Top Veterinary Schools



If your greatest career inspiration is Dr. Dolittle, then earning a degree with a major in veterinary medicine may be the perfect opportunity to further support your compassion for ensuring animal health and wellness. With a major in veterinary medicine, you will explore all the scientific concepts that teach you the anatomy, physiology, life cycles, and health functions of animals across species. While your love for animals is essential when choosing to earn a veterinary degree, it is important to note that this alone is not enough to succeed in this rigorous program.

Since there are only 28 veterinary schools in the United States that have been accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Council on Education (COE), competition for admissions is extremely fierce. In order to have the best hopes for gaining acceptance, it is recommended that students fulfill all prerequisites in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, calculus, and health sciences. Graduates with a degree in veterinary medicine will enjoy promising career prospects due to a wider range of veterinary options and a growing worldwide emphasis on pet care.

Bachelor’s Degree with Pre-Veterinary Concentration

The top veterinary schools will often provide professional pre-veterinary studies programs at the undergraduate level that lead towards acceptance into a graduate program, rather than toward a culminating bachelor’s degree. However, most students pursuing veterinary medicine will need to choose another closely related major, such as biology or animal sciences, to receive a bachelor’s degree. Aspiring veterinarians can gain a broad-based general science foundation that will fulfill all of the prerequisites that are needed to enter veterinary school in four years. Courses usually taken at the bachelor’s degree level include:

  • Animal Science
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Calculus

Although students with only a bachelor’s degree are not qualified for becoming veterinarians, there are entry-level positions that are available to gain experience working with animals. For instance, popular employment options are:

  • Animal Caretaker
  • Environmental Technologist
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Wildlife Technician
  • Biological/Wildlife Biologist
  • Zookeeper
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

As the only program that will qualify individuals for working as licensed veterinarians in the United States, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program requires the completion of at least four years of full-time graduate studies on various animal health functions. Applicants for the best veterinary schools will need to have animal health science experience, possess good scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and have prerequisite knowledge in biology. Along with laboratory courses and extensive clinical rotations in veterinary hospitals to obtain practical hands-on experience, the curriculum includes:

  • Pharmacology
  • Systemic Pathology
  • Gross Animal Anatomy
  • Large Animal Surgery
  • Animal Behavior
  • Small Animal Medicine
  • Physical Diagnosis/Assessment
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Preventive and Production Medicine

After finishing the degree requirements needed to obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), all aspiring veterinarians must meet the specific licensing requirements of their practicing state and successfully pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. Within this advanced degree for veterinary medicine, students can pursue possible careers in the role of:

  • Veterinary Practitioner
  • Biomedical Research Scientist
  • Veterinary Medicine Researcher
  • Professor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Animal Nutritionist
  • Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

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Top Veterinary Schools According to US News and World Report

Rank

1

Total 12043 Enrollment

Cornell University

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

2

Total 26094 Enrollment

University of California - Davis

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

3

Total 26807 Enrollment

Colorado State University

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

4

Total 28619 Enrollment

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

5

Total 47952 Enrollment

Ohio State University - Main Campus

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

6

Total 21853 Enrollment

University of Pennsylvania

Institute Type

4-year private, not-for-profit

Rank

7

Total 40658 Enrollment

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

8

Total 44026 Enrollment

Texas A & M University

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

9

Total 43366 Enrollment

Michigan State University

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

10

Total 31288 Enrollment

University of Georgia

Institute Type

4-year public

View All Schools Offering Veterinary Programs

Title City State Type Enrollment Total
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus OH 4-year public 47952
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis MN 4-year public 45481
University of Florida Gainesville FL 4-year public 45114
Texas A & M University College Station TX 4-year public 44026
Michigan State University East Lansing MI 4-year public 43366
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison WI 4-year public 40658
Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette IN 4-year public 39667
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign IL 4-year public 38465
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge LA 4-year public 31527
University of Georgia Athens GA 4-year public 31288
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh NC 4-year public 28619
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA 4-year public 27869
Iowa State University Ames IA 4-year public 26845
Colorado State University Fort Collins CO 4-year public 26807
University of California - Davis Davis CA 4-year public 26094
The University of Tennessee Knoxville TN 4-year public 25890
University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia MO 4-year public 23309
Kansas State University Manhattan KS 4-year public 21929
Auburn University Main Campus Auburn University AL 4-year public 21860
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 21853
Washington State University Pullman WA 4-year public 20492
Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater OK 4-year public 18676
Oregon State University Corvallis OR 4-year public 16758
Mississippi State University Mississippi State MS 4-year public 16561
Tufts University Medford MA 4-year private, not-for-profit 9106
Cornell University - NY State Statutory Colleges Ithaca NY 4-year public 8083
Tuskegee University Tuskegee AL 4-year private, not-for-profit 2826
St Andrews Presbyterian College Laurinburg NC 4-year private, not-for-profit 644