LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University will create a new College of Veterinary Medicine, thanks to the Utah Legislature's commitment to provide ongoing state funding for the school in the 2022 legislative session.
This will help ease the veterinarian shortage in Utah and bolster the state’s growing life sciences technology sector.
“We are grateful to Gov. Spencer Cox and the state legislature for supporting the new USU College of Veterinary Medicine,” said USU President Noelle Cockett.
“We also appreciate Washington State University’s partnership over the last 10 years with the joint Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. It is now time for USU to address the growing shortage of veterinarians in our state, particularly in rural areas.”
USU is currently part of the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah (WIMU) Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine and admits up to 30 students each year, 20 of whom must be Utah residents.
Students now complete two years of study at the Logan campus, and then move to Pullman, Washington, to complete their final two years of training at Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
But the state’s new appropriation of $18 million in annual funding means USU can offer the state’s first four-year veterinary school.
There are currently 33 accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the country.
Utah State Senator Scott Sandall (R-District 17) sponsored the request for funding, as Utah ranks 42nd in the nation for the number of veterinarians per capita.
“It will be a jewel in the crown of our higher education system. Utah State University and our partnering veterinary practices will work together to help create opportunities for many students across the state of Utah and beyond,” said Sandall.
Data from other schools indicate that every $1 the state invests in a school of veterinary medicine attracts an average of $2.50 of research funding.
Students admitted for fall semester 2024 will be the first class to complete all four years of the DVM program in Utah.
A new teaching and research facility dedicated to veterinary medicine is scheduled to be completed in 2025, at which point 80 students per year will be admitted.