The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

Do you need to go to university to become a vet?

share image

The answer is yes you do, a whole lot of school. Here are the basics for those who are contemplating becoming a veterinarian…


Study hard

First, you must study hard in secondary school. Good grades will help you move forward and now is the important time when you start amassing all animal-related experience such as volunteering at the animal shelter or taking some unpaid work at the local vet. This will help make your vet school application more competitive.



Most aspiring veterinarians complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject like biology, zoology or animal husbandry. Graduating from college before applying to vet school is not necessary. Having a degree could prove invaluable if the whole vet ambition doesn’t work out as you can still major in whatever you want. Whatever field of study you pursue, you should make sure to cover all the prerequisites of vet school before graduation.


Vet school

If all goes well here, you should graduate in four years and if you can pass the required exams, you’ll be licensed to practice.



One year of advanced training in a clinical setting that can either better prepare the recent graduate for general practice or pave the way for even more schooling, your internship is one of the most important experiences you’ll ever go through.



A typical residency lasts for three years but the details vary depending on the specialty being pursued. As a resident, the vet specialist-in-training must treat a variety of relevant conditions and perform research to be published. Once all this is completed, only then can you refer to yourself as board certified or boarded or as a diplomate or specialist in a particular field.

Overall, a vet in general practice probably would go to school for around 21 years while a specialist may have studied for 25 or more. This course is certainly not for the faint hearted.


More on veterinary courses here

About Author

author image

An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.