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Study Veterinary Medicine in Canada – Eligibility, Fees & Process for Indian Students

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Veterinary medicine is a popular branch of health care sciences in Canada that generally deals with the well-being of animals, including pets, horses, food animals, and wild animals. The field also deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases and fields like blood transfusions. A person can become a veterinarian by pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in zoology, life sciences, and other related subjects, after which a Master’s degree or a PhD can be pursued. Generally, individuals specialise in fields like dentistry, parasitology, or physiotherapy.

After completing a programme at a veterinary university in Canada, students can either become researchers who focus on developing medicines and treatments for animals or can become practitioners, also known as veterinary physicians or vets. A vet in Canada who works for animal welfare has wide career prospects in the veterinary field ranging from being a marine biologist, science teacher, or park manager to zoo animal care specialists, animal assistant therapists and veterinary pathologists.

Why Study Veterinary Medicine in Canada?

Canada is the most popular destination to study abroad for international students, especially those from India. There are top Veterinary Universities in Canada that consistently rank higher in the QS World University Rankings in medical colleges. Some of the top reasons to opt for veterinary medicine courses in Canada are as follows:

  • Top ranking universities: Canada is home to 18 top medical schools that offer a variety of specialisations and degrees to gain in-depth knowledge of the field.
  • Growing employment opportunities: The medical and health industry in Canada ranks third worldwide in terms of high employment and growth opportunities. The country’s healthcare sector has seen a consistent rise in annual employment over the last 5 years.
  • Scholarship opportunities: Canada provides multiple scholarship opportunities for international students to finance their education. Some of the top medical scholarships offered in any medical college of veterinary university in Canada are Achievers in Medical Science Graduate Recruitment, AE Bowie Scholarship in Medicine, Adiel Steacy Memorial Scholarships, University of Toronto Scholars Program, etc.

Top 5 Colleges offering Veterinary Medicine courses in Canada

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Study Veterinary Medicine in Canada - Eligibility, Fees & Process for Indian Students

Some top veterinary colleges in Canada, the courses they offer, and their admission requirements are as follows:

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM)

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) is a part of the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. The college offers degrees including DVM, M Sc, M VSC, and PhD Diploma courses offered at the postgraduate level. Veterinary medicine focuses on the study of diseases and animal health. Students of the programme receive training in basic and clinical sciences involving the care of horses, food-producing animals, exotic pets, companion animals, and wildlife.

Programs Offered

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
  • Master of Science (MSc) – Clinical (Project) / Non-clinical (Thesis) – Large Animal Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Large Animal Sciences
  • Master of Science (MSc) – Clinical/Non-clinical – Small Animal Sciences
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Small Animal Sciences
  • Master of Science (MSc) – Veterinary Microbiology
  • Master of Veterinary Science (MVetSc)
  • Certificate in Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology (CVDP)

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for the programme is approximately $12,717, with an additional fee of $988. The fee includes vision, health, and dental coverage, access to recreational programs, access to a fitness centre, and a bus pass.

Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) – Guelph

The Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph offers veterinary programmes accredited by the Canadian and American Veterinary Medical Associations. The programme aims to improve human, ecosystem, and animal health. Veterinarians from OVC possess knowledge in other areas that include Biochemistry, Immunology, Parasitology, and Anatomy.

Programs Offered

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology
  • Veterinary Medicine/Public Health Program

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a bachelor’s degree at the Ontario Veterinary College is approximately $75,774.85, with a fee of approximately $ 38,342.17 for each semester.

Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) – University of Prince Edward Island

The American and Canadian Veterinary Medical Associations fully accredited the veterinary programs at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown. The DVM program is also recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom. The university boasts a proven track of success in the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination.

Programs Offered

  • Master of Science – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Master of Veterinary Science
  • PhD in Veterinary Medicine
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Tuition Fee

The full-time fee for international students for a graduate veterinary program is around $7,548 per year, and a master’s program costs around $8,688 for a 2-year program. A 3-year program of PhD in Veterinary Medicine costs approximately $13,023.

University of Calgary

The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) is responsible for meeting the growing need for highly-skilled veterinary graduates in Alberta. The programme includes practical hands-on experience and a special focus on subjects like regenerative medicine, equine health, cattle health, infectious disease, reproduction and regenerative medicine, and animal welfare.

Programs Offered

  • Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for an international student at the University of Calgary can be approximately $13,597.32. The annual fee usually includes Group insurance, Extended Health Insurance, Graduate Students’ Association membership, Dental Insurance and Graduate Bursary Donation.

University Of Montreal

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FMV), Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, is the only French-language veterinary college in Canada. It is one of the largest institutions in Quebec and consistently ranks higher among the top 100 universities all over the world. The institution provides high-quality education and has great faculty. Over 10,000 international students attend the University of Montreal every year. Though most of the programs at the university are offered in the French language, students proficient in the English language are also welcome to apply to some graduate programs.

Programs Offered

  • PhD or doctorate program in Veterinary Medicine – Veterinary Sciences
  • Diploma of Specialized Studies in Veterinary Medicine – Veterinary Pathology
  • Short Graduate Program (Master Level) in Veterinary Medicine – Public Animal Health Interventions
  • Residency Certificate in Advanced Internship in Applied Veterinary Sciences – Disciplinary
  • Diploma of Specialized Studies in Veterinary Medicine – Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for the programmes offered at the University of Montreal ranges from 19892.28 CAD to 39784.56 CAD per year. Various merit-based scholarships are also available for international students.

Other popular courses for pursuing veterinary medicine and the veterinary universities in Canada offering them are as follows:

  • Diploma in Animal Health Technology at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Diploma in Veterinary Hospital Assistant at Centre for Arts and Technology – International Study Centre (Study Group), British Columbia
  • Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine at the University of Manitoba
  • Bachelor of Science in Bioveterinary Science at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
  • Veterinary Office Assistant Certificate at Loyalist College in Toronto (Toronto Business College)
  • Pre Veterinary Medicine at University of Regina, Saskatchewan

Eligibility Criteria for Veterinary University in Canada

The eligibility criteria for veterinary programs in Canada vary with the universities and the specific level of the course you opt for. The eligibility criteria are mainly divided into three categories, and an applicant must satisfy all these to secure a seat and get admission to the top veterinary universities in Canada. The general criteria for admission to a veterinary university in Canada are:

Educational qualifications

  • For admission in a bachelor’s degree or diploma program, you need to have completed your 10 + 2 with mathematics and biology as compulsory subjects and a minimum of 70 per cent in the top 5 subjects.
  • Admission to a master’s degree, on the other hand, requires the completion of a relevant bachelor’s degree in a related field from a recognized institution with a minimum of 75 % score or an equivalent of a minimum B+ grade.

English language proficiency test scores

International applicants are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency through test scores such as IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum IELTS band score and TOEFL score requirements are:

  • IELTS score for diploma or undergraduate degree programs – 7.0 IELTS band score, with 7.0 in writing and no band below 6.5
  • TOEFL for undergraduate programs – 600 and a minimum of TWE of 6 [PBT]; 100, with a minimum score of 25 in writing and speaking and 22 scores in reading and listening (iBT)
  • IELTS score for diploma or postgraduate degree programs – 7.0 IELTS band score in writing and no band below 6.5
  • TOEFL exam score for postgraduate programs – 600 with a minimum of TWE of 6 [PBT]; 100 with a minimum score of 25 in writing and speaking and 22 scores in reading and listening

Entrance test scores for Canada

For undergraduate degree admissions in Canada, you may be required to submit test scores such as SAT or ACT. In contrast, Graduate Record Examination Scores (GRE) are required for postgraduate studies or master’s degree programmes. The average minimum scores for veterinary medicine universities in Canada are:

  • ACT score – 29 or higher
  • SAT score – not less than 1350
  • GRE score – around 300

Admission Process for Veterinary Medicine in Canada

Veterinary Medicine colleges in Canada usually have spring and fall intakes. The general admission process for the Canadian veterinary medicine universities is as follows:

  • Check the official university or college website, find a veterinary medicine or a veterinary technician course and make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria for the preferred programme.
  • Complete the online application form, fill in all the required details and upload all the required documents such as official transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and the required financial documents.
  • Submit the application fee along with the form, usually 70 to 130 CAD for veterinary medicine programs.
  • Collect and prepare all the documents for your study visa for Canada.
  • Log in to the application portal on the university website to check the current status of your submitted application.
  • If selected for the programme, you will receive an admission offer letter from the university over your email ID.
  • Complete your further enrollment steps to pay the tuition fee for the course so that your seat in the course can be confirmed.
  • Follow the steps provided and complete your enrollment and pay the tuition fee to confirm your seat at the university.
  • Once you receive your study permit, you can complete the final part of your enrollment by visiting the campus.

Conclusion

Veterinary medicine in Canada is a field with growing demand and continuous career growth. Veterinarians work to treat illnesses in domestic and wild animals, including prescribing medication, treating trauma, developing feeding schedules and diets, and maintaining public health where animal diseases can affect humans. To practice as a licensed veterinarian in Canada, you need to have a valid certificate of qualification (CQ) after passing the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). After getting the licensing certificate, you also need to meet the licensing requirements per the province you aim to work in. The average salary of a veterinarian in Canada ranges from 56,000 CAD to 101,000 CAD per year. A popular employer for veterinarians in Canada is VCA Animal Hospital, which offers an approximate salary of 84,871 CAD per year. A master’s degree can help you get a salary hike in the field. Higher education will lead to higher and more exciting job prospects in Canada. LeapScholar can help you identify the top universities in Canada to pursue your veterinary medicine program and guide you throughout the admission process.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are some of the scholarships available for Veterinary Programs in Canada?

Some of the Canadian veterinary medicine awards, prizes, bursaries, and scholarships are as follows:
a. Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society Award for Proficiency in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Medicine
b. Vetoquinol Scholarship in Geriatrics in Companion Animals (OVC)
c. UCVM Postdoctoral Fellowship Entrance
d. Vetoquinol Travel Scholarship in Avian Medicine
e. Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Award

2. What are the specialisation options in a Veterinary University in Canada?

The common specialities an individual can opt for in the veterinary field are:

a. Large animal veterinarian, who takes care of large animals such as alpacas, horses, pigs, etc.
b. Small animal veterinarian, who takes care of small animals such as cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.
c. Mixed practice veterinarian, who works with small and large animals.
d. Research veterinarian who observes animals researches the effects of medicines on animals and recommends action.
e. Zoo veterinarians who work with wildlife in animal reservations and zoos.
f. An equine veterinarian who offers care only to horses of various types.

3. How many years does it take to become a Veterinarian in Canada?

It usually takes about 6 years of university education for an individual to become a veterinarian in Canada to get a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. In the first two years, students take pre-veterinary courses. They can then take admitted to one of the top 5 accredited veterinary colleges in Canada and complete four years of education. In the province of Quebec, students usually complete their veterinary programmes in 5 years.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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