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February 01, 2011

 

 Come in and have a seat

 

Practically all U.S. veterinary schools and colleges have increased their first-year seat capacity in the past decade or plan to do so. Here is a quick—but not comprehensive—overview of major seat changes according to news reports, college press releases, and college websites:

  • Beginning with the 2010-2011 admissions cycle, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine's class size will increase from 95 to 120 students per class. There will now be 40 nonresident students admitted in every class, an increase from 15.
  • University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine increased its first-year class size in 2006, when its new teaching facility opened. The number of students went from 122 to 131 annually.
  • Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine increased its first-year class size from 86 to 92 in fall 2008. One of the college's goals included in its strategic plan is to increase that number to 120 students, with about half the new seats reserved for applicants who indicate an interest in food animal medicine.
  • University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine now admits 102 first-year students, up from 86 in 2002. Administrators would like to boost the entering class size to 150 students, which could happen in a few years, thanks to proposed construction of a new teaching hospital and classrooms.
  • Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine expanded its class size by 25 in 2007 by entering into an agreement with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which allows Nebraska students admitted to ISU's veterinary college to complete their first two years at UNL and then transfer to ISU to complete the veterinary medicine program.
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine went from admitting 108 students in 2008 to 119 in 2010. Dean Ralph Richardson has said space constraints make it difficult to expand more, though he'd like a class of 125 to 150.
  • University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine gradually increased its class size by 10—from 90 to 100—over a three-year period that ended in 2010.
  • University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine went from accepting 75 students in 2007 to 120 in 2010.
  • North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, according to its 2009-2010 annual report, charged its faculty with developing a plan to increase enrollment by 25 percent—from 80 to 100 students—using existing facilities. This is highly challenging, since current facilities were built for a target class size of 72 and are already near or at capacity. A pending request to increase enrollment has been submitted to the university but may not be allowed by the state because of budgetary constraints.
  • Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine increased its class size incrementally from 2000-2010 by eight students, from 74 to 82.
  • Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine graduated its first class in 2007; it was composed of 50 students. Formerly, the college partnered with Washington State. In that arrangement, which lasted from 1981-2003, WSU provided 36 seats for second- and third-year OSU veterinary students. Now, the OSU classes of 2012 and 2013 have 56 students.
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine decided to increase its fall 2008 incoming class size by 10 to 12 veterinary students. That puts the average class size around 125 now.
  • Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, starting in fall 2011, will expand its class size by 20 percent, from 70 to 84 entering students. The veterinary school will need to modify some of its classrooms and will offer laboratory courses in sections to adjust for the increased enrollment.
  • University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine sought to increase its class size from 70 to 85, which was approved by the university in February 2008. The college used to admit 50 in-state students but changed it to 60. The college bumped the number of out-of-state students from 20 to 25. Necessary changes included the renovation of a classroom to accommodate more students, purchase of additional teaching aids, renovation of a teaching laboratory, and hiring of additional assistants for the teaching laboratories.
  • Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine enrolled 97 first-year students starting in 2010, a departure from the high 70s to low 80s it normally has accepted in the past decade.
  • Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine increased its first-year class size from 90 to 95 students in fall 2009.
  • Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine is in the midst of creating a 2+2 program with Utah State University. If all goes accordingly, the plan is to accept 20 Utah residents per class plus up to 10 nonresidents into the Utah State arm of the program starting in fall 2012. Right now, WSU accepts about 100 students each year into the first-year class.
  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine began enrolling students in 2003. The inaugural class numbered 85. Today, the college enrolls approximately 100 first-year students annually.