Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Improve animal, human, and ecosystem health.

OVC Ranks #1 in Canada, 3rd in North American and 7th in the World, for Veterinary Science. (Source: QS World University Rankings, 2019)

For graduates from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) the pursuit of excellence is a way of life.

Since 1862, OVC has excelled in teaching the art of veterinary medicine and in developing the very best in those who practice it. The study of veterinary medicine is a dynamic blend of science, technology and experience. At OVC, students can follow their passion, find their calling, and discover how they can contribute to the ever-evolving world of medicine, care, scientific discovery and community. 

What does it mean to be an OVC graduate? 

An Ontario Veterinary College education trains student to excel in veterinary medicine through a learning-centred curriculum and a history of innovation that continually sets the standard for excellence in veterinary medical education in North America and beyond.

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program is accredited by the Canadian and American Veterinary Medical Associations. 

Entrance Information and Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of two years of full time studies in an undergraduate degree program. Applications to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program may be submitted during a student's third year.
  • Completion of eight degree prerequisite courses: cell biology; biochemistry; genetics; statistics; two biological sciences; and two humanities and/or social sciences.
  • Experience with veterinarians and animals
  • Submission of a Background Information Form
  • Letters of Reference (two must be from veterinarians
  • An interview in multiple mini interview format.
  • Canadian applicants, including dual citizens, must be residents of Ontario. A 'resident' is someone who has resided in Ontario for 12 months, exclusive of time spent in a post-secondary institution.

For detailed information on the academic and non-academic requirements needed, please visit the Ontario Veterinary College.

Career Choices of Veterinarians in Canada:

Clinical Careers (75%)

  • Companion Animal (45%)
  • Mixed Animal (21%)
  • Large Animal (9%)

Non-Clinical Careers (25%)

  • Government (10%)
  • Industry (6%)
  • Research, Teaching and Academia (5%)
  • Other (4%)

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply to DVM?

Before applying to the DVM program, students must complete two years of study in an undergraduate degree. In addition, students must also complete the eight prerequisite courses. Students can then submit an application to the DVM program as early as their third year. Full-time is a minimum of 5 one-semester courses 92.5/15.0 credit hours per semester).

What courses should I take in high school?

You should take courses that will prepare and admit you to a degree program of your choice. You will need to take the eight required courses while in your undergraduate program.

How do I get veterinary experience?

The best way to know if becoming a veterinarian is for you is to gain first-hand experience. You can get this through job shadowing, working or volunteering with veterinarians – you can obtain real insight into the profession by doing so. To find a listing of licensed veterinarians and clinics in Ontario, go to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario. If you own an animal, start with your own veterinarian. You can also contact local stables, animal shelters, zoos and food animal producers to see if they offer volunteer/work positions.

While in university, check if your school has a laboratory animal facility there, and if so, connect with the veterinarian in charge. You can also participate in research with a veterinarian in academia or job shadow one of the many veterinarians working in the government or industry sectors.

How can I gain experience with animals?

In the DVM program, having a solid comfort level with a number of species can be achieved by gaining experience with a variety of animals. This includes working with livestock, breeding/showing various species, equestrian activities and any other animal-related hobby or experience where a veterinarian is not always present. You can contact local stables, animal shelters, zoos, and food animal producers to see if they offer volunteer/work positions. Animal experience does not include personal animal ownership.

Which university should I attend for my undergraduate studies?

Any student who has attended university or college and fulfilled the entry requirements can apply to the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College. If you are completing your undergraduate degree outside the University of Guelph, please contact the DVM Admission Counsellor at to ensure the courses you select at your university meet the prerquisite requirements for the DVM program. 

For more frequently asked questions, please visit the OVC Frequently Asked Questions page.

For more information about the DVM program, or to organize a tour, please email

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