Caribbean Vet Schools: What You Need to Know

July 9, 2024


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/12/23

If you’re considering completing vet school abroad, read on to learn more about vet schools in the Caribbean.

With 33 accredited vet schools in the states, there are various options for aspiring veterinarians that are close to home. However, students also have the option to study across the globe in places like the Caribbean, a popular location for students to complete their DVM.

At Caribbean vet schools, students can expect to have a completely unique experience, one that involves working with exotic animals that US-based vet students could only dream of working with!

Whether you already have your heart set on moving to the Caribbean and just want to figure out the best vet school to attend, or you’re still unsure if the Caribbean is the right fit for you, this guide has got you covered! We’ll go over the top Caribbean vet schools and discuss all the advantages of attending one!

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List of Accredited Caribbean Vet Schools

There are currently only two AVMA accredited vet schools in the Caribbean:

Ross University

The first, and most popular, choice for aspiring vet students is Ross University. This university is located in St. Kitts. Students interested in applying to this school should aim to have a GPA around 3.2, a GRE score of around 300, and over 150 hours of veterinary professional experience and research.

Ross University offers its students substantial clinical experience with over 28 affiliated clinics in five countries, including the United States, meaning you can have the best of both worlds!

The cost to attend this vet school for the full 3.25-year DVM program is $240,440. This program is also shorter than the majority of DVM degrees, which typically take four years to complete. This means you can enter the field earlier than everyone else with less competition and start treating animals as soon as possible! 

Another advantage to joining Ross University is that they have flexible start dates! Students may begin their DVM in January, May, or September, depending on which month is most convenient for them. 

St. George’s University

The other AVMA-accredited Caribbean vet school is St. George’s University. St George’s is one of the few vet schools in the world that is also accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). 

This school is located in Grenada and offers its students a unique, innovative, and international approach to veterinary medicine. Part of their curriculum involves 48 weeks of clinical experience at their AVMA-affiliated veterinary medical schools in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. 

The average GPA of accepted students is 3.2, and the average GRE score is 304, but St. George’s University no longer requires this exam as part of its admission process. While this vet school has no minimum hours of experience required by its prospective students, it recommends students obtain as much diverse experience as possible.

Applicants with experience working with exotic or lab animals and those with research experience will be considered stronger applicants.

Tuition to complete a four-year DVM at this school is $228,225. 

Unaccredited Caribbean Vet Schools

While most employers prefer accredited vet schools, and these schools have more affiliated vet colleges across the globe to provide you with exceptional and comprehensive training, the Caribbean has one unaccredited vet school that students may consider attending. 

Despite being unaccredited, this school is highly regarded and considered to uphold most of the same standards as the other accredited vet schools in the Caribbean and US. This university was also previously accredited, meaning it has a history of academic excellence!

St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine 

St. Matthew’s, located in the Cayman Islands, provides students with a curriculum taught by expert faculty with various qualifications in their fields. The university combines campus teaching with clinical experience at its state-of-the-art facilities. 

Students hoping to complete their clinical education in the United States instead have the option to do so. They must complete 28 months of their Basic Science curriculum at St. Matthew’s and can then travel back to the US to complete their clinical training. 

This option allows students to finish vet school in just over three years, letting students begin practicing veterinary medicine quickly! 

Aside from the distinguished curriculum, this school is located in a picturesque region in close proximity to some of the most vibrant coral reef systems in the world! After class, students can scuba dive and snorkel in these tropical seas to behold the beauty of these reefs first-hand!

As the cheapest school on this list, the cost to complete this DVM program at St. Matthew’s University is $174,875, which is comparatively less expensive than the other Caribbean schools on this list and the majority of US schools, which cost $200,492 on average.

Why Should You Attend a Caribbean Vet School?

Considering the US already has several options for you to choose from, you may be wondering why you should attend a Caribbean vet school over a US one. You might also be asking yourself, “are Caribbean vet schools good?”

The simple answer is yes! Caribbean vet schools are excellent, and since the majority of them are accredited, it means you’ll be receiving a similar education to the one you’d receive if you attended an accredited US school.

To further prove the excellence of these schools, here are five reasons why you should attend a Caribbean vet school:

They’re Less Competitive

If you’ve done your research on vet schools in the Caribbean, you may have come across several myths about the legitimacy of their programs and how easy they are to get accepted into. For instance, there is a common misunderstanding that Caribbean vet schools accept everyone.

While one advantage to these programs is that they are less competitive than US programs, it’s important to note they are still highly competitive! 

Each program only has a limited number of spots to fill up out of a global pool! 

They’re Potentially Less Expensive

The figures presented in this guide may seem intimidating at first glance, but these schools fall within the same price range, or slightly under, most US vet schools; you could save some money by attending vet school across the globe. 

These Caribbean veterinary schools often provide extensive scholarships and grants to their students, which further decrease tuition costs. 

You Can Still Gain Experience in the States as a Caribbean Vet Student

All of the vet schools listed in this guide allow students to complete their clinical rotations in the US so students can reap the benefits of both countries’ vet programs. This is perfect for students interested in practicing in the US.

This can also help differentiate your resume, as you’ll have experience working with animals in more than one country!

They Have High NAVLE Pass Rates

The three mentioned Caribbean schools also have high NAVLE pass rates. This serves as a good indicator that they provide high-quality education to their students in preparation for prosperous careers!

They Offer Unique Opportunities

Studying in the Caribbeans allows you to engage with exotic animals like whales, sharks, iguanas, toucans, stingrays, monkeys, and many others that you would have a limited opportunity to work with in the US. 

You’ll also get to sightsee everyday! The Caribbean is home to white sand beaches, tropical weather, and beautiful scenery. With so much to explore, you’ll always have something to do in your free time, and can even cross off bucket-list activities like snorkeling with turtles!

They Take Less Time to Complete

The DVM programs at Ross University and St. Matthews’ only takes a little over three years to complete, which is a great option for eager students! In comparison, the majority of US programs take four full years to complete.

They’re Accredited

Two of the three vet schools mentioned on this guide are accredited by AVMA, meaning they meet the most rigorous academic standards. This accreditation ensures students receive veterinary education that will prepare them for all entry-level positions. 

With this, we debunk another common myth about Caribbean vet schools, that students will compromise their education by attending these schools because they offer less extensive curriculums.

All schools, regardless of their location, are held by the same AVMA standards when being assessed for accreditation. So, students in the US and Caribbean can expect similar curriculums and educational outcomes!

FAQs: Vet Schools in Caribbean

We’ve gone over the three Caribbean vet schools you could attend if you decide to venture overseas to complete your DVM and the advantages of attending these schools. For any remaining questions, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about vet schools in the Caribbean.  

1. Are Caribbean Vet Schools Good?

Yes, Caribbean vet schools are excellent options for students interested in working with exotic animals in particular, as you will gain hands-on clinical experience with various small and large exotic animals during your DVM. Students interested in zoology or marine veterinary medicine find these programs to be the most useful. 

These schools are also known for their academic rigor and teach students the theories necessary to practice veterinarian medicine to the highest standards. 

2. What is the Best Caribbean Vet School?

The best Caribbean vet school is Ross University.

3. How Much Does Vet School Cost in the Caribbean?

The cost of vet school in the Caribbean varies. Ross University’s DVM program costs $240,440, St. George’s University costs $228,225., and St. Matthew’s costs $174,875.

4. How Many Vet Schools Are There in the Caribbean?

There are three Caribbean vet schools, two are AVMA accredited and one was AVMA accredited in the past. 

5. How Hard Is It To Get Into Vet School in the Caribbean? 

Vet schools in the Caribbean are typically regarded as less competitive. With average GPAs around 3.2, their admission requirements are seemingly much lower than top-ranking US vet schools.

However, getting into these schools is still challenging, largely because of the sheer volume of students that apply every year. You aren’t simply competing with other US applicants, but those from the Caribbean and around the world. 

Your scores alone won’t help you land a spot, so you must stand out as a candidate another way, like through relevant work or volunteer experience. Consider gaining experience working with large or exotic animals to seem more prepared to treat the local animal-life in the Caribbean.

6. Should I Go to an Accredited Caribbean Vet School?

Accreditations are important because they ensure the safety of students, faculty, and animals being treated is of the utmost priority. These schools are also recognized around the world and have reputable profiles. These factors make it easier for students to find jobs and gain licensure once they complete their DVM. 

As such, it’s best to attend an accredited vet school to have the most opportunity and receive quality education!

Final Thoughts

If you know a career in veterinary medicine is the perfect fit for you, don’t limit yourself to completing your education in the US. With several Caribbean vet schools to choose from, the world is your oyster! 

These schools can offer you a unique and unforgettable educational experience and give you hands-on experience working with a diverse range of animals!

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