Thank you for your question. A veterinary medicine program generally takes 4 years to complete and includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical components. Most programs include 3 years of classroom, laboratory, and clinical work. Students typically spend the final year of the 4-year program doing clinical rotations in a veterinary medical center or hospital.
Veterinarians must be licensed in order to practice in the United States. Licensing requirements vary by state, but prospective veterinarians in all states must complete an accredited veterinary program and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.
In addition to passing the national exam, most states require that veterinarians pass a state licensing exam. However, veterinarians employed by state or federal government may not need a state license, because government agencies differ in what they require.
Admission to veterinary programs is competitive. Most applicants to veterinary school have a bachelor’s degree. Veterinary medical colleges typically require applicants to have taken many science classes, including biology, chemistry, and animal science. Most programs also require math, humanities, and social science courses.
I wish you much success on your journey. Our furry friends needs you! :)
Sheila recommends the following next steps:
- Volunteer at your local humane society, animal shelter or hospital
- Research US News - Best Vet Schools Rankings: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/veterinarian-rankings
- Research US Dept. of Labor Statistics ("How to Become a Veterinarian"): https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm#tab-4