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University of Calgary Calendar 2016-2017 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: 403.210.6116

Faculty Number: 403.210.3961

Email addresses:

General Inquiries:

Dean’s Office:

DVM Admissions Inquiries:

Graduate Studies Admission Inquiries:



The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) offers an accredited program leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and eligibility for licensure in North America. UCVM also offers graduate education and advanced clinical training programs. 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 Mission of the Faculty is to meet the veterinary, animal, and public health needs of Alberta through:

  • excellence in delivery of a comprehensive undergraduate veterinary medical education, emphasizing production animal health, ecosystem and public health, equine health and investigative medicine;
  • excellence in clinical, diagnostic and professional teaching and service, in collaboration with our 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, disease, and welfare, and its relation to human health.

Our education, research and service activities will contribute to the promotion and protection of animal and human health and welfare in Alberta, Canada and internationally.


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 animal 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 animal health of all food and other production animal species; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the livestock industry and rural Alberta.
  • Ecosystem and public health: animal and public health at the interface of domestic animals, wildlife, humans and the environment; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of society through public and private practice in areas related to public health, food safety, environmental and agricultural interfaces, wildlife/conservation/zoo medicine and health.
  • Equine health: population and individual care of horses; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the horse industry, horse owners, and rural Alberta.
  • Investigative Medicine: comparative medicine and biomedical research; encouraging students to pursue careers advancing animal and human health through research (basic, clinical, applied, or population health).

The DVM program is delivered over four calendar years and includes nine semesters of instruction. The first three years are two semesters in length and follow the University academic calendar. They include on-campus and off-campus learning experiences. A number of extracurricular learning activities are also available. The fourth (practicum) year is the equivalent of three semesters - 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences, plus two additional weeks for assessment, delivered over a full calendar year. Through our Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC) students will gain valuable hands-on clinical, diagnostic and professional experience in the fourth year of the program. The DVLC is comprised of private and public practices, non-government organizations, federal and provincial agencies and other animal industry partners who work with UCVM faculty to provide an exciting collaborative environment and outstanding learning opportunities for our DVM students.

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 ability 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 courses in each of the first three years cover clinical communications, ethics, jurisprudence, business operations, informatics, and research.

Delivery of final year practicum rotations through the DVLC 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 case load that includes a significant proportion of primary care cases, in addition to more complex cases. Scheduling of the final year over 12 months provides opportunity to capture seasonality in clinical experiences.

In the fourth year, practicum rotations are organized into four different courses. All students must take a course in Laboratory Diagnostics (four weeks) 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 (10 weeks) in the following areas: production animal health, equine health, ecosystem and public health, and investigative medicine. Students also follow a course of Clinical Enrichment rotation electives (10 weeks) which cover all major species and areas of veterinary medicine, including small animal, food animal, wildlife and zoo medicine, public practice, international, ecosystem health, and many other electives.


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 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 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is located 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 one kilometre south of the main campus of the University of Calgary and functions as home-base for the Faculty, containing faculty and administrative offices, educational space, the Health Sciences Library, a student bookstore, food services, and many of the core research facilities. The Dean’s Office is located on the second floor of the Teaching, Research, and Wellness (TRW) building.

The Spy Hill campus is approximately 17 kilometres north-west of the Foothills campus. The Clinical Skills Building (CSB) is the site of clinical and professional skills education during the first three years of the DVM program. The CSB has educational facilities for anatomy, animal handling, medical exercises, surgical exercises, 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 Foothills Campus 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 Wildlife Research Station and the Veterinary Sciences Research Station are also located at the Spy Hill campus and support the educational and research activities of the Faculty.

The first three years of the DVM program are delivered predominantly at the Foothills and Spy Hill Campuses, with students spending approximately 50 per cent of their 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 rotations on and off campus. Many practicum rotations occur in private veterinary practices and other institutional settings that together constitute the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s Distributed Veterinary Learning Community. Many of the off-campus sites are located within a 90 minute drive of Calgary, while others are distributed across Alberta and beyond, including international sites. As part of the DVM program, students must participate in learning opportunities at partner sites and may be required to live in close proximity to the site to facilitate on-call responsibilities. While travel support is provided, students are responsible for their travel arrangements to partner locations and for their own accommodation arrangements.