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The Office of the Dean

A Message from Calvin Johnson, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Anatomy of a Veterinary Curriculum

Most Auburn veterinarians remember the first days of the freshman year—boxes of bleached canine bones and books with anatomy diagrams indicating protuberances, eminences, foramina, and ridges.  And at some point before finals, many students are tempted to ask, “Why?”  The answer, later obvious, is that anatomy is the basis for mastery of virtually all clinical disciplines ranging from pathology to radiology to surgery.

Likewise, the anatomy of a veterinary curriculum is the foundation that supports the framework of an effective veterinary education.  A well-managed curriculum ensures comprehensive coverage of topics, optimal student learning, and mastery of clinical skills.  Over the past year, the college has focused its attention on three aspects of the curriculum:  assessment of clinical competency, comprehensive review of the curriculum, and refinement the curriculum in response to learning outcomes.  The clinical faculty, working closely with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has conducted detailed assessments of each student’s performance in each clinical rotation.  Moreover, the college’s Curriculum Committee has worked diligently to manage the content of the classroom curriculum.   Over the course of one year, 62,810 assessments of clinical performance have been recorded and 2,397 pre-clinical instructional hours have been analyzed for curricular review and revision.   It’s safe to say that Auburn’s curriculum evolves with precision.  The results are outstanding:

  • Over the past three academic years, Auburn students have met or exceeded the national average pass rate on the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). 
  • For the Class of 2014, the first-attempt pass rate of Auburn students exceeded the national average by 3 percent (94 percent vs. 91 percent).
  • The Auburn Class of 2014 met or exceeded the national average for performance in 95.5 percent (21 out of 22) of content categories on the NAVLE. 
  • Employment rates six months after graduation have been 99% for the past two years.

We take great pride in knowing that today’s graduates of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, like those of the past, are ready to face the challenges and opportunities offered by our great profession.

Thank you for your interest in veterinary medicine at Auburn University.



Calvin M. Johnson, DVM, PhD

AU CVM Class of 1986


Auburn University | College of Veterinary Medicine | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | (334) 844-4546
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