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Best Veterinary Schools in California

If you are interested in studying veterinary medicine in California, this article is for you, we will be listing out and discussing the best veterinary schools in California in it.

Endeavor to read it to the end to get all the information you need to make the right choice of school.


A career in veterinary medicine is where the love of animals meets the love of science. Though passion in those areas is an essential ingredient, it is not sufficient for success in the field. This is where great schools come in.

The number of veterinary schools in the United States is tiny compared to the number of medical schools in general. However, this is bound to change. See Best Physician Assistant Schools In California

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for veterinarians will grow in the near future, with a projected job growth rate of 16% or more.

Most veterinarians work in private clinics or hospitals, earning a median salary of $99k a year. However, some schools do not train veterinarians exclusively for private practice or at a hospital.

Some programs train more broadly, preparing students for careers in research or for work with local, state, and federal stakeholders.

The path to becoming a veterinarian can begin as early as high school and as late as the junior year of college.

The undergraduate course of study does not necessarily make or break anyone’s chances of getting into a veterinary medical program as long as the prerequisite coursework in the basic sciences and math is completed.

With that said, a bachelor’s degree in English or Philosophy should not deter anyone from preparing for or applying to veterinary medicine programs.

With the number of veterinary schools being so small, it should not be a shock that California only has two veterinary schools, despite being home to a plethora of educational institutions.

Here are the two veterinary schools in California

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has the honor of being the largest veterinary school in the United States, receiving $36.9 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2020.

The funding attests to the school’s impact and role in innovative research aimed at the wellbeing and health of animals, people, and the environment.

Students who begin their journey at the School of Veterinary Medicine have a promising and rewarding future ahead.

Veterinary Medicine offers three main tracks for an advanced degree in veterinary medicine: the dual D.V.M./Ph.D., a master’s in preventative veterinary medicine, and a graduate studies track.

The most attractive option for aspiring vets is the D.V.M/Ph.D track; it is the most promising for this career path.

Students in the D.V.M track receive a strong foundation in comparative veterinary medicine before choosing their species-specific training and tracks.

Foundational courses in the first year include immunology, hematology, and nutrition, together with education in a clinical environment.

As students progress through the program, they are increasingly exposed to work in a clinical setting, beginning as early as the summer following the second year.

There are numerous clinical rotations from which to choose in the fourth year, ranging from Equine Surgery and Lameness to Small Animal Radiology to Zoologic Medicine.

At Davis, experiential opportunities abound. Classrooms and laboratories are equipped with the most cutting-edge technology.

One of the premier veterinary teaching facilities is the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which serves as the clinical setting for student training and serves over 50,000 patients—numerous species— annually. No quality program in medicine is complete without a fantastic residency matching program.

The residency program at Davis encompasses residencies for large and small animals, with at least one opening each year.

The house officer program, which facilitates residencies, internships, and fellowships, is the country’s most extensive program due to increased donations from private donors and corporations in recent years.

This program is hosted by the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Completion of a residency requirement is necessary for licensure.

Davis is renowned for its voluminous and high-caliber research output. Faculty are world-class practitioners and scholars in a wide array of veterinary specialties, actively engaging in numerous projects throughout the year.

Admission into the med school is very competitive; out of the 1012 applicants who completed the application requirements, only 165 were offered admission, making the admission rate for the most recent class around 16%. It is much harder for an out-of-state candidate to get into the school than it is for a CA resident.

The average GPAs for CA residents and out-of-state applicants for the incoming class of 2024 were 3.62 and 3.96, respectively.

In addition to solid GPAs, applicants earned above-average scores in the Quantitative section of the GREs. Most enrolled students came from a solid undergraduate background in the sciences, most commonly the animal and biological sciences, while a handful of liberal arts/humanities majors made the cut.

While an undergraduate major in the hard sciences is not required, applicants are expected to fulfill prerequisite course requirements.

These requirements include one semester of statistics, two semesters of lower-division physics, chemistry, biology, and organic chemistry, and a handful of upper-division courses.

Several renowned pre-vet studies programs are out there, particularly for high school students contemplating a career in veterinary medicine.

2). Western University College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Western notably ditches the traditional, lecture-based curriculum in favor of an approach that is centered on problem-solving.

Through this approach, vet students proactively track their own learning by working in small groups and identifying their own strengths and deficiencies as they progress through the curriculum.

For the first two years, students are randomly assigned to small groups and a faculty facilitator who presents a clinical case vignette each week.

Students learn to apply basic knowledge from the medical and general sciences through lab work and seminars in identifying and solving problems within these weekly vignettes.

In the final two years, students are exposed to clinical work and patient care at select clinical locations under the guidance of faculty members.

Problem-based learning and live-patient care culminate into six-week clinical rotations in the fourth year. Students have a variety of settings and geographic locations to choose from.

Because of the college’s Reverence-for-Life philosophy, students learn surgery and anesthesia through the use of computer simulations, inanimate models, and cadaver supplies through the Willed Deceased Animals for Veterinary Education (WAVE) program.

This approach ensures proper and in-depth hands-on training while adhering to one of the college’s core principles.

Because of the school’s proximity to downtown LA, students have access to plentiful and diverse opportunities for applying the knowledge and skills they gain from the curriculum.

LA is home to many veterinary practices and hospitals that have partnerships with Western University, such as Banfield Pet Hospital and the LA Zoo.

Furthermore, there are variety of veterinary student clubs and volunteer opportunities, ranging from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.

These organizations connect students to plethora of volunteer opportunities around LA and beyond. 

Western has drawn high-caliber researchers and practitioners in a wide variety of veterinary medicine specialties.

Doctor Peggy Barr, for example, is a world-renowned content expert in animal microbiology and immunology, authoring chapters in animal virology in textbooks and mentoring undergraduates and vet students.

Besides being an exemplary and researcher, Barr has been actively involved in outreach programs aimed at encouraging girls and young women to get involved in STEM fields.

Admittance to the veterinary medicine program is very competitive. With that said, it is important for applicants to exceed the minimum requirements.

Submission of the primary application, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a minimum GPA of 2.75 are only the bare minimum requirements.

Prerequisite coursework in some of the hard sciences, such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, statistics, and microbiology is a must. Applicants should note that in-person labs are also a necessary supplement to these courses.


This is the end of the article on the best veterinary schools in California. You can send your questions to us using the comment section.

Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Admin

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