Veterinary medicine

Veterinary school is generally entered following completion of a bachelor’s degree program. Admission to U.S. veterinary schools is extremely difficult for students from other countries to achieve because of intense competition for a limited number of places. Competition for veterinary study is even more rigorous than that for study in medicine. Only 27 schools of veterinary medicine exist in the United States. Of these, 25 are largely state-financed, with tax money from state residents supporting the school. Therefore, applicants from that state are generally given first preference. Only about a third of all those applying to U.S. veterinary schools are accepted by any one of the schools that they apply to, and the number of international applicants accepted is extremely small. Most veterinary colleges participate in the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), which allows applicants to submit a common application for multiple schools. The primary consideration for admission is the quality of the undergraduate record. More than half of veterinary schools also require the Veterinary Aptitude Test, with some schools accepting the Medical College Admission Test or Graduate Record Examination. For information on VMCAS, contact the service at 1101 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 411, Washington, DC 20005, U.S.A.; Telephone: 202-682-0750; Email:vmcas@aavmc.org. One alternative to veterinary school is to enter a graduate program in animal sciences. Competition for these programs is less intense. Graduates of animal science programs are not certified for veterinary practice but may be qualified for a range of positions in agricultural industries, government, or university research and teaching. U.S. veterinary schools offer a four-year program. Graduates receive the first professional degree, the doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.).