Best Veterinary Schools In US

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

The Best Veterinary Schools in the US was created to help prospective veterinarians make an informed decision about which veterinary school they would like to attend. Each state has at least one veterinary school and some have more than one. There are a total of 29 schools as of 2014 but not all are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE).

To gain easy access to more information on accredited film schbest veterinary schools in us, best veterinary schools in the world and veterinary school requirements, search on Collegelearners.

Vet School Rankings of U.S. Colleges

University of California, Davis

Picture of the University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Davis
  • Location: Davis, Calif. 
  • DVM Program Established: 1948
  • Previous Rankings: No. 2 (tie) in 2008, No. 2 in 2011–2012

Need help deciding if this is the right school for you? has ranked University of California, Davis as #1 in the world—not just the country—every year since 2015. The average acceptance rate is about 42 percent as of 2018, with SAT scores in the 1330 to 1530 range. Veterinary school alumni won six national and international awards in 2017. 

Cornell University

Picture of Cornell University
  • Cornell University
  • Location: Ithaca, N.Y.
  • DVM Program Established: 1894
  • Previous Rankings: No. 1 in 2008 and 2011–2012

Students at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine start working with animals literally on their first day, so this school might appeal to you if you prefer the most hands-on education possible. The acceptance rate here is only about 14 percent as of 2018, however. There are only 120 open seats available in each class each year. 

Colorado State University and North Carolina State University (tie)

Picture of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Colorado State University
  • Colorado State University
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colo. 
  • DVM Program Established: 1907
  • Previous Rankings: No. 2 (tie) in 2008, No. 3 (tie) in 2011–2012

This school is famous for teaching surgical techniques using artificial tissue that can easily pass for the real thing. These surgical classes are available in your third and fourth year. 

Picture of North Carolina State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Location: Raleigh, N.C.
  • DVM Program Established: 1981
  • Previous Rankings: No. 5 in 2008, No. 3 (tie) in 2011–2012

North Carolina State is somewhat unique in that it will allow you to combine your studies to pursue an MBA or a Ph.D. in addition to your doctorate of veterinary medicine. You’ll also get to study at the renowned North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital in your fourth year. You definitely won’t be exposed to just hamsters and puppies. 

Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin (tie)

Picture of the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center
  • Ohio State University
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • DVM Program Established: 1885
  • Previous Rankings: No. 5 (tie) in 2008, No. 5 (tie) in 2011–2012

Ohio State enjoys a top-notch reputation in the world of college athletics, but you want to heal animals. Still, the possibility of some edge-of-the-seat sporting events doesn’t hurt. This school is home to the Ohio State Veterinary Center as well, which treats more than 30,000 patients annually. As a student, you’ll get to work there. 

Picture of the University of Wisconsin
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Location: Madison, Wis. 
  • DVM Program Established: 1983
  • Previous Rankings: No. 5 (tie) in 2008, No. 5 (tie) in 2011–2012

This school estimates that it will cost Wisconsin residents a little more than $29,000 annually to attend, and nonresidents will pay in the area of $48,000. This doesn’t include room and board or books and supplies. 

Texas A&M College Station and University of Pennsylvania (tie)

Picture of the Texas A&M College Station
  • Texas A&M College Station
  • Location: College Station, Texas
  • DVM Program Established: 1916
  • Previous Rankings: No. 5 in 2008, No. 8 in 2011–2012

This four-year program includes three years of classroom and lab instruction followed by a year of clinical rotations in the teaching hospital. Texas A&M offers specialty tracks in animal dermatology and dentistry as well as zoological medicine. If horses are your thing, the school is in the process of building a state-of-the-art equine complex in 2018. 

Picture of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
  • DVM Program Established: 1884 (second oldest in U.S.)
  • Previous Rankings: No. 4 in 2008, No. 5 in 2011–2012

Penn Vet has the notable distinction of being the only veterinary school affiliated with a major medical university. You can choose between two campuses. One is in Philadelphia if you prefer to be surrounded by the rush of a big city. 

University of Minnesota

Picture of the University of Minnesota
  • University of Minnesota
  • Location: St. Paul, Minn.
  • DVM Program Established: 1947
  • Previous Rankings: No. 10 in 2008, No. 9 (tie) in 2011–2012

In a recent poll, 65 percent of students at the University of Minnesota indicated that they were easily able to get the classes they wanted. This school is particularly active in cutting-edge animal research. 

Tufts University and University of Georgia

Picture of Tufts University
  • Tufts University
  • Location: North Grafton, Mass.
  • DVM Program Established: 1979
  • Previous Rankings: N/A

Tufts’ Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine offers two dual programs: one with a Master of Public Health degree and the other with an Master of Science in lab animal medicine. It also provides four specialty programs in international medicine, animal welfare, wildlife and conservation medicine, and an Accelerated Clinical Excellence (ACE) program. It could be a good fit for those who really want to explore their practice options. 

Picture of the University of Georgia
  • University of Georgia
  • Location: Athens, Ga.
  • DVM Program Established: 1946
  • Previous Rankings: No. 9 (tie) in 20111–2012

The UGA College of Veterinary Medicine says its mission is to “help students, faculty and administrators of the College make meaningful contributions to the understanding of international veterinary medicine and the inter-relatedness of animal health globally.” 

best veterinary schools in the world

For those wishing to pursue a career in veterinary science, the 2019 edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject has now been released, allowing veterinary science enthusiasts to draw side-by-side comparisons of the world’s current 50 best universities for the subject.

Read on for a region-by-region comparison of this year’s top veterinary schools, including a brief overview of the global top 10; alternatively, click here for the full veterinary science ranking table.

Top 10 Veterinary Schools in the WorldBased on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
RankName of InstitutionLocation
1Royal Veterinary College, University of LondonUnited Kingdom
2University of California, Davis (UCD)United States
3Utrecht UniversityNetherlands
4University of CambridgeUK
5Cornell UniversityUS
6University of EdinburghUK
7University of GuelphCanada
8Ohio State University, ColumbusUS
=9University of SydneyAustralia
=9University of LiverpoolUK
17+ Best Veterinary Schools in the World in 2021-2022

veterinary school requirements

Steps to Take

In High School: Start preparing as early as you can

Take all the mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics courses which are available to you in middle and high school; they will open up many career opportunities in college including veterinary medicine.

In College: Undergraduate Degree Program

Choose a degree program which will provide you a strong grounding in the biological and physical sciences. Make a list of degree programs at various universities and colleges and visit them individually. Find a program that will suit your needs the best. There are various undergraduate pathways to study prior to be admitted to vet schools.

Penn State Program

All the required courses for you to get admitted to most vet schools are required in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Program at Penn State.

Essential College Criteria

Criteria that you should accomplish during your undergraduate degree before your application to Veterinary Colleges

  • Grade Point Average (GPA): Maintain a competitive GPA, preferably 3.5 or higher. Most veterinary schools examine courses taken in the last 3-4 semesters closely.
  • Animal and Clinical Experience: Volunteer with a veterinarian to gain wide variety of animal and clinical experience, and appreciation for the veterinary medical field. This might be an opportunity to find out if veterinary medicine is for you.
  • Graduate Record Examinations: You think that you are done after taking SATs or ACTs for your college applications. Not quite! The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is widely accepted by most veterinary colleges while MCAT is another standardized test that is accepted by some in addition to by Medical Schools. Check each school’s web page for their target standardized test scores.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Choose three individuals to provide letters of recommendation. One is required from an academic adviser; one is required from a veterinarian; and the third one can be from an individual of your choice (typically one of your course instructors). It is important to get to know your academic adviser and/or professors during your college education. Some schools may require letters from two veterinarians. The application will give you a choice to waive your right to see letters of evaluation. You also have the choice not to waive that right and therefore request to see the letters after your application has been evaluated. While it is your right to see the letters, our advice is to waive the right to examine the letters. Evaluators will know before they write the letter if you have waived the right to see the letters or not. Some schools will think that evaluators may be hesitant to make negative comments about students do not waive their right to examine the evaluations. This can influence the evaluation of that letter by the admission committee.
  • Leadership and communication skills; and co-curricular activities: It is highly recommended that you get involved in student club activities, such as, Pre-Vet club which will provide you numerous opportunities to serve in your community which will provide you to interact with people from all walks of life. Make effort to hold an officer position or to serve on a committee which will provide numerous opportunities to gain leadership and communications skills. Remember admission committee is looking for tomorrow’s leaders.

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