Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research. Working at the intersection of animal, human and ecosystem health, we train future veterinarians and scientists, improving the health of our animal companions, and ensuring food safety and security, improving the health of all species, including our own.

OVC Ranks #1 in Canada, and 8th in the World, for Veterinary Science. 

Source: QS World University Rankings (2016)

A History of Excellence

Founded in 1862, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph is the oldest Veterinary College in Canada and the U.S. Dedicated to the advancement of veterinary and comparative medicine, OVC faculty members have distinguished international reputations for excellence in teaching, research and service.

Entrance Information and Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of two years 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 required courses: cell biology; biochemistry; genetics; statistics; two biological sciences; and two humanities and/or social sciences.
  • Experience with veterinarians
  • Submission of a Background Information Form
  • Letters of Reference (two must be from veterinarians)
  • An interview
  • Canadian applications, including dual citizens, must be residents of Ontario. A 'resident' is someone who has resides 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.


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

Preparing You for Your Career

OVC prepares you for the world of veterinary medicine by providing hands-on training and education in science and medicine, as well as in economics, business management, human and client relations, communications, team building and leadership skills, and technology. You will learn about careers in private practice, government, teaching, research and industry, and the vital role of veterinarians in public health.

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 and Teaching (5%)
  • Other (4%)

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply to DVM?

Students must complete two years of a full-time bachelor's degree before applying to the DVM program, within which you must take the eight prerequisite courses. You can then submit an application to the DVM program in your third year. 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 university bachelor's of your choice. You will need 8 required courses while in this program.

How do I get veterinary experience?

One of 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 your area, go to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario website. 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 to see 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. Animal experience does not include 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. If you are completing your undergrad 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 College of Veterinarians of Ontario - Frequently Asked Questions.

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

For More Information

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