The College of Veterinary Medicine offers a preveterinary program and programs for the D.V.M., Ph.D., and M.S. degrees. The College has a veterinary nursing program which offers both two-year and four-year degrees. In addition to the teaching and research functions of the College, there is also the Veterinary Medical Center offering patient care for both large and small animals, and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to serve the veterinary medicine practitioners of the state.
The collection has evolved along with the University. The University was founded in 1855 as the Michigan Agricultural College (MAC). In 1883, Dr. E.A.A. Grange was hired as the first professor of veterinary science. The Michigan Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) founded in 1883 has had major influence on the College.
In 1900, the MVMA passed a resolution recommending the establishment of a course on the scientific aspects of meat and milk inspection. In 1902, the MVMA passed a resolution recommending a veterinary curriculum of not less than three years. The bacteriology department at MAC was organized in 1901 and later became the Department of Microbiology and Public Health. In 1910, the Veterinary Division at MAC was organized. It was the first four-year veterinary college curriculum east of the Mississippi, and the eighth to be established at a land grant institution. Dr. Giltner, head of the Veterinary Division, started a medical biology curriculum within the Division in 1926. It was named the School of Medical Technology and was the first Bachelor of Science program of its kind in the world. The School of Medical Technology is now the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program within the College of Natural Science, and continues to offer a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. The Veterinary Division became a school in 1943, and then a college in 1955 when MAC became Michigan State University.
The Veterinary Medical Library was located in Giltner Hall until 1979. In 1979, the clinical portions were moved to the Veterinary Medical Center Library in the new Veterinary Medical Center. The materials not needed in Veterinary Medical Center Library which were unique to the MSU Libraries collection were transferred to the Main Library. The Veterinary Medical Center Library closed in July 2012 and materials are now housed at the Main Library.
The Veterinary Technology Program was established in 1968 as a non-degree-granting program administered through the Center for Laboratory Animal Resources. The curriculum was initially focused on laboratory animal medicine but emphasis has shifted to clinical veterinary practice. In the spring of 2020, the program changed its name to the Veterinary Nursing Program to better reflect the goals and purpose of the program and its equivalency to a human nursing program. The program offers both a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology and a Certificate of Completion that is conferred with an Associate in Applied Science from Lansing Community College.
The Veterinary Rare Books Collection is housed in Special Collections. This collection of rare books and manuscripts on veterinary medicine was first initiated in the 1950's with the acquisition of the Beaudette Collection. Having been enriched over the years with additional purchases and generous gifts, the MSU's Veterinary Rare Books Collection, the Catalogue of Rare Veterinary Books & Allied Subjects in Animal Husbandry, stands today as one of the finest in the world.
The collection strengths are general internal medicine, diseases of companion and food animals, surgery, anatomy and physiology, pathology/pathobiology, and ophthalmology. Additional areas of focus include oncology, nutrition, pharmacology, physical rehabilitation, and lameness.
Because publishing in veterinary medicine is limited, almost every new book published each year in the English language by major veterinary science publishers is purchased in print format and electronic format whenever available. Journal subscriptions are primarily electronic, and access is provided to all of the major databases relevant to veterinary medicine.