We’re the First

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University can lay claim to a lot of firsts in its storied history.

Perhaps none is more significant than the college’s roots in developing veterinary medical education. Iowa State has been a leader in veterinary medical education throughout its history. When the university was founded in 1858, the Iowa state legislature specifically cited the need for veterinary courses. And when the first Iowa State class graduated in 1872, as part of their curriculum, seniors in agriculture received instruction in veterinary science.

Evolving from those early days, Iowa State established the first public college of veterinary medicine in the United States and the first west of the Mississippi in 1879.  

In the early years, the veterinary medical curriculum was a two-year program. With the urging of the school’s faculty, in 1903 Iowa State began offering the nation’s first four-year professional program in veterinary medicine.

To this day, Iowa State’s veterinary school has the longest record of continually educating veterinarians in the nation. Graduates of Iowa State have worked, and continue to work, as professionals in animal health in every state of the U.S. and in dozens of countries around the globe.