Zoo Veterinarian Colleges
Learn what it takes to become a veterinarian, and get info on finding a vet school, applying, and earning your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). Check the licensure requirements for veterinarians. Read about your options for specializing your training in zoological medicine, such as internships and residencies. Find out how you can become certified as a zoo veterinarian.
Become acquainted with the field of veterinary medicine with the information we've provided below. Interested students will need to work towards a doctoral degree, in addition to rigorous testing.
How Can I Find a Zoo Veterinarian College?
Training to become a zoo veterinarian requires attending veterinary school and becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) maintains an online directory of 28 accredited colleges throughout the U.S. Attending veterinary school is similar to attending medical school, requiring rigorous studies in medicine and hands-on experiences working with animals.
What Are the Admission Requirements?
While a D.V.M. is a graduate degree, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a number of veterinary schools don't require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree to gain admission. However, the BLS also states that those without a bachelor's degree must complete at least 45-90 credits of undergraduate work. Because competition for admission can be stiff, you'd be well advised to complete an undergraduate degree. Your curriculum should emphasize math, science and pre-veterinary courses, such as chemistry, biology and zoology.
Depending on the veterinary school you apply to, you'll be required to sit for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Often, you'll need to submit proof of a specified amount of work experience as well as letters of recommendation.
What Schools Offer a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine?
Students can study veterinary medicine at about 30 institutions across the country. U.S. News & World Report ranked the following three schools in the top 20 in 2015:
- Colorado State University offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program
- Ohio State University offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program
- Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program
What Can I Expect From a Program?
D.V.M. programs take four years to complete. Subjects typically covered include molecular and cellular biology, basic and veterinary medical science, clinical skills and sciences, zoo animal and wildlife health, veterinary issues, food safety, surgery and pathology. Programs consist of a combination of didactic, laboratory and clinical components. You may be given the option to write a thesis, based on original research.
Extensive and varied clinical rotations, which can give you a chance to concentrate on zoo animal medicine, usually take place during the fourth year of veterinary school. Because of these and other extensive hands-on requirements, there aren't any online veterinary medicine programs available.
When Can I Start to Practice?
Once you've completed veterinary school, you might have the option of completing a 1-year internship before sitting for your licensure examination. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require veterinarians to be licensed. Qualifications vary, but all states require passage of the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.
You also might want to seek voluntary certification. To become certified as a diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine (ACZM), you must graduate from an AVMA-accredited veterinary school and earn your license to practice veterinary medicine. You also must meet training and work experience requirements, which could include ACZM-approved internships and residency programs. Additionally, you must produce five professional papers in the field of zoological medicine and pass a certification exam.
Veterinary medicine is a field of study that requires a doctoral degree. Post-graduation, you might consider an internship before acquiring state licensure in order to practice.