Did You Know?

First-, second-, or third-year DVM students can earn .5 credit for attending 10 senior seminars in an academic year.

Just enroll in VTMED 6724, "Senior Seminar," offered every fall and spring. 

How Senior Seminars Are Processed

After the final print versions have been completed, date stamped, and turned in to the Senior Seminar secretary, they are forwarded to the Veterinary Library at the end of the spring semester.

The library sends the printed papers to Library Technical Services in Olin Library for cataloging, and records are added to the Library Catalog. Then copies are sent to the Annex Library for permanent storage.

All seminar papers are assigned the uniform call number, SF 610.1. Within this call number, the papers are arranged chronological by graduation year. Within each year, the seminars are generally in alphabetical order by student’s name.

The Annex Library has a complete collection of print senior seminar papers from 1947 to present. They are listed as being held by Kroch Library Rare & Manuscripts.

During the academic year, the one-page summary handouts are listed each week on the course schedule. The PowerPoint presentations and video clips are also posted on the course website as they are turned in. Electronic versions of the papers are given to the Veterinary Library.

At the end of each semester, senior seminar documents are added to eCommons@Cornell, the permanent digital repository maintained by the Cornell University Library.

About Senior Seminars

Every fourth-year DVM student at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine is required to enroll in the 1-credit course, “Fourth-Year Seminar” (VTMED 5612).

This course:

"gives the student the responsibility and opportunity of selecting and studying a disease entity on the basis of a case or series of cases, or to conduct a short-term, clinically oriented research project under the direction of a faculty member. In either case, an oral report will be presented at a weekly seminar. A written report is also submitted within 2 weeks after the seminar. All participants are encouraged to foster an atmosphere in which discussion, exchange of ideas, and the airing of controversial opinions might flourish." (Class Roster - Fall 2018)

Offered in the fall and spring terms, the course is a required component of Clinical Rotations (Foundation Course VI). Students earn S-U grades only. 

Dr. Mary C. Smith is chair of the Senior Seminar Committee. 

First-, second-, and third-year students and all faculty and staff members are invited and encouraged to attend. 

How Senior Seminars Began

When a new curriculum was implemented in the fall of 1945, fourth-year students were required to take a credit course #202 called “Clinical Conferences."

“These conferences will be attended by all members of the fourth-year class and by staff members representing not only the clinical but the preclinical or basic sciences as well. Students will be required to present reports on their studies of selected cases from the clinics, and these will be criticized and discussed by the faculty members. In this way the special knowledge and viewpoints of the anatomist, biochemist, physiologist, pathologist, bacteriologist, and parasitologist, as well as that of the clinicians, will be brought to bear on problems of diagnosis and therapy." (New York State Veterinary College Announcement for 1947-1948 Sessions. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 1947, p. 32.)

However, it was not until 1949 that papers were prepared and submitted by most students in the fourth-year class. (Some of these early seminars lack author names and are thus listed as “anonymous”; also, in 1950 and 1951, several students authored more than one paper.

Since 1965, these papers and presentations have been known as Senior Seminars.

Need a hand? Reach out any time!

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Kelly Johnson
S1 204 Schurman Hall