What Are the Education Requirements to Be a Veterinarian?

To become a veterinarian, you need to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and obtain a professional license in your state. Keep reading to learn more. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Required Education

To become a veterinarian, you'll need to complete several years of education and training. You'll need to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and obtain a license. Many DVM graduates also choose to continue their training through internships and residency programs.

Important Facts About Education for Veterinarians

Prerequisites High school diploma (for undergraduate degrees)
Online Availability Undergraduate only
Continuing Education Courses are available for professionals seeking training in specific areas
Possible Careers Laboratory animal caretaker, animal care & service worker, zoologist

Undergraduate Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree can improve your chances of gaining admittance to veterinary college; however, some veterinary schools admit applicants who have a certain number of undergraduate credits, rather than a bachelor's degree. Commonly required courses include animal biology, microbiology, animal nutrition, zoology, and systemic physiology. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges provides a useful table that allows students to check the requirements for individual colleges (www.aavmc.org).

Veterinary College Admission

Entrance into veterinary college is highly competitive. In addition to high grades and letters of recommendation, prior experience working with veterinarians or scientists could give you an advantage over other applicants. Depending on the school, you must also gain an acceptable score on the Medical College Admission Test, Veterinary College Admission Test, or Graduate Record Examination.

Doctorate Degree

Earning your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree typically takes four years of study after undergraduate school. Coursework is divided between classroom lectures, laboratory sessions, and clinical studies. You can expect to take courses like infectious diseases, immunology, pharmacology, and parasitology. In the final year, you'll spend most of your time completing clinical rotations in various specialties of veterinary medicine.

Licensing and Postgraduate Training

After earning a DVM degree, you'll need to obtain a license by passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Other licensing requirements are determined by individual states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), many graduates also choose to complete a one-year internship after earning their license to gain experience in the field. If you're interested in practicing in a specialty of veterinarian medicine, you may consider completing a 3-year or 4-year residency program to become board-certified.

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

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • South College

    South College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at South College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Asheville
  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Anjou, Burnaby, Edmonton, Laval, Longueuil, Montreal, Point Claire, Richmond, Surrey, Winnipeg
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Abilene Christian University

    Abilene Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Abilene Christian University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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