Equine Veterinarian Schools and Colleges in the United States

Those who want to pursue a medical career working with horses must enroll in a veterinary school and earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). Once enrolled in the program, students can specialize in equine medicine. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits 29 D.V.M. programs in the country.

How to Choose an Equine Veterinarian School

Veterinarian schools require varied prerequisites for those seeking entrance. Students should judge each school's admissions policy and requirements. Some schools require an undergraduate degree, while others allow in students with suitable undergraduate coursework and/or work experience in the field. Required courses for veterinarian candidates include animal nutrition, biochemistry, biology, calculus, chemistry, organic chemistry, English, genetics, social science, microbiology, physics and statistics.

Additional considerations when choosing a program are:

  • Students who wish to specialize in horses should look for a school with residency options in equine medicine, equine surgery and equine theriogenology.
  • Schools in areas with large horse populations may be more attractive to those pursuing an equine specialization in veterinary medicine.
  • Ask about the student-to-faculty ratio as well as student pass rates and job placement rates.

Program Overviews

Pre-Veterinary Programs

As there is no 'pre-vet' bachelor's degree, many undergraduate schools offer a two- to three-year track that fulfills the prerequisites for admission to a veterinary medicine school. Tracks like these don't award a degree in 'pre-veterinary science', but can be incorporated into another major such as biology, chemistry, zoology, animal science or biochemistry. Required coursework includes:

  • Biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • General chemistry
  • Physics

Master's Degree Programs

Students can expect course work, research and possibly a thesis paper in an equine science master's degree program. This 2-year program focuses on the particular specialization chosen, such as equine physiology, industry management or equine education. Courses in programs like these can include:

  • Genetics of domestic livestock
  • Advanced equine nutrition
  • Equine industry issues
  • Equine reproductive physiology
  • Equine facility management

D.V.M. and D.V.M.-Ph.D. Programs

Veterinarians will need to complete their D.V.M. in order to practice medicine on animals. D.V.M. programs typically include two to three years of lectures, labs and research, and then residencies diagnosing and treating animals alongside instructors. Total time required is approximately four years.

A combined degree of D.V.M.-Ph.D. includes the requirements for passing the veterinary board exams in addition to biomedical research skills, which students use to conduct research for a doctoral dissertation. Degrees chosen relate to the desired career paths of veterinary doctors and scientists. Curriculum for the D.V.M. includes:

  • Veterinary bacteriology and mycology
  • Veterinary cell biology
  • Veterinary ethics and jurisprudence
  • Physical diagnosis
  • Veterinary anatomy and embryology

Top 10 Veterinary Schools

College/UniversityInstitution Type
University of California - Davis4-year, Public
Cornell University 4-year, Private
Colorado State University 4-year, Public
North Carolina State University 4-year, Public
Ohio State University 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, Public
Texas A&M University - College Station 4-year, Public
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 4-year, Public
Tufts University4-year, Private

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