Animal Doctor Courses and Degrees

Veterinary medicine education programs teach the science and hands-on skills necessary for treating injured and diseased animals. Learn about degree requirements, areas of specialization and course topics. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You will need a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree to become an animal doctor. Usually you will need a bachelor's degree in a related field before you can enter a veterinary medicine program. Your coursework will mostly be scientific, including classes in zoology, anatomy and physiology.

Degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Courses Animal anatomy, disease diagnosis and treatment
Online Seminars and continuing education units available

What Degree Should I Earn to Become an Animal Doctor?

To become an animal doctor, or veterinarian, as it is more commonly known, you'll need to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. This usually requires spending about four years at the undergraduate level majoring in pre-veterinary studies or one of the sciences, such as biology, and another four years in veterinary college. Following your four years in veterinary college, you can opt to complete a 1-2 year internship and 3-4 years of residency training in a specialty area. You can specialize in areas such as farm animals, pets and specific types of animal diseases.

There are many programs in veterinarian medicine offered, and below is a sample list of schools you could attend for a DVM degree.

• Texas A&M University (Bryan, Texas) One of the oldest programs in the US, Texas A&M's program is a traditional four-year post-graduate degree.

• Fairleigh-Dickinson University (Madison, New Jersey) This program is an accelerated, seven-year program that combines a BS in biology from Fairleigh-Dickinson and a DVM from Ross University, in St. Kitts.

• Penn State (University Park, Pennsylvania) A traditional four-year pre-vet program for students wanting to attend a post-graduate veterinary program.

• Colorado State University (Ft. Collins, Colorado) One of the top-ranked programs in the country, CSU offers both pre-vet undergraduate options and post-graduate DVM program.

• Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (Blacksburg, Virginia) A unique program offered through Virginia Tech and Maryland University, students follow a traditional four-year post-graduate program.

While it is not absolutely necessary to earn a bachelor's degree, you will need to obtain a significant number of relevant postsecondary credits prior to enrolling in veterinary college. In some cases, students may complete an undergraduate program that allows them to transfer directly into a DVM program in the same university for a reduced-curriculum option through combined coursework.

What Courses Will I Take?

The classes you'll take depend on a number of things, including whether the program is offered on campus or online, and the degree level of the program you enroll in. At the undergraduate level, you might take biology, animal science, anatomy, physiology, calculus, physics, chemistry and nutrition. In veterinary college, you'll study animal health, disease, genetics, cell biology, neuroanatomy and neurology. You might also complete clinical rotations in areas such as small and large animal medicine, pathology, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, imaging and ambulatory medicine.

The topics you may study in online seminars may include surgery, medicine, nutrition, reproduction, herd health and neonatology. In online continuing education programs, you might study physiology, poisonous plants, animal behavior, pathophysiology and postgraduate medicine. You may also learn how to deal with clients.

What Online Options Do I Have?

While it is not possible to complete all of your veterinary training online, you do have the option of completing seminars and obtaining continuing education units. Online seminars in veterinary medicine are open to beginners, those with advanced experience and licensed veterinarians. Continuing education programs may be available to veterinarians, residents-in-training, veterinary technicians, specialists and internists. Some continuing education programs are open to licensed veterinarians only.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Champaign
  • Tuskegee University

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Tuskegee
  • Tufts University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Medford
  • North Carolina State University at Raleigh

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Raleigh
  • Auburn University

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Auburn University
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Western University of Health Sciences

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Pomona
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia