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DVM Program

UCVM is an accredited veterinary faculty. The first class of students started in September 2008. Over the course of the four year integrated core-elective program, students will receive a general veterinary education, with enhanced opportunities in our areas of emphasis.

The DVM Program

The elective programs cover all areas of general veterinary practice and provide enhanced opportunities in four Areas of Emphasis:

  • Production animal health: population and individual animal health of all food and other production animal species; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the livestock industry and rural Alberta.
  • Ecosystem and public health: animal and public health at the interface of domestic animals, wildlife, humans and the environment; educating veterinarians to meet the needs of society through public and private practice in areas related to public health, food safety, environmental and agricultural interfaces, wildlife/conservation/zoo medicine and health.
  • Equine health: population and individual veterinary care of horses;educating veterinarians to meet the needs of the horse industry, horse owners, and rural Alberta.
  • Investigative Medicine: comparative medicine and biomedical research; encouraging students to pursue careers advancing animal and human health through research (basic, clinical, applied, or population health)

The DVM program includes 9 semesters of instruction.  The first three years are two semesters in length and follow the University academic calendar.  They include on-campus and off-campus learning experiences.  A number of extracurricular learning activities are also available.  The fourth year is the equivalent of three semesters – 40 weeks of practicum rotation experiences, plus two weeks for assessment, delivered over a full calendar year (May-April).  Through our Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC) students will gain valuable hands-on clinical, diagnostic and professional experience in the fourth year of the program.  The DVLC is comprised of private and public practices, non-government organizations, federal and provincial agencies and other animal industry partners who work with UCVM faculty to provide an exciting collaborative environment and outstanding learning opportunities for our DVM students.

The DVM curriculum provides a balance of opportunities for students to learn comparative medicine and acquire discipline-based knowledge, to acquire and practice clinical and professional skills, and to develop diagnostic reasoning ability during the first three years. Early exposure to clinical material at the individual animal and population levels is provided in the Clinical Presentations courses, which integrate basic, preclinical, clinical and population health material.

Clinical Skills courses offered in each semester of the first three years enable students to have early and frequent contact with animals, where they learn and practice clinical skills necessary for the practicum year. Professional Skills courses cover clinical communications, ethics, jurisprudence, business operations, informatics, and research.

UCVM is located at the Foothills Campus (approximately 1 kilometre south of the main campus of the University of Calgary off 16th Ave N and at the Spy Hill Campus in NW Calgary (off 85th Street NW – approximately 17 kilometres northwest of the Foothills campus). The Foothills Campus houses classrooms, faculty offices, research and teaching laboratories, the Health Sciences Library, student spaces, and the main administrative offices (in the TRW Building, 3280 Hospital Drive NW). The Spy Hill Campus houses the Clinical Skills Building, the Veterinary Sciences Research Station, and the Wildlife Research Station. This is the site of hands-on clinical and diagnostic learning in the DVM program and clinical and applied research. The fourth year of the DVM program and much of our clinical research take place in the DVLC.

The first three years of the DVM program are delivered predominantly at the Foothills and Spy Hill Campuses, with students spending approximately 50% of their time at each site.  Students are responsible for their own travel between sites, with classes scheduled to allow full day activities at each location. During the final year of the DVM program, students complete their practicum rotations on and off campus.  Many practicum rotations occur off campus in partner private veterinary practices that constitute the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s Distributed Veterinary Teaching Hospital (DVTH), and at other institutional and private partner settings that constitute the DVLC. Many of these off-campus sites are located within a 90-minute drive of Calgary; the others are distributed across Alberta and beyond, including international sites.  

For more information please refer to our Application Manual

Please visit the official U of C calendar for details on the courses that will be taught during the DVM program. Click here to read the curriculum outline on the U of C Calendar.


UCVM is a progressive Faculty looking for students with a passion for and understanding of the veterinary profession. Students wishing to gain admission to the program will need to demonstrate academic competency, appropriate verbal reasoning and problem solving skills, and an understanding and appreciation of the veterinary profession and related animal populations and industries relevant to their career interests.

The admissions process includes an assessment of academic performance, an interview, and an essay. Please see our Admission Requirements for details on prerequisites and the interview process. For information about the admission's process, please contact vet [dot] admissions [at] ucalgary [dot] ca or (403) 220-8699.