University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Zoological Anatomic Pathology Residency Training Program

ZPP offers a three-year residency training program in anatomic pathology. This program provides the training and experience to prepare residents for careers in zoo, wildlife, avian and or aquatic animal pathology. Residents will be eligible for the anatomic pathology certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) and for a master’s degree upon successful completion of the program.


This training program provides exposure to an extraordinary array of species from zoological institutions, local and national wildlife agencies as well as training in domestic animal pathology. PhD training may be pursued after the completion of the three-year residency.


Residents spend the bulk of the first year studying domestic animal pathology in the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Department of Pathobiology in Urbana. Residents then rotate to the Chicago area for the final two years to study mostly non-domestic animal pathology. Graduates of the program work in a variety of settings including academia, zoological institutions, private diagnostic laboratories and government agencies.


Position announcements are typically posted in late summer on the ACVP website for positions starting on or about August 1 of the following year. ZPP residency program inquiries can be directed to Dr. Kathleen Colegrove at


Please note the ZPP residency application process is separate from the application process for the anatomic pathology residency offered by the Department of Pathobiology.


Applicants wishing to apply to both programs must submit two separate applications.

Externships for Veterinary Students

Three- to six-week externships are offered for third- and fourth-year veterinary students interested in gaining exposure to all aspects of zoological pathology. Externs conduct gross necropsies and microscopic evaluation of diagnostic cases in conjunction with residents and staff pathologists. Background reading and research for diagnostic cases is expected of externs as is participation in weekly gross and histopathology seminars. Special projects arising from case materials may also be pursued.


Daily schedules are determined by the current day’s caseload. Whenever possible, participation in necropsies is the priority. Teaching sets of classic non-domestic animal gross and histologic lesions are available for study as are copies of important published papers and literature. The ZPP has a full library of reference texts and archives of case material that are available for individual study if interest and time permit.


To apply, students are asked to send a copy of their CV, letter of interest, requested externship dates, and names of three references (letters are not necessary) to Dr. Kathleen Colegrove at Applications will be reviewed on or around February 1, June 1, and October 1 of each year and available slots will be filled based on the strength of the application.


The externship program is highly competitive; available slots are often filled as far as one to two years in advance.

Externship positions are not open to graduate veterinarians. Housing is not provided, although there are several low-cost options in the area.

Emergency Contacts

Please call 217-333-1620,

select option #1 for the

VDL On-Call Pathologist.