If you are an animal lover who is interested in making a difference in the lives of animals then a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programme is exactly what you are looking for. The study of veterinary science involves being equipped with scientific knowledge for the care and well-being of animals.
In the US alone there are 85 universities with over 13,323 veterinary students studying veterinary science. As compared to last year, the number of students has increased by 2.3%.
As millions of pet owners around the world opt to take their pets to private practices for care, the demand for veterinarians is expected to become one of the fastest-growing jobs in most countries.
Unfortunately, the cost of studying for a degree in veterinary medicine has increased in recent years. According to VIN Foundation, the average cost for four years of veterinary school coupled with living expenses is at an all-time high. It is estimated to cost more than US$200,000 for residents and US$275,000 USD for international students.
Fortunately, there are a number of countries that offer veterinary science programmes that are affordable.
Here is a list of five of the cheapest countries to study veterinary science:
Though lesser known, Austria is home to the cheapest veterinary science programme in the world. The University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni) and the only one that offers the study of veterinary science. It ranks 26th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.
However, that’s not all that makes this public university unique. The tuition cost to study veterinary medicine at Vetmeduni is completely free. This is applicable throughout the whole six years of the course.
Free doesn’t mean low quality at all here. Vetmeduni ranks 26th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.
With over 416,437 international students, Germany is considered one of the most popular study abroad destinations. Home to over 50 universities ranked as the best in the world, there are 19 veterinary science programmes available in Germany.
The University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover (TiHo) is one of the top universities in the country for the field of veterinary medicine.
Established in 1778, the university has kept its independent status till today. Aside from its status, TiHo offers affordable education — US$1,000 per year for international students looking to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s programme in veterinary medicine.
Renowned as one of the best countries to study medicine, Switzerland is home to some of the best medical colleges in the world. Aside from its high standards and picturesque location, Switzerland is a dream for many international students due to its low tuition fees.
Among its top universities is the University of Zurich which offers a veterinary medicine programme. It is ranked as one of the leading veterinary medical universities in Europe and seventh in the QS World University Ranking by subject.
The five-year programme here focuses on equipping future veterinarians with the skills and knowledge to treat animal diseases. The cost of pursuing a bachelor programme at the University of Zurich starts as low as US$1,338 per year.
The Netherlands is among the most popular countries for international students. Currently, there are over 115,068 international students in the country — a 12% increase from 2021. However, despite the large number of international students, the Netherlands only has 13 medical universities in the country, and among the 13 only one institution offers a veterinary course.
Utrecht University is ranked among the top three medical schools in Netherlands and 44th in Best Global Universities according to US News. It offers a bachelor’s and master’s programme in veterinary medicine — note, however, that these are conducted in Dutch.
The annual cost of study for non-European veterinary students at Utrecht University is US$10,295.
Most Norwegian public universities do not charge any tuition fees to both domestic or international students regardless of the country that they come from.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Norwegian Univerity of Life Sciences (NMBU) is the only institution in the country that has a programme in the field of veterinary sciences. Spanning 5.5 years, if prepares students for various jobs within the veterinary profession, and other work requiring competence in medical science and biology.
This includes private practice with production animals, companion animals and horses, and food safety/public health work, fish health, animal welfare, slaughter house management, pharmaceutical industry, teaching, research etc.
The Cheapest Places to Study Veterinary Medicine
Before we dive into specific countries and institutions, it’s important to understand that the cost of veterinary medicine education can vary significantly depending on the country, the university, and the program. The cheapest places to study veterinary medicine often change over time, but some regions consistently offer more affordable options.
- The Cheapest Places to Study Veterinary Medicine in Europe
Europe, renowned for its high-quality education, is home to several affordable veterinary medicine programs. Some European countries where you can study veterinary medicine without breaking the bank include:
a. Romania: Romanian universities offer competitive tuition fees and a high standard of education in veterinary medicine. Programs at universities like the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca are popular choices among international students.
b. Hungary: Hungary is another European destination with cost-effective veterinary medicine programs. The University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest is a well-respected institution that offers affordable education without compromising quality.
c. Poland: Poland is gaining popularity for its English-taught veterinary medicine programs. The University of Life Sciences in Lublin is known for its excellent curriculum and reasonable tuition fees.
- The Cheapest Country to Study Veterinary Medicine
The title of the absolute cheapest country to study veterinary medicine can change from year to year, but Eastern European nations like Romania, Hungary, and Poland are consistently budget-friendly options. Keep in mind that living expenses, visa requirements, and language proficiency should also factor into your decision.
State Universities That Offer Veterinary Medicine
State universities, often funded by taxpayers, tend to offer more affordable tuition rates, especially for in-state residents. If you’re an American or considering studying in the United States, some state universities with veterinary medicine programs include:
a. Texas A&M University: Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is highly respected and offers in-state tuition for Texas residents.
b. University of California, Davis: UC Davis is renowned for its veterinary medicine program and offers lower tuition rates to California residents.
c. North Carolina State University: The College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State provides competitive tuition rates for North Carolina residents.
Which Schools Offer Veterinary Medicine
Several schools worldwide offer veterinary medicine programs. To find the right school for you, consider factors such as location, curriculum, faculty expertise, and program reputation. Some globally recognized veterinary schools include:
a. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (United States) b. Royal Veterinary College, University of London (United Kingdom) c. Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Netherlands) d. University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science (Australia) e. University of Pretoria Faculty of Veterinary Science (South Africa)
If you have a passion for animals and aspire to become a veterinarian, the cost of your education shouldn’t deter you. There are affordable options for studying veterinary medicine around the world. While Eastern European countries like Romania, Hungary, and Poland offer budget-friendly programs, state universities in the United States and well-regarded institutions in Europe, the UK, Australia, and South Africa provide various opportunities for aspiring veterinarians. Regardless of where you choose to study, remember that pursuing your passion for animals is a noble and rewarding journey.