How to Choose a Veterinary School
When choosing a program, students may want to consider their career goals. A veterinary technician 2-year program trains students to work in offices and hospitals as vet technicians, while graduates from a 4-year program have additional training in diagnostics and veterinary care and are called veterinary technologists. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree qualifies an individual to become a licensed veterinarian.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a veterinary program:
- Career Goals- Choose a school that provides the 2-year associate's, 4-year bachelor's or the 4-year postgraduate (DVM) program.
- Specialty Training- Students seeking to become veterinarians may want to consider DVM programs that include residency training in one of the 20 specialties recognized by the AVMA (including surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, nutrition, dermatology, radiology and preventive medicine).
- Accreditation- Graduation from an accredited program is required to take the licensure exam to become a veterinarian or the certification exam for vet techs; look for schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education.
- School Location- Only 30 schools offer a degree in veterinary medicine, so relocation may be necessary for many students. There are also 191 accredited veterinary technology programs in the U.S., including nine distance learning programs.
Veterinary Program Overviews
Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
Students receive training in the areas of animal care and animal nursing, and they learn to identify and understand the bond between humans and animals. Coursework includes both classroom and clinical training and explores topics such as:
- Anatomy and physiology
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology
Students examine the biological processes of animals and learn basic animal care. They also are required to complete clinical rotations or work experiences in an animal hospital or clinic. The program investigates:
- Diagnostic instrumentation
- Animal diseases
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
To be accepted into a DVM program, a student must have documented experience working with animals, as well as a minimum of 60 college-level credit hours. The program includes coursework and clinical experiences. Toward the end of the program, students complete clinical rotations in different areas of veterinary medicine. Students in a DVM program are required to take courses such as:
- Animal pharmacology
- Animal pathology
- Diagnostic radiology
- Equine care
Top 10 Veterinary Medicine Schools
|University of California--Davis||4-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 University||4-year, Private|