Top 10 best veterinary schools in the United States
Admission to the best veterinary schools is very selective and students will need to work hard as students, earn top marks in relevant subjects such as biology and chemistry, and do well on a veterinary school’s compulsory placement test such as GRE or MCAT. Veterinary school often takes four years to complete, and you must pass a licensing examination before you can practice medicine yourself.
In the United States, there are only 30 veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The ten schools below (listed in alphabetical order) often top the national rankings because of their exceptional teachers, facilities, research initiatives, and career outcomes.
1. Colorado State University
Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was ranked # 3 in the country by US News & World Report. Doctors in veterinary medicine students can choose from 28 specialties from four academic departments: Biomedical science; Clinical Sciences; Environmental and radiological health sciences; microbiology, immunology, and pathology. The university’s teaching hospital receives 42,000 patient visits per year, so students have plenty of opportunities to gain valuable clinical experience.
2. Cornell University
Cornell University is unique among Ivy League schools as it is home to four state-funded statutory colleges that include the College of Veterinary Medicine. Thus, the veterinary school is an interesting mix of public and private. Cornell’s doctor in the veterinary medicine program is often ranked as the first or second in the country, and the field of admission is extremely high. Part of the university’s success comes from recruitment – almost all students receive job offers before they graduate and many become leaders in their fields.
The school’s location in Ithaca, New York, provides students with access to a variety of animal hospitals with specializations such as companions, Equidae, wildlife, and pets. Cornell also provides many opportunities outside the field such as Expanding Horizons, a program that gives students hands-on experience working in a developing country.
3. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine is consistently ranked among the very best veterinary schools in the country. The University is located in Raleigh and has approximately 150 faculty members who are specialists in 35 disciplines and teach in the university’s three departments: Clinical Sciences, Molecular, Biomedical Sciences, and Population Health and Pathobiology. The school’s veterinary hospital treats an average of 27,000 cases annually, so the approximately 400 doctors in veterinary medical students have plenty of opportunities to gain clinical experience.
NC State’s Teaching Animal Unit has an 80-hectare farm that serves as a teaching laboratory for students interested in animal husbandry and another animal husbandry. The university’s hundred-year-old biomedical campus is home to the Terry Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center, where business and government partners collaborate with students and teachers.
4. Ohio State University
OSU College of Veterinary Medicine is headquartered in Columbus and has three academic departments: Life Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and Preventive Medicine. The university is home to 621 students and 130 teachers. Its researchers are responsible for the first vaccine against feline leukemia, and the university heads the Center for Retrovirus Research.
Campus facilities include the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio, the 97,000-square-foot Veterinary Academic Building, and the Veterinary Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest veterinary hospitals.
5. Texas A&M – College Station
The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences ranks among the nation’s best veterinary schools and its equine science program is particularly strong. The university is home to a small animal hospital that provides services from dentistry to oncology, and a large animal hospital for the treatment of everything from horses to zoos. The university has five departments: Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Veterinary Pathobiology, and Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked college # 4 in the country, and Quacquarelli Symonds ranked it # 10 in the world.
6. Tufts University
Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has the award to be the only veterinary college in New England. The school has the Center for Animals and Public Policy, the Shelter Medicine Program, and the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction. The school is proud of its humane work to reduce the use of animals in teaching anatomy, surgery, and clinical procedures. Tuft’s international veterinary programs provide international opportunities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
DVM students gain lots of hands-on experience through Cummings Medical Center and its seven teaching hospitals and clinics: Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Hospital for Large Animals, Tufts Veterinary Field Service practice in Connecticut, Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties Clinic in Walpole, Tufts at Tech in Worcester and Lerner Spay / Neuter Clinic in North Grafton.
7. University of California – Davis
UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine is usually ranked first in the country. It is also the country’s largest veterinary school with plans to continue to grow as it works to build the future veterinary medical center. The school has six departments: Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology; Molecular life sciences; Medicine and epidemiology; Pathology, microbiology and immunology; Population health and reproduction; and surgical and radiological sciences.
The school’s flexible curriculum allows students to focus on one of many areas of study, including small animals, large animals, Equidae, livestock, zoology, or a general focus on mixed animal methods. The facilities include the Gourley Clinical Teaching Center for Live Animal Education and the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which serves over 50,000 patients a year.
8. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
The UMN College of Veterinary Medicine is proud of its experiential training opportunities, and the college is home to several research centers, including the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, the Clinical Investigation Center, the Leatherdale Equine Center, the John Fetrow Dairy Education Center, the Swine Program and the Minnesota Urolith Center. The university also has partnerships with Como Zoo and Minnesota Zoo. The university’s Raptor Center offers rehabilitation for injured birds and educational programs focused on birds of prey.
Doctors in veterinary medicine courses are offered through the university’s three departments: Biomedical Science, Clinical Science, and Population Medicine. Students collaborate with faculty members to investigate challenging diseases such as bird flu, equine myopathy, and canine epilepsy.
9. University of Pennsylvania
One of the two Ivy League schools on this list, the University of Pennsylvania, is a national and global leader in veterinary medicine. Penn Vet has two campuses – one on the university’s main campus in Philadelphia and another 700-acre rural campus in Chester Country. The former is home to Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital and the latter to George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals. Together, Penn Vets’ two hospitals handle a huge caseload of sports, agriculture, companions, exotics, and birds.
The Philadelphia Main Campus houses dozens of research centers and laboratories including the Penn Vet Cancer Center, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions, and the Equine Pharmacology Research Laboratory.
10. University of Wisconsin – Madison
The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine is very selective for the class of 2023 issued admissions to 96 of the 1318 university applicants. Students will find many opportunities to research and gain practical experience through the school’s 30 laboratories and 10 service centers. UW Veterinary Care, Wisconsin Educational Hospital, handles nearly 30,000 patient visits per year. The school’s faculty and staff are housed in four academic departments: Surgical sciences, medical sciences, comparative life sciences, and pathobiological sciences.