College of Veterinary Medicine

So, You Want to be a Veterinarian?


Pending accreditation, Clemson’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) will be the first in the state of South Carolina. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree will train students to be skilled veterinarians who can immediately enter the workforce upon graduation. The school aims to welcome its first class of 80 students in the fall of 2026, with the approval of the American Veterinary Medical Association. There are many things that students can do to stand out as applicants in the world of veterinary medicine.

“Clemson will be primarily looking for good students who have graduated with a variety of undergraduate majors, but they will have to meet prerequisites just like any other DVM program,” said Founding Dean, Steven Marks. “Clemson will also require animal and veterinary experience, and exposure to research. So, you could be an engineering major or a liberal arts major and if you meet the prerequisites, you have animal experience and demonstrated an interest in animal research, then you would be a particularly viable candidate for Clemson.”

Although South Carolina needs veterinarians across the spectrum, the CVM will also be looking for students who have a demonstrated interest in equine and agricultural species such as poultry and cattle. Students can also have a variety of academic interests. For example, CVM’s Associate Vice President of Strategic Affairs and Initiatives, Dianne Dunning, was a German language major and literature student who went on to complete veterinary school and become a board-certified small animal surgeon.

“I was at a liberal arts college at New York University (NYU) when I made the decision that I wanted to go to veterinary school,” said Dunning. “I took a year off and did all my science requirements within that year while applying for veterinary school. It was very fortunate to get in on my first application.”

Academics are important. but applicants must also possess soft skills that are not often taught in a book.

“We want students who can see the world from a global perspective,” said Dunning.  “We want them to think broadly about ideas and concepts; once you get into veterinary school, we can teach you the science and the knowledge to be successful.”

Students will be trained to treat animals and communicate and collaborate with all types of people. While veterinary medicine is centered around large and small animals, there is always a person or family attached to them.

“I think that’s a really important aspect,” said Marks. “Communication skills and teamwork are important.  I would look for students who have worked as part of a team, like student-athletes. Do they know how to work towards a common goal and make compromises? Veterinary medicine is a team sport. People need to work together, they need to sacrifice for one another, and they need to work together towards a common goal. So those soft skills are really very important for us.”

Clemson’s College of Veterinary Medicine is in the process of seeking accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. The CVM must be given a letter of reasonable assurance before recruiting students or accepting applications from students. The process is ongoing, and the CVM will keep stakeholders up to date via the website and social channels. That’s and @ClemsonVetMed on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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