You’ve finally made it through your undergraduate courses, and you’ve got your sights set on vet school. You’ve been dreaming of this moment for a while. You’ve completed the first steps to pursue your dream. Now you need to decide which vet school you want to apply to.
Even though there are fewer vet schools than medical schools in the U.S., you still have many options. Having so many choices might be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure of what you want to gain from vet school.
You want to give yourself the best chance of success, and what better way to do that than to attend one of the best vet schools in the U.S.! But which vet schools are the best? Does it truly matter? Are these schools the best fit for me? You may be stressed about the options, and that’s why we’ve devised the perfect guide to the best vet school programs to help you narrow down your choices.
These are the top 20 best vet schools in the United States. Each school has plenty of options for future students. Some of these schools even offer pathways you haven’t thought about yet.
With more than $70 million in annual research funding, UC Davis reigns as one of the top vet schools in the country. This school provides a strenuous education and provides the most residency options for its students.
Cornell University strives to create the next generation of successful veterinarians. They offer a rigorous program as well as internship opportunities for their prospective students.
Colorado State University provides an informative veterinary medicine education while also providing programs in which students can receive dual degrees, like their D.V.M and M.B.A combined program.
North Carolina State University unites innovative medical care with a love for animals. They strive to shape their students into caring and efficient veterinarians.
Texas A&M University provides three years of intense education and laboratory experience. It uses the final year of the program for clinicals so students can earn real-life experience working with animals.
The University of Pennsylvania stands as the only vet school to originate within a medical school. They excel in areas like germ cell biology and comparative medical genetics.
The University of Wisconsin provides a teaching hospital on campus to give prospective students experience in the field of veterinary medicine. They also offer dual programs.
The University of Florida has a diverse vet program that offers a variety of options to prospective students. Aspiring vets can choose to specialize in small or large animals.
Accumulating an astounding 7,500 living alumni, the University of Georgia remains as an impressive veterinary school.
The University of Minnesota has produced 4,000 veterinarians. They also provide unique additions to the program, such as dairy, swine, and avian medicine.
The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University serves as the only veterinary school in New England. The school offers their One Health programs that focus on initiatives like wildlife conservation.
Purdue University has produced 3,000 veterinarians, but they don’t just offer students seeking a D.V.M. They also offer a veterinary nursing program.
Standing as the seventh-oldest vet school, Auburn University has produced around 7,000 veterinarians and 550 specialists.
Iowa State University offers five different departments in which students can earn their D.V.M. Some of these departments include Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Pathology.
Washington State University boasts its accreditation from 4 accrediting agencies. This university is also ranked highly for its extramural research support.
Founded in 1855, Michigan State University provides an invigorating four-year vet program composed of various departments. These departments range from pathobiology and toxicology. They also have a veterinary nurse program.
Virginia Tech – University of Maryland provides an in-depth veterinary program that blends medical and scientific knowledge with clinical experience. Students perform several clinical rotations throughout the program to get plenty of hands-on experience. This university also gives different tracks for students to pursue, such as the equine track and even a mixed-species track.
NOTE: These tuition costs are based on a 12-credit semester.
Kansas State University prides themselves on their dedication to the welfare of animals. They provide various track opportunities for prospective students, like their Exotic Animals track.
The University of Missouri blends veterinary medicine education with two years of hands-on experience. Students learn a broad range of studies, like oncology and dentistry, to determine their specialty.
As you can see, the top 20 vet schools in the United States vary in tuition costs and the tracks they offer. This gives you plenty of options to choose from when you’re ready to apply. But if you’re feeling a little adventurous, there are vet schools outside of the U.S. as well.
Below you’ll find the top 5 best vet schools outside of the United States. If you decide to apply to these vet schools, make sure you check that you meet the prerequisites as they might differ from the U.S. prerequisites.
The Royal Veterinary College remains one of the largest vet schools in the world. The university provides a variety of programs in veterinary medicine as well as veterinary nursing.
Based in Canada, The University of Guelph provides a vigorous veterinary medicine program that branches off into three different pathways: Clinical Studies, Pathobiology, and Population Medicine.
Based in the Netherlands, Utrecht University stands as the only vet school in the Netherlands. This university provides a challenging vet program with clinicals as well as research placement options.
Founded in 1862, the University of Glasgow offers a competent vet program that molds successful veterinarians.
The University of Cambridge offers an intimate learning experience for prospective students. Their small class size provides a more personal vet program.
Vet schools outside of the U.S. provide similar learning experiences for prospective students as those inside the U.S. Though these options are more expensive than schools in the United States, you don’t have to give up hope if you find that you are struggling to get into mixed-species U.S. vet schools.
As with any graduate degree, aspiring students must meet certain requirements before applying to the vet school of their choice. These requirements vary from school to school, but you can find a more in-depth guide to these requirements here.
Typically, it takes about eight years to become a vet. The timeline varies from student to student, whether you decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree before applying to vet school or if you decide to take a year off from your studies before vet school. A degree of veterinary medicine requires extensive knowledge and training, so understand that this pathway demands commitment.
If you’re interested in pursuing a zoo medicine specialty, you have plenty of schools to choose from. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a zoological medicine program where students can work with various animals from reptiles to tarantulas. Kansas State University provides a zoo medicine program where students assist routine as well as emergency care for the animals at the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan.
If you’re interested in this pathway, you can find a list of other vet schools that offer this program here.
Large animal vets are in high demand since there are a variety of large animal species to handle, and it seems to be the least popular choice.
Large animal vets often spend more time traveling than your ordinary local veterinarian. Don’t let this discourage you from pursuing this career. Large animal vets have the perk of treating more than dogs and cats. You can treat swine, cattle, even horses!
Since large animal vets are a commodity, nearly all of the schools we previously listed provide a large animal vet pathway. UC Davis and Cornell offer the top programs for prospective students, but the University of Georgia also offers this program.
Equine vets provide care to horses that serve as pets as well as horses who compete in races or shows. Average equine vets earn between $42,000 and $87,000 annually, while private practice equine vets can earn up to $114,000 annually. If you’re interested in pursuing the equine vet pathway, you can find these programs at UC Davis, Cornell, as well as many others.
We all know that schools like Harvard and Yale provide clout, and while earning a DVM from UC Davis or Cornell might catch the eye of employers, most people are impressed by your scores, not where you earned your degree.
You can always strive to apply to the top schools, but if you can’t get in don’t let this discourage you from pursuing a DVM from another school. Employers want to know that you have the medical knowledge and that you can provide the best care for the patients. And the best way to showcase your knowledge is by earning good grades in your classes and scoring high on the NAVLE.
You could certainly apply to only one vet school, but you severely limit your chances of acceptance. We recommend narrowing down the list to a few schools that suit your needs and applying to 3 or 4 of those schools to give yourself the best chance of acceptance into vet school.
Becoming a veterinarian proves to be an exciting but challenging journey. You get the opportunity to turn your passion into a career alongside some of the brightest students. Though there are fewer vet schools than medical schools, you still have many options to investigate.
No matter what pathway you decide to follow, you’ll be able to find a vet school that suits your needs.
Whether you want to attend school in the U.S. or elsewhere, you have plenty of schools to choose from. We hope this guide helps you narrow down your options to make the selection process a little easier.