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Why This Matters


    The employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 19% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Driving this trend are increases in consumers’ pet-related spending and advancements in veterinary medicine.


    A degree in veterinary medicine can prepare you for varied work, including in clinical practice, biomedical research, diagnostic laboratories, education, public health, regulatory medicine, and other opportunities.


    While entry-level positions like veterinary technologists earn a median annual wage of $36,850, earning a doctoral degree to become a veterinarian can elevate your median annual wage to $100,370.

Our Research

This list features some of the best veterinary degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a reputable organizations that assesses veterinary programs for educational excellence and a commitment to quality education.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of veterinary degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 47 Veterinary Degree Programs

Best Veterinary Degree Programs 2023 Badge
Intelligent Pick
UMass Amherst
Best for Study Abroad
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Best Student Support Services
University of Arizona
Best Electives
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences
Best Fieldwork Experience
Clemson University
Most Affordable
Northwest Missouri State University
Best Public Research School
University of Nebraska Lincoln School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Best in the Midwest
K-State College of Veterinary Medicine
Best Graduate Options
MSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Best Accelerated Program
Lincoln Memorial University

Morehead State University

Auburn University

University of Nevada at Reno

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What You Should Know About This Degree

There is a broad range of careers in veterinary medicine available to people of all educational levels, such as laboratory animal caretakers, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technologists; however, to practice as a veterinarian, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from an AVMA-accredited program as well as a state-issued license is required. After earning a bachelor’s degree, prospective veterinarians should expect to devote four additional years to higher education, including one year of hands-on, supervised clinical practicum. Graduates of AVMA-accredited programs must then pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) to become licensed to practice in the field. Additional state-specific exams may also be required.

Although doctoral students come from various backgrounds, earning an undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine can provide the foundation necessary to apply to veterinary schools, such as prerequisites in math and science. An undergraduate degree may also be required for entry-level positions in veterinary medicine, such as veterinary technologists and technicians, that offer valuable exposure to working with animals. When pursuing an undergraduate degree, be sure to attend a regionally accredited institution, because credits and degrees from regionally accredited schools are typically more easily transferable to other institutions and are generally required for professional credentials.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching veterinary degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Many veterinary degree programs accept students from all educational backgrounds; however, doctoral programs in veterinary medicine require students to have successfully completed extensive coursework in math and science. Additionally, prospective graduate students are typically required to submit standardized test scores. Before applying to the program, check the program’s admissions requirements to confirm that you meet their qualifications.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree? How long it takes to complete a degree in veterinary medicine depends on several factors, such as degree level and program. Typically, full-time students can earn an associate’s degree in two years. A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete, while veterinary school requires four additional years of study.

Application procedures vary by school and program. As you research programs, you should take note of eligibility requirements and application deadlines for each program. You should also keep track of what materials you’ll need to submit with your application. You can visit the school’s website to find information about the application process, or contact the school’s admissions department for additional information.

Financing your education is another important issue to consider. Tuition and fees vary by program. Conventional funding opportunities include federal financial aid, scholarships, loans, and grants. You may also qualify for educational assistance through your employer if you’re currently employed.

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