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Spotlight: Top Accredited Veterinary Schools in the U.S.

Spotlight: Top Accredited Veterinary Schools in the U.S.

School’s out for summer! ☀️🏃If you're a recent college graduate with a pre-med or medical-related major and a passion for working with animals, you might be considering a career in veterinary medicine.

Now, we won’t sugarcoat it—veterinary school is no walk in the park. As many of us on the Instinct team know, veterinary medicine is a competitive, challenging field, and the road ahead will test your dedication and perseverance.

Before you embark on this path, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of this industry. It’s a field that demands an unwavering desire to make a difference in animals’ lives. The current shortage of veterinarians underscores the importance of this role and the need for highly skilled professionals who can provide high-quality care. If you’re considering veterinary school, you’ll need a hefty dose of determination and passion to help you tackle this challenging career.

But don’t let this discourage you! Despite its challenges, a career in veterinary medicine can be incredibly rewarding. Your passion for animals and determination to improve their health and well-being will fuel you. Whether you envision yourself caring for patients in a bustling clinic, conducting groundbreaking research, safeguarding public health, or developing game-changing software for veterinary practices, the veterinary field offers diverse and fulfilling career paths.

As you embark on this adventure, there are dozens of esteemed institutions that can provide you with the education and training you need to succeed. Consider your options carefully and find a program that aligns with your goals and values.

To get you started, here’s a closer look at the top 10 AVMA-accredited veterinary schools in the United States, as ranked by US News & World Report. These institutions—many of whom are using Instinct software in their teaching hospitals—represent the pinnacle of veterinary education and can serve as a source of inspiration and aspiration as you pursue your dreams in this competitive yet immensely rewarding field.

#1. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Located in Ithaca, New York, Cornell’s veterinary school has a strong reputation for its research programs, particularly in the fields of animal genetics and infectious disease. Notable alums include Jean Holzworth, DVM, a pioneer in feline medicine, and James Herriot, author of the book series All Creatures Great and Small.

#2. University of California--Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

UC Davis is home to one of the country’s largest veterinary schools, focusing on innovative research and clinical care. The school’s specialties include wildlife health, marine mammal medicine, and a renowned teaching hospital caring for over 50,000 animals each year. Notable alums include Bonnie Beaver, a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Bruce Akey, director of the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

#3. Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, this school is known for its expertise in animal oncology and infectious disease, with the renowned Animal Cancer Center among its research centers. Notable alums include Sue VandeWoude, a former president of the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, and Tim Hackett, chief veterinary officer for the US Department of Homeland Security.

#4. North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

This Raleigh-based school offers programs in clinical sciences, population health, and more, with the Turtle Rescue Team making it a standout choice for aspiring veterinarians interested in rescue programs. Notable alums include Karen Cornell, a past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Matt Dicke, a veterinarian for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

#5. Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Ohio State’s veterinary school is in Columbus and is known for its vital clinical programs, particularly cardiology and neurology. Notable alums include William Saville, chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, and Jason Stull, a veterinarian and epidemiologist.

#6. Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Texas A&M’s veterinary school, located in College Station, offers a variety of programs in veterinary pathology, animal behavior, and more. Notable alums include Sarah Hamer, a wildlife epidemiologist, and Roger Clemmons, a veterinarian and expert in equine neurology.

#7. University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

UW-Madison’s veterinary school is known for its expertise in dairy production medicine and wildlife health and operates a pet loss support hotline as part of its clinical services. Notable alums include Margaret McEntee, an expert in small animal internal medicine, and Dean Smith, an expert in dairy cattle medicine and reproductive physiology.

#8. University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

Located in Philadelphia, Penn Vet is known for its cutting-edge research programs in regenerative medicine and animal genomics. Its New Bolton Center offers advanced surgical and diagnostic services for large animals. Notable alums include Bernadine Cruz, past president of the American Animal Hospital Association, and Melissa Clark, an expert in small animal oncology.

#9. University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

Located in Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia’s veterinary school offers a variety of programs in areas such as wildlife health and small animal medicine. The school’s research centers, including the Infectious Diseases Research Center and the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, allow students to gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge veterinary research. Notable alums include Byron Blagburn, an expert in veterinary parasitology, and Samantha Wilson, an expert in small animal dermatology.

#10. University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Minnesota’s veterinary school is located in St. Paul and is known for its expertise in swine medicine and infectious disease. Notable alums include David Anderson, an expert in veterinary economics, and Jane Armstrong, an expert in small animal orthopedic surgery.

These 10 veterinary schools are among the cream of the crop for those pursuing a career in animal health. From research programs and clinical care to specialized centers, each school has its own unique focus and strengths. And with notable alumni like Bonnie Beaver, Karen Cornell, and our very own Caleb Frankel, aspiring veterinarians have a long history of success to inspire them.