Alonepear will be your best resource for details at Mississippi State. One thing to know in case you interview...in Mississippi there are two major universities that are arch enemies.. Mississippi State and Univ of Mississippi. The other school is referred to as "Mississippi" so it wouldn't be a good thing to refer to Mississippi State as Mississippi. Most refer to it as MSU....not to be confused with Michigan State.
Haha. It's the same way in Oklahoma. OU vs. OSU (not to be confused with Ohio, as it often is on this thread). The football teams are matched every year in a game called "Bedlam"... and this year, it's in Stillwater. This little town gets filled up to the brim with people! I would lamost prefer to be out of town that weekend. But nooo, someone has to work...
Hands-on during first and second years:
There isn't much hands-on during first year aside from one lab where you learn how to perform a neuro exam. Second year we have surgery lab, where every other week every group (of 3 students) gets a local shelter dog to take care of for a week, perform physical exams and diagnostics, and perform a spay/neuter on. Clubs are a good way to get some hands-on experience during the first two years. Also during second year we start Equine, Therio, and Food Animal labs, which are the basic introductions to hands-on medicine with the large animals.
I'm honestly not sure how strong our livestock/large animal/dairy program is considered, as I am on the complete other end of the spectrum in terms of interest. I do know that we have a higher proportion of each class interested in this field versus a lot of the other vet schools, owing a lot to half of each class hailing from the deep south and already having a lot of experience with large animals. During your third year clinical rotations, one of the four rotations is split 50/50 between Equine and Food Animal, with a few weeks spent in Therio during the Food Animal portion.
The main advantage in my opinion is that we only have 2 years of classroom learning. Our entire third year is spent doing clinical rotations, and our fourth year consists of a few more required rotations, electives, and externships wherever you'd like. We are one of the smaller vet schools, so to make up for lack of educational opportunities (in my case, no exotics experience is offered here) they give us pretty much the whole fourth year to fill in our schedule however we'd like, with a large portion of that being externships of your choosing. Another advantage, for me, is that it is like a close-knit community here, and you feel like more than just a number coming through here. One disadvantage for me personally is the town. There's nothing really wrong with Starkville, it's just too small for me!
In other news that may affect you guys applying this round and next -- our school is currently reviewing the curriculum and may be moving to a "block" system soon. Instead of two semesters a year (fall & spring) with 6-7 classes per semester, they may change to four semesters a year, with 3-5 classes per block. The major reason for the change is because our two year classroom, two year clinical structure lends to a very condensed first two years, which at some points had us learning pathology of certain systems before regular physiology. Also they're attempting to add a few weeks of school onto the front and back ends of the semesters to give some of the courses a little more necessary teaching time.
Just thought you guys would be interested in case you were considering Miss State!
Nope, they nixed the PBL curriculum I believe about 5 or so years ago. From what I've heard, it had a lot to do with their graduates having a slightly lower NAVLE passing rate than other schools, so they switched back to a regular didactic classroom-based program. I think they kept the 2-plus-2 curriculum because it differentiates them from other schools -- Mississippi definitely is not the first place that comes to your mind when you want to go to vet school =)