University of Wisconsin–Madison

Veterinarian (DVM/DMD)

Getting Started

  • High School Courses
    • Students should take a college preparatory curriculum.
    • High school students should study mathematics, biology, chemistry and related courses.
    • Veterinary and animal experience is strongly suggested.
  • Education and Training
    • In Wisconsin the only School of Veterinarian Medicine (SVM) is at Madison. Complete curriculum can be seen at www.vetmed.wisc.edu
    • A bachelor’s degree is not required for getting into veterinary school but almost all entering students have it.
    • Undergraduate prerequisite courses were discussed earlier.
    • UW-Madison SVM offers a DVM degree program consisting of 157 semester credits. The first 3 years each consist of 2 semesters; the 4th year begins immediately following the 3rd year in May and is 12 months long based primarily in the medical teaching hospital and clinic—does include 4 weeks of vacation. For more specific course work see www.vetmed.wisc.edu
    • Licensed veterinarians must complete 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years to remain licensed.

    Educational Institutions

    University of Wisconsin – Madison

     

    Pre-Professional Programs

    Alverno College
    Beloit College
    Cardinal Stritch University
    Carroll University
    Carthage College
    Lawrence University
    Marian University
    Mount Mary College
    Northland College
    Ripon College
    St. Norbert College
    University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
    University of Wisconsin – Fond du Lac
    University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
    University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
    University of Wisconsin – Parkside
    University of Wisconsin – Platteville
    University of Wisconsin – River Falls
    University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
    University of Wisconsin – Stout
    University of Wisconsin – Superior
    University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
    Viterbo College

  • Method of Entry
    • Veterinarians must graduate from a 4-year program at an accredited school of veterinary medicine with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) AND obtain a license to practice.
    • Prerequisites for admission can vary by veterinary schools.
    • Some schools require prerequisite credit hours ranging from 45 – 90 semester hours – at the undergraduate level.
    • UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) requires 60 credits of college course work including 40-43 credits of required course work, plus a minimum of 17 credits of elective course work.
    • UW-Madison’s SVM undergraduate prerequisites are 4 or 5 semester credits of General Biology or Zoology, 3 semester credits of Genetics or Animal Breeding, 8 semester credits of General and Qualitative Chemistry, 3 semester credits of Organic Chemistry, 3 semester credits of Biochemistry, 6 semester credits of General Physics (2 semester lecture series or 3 terms at a quarter credit institution), 3 semester credits of Statistics, 6 semester credits of English Composition or Journalism, 6 semester credits of Social Sciences or Humanities.
    • Some programs require calculus; some require only statistics, college algebra and trigonometry, or precalculus; and others require no math at all.
    • Most schools require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); some require the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Currently, 21 schools require the GRE, 5 require the VCAT, and 2 accept the MCAT.
    • Veterinary schools place heavy consideration on a candidate’s veterinary and animal experience in admittance decisions. Formal experience, such as work with veterinarians or scientists in clinics, agribusiness, research, or some area of health science, is particularly advantageous.
    • Less formal experience, such as working with animals on a farm or ranch or at a stable or animal shelter, also is helpful.
    • There is keen competition for admission to veterinary school. Only about 1 in 3 applicants are accepted. Madison accepts only 80 students per year. As admission is VERY competitive, most applicants do have a bachelor’s degree.
    • Undergraduate degree or prerequisite courses can be completed at any accredited college or university. Choosing a school that has a high placement in Veterinarian School is suggested.
  • Professional Organizations

    American Animal Hospital Association
    12575 W. Bayaud Ave.
    Lakewood, CO, 80228
    800/252-2242 or 303/986-2800
    www.aahanet.org/

    American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
    9190 Crestwyn Hills Dr.
    Memphis, TN, 38125
    901/754-8620
    www.aalas.org

    American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
    PO Box 630
    Abingdon, MD, 21009
    410/569-0795
    www.ahvma.org/

    American Veterinary Medical Association
    1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
    Schaumburg, IL, 60173-4360
    800/248-2862 or 800/321-1473 or 847/925-8070
    www.avma.org

    Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
    1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 301
    Washington, DC, 20005
    202/371-9195
    www.aavmc.org

    Association of Avian Veterinarians
    PO Box 9
    Teaneck, NJ, 07666
    720/458-4111
    www.aav.org/

    National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
    PO Box 1227
    Albert Lea, MN, 56007
    888/99NAVTA (62882)
    www.navta.net/

    United States Animal Health Association
    4221 Mitchell Ave.
    St. Joseph, MO, 64507
    816/671-1144
    www.usaha.org

    Veterinary Career Network
    888/491-8833, Ext. 1247
    www.veterinarycareernetwork.com/

    Veterinary Hospital Managers Association
    PO Box 2280
    Alachua, FL, 32616-2280
    877/599-2707 or 518/433-8911
    www.vhma.org/#

    Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
    4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 107
    Madison, WI, 53718
    608-257-3665
    wvma.org/

    Wisconsin Veterinary Practice Managers Association
    wvpma.com/

    Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association
    12321 W. Godsell Ave.
    Hales Corners, WI, 53130
    414/379-6793
    wvta.com/

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 1,690
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 78,300
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 85,200
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 9%
Expected Annual Openings: 1,900
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $78,793

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Work long hours.
  • Well over one-third of full-time workers spending 50 or more hours on the job.
  • Solo practitioners can work extended and weekend hours, responding to emergencies or squeezing in unexpected appointments.
  • Practicing with a partner or a group allows one to take turns being on call for evenings, nights, or weekends.
  • Can become U.S. Government meat and poultry inspectors, disease-control workers, animal welfare and safety workers, epidemiologists, research assistants, or commissioned officers in the U.S. Public Health Service or various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • AVMA-recognized veterinary specialties—such as pathology, internal medicine, dentistry, nutrition, ophthalmology, surgery, radiology, preventive medicine, and laboratory animal medicine—are usually in the form of a 2-year internship.
  • Veterinarians who seek board certification in a specialty also must complete a 3- to 4-year residency program that provides intensive training in specialties such as internal medicine, oncology, radiology, surgery, dermatology, anesthesiology, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, and exotic small-animal medicine.