The VMBS is helping to lead the nation in integrated curricular design, innovative teaching methodologies, and diversity cultural competencies focused on the veterinary and biomedical professions. Encompassing professional, undergraduate, and graduate courses, the curriculum drives our internationally ranked faculty to teach even better, ensuring our graduates are the best prepared to enter the workforce.
As part of our mission to "Serve Every Texan Every Day," we’re working to make veterinary medicine more accessible to individuals from all backgrounds and all areas of Texas. Culminating a seven-year plan, the VMBS has forged partnerships to expand veterinary education, research, and undergraduate outreach into several key regions of the state. Four universities from The Texas A&M University System are partnering with the VMBS through Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) to continue to meet the need for veterinarians in the areas of Texas.
Prairie View A&M University MOA
Prairie View A&M University, a land grant institution founded in 1876, is the second oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Texas. Its International Goat Research Center, with more than 1,000 dairy and meat goats, is one of the largest and oldest goat research programs in the nation. It specializes in the areas of genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, and veterinary health.
West Texas A&M University MOA
West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) operates its own feedlot in the Panhandle, a region that contributes a third of the nation’s beef and boasts expanding dairy and swine industries. The Beef Carcass Research Center and the Nance Ranch Teaching and Research Facility are also located there. Dr. Dee Griffin and Dr. Dan Posey relocated to West Texas A&M in 2016 as part of the VMBS/WTAMU Veterinary Education, Research, and Outreach (VERO) partnership. Their team is working with the excellent faculty, staff, and students at WTAMU and the VMBS to create a first-of-its-kind program of excellence designed to meet the unique regional veterinary, educational, and livestock health needs of the Panhandle region of Texas.
Texas A&M University–Kingsville MOA
Texas A&M University–Kingsville is the oldest continuously operating public institution of higher learning in South Texas. With its focus on wildlife and cervid (deer) research, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University–Kingsville provides an exciting partnership to elevate deer and wildlife medicine. In addition, Texas A&M–Kingsville already has a four-year veterinary technology program with an emphasis on large animals and wildlife.
Tarleton State University
Tarleton State is the largest non-land grant agriculture university in the nation. It operates a large dairy in a unique private partnership and maintains rich collaborations with the dairy cattle industry. With its large population of pre-veterinary students and its veterinary technology program, Tarleton State is uniquely positioned for a strong partnership with the VMBS.
In 2009, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) reported there was no need for a second veterinary school in Texas, but that VMBS should increase enrollment to meet future state needs. The study focused on the need to increase the number of underrepresented minorities (URM) entering the profession, as well as enlarging the pipeline of rural-based veterinarians to better serve the livestock industry, and deer and wildlife interests.
Opening the new Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) on the VMBS campus in 2016 was key to extending the reach of veterinary education and research in the state. While the state’s population has boomed, the size of the veterinary school's classes remained virtually flat due to older, cramped facilities. The new $120 million facilities allow the Texas A&M VMBS to meet the need for both the veterinary and livestock industries now and well into the foreseeable future.
The VBEC easily accommodates an initial increased class size of 20 to 30 new veterinary students each year, many of which will be from the partner institutions. By providing new learning opportunities for students who attend these four Texas A&M University System universities, the VMBS hopes to increase the number of veterinarians that will return to serve in those demographic regions.
Keeping college possible for all students, regardless of socioeconomic factors, is important to the VMBS and helps us fulfill our mission to “Serve Every Texan Every Day”. The VMBS has the best DVM debt to income ratio in the nation and student debt at graduation is the second-lowest of all US schools. We're one of only two schools with an average student debt load of less than $100,000. Delivering an affordable education does not mean we reduce quality.
In 2018, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranked the VMBS fourth in the nation and 10th in the world, placing the VMBS first in the SEC. Our ranking rose in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the nation’s best schools and programs, where the VMBS tied for fourth. Some of our external reviewers described the school as being positioned among a small number of elite veterinary colleges. Despite our success in this area, we're continually working to keep our educational costs low and to better prepare our students to manage any debt that they accumulate. DVM students have annually benefited from almost $1.7 million in scholarships with 81.6 percent of students receiving financial support.
Some scholarships have diversity criteria including gender, LGBTQ+ self-identification, parenthood, second career, and economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. A dedicated financial aid officer is available to work with each student on their scholarship application, tuition, and financial aid needs. Financial support and curricular financial literacy efforts are ongoing.
These agreements serve to facilitate the admission and academic transfer of students from participating community colleges throughout Texas into the Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) undergraduate program. As students progress successfully toward the completion of their Associate's degree, this agreement ensures the seamless transition of students into the BIMS undergraduate program, according to the provisions and conditions of each respective agreement. The BIMS undergraduate program honors 15 agreements with surrounding Texas colleges to increase the pipeline of URM and first-generation students into the VMBS.
The VMBS started a Regent Scholars program in 2016. This learning community for FOCUS first-generation BIMS undergraduate students (VMBS Courtney Scholars) enrolls as a cohort class, lives together in Moses Hall, has tailored VMBS learning programming, attends special FOCUS leadership sessions, and enjoys pairings with DVM student mentors.
Texas A&M University and the VMBS recognize diversity as an indispensable component of academic excellence. The Graduate Diversity Fellowship provides an opportunity to support the development of researchers who show promise of distinguished success as a doctoral student and in a biomedical sciences-related research career, while also maximizing the educational benefits of diversity for all students at VMBS.
These fellowships provide substantial support to incoming or continuing doctoral students whose life and research experiences strengthen the educational diversity outcomes of the VMBS. Graduate Diversity Fellowships award $36,000 annually to cover the costs of tuition and fees along with a competitive stipend associated with a research assistantship position.