Equine Veterinarian Schools and Colleges in the United States
Those who want to pursue a medical career working with horses must enroll in a veterinary school and earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.). Here, a veterinarian may choose to specialize in equine medicine. Read on to learn more about what's required to become an equine veterinarian and what to expect from D.V.M. programs.
How to Choose Equine Veterinarian Schools
Veterinarian schools require extensive prerequisites for those seeking entrance. Students should judge each school's admissions policy and requirements. Some schools may require an undergraduate degree, while others may allow in students with suitable undergraduate coursework and/or work experience in the field.
Required courses for veterinarian candidates include animal nutrition, biochemistry, biology, calculus, chemistry, organic chemistry, English, genetics, social science, microbiology, physics and statistics. Minimum grades and grade point averages in all of these areas are maintained and can cumulatively range from 2.5 to 3.5 depending on the school.
Students who wish to specialize in horses should look for a school with residency options in equine medicine, equine surgery and equine theriogenology. Schools in areas with a large horse population may be more attractive to those pursuing an equine specialization in veterinary medicine. A tour of the school's facilities is an important indicator of its commitment to veterinary science. The student to teacher ratio can be considered in school comparisons, and students can inquire as to the school's pass and job placement rates.
As there is no 'pre-vet' bachelor's degree, many undergraduate schools offer a two to three-year track that fulfills the prerequisites for admission to a veterinary medicine school. Tracks like these don't award a degree in 'pre-veterinary science', but can be incorporated into another major such as biology, chemistry, zoology, animal science or biochemistry.
Master's Degree Programs
Students can expect course work, research and possibly a thesis paper in an equine science master's degree program. This 2-year program focuses on the particular specialization chosen, such as equine physiology, industry management or equine education. Courses in programs like these can include genetics of domestic livestock, advanced equine nutrition, equine industry issues, equine reproductive physiology, coaching for equine events and equine facility management.
D.V.M. and D.V.M.-Ph.D. Programs
Veterinarians will need to complete their D.V.M. in order to practice medicine on animals. D.V.M. programs typically include two to three years of lectures, labs and research, and then residencies diagnosing and treating animals alongside instructors. Total time required is approximately four years.
A combined degree of D.V.M.-Ph.D. includes the requirements for passing the veterinary board exams in addition to biomedical research skills, which you use to conduct your own research and write a doctoral dissertation to sum up the results. Degrees chosen relate to the desired career paths of veterinary doctors and scientists.
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