International Paths to Veterinary Education


There are five US accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in Canada, and 14 US accredited colleges located internationally, some of which are less expensive alternatives to studying veterinary medicine in the US.

There are 30 accredited schools or colleges of veterinary medicine within the United States, however, studying veterinary medicine in the US can be costly. The average annual tuition fee for in-state students is $22,448, while the average annual out-of-state tuition fee is $46,352. If these costs are daunting, there are 5 US accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in Canada, and 14 US accredited colleges located internationally. We’ve included information about 5 schools from different regions of the world, below:

Ross University- West Indies (

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at Ross University (West Indies) requires students to complete a pre-clinical curriculum which is 7 semesters long that consists of 130 credits of specifically prescribed course-work. Once students complete their pre-clinical curriculum, they must complete a three semester-long clinical training curriculum in the US, that lasts 45 weeks.

Ross University also offers two combined degree programs that enable students to graduate with a DVM and Masters by Research. The first program is an extensive 13 semester-long intercalated program which provides students with an opportunity to research a topic specific to one of the school’s four Research Centers under the supervision of a faculty member. To achieve the Masters by Research degree, each student must present a thesis of the research project.

In comparison, the integrated DVM/Masters by Research program is an intensive program spanning over 11-semesters. Students prepare for research in their first three semesters, and then complete one semester fully dedicated to their research endeavors. The master’s thesis is expected to be completed in the final four semesters of the program.

Annual DVM tuition fees for Ross University are $36,620 for semesters 1-7, while the final year clinical fees are $45,970. Ross University offers on-campus housing for an additional annual fee of $7160.

University of Guelph: Ontario Veterinary College - Canada (

Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is the oldest veterinary school in Canada, and the country’s top-ranked university for veterinary studies. OVC is also ranked 8th in the world and 4th in North America for veterinary schools. OVC only accepts 15 international students each year. This competitive program requires students to accumulate a 3.2 GPA or higher in their last two full-time semesters of undergraduate studies, however, US students do not need to hold an undergraduate degree to be admitted to the program, as college sophomores are accepted. Upon completion of four years of study, OVC graduates will receive the title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

OVC uses experiential learning to grant its students the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in applying their studies in a working environment. OVC also offers several graduate research degrees in the following fields:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Clinical Studies
  • Pathobiology
  • Population Medicine

US students can apply for loans or financial aid to complete the program. Annual DVM tuition fees for OVC are $42,404 for international and US students. On-campus student housing is available for an additional fee.

University of Saskatchewan- Canada (

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is one of Canada’s top medical/doctoral universities, and offers a DVM degree to those who already completed 18 transferrable college credits. U of S offers several graduate programs to those holding a DVM:

  • 2 year Masters of Science (M.Sc.) or a 4 year Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
  • 2 year M.Sc. or 4 year Ph.D. in Philosophy in Veterinary Microbiology
  • 2 year M.Sc., 2 year M.Vet.Sc., or 4 year Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology

To attain any of these degrees, students must produce a project or written thesis. Research funding is available to Canadian nationals for graduate studies in Veterinary Pathology. Funding for all other graduate program projects must be attained before acceptance into a program. Annual tuition fees for all graduate programs at U of S is $4399. Annual fees for the Veterinary Medicine program for the 2016/2017 school year are $18,274. U of S offers several on-campus housing plans with different annual fees. For more information on housing, visit the University’s site.

University of Utrecht- Netherlands (

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the State University of Utrecht is the only institution where veterinarians are trained in the Netherlands. The university has the largest academic veterinary hospital in all of Europe. The graduate veterinary program at Utrecht, which allows graduates to be certified veterinarians in Europe, the US, and Canada, consists of three specializations: Companion Animal Health; Farm Animal Health/Veterinary Public Health; and Equine Health. Masters studies are 180 credits and taught completely in Dutch, however most courses use English textbooks. Students who pass all entrance requirements but do not pass a level 2 language exam, can be granted one provisional year to pass the exam.

The University of Utrecht has several graduate research programs open to international students:

  • Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Cancer
  • Infection & Immunity
  • Risk Assessment of Toxic and Immunomodulatory Agents
  • Behavior & Welfare
  • Fertility & Reproduction
  • Applied Veterinary Research

Annual DVM tuition fees for University of Utrecht are $10,295 for non-European students. University of Utrecht offers room and board for an additional annual fee of $8034.

VetAgro Sup- Lyon, France (

Ten years ago, the National Veterinary School of Lyon (NVSL), the National School of Agricultural Engineering (NSAE), and the National School of Veterinary Services (NSVS) all came together to form VetAgro Sup. What sets this school apart from all others is that its origins (NVSL) date back to 1761, making it the world’s first veterinary school. VetAgro provides programs in several veterinary and agricultural fields, such as: animal health, public health, protection and animal safety, environmental protection, and food science.

VetAgro was created with the intention of teaching students how to treat and prevent livestock disease, and has become the first French educational institution which trains both agricultural engineers and veterinary doctors. VetAgro has more than 10 joint research units. For a full list of the research units and annual tuition fees, please visit the school’s website.

Although many of these schools' annual tuition fees are higher than the average in-state tuition fees for American veterinary schools, some are significantly lower than the average out-of-state fees and so if you plan on attending an out-of-state vet school, consider going international. Not only will you be following your dreams of becoming a veterinary doctor, but you will also be seeing the world…or at least that country.

Veterinarian’s Money Digest™ does not endorse or represent any of the universities, colleges, or associates, including products, materials, services, content or accuracy, listed in this article.

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