The school is named in honor of William "Bill" S. and Joyce M. Cummings, founders of Cummings Foundation, after a $50 million commitment to the school in 2005. Bill graduated from Tufts University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
Located in North Grafton, Massachusetts, the Cummings School offers a four-year curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The School also offers MS degrees in Animals and Public Policy and in Conservation Medicine, a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, as well as combined DVM/MS degree programs in Comparative Biomedical Studies and Laboratory Animal Medicine. The DVM/MPH degree program is conducted in collaboration with the Tufts University School of Medicine, as well as the DVM/MS program with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the DVM/MS in Applied Biotechnology with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the DVM/PhD with Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, and the DVM/PhD with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Established in 1978, the Cummings School is under the supervision of a dean, appointed by the president and the provost, with the approval of the Trustees of Tufts College (the university's governing board). The dean is responsible for all aspects of the school's operations, including medical education, admissions, faculty appointments, clinical relationships, and various affiliated research centers and institutes.
Appointed July 2019, Alastair E. Cribb is the current dean of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine as well as the Henry and Lois Foster Professor of Biomedical Sciences.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine was one of several partners that provided resources to establish University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), a private not-for-profit university in Rwanda, Africa. The university utilizes the One Health model to create a global forum for delivery-focused teaching, research, clinical care, and implementation. Other affiliates of UGHE include Partners In Health, Cummings Foundation, Harvard Medical School, and the Government of Rwanda.
Dr. Janetrix Hellen Amuguni, a faculty member at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, played a leading role in incorporating the One Health model into UGHE's curriculum.