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Eastman Welsford, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. T.A. Blakelock High School, Oakville, ON.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Improve Animal, Human, And Ecosystem Health

OVC Ranks #1 in Canada, and 6th in the World, for Veterinary Science. (Source: QS World University Rankings, 2017)

Become a world leader in veterinary healthcare, learning and research, with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). We have pioneered huge developments in animal, human, and ecosystem health by training future veterinarians and scientists, safeguarding the health of our animal companions, and ensuring food safety and security. 

Founded in 1862, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph is the oldest veterinary college in Canada and the U.S., and includes international award-winning faculty and challenging programs.

Join other veterinarians in a mission to improve the health of all species, including our own. 

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 full time of a university undergraduate degree program. Applications to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program may be submitted during a student's third year.
  • Completion of eight university-level 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
  • 3 letters of Reference (two must be from veterinarians with whom you've worked)
  • An interview
  • 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?

Students must complete two years of a full time undergraduate degree before applying to the DVM program, within which they must take the eight prerequisite courses. Students can then submit an application to the DVM program as early as their third year. For DVM purposes, full-time is a minimum of 5 one-semester courses or 15 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. 

How do I get veterinary experience?

The best way to know if becoming a veterinarian is for you is to gain first-hand experience. Veterinary experience that can count towards your application to the DVM program is gained 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, you will be working with many types of animals. 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 and fulfilled the entry requirements can apply to the DVM program at the Ontario Veterinary College. Applicants from all institutions are considered equally. If you are completing your undergraduate degree outside the University of Guelph, please contact the DVM Admission Counsellor at admdvm@uoguelph.ca 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 vetmed@uoguelph.ca.

For More Information

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1