DVM Program

Our students graduate with the skills and knowledge to perform all procedures common to general veterinary practice – from the family cat and dog to livestock and horses.


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 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 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.

Four Years at the UCVM

The DVM program includes 9 semesters of instruction. The first three years of the 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 Distributed Veterinary Learning Community (DVLC).

Year One

Two Semesters | Follows university academic calendar.

Students are introduced to veterinary medicine through a wide range of foundational courses. Hands-on skills are learned early in the program and practical experiences are gained during field trips involving various animal industries.

Year Two

Two Semesters | Follows university academic calendar.

Students build on the fundamentals learned in year one, and begin to gain a more detailed understanding of diagnosis of disease. Electives are offered in our four “Areas of Emphasis” and field courses provide practical experiences.

Year Three

Two Semesters | Follows university academic calendar.

Along with advanced course work, students expand their hands-on training with an emphasis on surgical skills and treatment techniques. Field course experiences round out the student’s training in the four “Areas of Emphasis”. 

Year Four

Three Semesters | 40 weeks of practicum rotation + 2 weeks for assessment, delivered over a full calendar year (May-April)

During this time, students gain practical hands-on experience in a variety of veterinary clinics and settings across Alberta and around the world.

Career Opportunities

  • Private veterinary practice (food animals, equine, companion animals)
  • Academia
  • Research and Medical industry
  • Government agencies
  • Wildlife and ecosystem management
  • Public health
  • Diagnostic services

Admission to the DVM Program


Admission Requirements

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Application for Admission

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Admission Timeline

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Course Equivalencies

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Understanding the Admission Process

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Admissions Review

2019 / 2020 Cycle

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Declaration of Applicant

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Have admissions related questions? Call us at 403.220.8699 or email us at: vet.admissions@ucalgary.ca