The Best Veterinary Colleges in the Country

November 17, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What are the best veterinary colleges?

Students who want to get into the best veterinary colleges will need to put in a lot of effort while they are still undergraduates, get excellent scores in topics like biology and chemistry, and perform exceptionally well on any required placement exams, such as the GRE or MCAT. It takes an average of four years to graduate from veterinary school, and you’ll need to pass a licensing exam before you’ll be authorized to start your medical practice.

What are the best veterinary colleges?

What are the best veterinary colleges?  There are a total of only 32 veterinary schools in the United States that have earned accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Because of their great professors, facilities, research projects, and career results, the 10 institutions that are mentioned below (in alphabetical order) frequently find themselves at the top of the national rankings.

Colorado State University

According to U.S. News & World Report, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, which is located in Fort Collins, holds the third spot as the best in the country. Students pursuing a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree have the option of selecting one of 28 subspecialties offered through four academic departments.

signage of Colorado State University sculpted to a brick wall

These departments are the Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. Because the teaching hospital at the university sees an average of 42,000 patients per year, there are plenty of opportunities for students to obtain excellent clinical experience.

Cornell University

The College of Veterinary Medicine makes Cornell University one of a kind among the other schools in the Ivy League. Cornell is home to four state-assisted statutory colleges, making it an exceptional educational institution. As a result, the veterinary college is an intriguing hybrid of public and private education.

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Cornell consistently receives either the #1 or second spot in the nation’s rankings, and the entry requirements are very stringent. The job placement record of the college is one contributor to the institution’s overall success; nearly all students receive employment offers before they graduate, and many go on to become leaders in their respective areas.

front view of Cornell University surrounded by trees

Because the school is located in Ithaca, New York, students have access to a variety of animal hospitals, some of which specialize in companion animals, others in equines, others in wildlife, and still others in farm animals. Expanding Horizons is one of the many possibilities that Cornell offers to students that take place outside of the local region. This is a program that provides students with hands-on experience working in a developing nation.

North Carolina State University

The College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University is routinely regarded as one of the very best veterinary colleges in the United States. The college is located in Raleigh, and it has approximately 150 professors on its teaching staff.

front building of North Carolina State University

These professors are experts in a total of 35 different fields, and they divide their time between teaching in the college’s three departments: Clinical Sciences, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, and Population Health and Pathobiology. Because the school’s Veterinary Hospital sees an average of 27,000 patients each year, the approximately 400 students who are working toward their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree have lots of opportunities to get clinical experience.

The Teaching Animal Unit at NC State University is located on an 80-acre farm, which functions as a teaching laboratory for students who are interested in animal husbandry and other livestock management activities. The Terry Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center is located on the college’s 250-acre Centennial Biomedical campus. Here, students and staff work collaboratively with representatives from local, state, and federal governments and businesses.

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which has its primary campus in Columbus, is divided into three academic departments: biosciences, clinical sciences, and preventive medicine. There are 621 students and 130 teaching staff members enrolled at the college. Its researchers were the ones who initially developed vaccination against feline leukemia, and the college that they came from is now in charge of the Center for Retrovirus Research.

Ohio State University welcome signage

Facilities on campus include the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, which is located in Wooster, Ohio; the Veterinary Medicine Academic Building, which spans 97,000 square feet; and the Veterinary Medical Center, which is one of the largest veterinary hospitals in the United States.

Texas A&M–College Station

Equine science is a particularly robust area of study at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, which is consistently ranked among the nation’s top veterinary schools overall.

The college is home to two animal hospitals: one that treats small animals and offers treatments such as oncology and dentistry; the other hospital treats large animals and treats a wide variety of species, including horses and zoo animals.

Front view of Texas A&M University in the morning

Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Veterinary Pathobiology, and Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology are the five departments that make up the college. The college is ranked number four in the country according to U.S. News & World Report, and it is tenth in the world according to Quacquarelli Symonds.

Tufts University

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University holds the rank of one of the best veterinary colleges in the nation. Tufts University serves as the host institution for the Shelter Medicine Program, the Center for Animals and Public Policy, and the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction.

The institution is justifiably proud of the humanitarian measures it has taken to limit the number of animals that are used in classes on anatomy, surgery, and clinical procedures. The International Veterinary Medicine program at Tufts University offers students the chance to get experience abroad in regions such as Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

aerial view of Tufts University

Cummings Medical Center and its seven teaching hospitals and clinics provide plenty of opportunities for DVM students to gain valuable hands-on experience. These include the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, the Hospital for Large Animals, the Tufts Veterinary Field Service practice in Connecticut, the Tufts Wildlife Clinic in North Grafton, the Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties clinic in Walpole, Tufts at Tech in Worcester, and the Lerner Spay/Neuter Clinic in North Graft

University of California–Davis

The School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis consistently holds the number-one spot in the country. It is also the largest veterinary school in the country, and it has ambitious expansion ambitions as it works toward constructing the upcoming Veterinary Medical Center.

UC Davis signage propped to a red brick wall while a school building is at the back

Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology; Molecular Biosciences; Medicine and Epidemiology; Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology; Population Health and Reproduction; and Surgical and Radiological Sciences are the departments that can be found inside this school.

Because the curriculum at this institution is so adaptable, students have the opportunity to concentrate their studies on any one of a variety of subfields, such as mixed animal practices, small animal practices, large animal practices, equestrian practices, cattle practices, or zoological practices.

Facilities include the Gourley Clinical Teaching Center, which is dedicated to the instruction of students using live animals, as well as the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 50,000 patients annually.

University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine takes great pride in the experiential learning opportunities it provides for its students. And ranked highly among the best veterinary colleges in the country.

University of Minnesota signage

In addition, the college is home to a wide variety of research centers, such as 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.

Additionally, the college has formed connections with the Minnesota Zoo and the Como Zoo. The Raptor Center at the college conducts instructional programs that are centered on birds of prey as well as rehabilitation services for damaged birds.

Courses leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree are provided by the college’s three departments: the Department of Biomedical Sciences, the Department of Clinical Sciences, and the Department of Population Medicine. Research on tough diseases like avian influenza, horse myopathy, and canine epilepsy is conducted by students in collaboration with members of the teaching staff.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, which is one of the two Ivy League schools on our list, is recognized both nationally and internationally as a pioneer in veterinary science. There are two locations that makeup Penn Vet: one is located on the main campus of the university in Philadelphia, and the other is a rural campus that spans 700 acres in Chester Country.

View of Upenn building at day time - one of the best finance schools

Both the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals and the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital call the former location their home. Both of Penn Vet’s hospitals treat a large variety of animals, including those used for agriculture, companion animals, exotic animals, and sports animals.

The primary campus in Philadelphia is home to hundreds of research facilities and laboratories, some of which include the Equine Pharmacology Research Laboratory, the Penn Vet Cancer Center, the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions.

University of Wisconsin–Madison

The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin is extremely competitive; out of 1,318 applicants for the class of 2023, the university granted acceptance to only 96 students. Students will have a plethora of options to participate in research and acquire practical experience thanks to the school’s thirty laboratories and ten service centers.

University of Wisconsin front view

Nearly 30,000 patients attend the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care each year, making it the state’s teaching hospital. The teachers and personnel of the school are organized into four academic departments: Surgical Sciences, Medical Sciences, Comparative Biosciences, and Pathobiological Sciences. Comparative Biosciences is the newest department to join the school.

Is a vet degree worth it?

There is no straightforward response to the question of whether or not a veterinary degree is worthwhile. The process of earning a degree in veterinary medicine can be difficult and time-consuming, not to mention costly.

However, for people who have a genuine interest in providing care for animals, the challenges they confront in the form of fees and criteria may appear to be a fair price to pay for the opportunity to work in an industry that they are enthusiastic about.

To determine the query “is a vet degree worth it?” you need to weigh the pros and cons.


  • When compared to other workers, veterinarians have a higher rate of job satisfaction. According to data compiled by Career Explorer, the satisfaction level of veterinarians is among the highest in any profession.
  • The vast majority of vets can anticipate having solid employment security. According to projections made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs available for veterinarians will increase by 17 percent over the course of the next decade.
  • Vets can anticipate decent wages. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for veterans in the year 2020 was approximately $100,000.


  • After receiving your undergraduate degree, you will need to put in a lot of effort for another three to four years to acquire your doctor of veterinary medicine (DMV). That is a cumulative total of eight years of higher education for the majority of people.
  • The United States is home to just 32 schools of veterinary medicine across the country. The admissions procedure into veterinary school can be highly tough due to the small number of schools that offer this type of education.
  • The cost of veterinary school can be rather high. According to the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, annual tuition fees can range anywhere from around $80,000 to $160,000.

How to apply to the best veterinary colleges?

How to apply to the best veterinary colleges? You can submit your application to several veterinary schools in the United States through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Check the schools’ websites for information on how to apply directly or what application service is utilized to apply to any veterinary schools that are not affiliated with VMCAS.

Filling out a College application on a table.

If you want to apply using the VMCAS system, you will need to create an account and submit all of the information and documents that are required. This includes your transcripts, test results, written application sections, and any other papers that are required for particular programs.

The application for the VMCAS consists of four different sections:

  • Personal information and contact information
  • Academic history (transcripts, test scores)
  • Supporting info (personal essay, letters of recommendation, etc.)
  • Program materials (any supporting documents required by specific programs)

Because there is a very low acceptance rate and a high level of competitiveness among applicants, you will want to know how you can best stand out as a candidate and make your mark. The application process for veterinary school is a significant undertaking.

The completion of all of the admission requirements is just the beginning of the process. It is not sufficient to be an excellent applicant on paper to secure a position. You will need to demonstrate that you have the required level of expertise working with animals, obtain high grades, perform well on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and interview, and compose an outstanding personal statement admissions essay.

To increase one’s chances of being accepted into one of the best veterinary colleges, it is necessary to compile an outstanding application. The majority of veterinary institutions will utilize the VMCAS system, which provides potential veterinary school students with an all-inclusive application package.

Focus on accumulating a substantial number of shadowing hours, composing an outstanding personal statement, and performing very well in the MMI interview to improve your chances of being accepted to the veterinary school of your choice. Additionally, prepare yourself to take the GRE and CASPer examinations, as preparation is essential in this area.

If you are interested in attending veterinary school, having a conversation with a vet school counselor or admissions consultant is a good first step in the application process you will need to take. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you if you have any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.


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