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, ensuring food safety and protecting the environment that we all share. It has been this way since 1862.

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 a distinguished international reputation 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.
  • Veterinary experience
  • 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 ensuring that you are educated in science and medicine, as well as in economics, computer technology, human and client relations, and business management. 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 degree program. Though your choice of university program is not a factor in DVM admission decisions, most students who wish to apply to DVM will choose to enter science programs. If you are interested in science, consider the prerequisite sciences and mathematics for those programs.

How do I get veterinary experience?

One of the best ways to know if becoming a veterinarian is for you is to gain first-hand experience 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 - Recruitment. 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 as well.

While in university, you can connect with the veterinarian in charge of the laboratory animal facility at the university, 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?

The OVC admissions committee does not give preference to University of Guelph students for admission into the DVM program. Should you choose not to study at the University of Guelph, you should contact the DVM Admission Counsellor to ensure the courses you select at your university meet the prerequisite 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 contact Elizabeth Lowenger, Manager, Student Affairs, Ontario Veterinary College at

For More Information

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