The Best Veterinary Schools for Aspiring Vets

04/07/202315 minute read
The Best Veterinary Schools for Aspiring Vets

If you're dreaming of a career in veterinary medicine, choosing the right school is a crucial step towards achieving your goals. But what are the best veterinary schools, and what sets them apart from the rest? In this blog, we'll explore the top 5 veterinary schools globally and delve into key aspects that make a veterinary school stand out.

What is Veterinary Medicine?

Veterinary medicine is an incredibly rewarding field that allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of animals every single day. As a veterinarian, you'll play a crucial role in providing medical care, promoting animal welfare, and ensuring the health and happiness of our furry companions.

In veterinary medicine, you'll not only treat sick animals, but also focus on preventive care to keep them healthy and thriving. From performing routine check-ups and vaccinations to diagnosing and treating illnesses, your expertise will be vital in helping animals lead fulfilling lives.

As you delve into this field, you'll have the opportunity to specialize in various areas, such as surgery, dentistry, or even exotic animal medicine.

But even if you don’t specialize, veterinary schools provide you with excellent career opportunities: the average salary for veterinarians in the United States is around $100,370 per year as of 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Best Veterinary Schools 

While rankings may vary depending on the source and criteria used, there are several institutions globally that are often recognized as some of the best veterinary medicine schools.

These schools excel in providing comprehensive veterinary education, state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty, and opportunities for hands-on clinical experience and research.

These institutions, along with others like the University of Edinburgh and the University of Pennsylvania, have established themselves as leaders in veterinary education, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared to meet the challenges of a dynamic and evolving field.

Top Veterinary Schools (QS Ranking)
SchoolRanking (QS)
University of California, Davis1
Cornell University2
Royal Veterinary College, University of London 3
University of Guelph, Canada4
Utrecht University, Netherlands5

1. University of California, Davis

UC Davis

Situated in the heart of California, the University of California, Davis boasts a renowned School of Veterinary Medicine.

With a commitment to excellence in education, research, and clinical practice, UC Davis consistently ranks among the top veterinary schools worldwide. The school offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of veterinary medicine, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and clinical opportunities.

Whether you're interested in small animal care, wildlife conservation, or public health, UC Davis provides a supportive environment for you to pursue your passion.

Notable Alumni:

  • Dr. Temple Grandin - Professor of Animal Science, renowned animal behavior expert, and autism advocate.
  • Dr. Michael Lairmore - Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.
  • Dr. Roger Mahr - Former President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

2. Cornell University

Cornell University

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell University is home to the College of Veterinary Medicine, renowned for its exceptional programs and groundbreaking research.

With a diverse range of specialties and research opportunities, Cornell equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the veterinary field. The college's commitment to animal health and welfare is reflected in its comprehensive curriculum, world-class faculty, and access to cutting-edge facilities.

Whether you're interested in traditional veterinary medicine, biomedical research, or public policy, Cornell University offers an enriching educational experience.

Notable Alumni:

  • Dr. Jane Goodall - Primatologist, ethologist, and UN Messenger of Peace.
  • Dr. Kenneth R. Hinchcliff - Former Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
  • Dr. William F. Hornbuckle - Veterinary pathologist and former President of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
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3. Royal Veterinary College, University of London

Royal Veterinary College

For aspiring veterinarians seeking an international experience, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) at the University of London is an excellent choice.

RVC has a rich history and reputation for excellence in veterinary education and research. The college provides a diverse range of programs, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing education opportunities.

With a strong emphasis on practical experience, RVC offers clinical rotations and partnerships with leading veterinary institutions. Pursuing your veterinary studies at RVC provides a global perspective and prepares you to make a meaningful impact in the field.

Notable Alumni:

  • Dr. Stuart Reid - Principal of the Royal Veterinary College and former Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland.
  • Dr. Molly Varga - Veterinary toxicologist and popular author of veterinary textbooks.
  • Dr. Stephen May - Renowned veterinary surgeon specializing in orthopedic surgery and joint reconstruction.

4. University of Guelph, Canada

Guelph Veterinary School

Situated in Ontario, Canada, the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is renowned for its commitment to innovative teaching and research.

OVC offers a comprehensive curriculum that combines scientific knowledge, clinical skills, and practical experience. The college's state-of-the-art Veterinary Medical Center provides students with hands-on learning opportunities and exposure to a wide range of animal species.

With a strong focus on animal welfare and community engagement, the University of Guelph prepares you to address the evolving challenges of veterinary medicine.

Notable Alumni:

  • Dr. Bonnie Mallard - Professor and pioneer of immunogenetics in dairy cows, known for developing the High Immune Response technology.
  • Dr. Ian Barker - Chief Veterinarian of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Dr. Scott Weese - Infectious disease expert and professor of veterinary medicine, specializing in zoonotic diseases.

5. Utrecht University, Netherlands

Utrecht Veterinary

Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the Netherlands is a leading institution for veterinary education and research.

Known for its progressive approach and emphasis on animal health and welfare, Utrecht University offers a range of veterinary programs. The faculty's modern facilities, including a dedicated veterinary teaching hospital, provide students with hands-on experience and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

With a focus on innovation and collaboration, Utrecht University equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a rapidly evolving veterinary landscape.

Notable Alumni:

  • Dr. Wim van den Brink - Psychiatrist and professor of addiction psychiatry, known for his research on substance abuse disorders.
  • Dr. Marlies Reinders - Associate Professor of Equine Internal Medicine and expert in equine respiratory diseases.
  • Dr. Marga van Loosdrecht - Environmental biotechnology professor and pioneer in wastewater treatment.
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What Makes These Universities the Best?

1. Comprehensive and Specialized Curriculum

The best veterinary medicine schools offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all essential areas of veterinary medicine. 

From anatomy and physiology to pharmacology and surgery, you'll receive a well-rounded education that prepares you for the diverse challenges of veterinary practice. 

Look for schools that also provide specialized tracks or elective courses in areas of interest such as small animal medicine, equine health, or exotic species. These options allow you to tailor your education and gain expertise in specific fields that align with your passions and career goals.

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2. State-of-the-Art Facilities and Clinical Experience

The best veterinary schools will have state-of-the-art facilities and resources to provide you with hands-on clinical experience. 

Look for schools that have well-equipped veterinary hospitals or clinics on campus, where you can gain practical skills and interact with a variety of animal patients.

Access to cutting-edge diagnostic tools, surgical suites, and rehabilitation facilities ensures that you receive the most up-to-date training in veterinary techniques and technologies.

The opportunity to work alongside experienced faculty and veterinary professionals in real-world settings is invaluable in developing your clinical skills and building confidence in your abilities.

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3. Research Opportunities and Mentorship

The best veterinary medicine schools prioritize research and offer opportunities for students to engage in scientific inquiry.

Research involvement allows you to contribute to the advancement of veterinary knowledge and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Look for schools that have active research programs and faculty members who are leading experts in their fields.

Mentorship is also crucial for your professional development. Seek out schools that provide mentorship programs, where you can connect with faculty members or practicing veterinarians who can guide and support you throughout your educational journey.

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Which Veterinary School is Right For You?

All of these universities are renowned for their excellence and are ranked among the best in the world. If you prioritize a top-tier education and exceptional career opportunities, you'll find that one of these five best veterinary schools is the perfect fit for you.

With so many impressive options, you might be wondering which of these schools aligns best with your profile and aspirations. Each university has its own unique advantages, and they all look for specific qualities and achievements in their students.

If you're not sure which university would be the best match for you, book a free consultation with us to help you find the perfect university tailored to your needs and goals.

Crimson Strategists work with you throughout the entire admissions process, making you up to 7 times more likely to gain admission into your dream university!

What Makes Crimson Different


How long is vet school?

In the United States, veterinary school typically takes four years to complete after completing a bachelor's degree. Students complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program during these four years. 

In the UK, veterinary programs often span five to six years, combining both undergraduate and graduate study. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) degree or an equivalent qualification.

In Europe, the duration of veterinary school can vary across different countries and universities. Generally, veterinary programs in Europe range from five to six years in length. 

Which veterinarian schools require the GRE?

More often than not, top schools in the US and Canada require the GRE, including Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College.

The GRE is not required for UK and European schools. It's always advisable to check the individual requirements of each veterinary school you are interested in to determine whether the GRE is required.