In 1970, the college received its first annual grant from the U.S. Bureau of Health Manpower for improvement of its veterinary education program. This institutional grant came to be known as a "capitation" grant, since it was based upon the number of students admitted to the first year of the veterinary curriculum. From 1970 to 1978, these grants ranged from $157,894 to $446,041. The boost that these capitation grants gave to the CVM program was significant. But such grants were not totally without strings attached. The 1972 grant required a 15 percent increase in the enrollment of new students (to 115 per class).

The Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Human Medicine, and Osteopathic Medicine all had their headquarters in East Fee Hall

By 1971, with the establishment of the College of Osteopathic Medicine on the MSU campus, the basic science courses were administered by all three colleges, veterinary medicine, human medicine, and osteopathic medicine.

The college's curriculum was again revised in 1973, returning to the practice of admitting only one class per year into the three-year program. A new "core-plus-options" curriculum began in June of 1973. It was divided into three segments: the first dealt chiefly with the basic medical sciences; the second covered the "core of medicine" using the organ-systems approach; and the third encompassed clinical training with options.

The first three residents in small-animal surgery and medicine completed their training in the summer of 1973. Also in 1973, the veterinary technology program was one of the first two programs in the country to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. It has retained full accreditation unbroken to this day.

In July 1974, Dean Armistead resigned to become dean of the new veterinary college at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Charles F. Reed, assistant dean for extension and continuing education, assumed the duties of acting dean until the appointment of Dean John R. Welser, September 1, 1975.

In 1976, extensive losses in livestock and potential danger to human health were caused by the inadvertent contamination of animal feed by a chemical fire retardant, a polybrominated biphenyl compound (PBB). Without doubt, this incident was a factor in impressing the legislature with the need for a more complete and sophisticated diagnostic service. Requests for such a service had been voiced on occasion by the college in the past, without response.

The legislature appropriated $300,000 in 1976 and committed increments of the same amount for each of the two succeeding fiscal years. This support made possible the establishment of a toxicologic service on campus in the Department of Pharmacology (which was renamed the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1978), and integrated all diagnostic services into an Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (AHDL). Dr. Kenneth Keahey of the Department of Pathology became the first AHDL director.

On the recommendation of the deans of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, a Center for Environmental Toxicology was established by the MSU Board of Trustees, effective October 1, 1978. Created largely as a response to the threat of environmental contamination, the center coordinated the efforts of the many university departments already focusing on problems involving existing and potential environmental contaminants.

In 1978, the college implemented plans to return the professional curriculum to a four-year program from the three-year one that had prevailed since 1965. A transitional four-year program eased the way; students admitted to that program began their studies in January 1979 and completed their requirements in March or June of 1982. The regular four-year schedule began September 1979.