Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is the second-oldest veterinary school in the United States. It is ranked 5th in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students.

Veterinary Medicine is the highest-ranked college at the university and has been the leading royalty revenue producing college since 2006.

Veterinarians work in multiple disciplines. In addition to caring for the health needs of all animals they provide expertise to our global food system, conduct biomedical and agricultural research, offer ecosystem management, and serve as public health officers.

Economic impact

Eighty-five percent of the 3,600 Ohio veterinarians graduated from Ohio State.

Ohio veterinarians contribute nearly $2 billion to the state economy, as well as an additional $3 billion in associated businesses. Veterinarians protect the state’s $107 billion agricultural industry.*
*from the report: Veterinary Medicine: Economic Impact in Ohio 2011 (available: vet.osu.edu/cvm/history)


Dean Lonnie King is an internationally recognized leader in emerging infectious diseases. Dr. King directed the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the nation’s chief veterinarian, he served the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He worked extensively in global trade agreements and testified before congress on issues of emerging diseases. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, Dr. King is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He received his bachelor’s and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Ohio State, a Master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from American University. An expert in One Health, he is a highly sought-after speaker.

One Health and Global Impact

Ohio State is the only veterinary school in the country located on a campus with six other health sciences colleges. It is an international leader in One Health, which brings together multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to understand the connections between animal health, human health and our environment. In the next decade, 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases will be zoonotic – starting in animals and moving to people. Interdisciplinary efforts are focused on the need for surveillance, detection, diagnosis and treatments to protect people in Ohio and beyond.

Thanks to international relationships through veterinary medicine, Ohio State developed the Health Sciences-Ethiopia One Health Partnership, and conducted the second Summer Institute in 2013.

Veterinary Medical Center

The Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) includes the Hospital for Companion Animals, the Hospital for Farm Animals and the Galbreath Equine Center. It is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 33,000 patient visits each year.

The Hospital for Companion Animals has had a 38 percent increase in patient visits in the past five years.

The VMC includes board-certified specialists in more than 20 disciplines, including anesthesiology, cardiology, dermatology, interventional surgical procedures, neurology, oncology, orthopedic surgery, pathology, radiology, and soft-tissue surgery.

A $30 million fundraising effort for the VMC Expansion and Enhancement project will provide renovations and a building addition for needed surgical suites, an improved emergency and critical care unit, and teaching space.

The VMC has one of the premier veterinary Clinical Trials Offices (CTO) in the country. It oversees a wide variety of studies using client-owned animals with naturally-occurring diseases. Studies have been instrumental in moving several new therapies into successful human trials. It is the only center in the country supported by both an NIH Clinical Translational Science Award and an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Support Grant. Work undertaken by the CTO was critical in securing a $10 million NCI Program Project Grant to study childhood sarcomas, a joint effort among Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Wexner Medical Center and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Research highlights

Many research faculty have joint appointments with the Wexner Medical Center, the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Research strengths in the college include infectious diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal and regenerative medicine, the epidemiology of infectious diseases, and food safety.

Commercialization highlights

The College of Veterinary Medicine has been a commercialization leader at Ohio State for decades:

The feline leukemia vaccine was developed here, providing $14 million in commercialization revenues to Ohio State in the 1990s. This has been Ohio State’s most profitable commercialized patent portfolio to date. 

Since 2006, the college has again become the leading commercialization revenue-producing college, based on commercialization of tick-borne disease diagnostic technology in the animal health market. This work has been conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, Ohio State’s Innovator of the Year for 2011. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

More than one-third (37 percent) of the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine are currently participating in commercialization or industry-sponsored research activities.

Community impact

A partnership with Lifecare Alliance provides veterinary care to the home-bound pets of Meals on Wheels recipients through the Veterinary Outreach program.

The college opens to the public at an annual Open House that includes attendance of more than 2,000 community members.

A partnership with the Capital Area Humane Society provides senior veterinary students with hands-on surgical experience performing spays and neuters for adoptable animals.

Professional student program highlights

More than 1,600 students applied for 162 positions in the Class of 2018. Applications to the college have increased 73 percent over the past two years.

Each summer, up to 30 first- and second-year veterinary students have the opportunity to participate in funded research. The Summer Research Program is one of the largest in the country.

Students can choose a new business minor, designed specifically for health sciences students, through a partnership with the Fisher College of Business. These future business owners will be prepared to manage more effectively.

The college now offers the first veterinary Office of Career Management, helping students and alumni to better manage their career options. 

A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and provides veterinary services to a 17-county area in west central Ohio.

Unique graduate studies programs

Our comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine includes a nationally recognized residency in pathology.

Our Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine offers a nationally accredited Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health. Because of the focus on epidemiology and emerging infectious diseases, our graduates are in demand in public health roles throughout the country.

One of the first residencies in Conservation Medicine is possible thanks to a partnership with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds.

  • 1862 – The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Pass the Federal Land Grant Act
  • 1870 – Ohio establishes the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (Ohio A & M)
  • 1878 – Ohio A & M becomes The Ohio State University
  • 1885 –School of Veterinary Medicine is established
  • 1887 – Mark Francis becomes the first Ohio State veterinary school graduate, later becomes first to successfully inoculate for the Texas fever tick
  • 1895 –College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. David White named first dean
  • 1912 – Veterinary Alumni Association formed
  • 1915 – Four-year course initiated
  • 1922 – First graduate degree, MS in Pathology, awarded to Dr. L. E. Starr
  • 1926 – First alumni conference, marked the beginning of continuing education at the college
  • Food Animal Health Research Program launched (moves to Wooster 1958)
  • 1933 – First student council formed which initiated the on-going supervision of the College Honor Code
  • 1934 – College organized into departments. Includes industry’s first Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, combining the disciplines of veterinary microbiology, epidemiology, immunology, parasitology, public health, production medicine and clinical medicine to discover and disseminate knowledge to prevent, control and eradicate disease
  • 1936 – Dr. Ida Mae Dodge becomes the first woman to graduate from the college
  • 1939 – Veterinary medicine library established
  • 1941 – College awards first PhD – in Veterinary Surgery – to Dr. R. E. Nichols
  • 1959 – Dr. Sharon Martin Capen, director of the Raptor Rehabilitation Program, is first woman on faculty
  • 1960 – Short-course program replaces conference for veterinarians
  • 1969 – Adoption of the core/elective curriculum
  • 1975 – Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine reports largest student enrollment of any veterinary school in North America
  • 1982 – Launches blood donor program under the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • 1984 – Established raptor rehab program
  • 1985 – Introduced first feline leukemia vaccine, a result of 15 years of research under the direction of Dr. Richard Olsen, professor of pathobiology.
  • 1990 – The College of Veterinary Medicine launches venture with Capital Area Humane Society to provide specialized care and cruelty investigation work
  • 1991 – Opens Center for Retrovirus Research to facilitate interdisciplinary investigations of problems relating to prevention and treatment of retrovirus diseases of humans and animals
  • 1992 – Completes a New Canine Exercise Center at Veterinary Hospital, which now includes strength and conditioning training, an underwater treadmill, land treadmill, agility course and toys to encourage movement for arthritic and obese animals, and animals recovering from joint, spinal surgeries or athletic injuries
  • 1993 – Opens new Plastination Lab in Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology (now part of the Department of Veterinary Biosciences); the lab enhances learning in anatomy courses and makes use of a new technique in tissue preservation, decreasing the number of animals used for such purposes
  • 1995 – Launched nation’s fifth Pet Loss Support Hotline
  • 1997 – Avian Medicine Residency Program approved – one of nine in the United States
  • 2000 – Formation of West Nile Virus Workgroup, to develop a statewide West Nile virus plan
  • 2002 – Received first Program Project Grant – National Cancer Institute grants $9.8 million to study of retroviruses in the Center for Retrovirus Research (Renewed in 2008 and 2014)
  • 2004 – Founded Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) providing business education to veterinary students to create opportunities to practice networking and receive education in business, finance and leadership
  • Developed first DNA gene chip for horses housing 3,200 expressed horse genes, helping uncover key differences in genes between humans and animals, giving critical information before launching into an experiment
  • 2007 – College presents its first webinar from Veterinary Hospital on understanding laminitis
  • 2008 – Performed first total knee replacement on a dog and becomes first in the world to utilize the Stryker Surgical Navigation system in a canine patient, under the direction of Drs. Allen and Dyce.  24/7 emergency service added for companion animals.
  • 2009 – Honoring-the-bond coordinator and social worker for the Veterinary Hospital organizes the first Remembrance Ceremony for clients who have lost companion animals or horses in the past year to participate in a ceremony to honor their animals
  • 2010 – Veterinary Teaching Hospital renamed Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) with three separate hospitals: the Hospital for Companion Animals, Hospital for Farm Animals, and the Galbreath Equine Center
  • 2010 - The American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine (ACVPM) certified the Veterinary Public Health specialization (VPH) as an option within the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program (in the College of Public Health)
  • 2012 – Created first residency program in Conservation Medicine that includes a partnership with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds (a wildlife preserve built on 10,00 acres of re-claimed strip mined land) (http://vet.osu.edu/cvm/new-collaboration-zoo-and-wilds-spur-research-through-new-residency)
  • 2013 – Opened satellite specialty and emergency clinic in Dublin, OH
  • 2013 – Graduate Business Minor for Health Science students became available (http://vet.osu.edu/education/alumni-support-students-new-graduate-business-minor)
  • 2014 – Broke ground on Enhancement and Expansion project for the VMC (currently raising $30 million in private support to complete project)
  • 2015 – One Health Ethiopia partnership recognized for excellence