Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Improve animal, human, and ecosystem health.

OVC Ranks #1 in Canada, 3rd in North America and 5th in the World, for Veterinary Science. (Source: QS World University Rankings, 2020)

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 students to excel in veterinary medicine through a learner-centred curriculum and a history of innovation that continually sets the standard for excellence in veterinary medical education.

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

Admission 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 your third year of studies.
  • Completion of eight degree-level prerequisite courses including: 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 who have supervised you while obtaining veterinary experience).
  • Casper test (CSP-10201- Canadian Professional Health Sciences), completed through Atlus Assessments.
  • An interview.
  • Canadian applicants, including dual citizens, must be residents of Ontario in order to apply to the DVM program at the OVC. 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 website.

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, you must complete two years of a full-time undergraduate degree and eight prerequisite courses. You can then submit an application to the DVM program as early as your third year of studies. Note: For DVM application purposes, "full-time" is a minimum of 5 one-semester courses (2.5/15.0 credit hours per semester).

What courses should I take in high school?

You should take courses that provide you with the admission requirements for your program of interest.  You can pursue any degree program so long as it allows you to complete the prerequisites you need to apply to the DVM program.  If you’re interested in pursuing a science program, you should take high school Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Advanced Functions or Calculus at the University level.

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?

Being comfortable with a number of species can be achieved by gaining experience with a variety of animals. Work with livestock, equestrian activities and any other animal-related hobby or experience where a veterinarian is not always present. Contact local stables, animal shelters, zoos, and food animal producers to see if they offer volunteer/work positions. Animal experience does not include pet ownership.

Which university should I attend for my undergraduate studies?

If you’ve attended an accredited university or college and completed the minimum admission requirements you can apply to the DVM program. If you are completing your undergraduate degree at another institution, you can contact the Admission Services at admdvm@uoguelph.ca to ensure the courses you select meet the prerequisite requirements.

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.

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