears, and tigers? The Lincoln Park Zoo serves you this sight over and over again. Also, it gives you a chance to see several other wild animals ranging from owls to octopuses. You can also pet the friendly penguins found in this zoo. Lastly, you can dine and ride the carousels and trains in this zoo. 

Lollapalooza: Your stay in Illinois is incomplete without attending the Lollapalooza. It is a music festival that attracts many visitors from South America to Europe. The festival takes place every summer, and it lasts for four days. 

If you are an art lover, you can visit the Art Market and see different paintings and sculptures. The nearby Chow Town spoils food lovers with anything from pork to lobsters.

You can also attend workshops and play games, among other fun activities that Lollapalooza offers.

Millennium Park: You can visit the millennium park and watch its beauty. The park has a giant silver bean that makes it unique. You can also play with water on the Crown Fountain, bike, or skate. The fun never goes out of the season in this park. You will always find something to do regardless of winter or summer. 

Navy Pier: Countless postcards feature the skyline of the Navy Pier. Some of the things you can do in this place include shopping, dining, and touring the glass gardens. You can also joyride in the amusement park. Navy Pier has a Ferris wheel that lights up at night. Also, it is open throughout the year. 

Old Book Barn: This place has old, used, and rare books, art, games, DVDs, CDs, and antiquities. It ushers you into an ancient nostalgic world that makes you step back in time. Also, it can give you a vintage thrifting experience. 

Route 66 Motorheads Museum, Bar & Grill: This spot has classic cars as its décor. Also, it will serve you traditional trucker food. It combines a bar, grill, and museum. After letting your hair fray during a windy road trip on Route 66, head to the Motorheads bar. You will never regret it. 

Six Flags Great America: This is the largest amusement park in the region. You can ride the 300-foot Sky Trek Tower and see the entire Chicago skyline. You can also ride the rollercoasters and eat cotton candy. 

Superdawg Drive-In: Having a Chicago-style hotdog is a must when you are in Chicago. There is no better place to get than in Superdawg Drive-In. You will also drive through neon lights that market its boxy building. Also, the service that you will get from the staff will make you go back for more hotdogs. 

Shawnee National Forest: If you thought Chicago hosts skyscrapers only, you are wrong. The city has natural phenomena, including the Shawnee National Forest. In this forest, there are sandstone rock formations. Also, a walk through the River to River Trail takes you through cliffs, hills, and wetlands. 

Starved Rock State Park: This park has a collection of waterfalls. The glacial meltwater flows over sandstones to form quiet trickles and thundering waves that hit the rocks below. You can also see mossy rock formations, forested hills, and flower-lined trails. If luck falls on your side, you can spot bald eagles flying in the skies. 

The Chocolate Sanctuary: Have you ever tasted chocolate on chicken breasts served with peppers, nuts, and bread crumbs? If not, head to The Chocolate Sanctuary. It is a gourmet restaurant that specializes in savory and sweet dishes. Having dinner at this restaurant changes your dining experience. 

The Viking: If you thought Viking ships existed only in Europe, you are wrong. You can see one in Illinois at the Good Templar Park. It is a ship built in Norway in the 1800s. You can visit its pavilions, picnic areas, and fields. 

University of Illinois South Quad

Parting Thoughts

Joining the UIUC College of Veterinary Medicine is a move that will enable you to transform the lives of people and animals. Also, it is a value-addition move that will give you skills that will improve the world around you. Not only does the school give you the required academic knowledge to excel in the veterinary field, but also skills for coexistence with other people.

The long history of this campus defines its sustainability. Since it offered its first veterinary course in 1870, the campus is still evolving. At the moment, you can get online programs that will save your time and other resources.

The environment around the UIUC is another reason you should join this campus. It is an environment that hosts several amenities that can make your life fun, including several recreation parks.

We can deem UIUC as a global village. It plays host to several international students. Also, this campus prioritizes inclusion. This aspect makes this institution home to everybody.

UIUC keeps on getting better. For example, the 2020 upgrading exercise resulted in the opening of the veterinary medicine south clinic. Also, the campus spent $13 million to renovate its veterinary teaching hospital and construct a small animal surgery wing in 2021. These activities depict that UIUC will keep getting better into an unforeseeable future.

The doors of the campus are always open. You can opt to join the faculty or become a student. What is your call? A quick visit to the campus website will provide you with more information about it.

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