Michigan State University

Veterinary science courses have been taught at MSU since the institution’s founding in 1855.  The College of Veterinary Medicine was formally established as a four-year, degree-granting program in 1910.

Today, the college includes four biomedical science departments -- microbiology and molecular genetics, pathobiology and diagnostic investigation, pharmacology and toxicology, and physiology; two clinical departments -- large-animal clinical sciences and small-animal clinical sciences; two service units -- the Veterinary Medical Center and the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health; and several research centers.

In addition to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program, the college also offers certificate and bachelor’s degree programs in veterinary technology, as well as advanced programs.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is fortunate to have an outstanding faculty, all of whom hold the doctor of veterinary medicine degree and/or the doctor of philosophy degree. Nearly all of the specialty boards recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association are represented on the faculty.  Many of these faculty members are leaders in their fields, both nationally and internationally.

Michigan State has a long-standing commitment to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and multiculturalism.  The College of Veterinary Medicine has attained national recognition for its leadership in programs for the encouragement of underrepresented groups at the preprofessional, professional, and advanced studies levels, as well as for increased diversity in its faculty.

The abundance and variety of animal agriculture and companion animals in Michigan provides the college with one of the largest clinical and diagnostic caseloads in the country.  Educational and research opportunities are considerably enhanced by this large caseload.

The college also takes seriously its obligation to meet the needs of society in addition to clinical services and education.  The college has expertise in public health, biomedical and comparative medical research, ecosystem and environmental management, and the multiple facets that compose our complex global food system.  The college also supports key animal health programs conducted by both the Michigan Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine advances animal and human health by generating new knowledge through high-impact research, delivering the most advanced veterinary clinical care, and providing diverse academic opportunities to train the next generation of leaders, lifesavers, and world changers that will meet the challenges of Michigan, the nation, and the world.


Researchers involved in the Canine Genome Project have:
  • Created more than 500 microsatellite markers that can be used to track disease genes in dogs. 
  • Discovered mutation responsible for von Willebrand’s disease in Doberman pinschers and Shetland sheepdogs.  Also found gene responsible for this disease in Scottish terriers. 
  • Identified more than 150 gene-specific markers
  • Identified gene defect that causes progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Irish setters. 
  • Identified gene defect that causes PRA in Cardigan Welsh corgis, then created diagnostic test for it.  MSU is the only veterinary hospital in the country to offer this test (as of winter 2000). 
We are leaders in research on the respiratory problems of horses. 

The college’s Pulmonary Lab is one of the few labs in the world to study lung and upper airway function in large domestic animals.  It has garnered an international reputation for its pioneering studies. 

Procedures developed in the college’s Laboratory of Comparative Orthopedic Research are used throughout the world to repair injuries in both people and animals. 

MSU researchers identified equine herpesvirus 5 (EHV-5). Further research led to the identification of Equine Multinodular Pulmonary Fibrosis (EMPF), which is associated with EHV-5.

Ophthalmic researchers identified a new form of progressive retinal atrophy in Swedish Vallhund dogs and have now found a gene defect responsible for the disease. Collaborating scientists at Michigan State University and the University of Helsinki identified a responsible gene defect (MERTK).

Ophthalmic researchers published their findings on primary glaucoma in the Norwegian Elkhound. This study helped develop a genetic test for the Norwegian Elkhound breed, and provides very important information to breeders to reduce frequency of detrimental disease in middle aged dogs.

The Meadow Brook Immunobiology Laboratory conducts research that focuses on developing solutions to control mastitis in dairy cattle by investigating the interaction between nutrition and immunology during times of increased susceptibility to disease.

Michigan State University researchers in the College of Veterinary Medicine have identified a genetic mutation in Doberman pinschers that causes a type of albinism with characteristics evident in both humans and dogs.

Researchers with the college’s Comparative Ophthalmology Lab, in collaboration with University of Wisconsin-River Falls, were the first team to identify the mutated gene CNGB1 that caused a form of PRA in papillons in June 2011. The team subsequently developed and licensed to OptiGen the first screening test for the gene.

Impact on Animal and Public Health

The MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) is one of the largest and most modern such facilities in the country.  It serves the diagnostic testing needs of veterinarians not only in Michigan, but all across the U.S. In addition to the capability to do routine diagnostic tests, DCPAH has the capacity to test for many unusual infectious diseases and toxic substances that could pose a threat to agriculture and our food supply. 

The college helps Michigan’s animal industries to expand by working with producers to control the spread of infectious diseases and improving producers’ understanding of animal nutrition, housing, and management.  

The college played a critical role in eradication of brucellosis.

In 2011-2012 the college’s Diagnostic Laboratory for Population and Animal Health partnered with the CDC to assist in the identification and containment of a leptospirosis outbreak in the state.

Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory developed first vaccine for Marek’s disease, a leukemia-like ailment of poultry.  

Clinical Excellence

The college is a leader in motion analysis and biomechanical evaluation of dogs and horses. 

CVM is a leader in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of the poorly performing horse.

We are leaders in orthopedic research and clinical practice for both small and large animals. 

In 2008, CVM became one of the first four institutions in the country to offer a new cementless elbow prosthesis (TATE Elbow™ System from BioMedtrix) for the treatment of intractable canine elbow arthritis.

To date, the Orthopedic service at CVM performs hip, elbow, and knee replacements and will be performed ankle replaces in the near future.

The college was the second in the country to perform kidney transplants in cats. 

Service and Outreach

The college has attained national recognition for its leadership in programs for the encouragement of underrepresented groups at the pre-professional, professional, and advanced studies levels. 

The college has provided services to the people of Michigan for more than 100 years.

President Barack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine’s McPhail Equine Performance Center in February 2014.

CVM and MSU researchers are developing a digital app to help farmers prevent dairy diseases. The research team will also use the app to help train the next generation of food animal veterinarians and on-farm consultants.

Facilities and Programs

The MSU Veterinary Medical Center was built in 1965. At the time it was one of the most advanced veterinary hospitals in the country.

The Learning and Assessment Center resulted from a multi-college effort to help health professions students improve their communication and diagnostic skills. The center contains 20 examination rooms where students can practice their skills using standardized patients/clients, simulation models, and computers.

The Training Center for Dairy Professionals is a collaborative program between MSU and Green Meadow Farms, Inc., in Elsie, Michigan. The center makes use of Green Meadow Farms’ large dairy herd, modern facilities, and highly developed management infrastructure, along with the college’s faculty and facilities to provide specialized training in dairy practice for veterinary students, preveterinary students, graduate veterinarians, and other professionals serving the dairy industry. Every DVM student completes a rotation at this facility.

MSU has two farms close to campus, the Veterinary Research Farm and the Bennett Farm, where teaching and research animals are kept. These farms and our resident livestock and horses give students an opportunity to handle and work with food animals and horses in natural settings and also to learn to care for their well-being.

In 2000, the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center was built. It is an 18,000 square-foot facility for clinical and research studies of equine performance problems in all types of horses. In addition to housing sophisticated gait analysis equipment, it contains an indoor arena for lunging, riding, and driving, and firm surfaces for lunging and evaluating horses on a straight line.

In 2004 the college built the new Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH). The center, formerly known as the Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, is the largest veterinary diagnostic laboratory in the United States and is part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). It was designed as a front-line sentry, protecting both humans and animals from an array of diseases ranging from rabies to West Nile virus to bovine tuberculosis.

In 2005 a wing was added to the east side of the VMC. It contains 12 examination rooms; space for rounds and teaching; facilities for diagnostics including ultrasound, radiology, and cytopathology; a chemotherapy administration suite; a surgical suite; and a radiation center that includes nuclear medicine and megavoltage radiation therapy with a linear accelerator.

In 2005, The Matilda R. Wilson Pegasus Critical Care Center opened. It is a 9,000-square-foot facility that allows the college to house large-animal patients with infectious diseases in an isolated place, minimizing the risk of spreading disease to other animals and people while providing advanced critical care.

2011 the Dr. Elwood and Linda Collins Advanced Rehabilitation Center (ARC) for small animals opened in the MSU Veterinary Medical Center.

In 2015, the college completed a major renovation to the Emergency and Critical Care Unit in the medical center. The renovation increases the space for the Critical Care Unit and provides. Animals from specialty services around the Center will be cared for in the Unit.