How Much Does Veterinary School Cost?

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$ $ In-State Tuition: $28,000-$54,000 Per Year $ $ $ Out-of-State or Private University Tuition: $40,000-$66,000 Per Year

Veterinary school graduates study diagnosis and treatment of disease for small and large animals.

Graduates of veterinary school are welcome to apply for state licensure and practice as a veterinarian.

A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree is requested nationwide.

Typical Costs

  • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree usually costs between $28,000-$54,000 a year for in-state tuition and resident fee rate or $41,000-$66,000 a year for four years for out-of-state tuition and non-resident fee rate.
  • As a rule, the tuition costs are higher for non-residents attending a state school.
  • As an example, the University of Pennsylvania offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree for $32,450 per year for residents or $41,460 per year for non-residents.
  • At the same time, the University of California, Davis charges tuition and fees of $53,000-$62,000 per year for California residents or $65,000 to 74,000 per year for non-residents.
  • Doctorate programs in veterinary medicine are also provided at private universities such as Tufts University – a private school in North Grafton, MA, which offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree for $40,528 per year for residents and $42,640 per year for non-residents.

What Is Included

  • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree usually covers 129-156 credits and its duration is four years.
  • The coursework usually includes anatomy and physiology for veterinary science, pharmacology, animal nutrition, zoological medicine and public health.
  • Veterinary schools are usually accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and faculty should have appropriate licensure.

Additional Costs

Veterinary medicine graduate students typically hold a bachelor’s degree; however, some veterinary schools will also admit students who have completed at least 45 hours of prerequisite coursework including physics, biology and chemistry, statistics and biochemistry.

The undergraduate degree in veterinary technology usually costs $67,000-$86,000.

A student needs to take an admissions test such as the Graduate Records Examination or Medical College Admissions Test, for the cost of $50-$160.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges presents the specific testing requirements for each accredited veterinary school.


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The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination costs $550, and is needed for the veterinary school graduates applying for licensure in North America.

For this eight-hour examination, the veterinary school graduate should apply through a state licensing board for approval to take the NAVLE and has to fill out a separate application to return with the testing fee.

The veterinary licensure fees vary by state and can between $120-$370, including the application fee.

Delaware, for example, requires veterinarian candidates to submit an application and pay a $121 licensure fee, neither of which includes testing fees.

Maine, as another example, requires a $100 license fee in addition to a $150 application fee and $21 criminal background check fee, for a total of $271.

The state licensing requirements for veterinarians are listed at the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

The accommodation and board for veterinary school usually costs $8,000-$13,500 per year.

For example, the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimates these fees at $9,730 per year students in their first, second or third years and $12,500 for fourth-year veterinary students.

Books and supplies for veterinary school typically cost $1,000-$3,000 a year.

These books and supplies for all four years at Western University in Pomona, CA, for example, are estimated at $9,370.


  • Certain universities provide a limited number of assistantships for doctorate programs.
  • When granted an assistantship, a student can work part-time researching in the field or teaching courses at the university to earn a stipend to be used towards tuition and other expenses.
  • The Univerity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, for example, covers full tuition for assistantship recipients.
  • Scholarships could be available to students who meet program qualifications including a high GPA and a proven financial need.
  • The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has a list of the scholarship resources.

Shopping For Veterinary School

U.S. News & World Report lists the top veterinary medicine programs.

The American Veterinary Medical Association provides an additional information on veterinary school application.

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