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University of Calgary Calendar 2010-2011 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 2. Faculty Information
2. Faculty Information
Contact Information

Location: Teaching Research & Wellness Building, 2nd floor, Foothills Campus

Student Information:

General Inquiries: 403.210.3961

DVM Admissions Inquiries: 403.220.8699

Graduate Studies Admission Inquiries: 403.210.6628

Clinical Training Programs Inquiries: 403.210.6628 

Faculty Number: 403.210.3961

Email addresses:

General Inquiries:

Dean’s Office:

DVM Admissions Inquiries:

Graduate Studies Admission Inquiries:

Web Page URL:


The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) was established in 2005 and accepted its first class in the DVM program in fall 2008. Graduate studies supervised by UCVM faculty members commenced in 2006 and a formal veterinary medical sciences graduate program is currently undergoing the approval process. 

The Mission of the Faculty is to meet the needs of the veterinary, animal, and public health communities of Alberta, Canada, and the world, through:

  • Excellence in delivery of a comprehensive undergraduate DVM educational program with enhanced programs in four Areas of Emphasis;
  • Excellence in clinical, diagnostic, and professional teaching and service, in collaboration with partners in the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community;
  • Excellence in the creation and distribution of new knowledge through research, graduate veterinary education, and continuing education in animal health and disease, and its relation to human health.

The DVM program is offered and administered by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.  Graduate studies under the supervision of UCVM faculty members are administered through the Faculty of Graduate Studies.


The DVM program is accredited by the AVMA-CVMA (American and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations) Council on Education and is based on an integrated core-elective model.  The core program provides a comprehensive general veterinary education covering all the major domestic species, including food producing animals, equine and companion animals, and the major exotic species. The core program also includes public and ecosystem health, wildlife and conservation medicine, professional and communication skills, research skills and comparative medicine.  The core program prepares students for general veterinary practice, with an emphasis on skills for successful practice in rural communities and provides a foundation to pursue all careers in veterinary medicine.  The elective programs cover all areas of general veterinary practice and provide enhanced opportunities in four Areas of Emphasis:

• Production animal health - population and individual veterinary care of food and fibre-producing animals
• Equine health - population and individual care of horses, including companion, sport, performance, and work horses.
• Ecosystem and public health - animal and public health issues at the interface of domestic animals, wildlife, humans, and the environment; includes wildlife and conservation medicine, zoo animal medicine
• Investigative medicine - comparative medicine and biomedical research; clinical research and population research, advancing of animal and human health.

The DVM program is delivered over four calendar years and includes 9 semesters of instruction. A total of approximately 28 hours of learning time are scheduled weekly during the first three years (six semesters) of the curriculum. Two weeks of each semester during the first three years of the program are assigned to field courses.  A number of extracurricular learning activities are also available.  The first three years follow the University academic calendar.  The final year consists of 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences, plus two weeks for assessment, delivered over a full calendar year and is comprised of hands-on clinical and professional education. UCVM is collaborating with the Alberta veterinary profession and other partners in the delivery of the fourth year practicum program through a Distributed Veterinary Learning Community that includes veterinary practices in a Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital, as well as other professional environments (e.g. government departments and laboratories, animal industries, corporations, and other universities) in Alberta, Canada, and internationally. 

The DVM curriculum provides a balance of opportunities for students to learn comparative medicine and discipline-based knowledge, to acquire and practice clinical and professional skills, and to develop diagnostic reasoning capability during the first three years. Early exposure to clinical material at the individual animal and population levels is provided in the Clinical Presentations courses, which integrate basic, preclinical, clinical and population health material.

Clinical skills courses offered in each semester of the first three years enable students to have early and frequent contact with animals, where they learn and practice clinical skills necessary for the practicum year. Professional Skills course cover clinical communications, ethics, jurisprudence, business operations, informatics, and research.

Delivery of final year practicum rotations through the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community provides a wealth of clinical and professional experiences, preparing students for the broad range of career opportunities available within the veterinary profession. The Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital gives students access to a large hands-on case load that includes a significant proportion of primary care cases, in addition to more complex, tertiary care cases. Scheduling of the final year over 12 months provides opportunity to capture clinical experiences specific to spring and summer.

In the fourth year, practicum rotations are organized into 4 different courses. All students must take a course in Laboratory Diagnostics, (4 weeks), involving pathology and clinical pathology, and a course in General Veterinary Practice, involving clinical rotations covering the major domestic species. and rural community practice (16 weeks). Students also choose one of four Areas of Emphasis programs (20 weeks) in the following areas: production animal health, equine health, ecosystem and public health, and investigative medicine. Area Emphasis programs contain a choice of required and elective rotations that allow students to either increase the depth of their experience in an Area of Emphasis or broaden their experience in different aspects of veterinary practice.  Available electives in the elective programs include small animal, food animal, wildlife and zoo medicine, public practice, international, ecosystem health, and many other electives, as posted on the UCVM website.  


Graduates of the DVM program are eligible for licensure to practice in Canada, but the DVM degree does not itself confer the right to practice. The Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) is the professional organization governing the practice of veterinary medicine in Alberta under the authority of the Veterinary Profession Act. Students interested in exploring matters relative to license to practice in Alberta should refer to the ABVMA website (  For information relative to license to practice in the other provinces in Canada, students should contact the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, (, 339 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 7K1, or should contact the appropriate provincial veterinary association.

Student Services

The Office of Student Services in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine serves as the first point of contact for students requiring assistance with any aspect of student life.  The Office provides the framework for academic counseling and advising and provides referrals to other University services where required.


The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has physical locations within the Health Sciences Complex (HSC) on the Foothills Campus and at the Spy Hill Campus, including the Clinical Skills Building, the Veterinary Sciences Research Station, and the Wildlife Research Station. The Foothills campus is located approximately 1 kilometre south of the main campus of the University of Calgary, while the Spy Hill campus is approximately 17 kilometres north-west of the Foothills campus. The Health Sciences Complex functions as home-base for the Faculty, containing faculty offices, educational space, the Health Sciences Library, a student bookstore, food services, and many of the core research facilities.

The Clinical Skills Building (CSB) on the Spy Hill Campus in Northwest Calgary is the site of clinical and professional skills education during the first 3 years of the DVM program. The CSB has educational facilities for anatomy, animal handling, medical exercises, clinical skills, diagnostic imaging, diagnostic support, and pathology instruction. There are outside holding pens for cattle and horses, and kennel facilities for dogs and cats. The CSB also has classrooms, small group teaching rooms, laboratory facilities, and all the necessary support areas. Primary student support services are provided at the HSC and main campus; however, additional administrative and student support space (e.g. kitchen, lounge area, learning commons) are available at the CSB to support students and activities while they are at that location.

The first three years of the DVM program are delivered predominantly at the Foothills and Spy Hill Campuses, with students spending approximately 50% of there time at each site.  Students are responsible for their own travel between sites, with classes scheduled to allow full day activities at each site. During the final year of the DVM program, students complete their practicum courses within a group of private veterinary practices that together constitute the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and at other institutional and private partner settings that constitute the Distributed Veterinary Learning Community. Many of these off-campus sites are located within a 90 minute drive of Calgary; the others are distributed across Alberta and beyond, including international sites. For a current listing of UCVM community partners, please visit our website at Students are responsible for the ability to attend learning opportunities at partner sites.