Guide to Veterinarian Colleges and Universities

Veterinarians deliver much needed healthcare to animals and pets, balancing their understanding of healthcare technology with working with animals. However, you do not always have to become a veterinary to pursue your passion for working with animals as several trainers programs are now available too, opening up career opportunities. Health science can also be applied to a career in the pet industry and healthcare system. Below are several online programs that can help you start your education today.

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What types of veterinarian degrees and programs exist and what are they called?

Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine/DVM

This is the required higher learning that comes after obtaining a bachelors degree in most cases. Some certified schools offering a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine do not require a bachelors degree and may accept an associates degree or certain core college classes as the pre-requisite. This varies with each school.

Veterinarian school rankings?

Rankings of most online programs and degrees is arbitrary and can be named for various reasons, none of which have anything to do with the quality of program you’re participating in. The only thing you must search for when finding any veterinarian degree program is to make sure it’s an accredited program, recognized by a regional or national accreditation organization.

Ideally, this program will be regional because it will ensure the school you’re attending is in compliance with your state’s mandatory requirements for going on to practice medicine for animals. It is important you understand that veterinarians are certified by each state. There is not a nationally recognized test, so prepare to take additional courses or re-certification should you move to a different state and wish to be a veterinarian.

In addition to your own state’s test, you will also have to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam and pass prior to your local test.

Can I transfer veterinarian school credits?

Like with other accredited degrees and programs, you can transfer some courses. Core classes are usually transferable within the same regionally or nationally accredited organization. As you gain more credits, there is less of a chance that the credits will transfer. In some cases, a school may grant you temporary credit for courses and grant full credit after a school year is completed at the new school.

Always check with the school you wish to transfer to before withdrawing from your initial school, if possible. This will make it easier on you once you transfer (since you’ll know what you need) and also allow you to spend your funds wisely.

What sorts of careers are common for students with a veterinarian degree?

Veterinarian – This is a general veterinarian, the kind most of us are accustomed to when growing up. A general vet can have his or her own practice or work for a practice.

Veterinarian Researcher – Veterinarians familiar with research and experiments are in higher demand than general vets. These researchers are usually employed by private corporations, colleges or universities.

Consulting Veterinarian – A veterinarian with substantial experience under their belt can serve as a consultant for various companies who create products or services aimed at animals.

How to Become a Veterinarian

Ideally, anyone aspiring to be a veterinarian will obtain a bachelors degree in biology or other science prior to applying to veterinarian school. Some schools may accept anywhere from 60-90 college hours instead of a bachelors degree. Some schools may also require a Graduate Record Examination test (GRE) or the biology portion of this exam. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is also requested in lieu of the GRE at some veterinary schools.

Following your acceptance to an accredited veterinary school, you will take additional courses, some which will specialize in certain animals. This will depend if you are studying to be a vet with an area of expertise. It is also important you get experience with various types of animals outside of studying. To do this, volunteer at an animal shelter, 4-H or farm in the area.

After completing your veterinary degree, you can apply to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam. This exam and it results are required before you can take your state’s veterinary licensing test to practice animal medicine.

What are the average salaries of a person with this degree?

Veterinarian – General vets average $75,000, but in the first years of practicing, most start out making $35,000.

Researcher – The salary for a veterinarian who works as a researcher varies on who their employer is. For example, someone working for a private corporation or publicly traded company can make upwards of $100,000 per year, while being employed by a college or university in the research department typically turns a salary of $40,000 annually.

Consultant - This is where there is major money to be made by a seasoned veterinarian. The average salary depends on the size of the company and the experience of the vet. Many consultants make over $100,000 and work on a contract basis. Some vets continue to practice medicine in addition to their consultant duties.

Veterinarian scholarships and grants

Saul T. Wilson Jr. Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It awards grants of $5,000 to undergrad students and up to $10,000 to grad students, devoted to studying animal medicine. There is also a paid position that goes along with the scholarship (which students must accept in order to receive the funds) that includes health insurance and paid vacation time. After completing veterinary school, the students has a guaranteed position with Agriculture, Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Services.

American Kennel Club

The American Kennel Club awards many scholarships to aspiring veterinarians every year. The scholarship asks that recipients have experience with purebred dogs. Scholarships range from $5,000-$15,000. Students should be enrolled in veterinary school and the scholarship is awarded based on both academic achievements and financial need.

American Association of Bovine Practicioners

This organization gives scholarships to high school students who want to study to become veterinarians. Students can be no further out than six months from graduating high school when applying for the scholarship. There are many requirements for this scholarship, including being a member of the AABP, an outline of courses for the prospective veterinary school and a letter of recommendation.

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