Animal Doctor Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Veterinarian programs teach students to diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and other medical problems in animals. There are 30 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited colleges in the U.S. offering Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees.

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Students interested in becoming animal doctors (veterinarians) must obtain a DVM from an accredited veterinary school at a 4-year college or university. There are about 30 schools in the United States that provide the necessary training.

Top Veterinary Medicine Schools

These schools offer DVM programs that can prepare students to become animal doctors:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (In-state, 2016-2017)*
University of California - Davis Davis, CA 4-year, Public $31,324
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private $16,866
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 4-year, Public $57,766
North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 4-year, Public $18,516
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public $31,148
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public $22,762
Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX 4-year, Public $22,224
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private $51,384
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN 4-year, Public $31,420
Tufts University Medford, MA 4-year, Private $47,010

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, *school websites

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Large Animal and Equine Medicine
  • Veterinary Anatomy
  • Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Veterinary Infectious Diseases
  • Veterinary Medicine - DVM
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
  • Veterinary Pathology
  • Veterinary Physiology
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine and Public Health
  • Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology

School Selection Criteria

When choosing a veterinary medicine program, students may want to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Students interested in a research career in the field of animal health might consider enrolling in a joint DVM/MS program or DVM/PhD program, the latter suiting students who wish to become professors of the veterinary sciences.
  • A joint DVM/MBA program may benefit students interested in the business end of the field; this program focuses on market forces, supply, demand, and successful business practices in the veterinary world.
  • Students should try to find schools that provide hands-on experience or research opportunities for prospective veterinarians in such areas as surgery, radiology and animal behavior.
  • Students should look for schools that offer extracurricular activities, such as field trips, lab experiments, and clinical seminars.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Available at all AVMA-accredited veterinary schools, the DVM degree qualifies graduates to sit for state and national exams in order to practice medicine as an animal doctor. Students undergo clerkships in addition to coursework. DVM degrees in combination with other graduate degree programs, such as the MS or the PhD, usually include thesis or dissertation work.

Master's Degrees in Veterinary Medicine

Many schools are now offering joint DVM and master's degree programs, such as the MS, MPH or MBA. These programs are completed directly alongside the DVM and typically require only an extra semester or extra year of study, including summers. Students complete a master's project or thesis.

PhD Degrees in Veterinary Medicine

Offered in combination with a DVM, PhD degrees are popular within the nation's veterinary colleges. These 7-year programs emphasize research in academia and the professional world. A research-based dissertation is completed over the course of the final three years of the program.

Aspiring veterinarians can choose between different DVM programs based on their academic interests and specific career goals.

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