Equine Veterinarian Schools and Colleges in the United States

Jan 02, 2019

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 30 D.V.M. programs in the country.

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There are many veterinary schools in the United States that can prepare students to become equine veterinarians. Prospective students should look for D.V.M. programs that offer specializations in equine medicine and opportunities for hands-on work with horses.

Top 10 Veterinary Schools

The following veterinary schools can prepare students to become equine veterinarians:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (In-state, 2016-17)*
University of California - Davis Davis, CA 4-year, Public $31,324
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private $33,732
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 4-year, Public $57,766 (non-sponsored)
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

Source: *School websites

School Selection Criteria

Here are some considerations for students who are choosing between veterinary schools:

  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

Aspiring equine veterinarians can get relevant training at schools that have strong programs in clinical horse care.

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