Marine Veterinary Colleges and Schools in the U.S.
Marine veterinarians specialize in the treatment of aquatic creatures, including whales, sea turtles and fish. Veterinarians with a specialization in marine animals may be employed at aquariums and zoos. Veterinary students and professionals can find aquatic animal education programs across the U.S.
How to Select a School for a Marine Veterinarian Career
Certified veterinarians and veterinary students wishing to specialize in aquatic animal health care can find certificate programs and workshops in the aquatic animal field or apply for a marine residency program. Post-DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) programs in aquatic medicine may seek applicants who have research and field experience, so aspiring veterinarians may look for programs that have hands-on learning and laboratory centers available to students.
Certificate and workshop education programs are intended to provide practicing veterinarians and veterinary students with a deeper understanding of aquatic species, including marine mammals and birds, reptiles and fish. Current veterinary students may consider waiting until their third or fourth year of vet school to gain a solid understanding of veterinary medicine before applying to a program.
Internships and residencies are typically post-DVM programs. Residents and interns may help to apply treatment to various marine animals, keep records and participate in post-mortem exams. Aspiring marine veterinarians hoping to seek employment at zoos or aquariums should look for programs that offer research project and publishing opportunities.
There are limited educational and residency programs in the marine veterinary field. As a result, these programs have limited enrollment, are highly selective and may give preference to applicants with the most experience. Prospective students should gain as much clinical experience as possible through volunteer opportunities, internships and research assistantships.
Aquatic Animal Program Overviews
Certificate Programs and Workshops
Certificate programs and workshops are available for veterinary students along with working professionals. Programs can be 15 credit hours and cover topics such as diseases in warm water fish and conservation.
Internships and Residencies
Internships may also be available to 4th-year veterinary students in addition to individuals with a DVM degree. Internships tend to be shorter than residencies and can last between 4-6 weeks. Veterinary residency programs can last up to three years and are intended for individuals who have completed veterinary school. Opportunities are available through the U.S. military as well as veterinary hospitals.
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