Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has been working for over 150 years to keep animals and people healthy. The history of teaching veterinary medicine at Cornell predates the establishment of the College in 1894. Shortly after the University was founded in 1865, Ezra Cornell insisted that a chair of veterinary medicine be instituted. He instructed Andrew D. White, the University’s first president, to seek the best-qualified person to teach courses in veterinary medicine and surgery. President White secured the services of Dr. James Law, a distinguished veterinarian, teacher, and graduate of the Edinburgh Veterinary College in Scotland. Law brought with him a commitment to rigorous training for veterinarians, and at Law’s urging, Cornell set much higher requirements for a veterinary degree than any other institution at the time. In 1871, the University faculty passed a resolution requiring four years of study for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVS) degree and an additional two years for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, one previously unavailable from any institution in the United states. When the University opened in the Fall of 1868, Dr. Law’s first classes included students who were working toward degrees in agriculture and the biological sciences, and a few “special students” who were pursing veterinary degrees. In 1871, Myron Kasson earned the University’s BVS degree, and he was followed by Daniel Salmon in 1872. Four years later, Salmon earned the first DVM degree in the country and went on to serve as the founding chief of the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry and is best known today for identifying the infectious pathogen Salmonella and pioneering the fight against contagious diseases.





Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) is the only full-service multidisciplinary animal disease diagnostic facility in New York State and is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Every year, this facility conducts approximately 1 million tests on more than 150,000 individual samples received from across the United States and Canada.


Cornell University’s Community Practice Service provides a complete primary care experience for both students and clients. The service provides annual exams, parasite prevention, vaccination, and routine laboratory testing for animals in and around Ithaca. The Community Practice Service prepares students for graduation in unique ways by allowing students to see patients as they would in a stand-alone primary care facility.


The newest lecture hall holds up to 300 people and can function as two smaller lecture halls or one large one with arena-type seating. Lecture attendees can ask questions by pressing a button on a microphone. In 2016, the vet school opened 20 new tutor group rooms, each equipped with ample whiteboard space and a touch screen Smart Board perfect for group study or as a private study getaway.


The Cornell Equine Park is the “hidden gem” of the College of Veterinary Medicine with 165 acres of green pastures, 62-stall main barn, and stallion and broodmare barns, all less than 2 miles away from the College. The entire facility is a learning lab for DVM students and researchers, with the horses as the teachers.


Cornell’s Equine and Nemo Farm Animal Hospitals offer state-of-the-art care for large animals right in Ithaca, NY. ENFAH sees over 3,400 patients a year, while the ambulatory service has 77,000 patients! In addition, ENFAH is the only large animal emergency clinic in a 200-mile radius and is run by board-certified Emergency and Critical Care Specialists.


The Dyce Bee Lab is the center for beekeeping resources in the Northeast. For the past 50 years, the lab has been the go-to place for beekeeping resources, workshops, and honey bee information. The lab’s focus is to promote a sustainable beekeeping industry by conducting applied research, providing educational programs, and supporting beekeepers. The lab works closely with hobbyist, part-time, and commercial beekeepers across New York.


The Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Clinic is one of only 4 university-based clinics in the United States that provides diagnostic, medical, and surgical care for wildlife cases brought in by the public and to solve wildlife health problems at the individual and population level. The clinic works closely with wildlife rehabilitators and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to reach their ultimate goal of returning healthy animals to their original habitats.


Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists is an elite equine veterinary hospital located in western Long Island, NY. Located right by the famed Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, Ruffian is perfectly situated to provide the highest level of specialty care. Ruffian’s clientele is diverse, encompassing Olympic athletes, world class race horses, national level performance horses, and everyday companions.


More than 20,000 dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals receive medical and surgical care annually at Cornell University’s Companion Animal Hospital. Specialty services provided at the hospital include Oncology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Behavior, Cardiology, Theriogenology, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, Imaging, Dentistry, and Dermatology.


Cornell’s Veterinary Teaching Dairy Barn is located within walking distance of the veterinary college. It provides the Dairy Bar with all the milk it needs to produce delicious ice cream and cheese! With 28,000 square feet of free stall space for our 150 milking cows and 30 dry cows, it is designed with cow comfort and welfare in mind. The DeLaval double ten parlor allows more efficient milking by a team of herdsmen and students. The brand new manure/sand separator allows us to recycle stand, and a treatment area and onsite classroom give students ample opportunity to learn while on the farm.


Founded in 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is home to more than 700 animals representing over 300 species, many of them endangered or threatened in the wild. Cornell’s Zoo and Wildlife staff provide veterinary care for all of these animals and take students along for the ride. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the zoo is among only 230 accredited zoos and aquariums in the nation representing the top 10 percent in animal care, conservation, and guest experience.


a word on sustainability

In accordance with the AVMA’s position on sustainability, here at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine we believe that environmental responsibility is a One Health issue. The AVMA supports environmental responsibility through:

  • Education of veterinarians and the public about the interdependence of human health and animal health with environmental health.

  • Providing the best practices to prevent and control the harmful environmental impacts of chemicals, pesticides, medical and animal wastes, greenhouse gases, and other man-made products.

  • Long term planning and promotion of science-based, environmentally sensitive practices of veterinary medicine to ensure viable ecosystem health and mitigate the impact of global climate change for future generations.

  • Conservation of natural resources by encouraging practices including, but not limited to, minimizing waste, reducing energy consumption, maximizing electronic communication, recycling, and utilizing recycled products by its offices, employees, councils, committees, members and others.