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Study Veterinary Medicine in Canada

Study Veterinary Medicine in Canada
Alpina ChariNov 14, 2022

Veterinary Courses in Canada for International Students

To become a veterinarian doctor in Canada, one needs to have a license to practice. To get the license, students must pass a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or DVM degree. There are five AVMA Council on Education (COE) accredited veterinary colleges in Canada that offer this degree. Only a DVM degree from these five colleges can give you a full license to practice. Admission to a DVM degree program requires pre-requisite courses before applying. If you are interested in studying veterinary in Canada, then you should read the following essay. It includes information about top veterinary colleges, tuition costs, admission requirements, etc.    

Study Veterinary in Canada: Overview

The following highlights are a good resource for students planning to study veterinary medicine in Canada.

Entry-level degree Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program
Tuition fees for DVM 53,275 to 61,729 USD*/year
Pre-requisite course duration  2 years
Duration of DVM 4 years
Accrediting body AVMA Council on Education (COE) 
Licensing body  Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) National Examining Board (NEB)
Licensing exam North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)
Average salary of veterinarians in Canada  102,014 USD*/year

Top Veterinary Courses in Canada

The entry-level veterinary course in Canada is called the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. It is an undergraduate degree and lasts for 4 years. Pre-requisite courses (2 years) are mandatory for getting admission to a DVM degree program in Canada. Students can complete their pre-requisites at a post-secondary institution or via a bachelor’s program from a university. The following are some of the prerequisites courses:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Clinical medicine
  • Surgery
  • Ecology
  • Genetics

 So in Canada, being a veterinarian involves a total of six years of education. Pre-veterinary programs last two years, and the DVM program lasts four years. After graduation, students can go for specializations. But they need to acquire board certification before they can be referred to as veterinary specialists. Some students might not wish to spend 6 years entering the veterinary profession in Canada. They can become veterinary technicians/technologists. Technicians need only two to three years of a college education at accredited veterinary colleges. Students should look out for the CVMA or OAVT accredited program. After completion of the program, they should clear the Veterinary Technician National Examination. Upon licensure, technologists can work under a licensed veterinarian.

Top Veterinary Schools in Canada

There are 5 accredited veterinary schools in Canada. These schools rank in the top list of QS and Shanghai rankings for veterinary science. The table below contains a list of all the veterinary schools in Canada that offer veterinary degrees. 

University Name  Shanghai Ranking  QS Ranking (Veterinary Science) Name of the Faculty Degree Offered
University of Guelph 18 5 The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) DVM 
Université de Montréal** 39 35 Faculté De Médecine Vétérinaire (FMV) DVM 
University of Calgary 49 37 Faculty Of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) DVM 
University of Saskatchewan 51-75 51-60 The Western College Of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) DVM 
University of Prince Edward Island 101-150 NA The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) DVM 

**Note: The Université de Montréal offers its veterinary degree in French language and not in the English language. 

Tuition fees and cost of studying Veterinary in Canada

Canada is expensive to study medical-related courses like veterinary medicine. Here is a list of tuition fees for veterinary schools in Canada.  

University Name  Duration  Tuition Fees (USD*/year)
University of Guelph 4 years 61,729
Université de Montréal** 4 years     –
University of Calgary 4 years     –
University of Saskatchewan 4 years 53,275
University of Prince Edward Island 4 years 54,172

**Note: The Université de Montréal offers its veterinary degree in French language and not in the English language. 

Since pre-requisite courses are a mandate for veterinary courses, many community colleges and universities in Canada offer these. For example, students can apply for the Pre-Veterinary Studies program at the University of Manitoba. Since Gyanberry has partnered with the University of Manitoba. If you complete pre-requisite courses through our partnered university, it would be much easier to get admitted to any Canadian veterinary school of your choice. 

It is highly expensive to study in Canada. Students need to follow a strict budget to avoid unnecessary expenditures. A dorm room is much less expensive than an independent apartment. Additionally, rent for student housing includes all utilities. Costs associated with transportation are also reduced. Compared to eating out at the hotel, canteen food is more affordable. Students should take into account the following list of living costs while creating a budget for veterinary studies in Canada.

Living Expenses Cost in USD*/year
Food 3,200 to 4,500
Accommodation 10,060 to 13,000
Student health insurance plan 800 to 1,000
Books 300 to 600
Transportation 500
Mobile phone package  300 to 720
Personal expenses 3,000 to 5,000

Admission requirements

The people who love animals are the best candidates for veterinary schools. Interested students should select courses in science like biology, chemistry, and physics at the high school level. In addition to this, a strong background in mathematics, humanities, and social sciences is also required. Canadian veterinary schools prefer candidates with some volunteer or paid experience in animal care. For some universities, this experience is an admission criterion. This will also come in handy while writing their motivation letters. The common admission requirements often include

  • High school diploma (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics)
  • Prerequisite courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, ecology, etc.
  • Official transcripts (Canadian equivalency)
  • English Proficiency proof 
  • CASPer or MCAT test (if applicable)
  • Resume
  • Volunteer work hours 
  • Valid passport
  • Reference letters (one from a veterinarian)
  • Motivational letter
  • Passport photographs
  • Personal mini-interviews
  • A copy of bank statement showing funds for at least one academic year of tuition

Due to a limited number of veterinary colleges in Canada, the admission is highly competitive. Gyanberry offers admission and counseling services for Canadian universities. You can avail our services to make your admission process a bit easier. 

Career scope

Steps to Become a Veterinarian in Canada

There is a bright scope for veterinarians in Canada. The average pay for a veterinarian doctor in Canada is 102,014 USD*/year (Indeed). A licensed veterinarian can work for 

  • Government animal hospitals
  • Private animal hospitals
  • Wildlife sanctuaries, zoos, animal reserves, etc.
  • Animal healthcare industry
  • Food industry
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Pharmaceutical industry 
  • Environmental medicine
  • Consultation 
  • Own an animal clinic 

Most Canadian veterinarians (75%) work in private clinical practice. These include food, farm, equine, or mixed animal practice. Some choose to work with a particular species. Around 10% of veterinarians in Canada work in the government sector. The rest work in teaching, research, or other related fields. 

After graduation, the process to acquire this qualification depends on where you get your degree. If you get it from an accredited institution, you can get the certificate of qualification (CQ) after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). Those who earn their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from a non-accredited institution need to pass the clinical proficiency examination (CPE), Basic and Clinical Sciences Examination (BCSE), and the NAVLE. 

*Note: All prices mentioned in the USD are for reference only. Exchange rates may vary from time to time and from country to country.

Find Related Blogs


There are five accredited veterinary schools in Canada. Four of these teach their programs in English. 

Yes, you require 2 years of pre-requisite or pre-veterinary program to pursue a DVM degree in Canada. 

As per Indeed statistics, the average salary for a veterinarian doctor in Canada is 102,014 USD*/year.

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