Veterinary medicine is a career in high demand. As more and more people choose to own pets and make their pets a part of their family, the need for highly skilled vets continues to increase. Numerous colleges around the globe cater to this need and offer courses in veterinary medicine, with many having an extensive admissions waiting list due to their prestigious reputations. The top veterinary schools may vary in size, location and course style, but do have a number of things in common.
The practice of veterinary medicine is nearly as old as civilisation itself. Since the dawn of time, man has kept animals as a means of food, protection and companionship. Animals are sensitive creatures and prone to illness and injury just as humans are, so the demand for skilled caretakers has always been important. One of the first recognised veterinary training programs was developed in the early 1830s, and the subject's popularity has grown every year since its inception. Veterinary medicine has evolved over time just as human medicine has, and the quality of vet schooling and demand for skilled, knowledgeable veterinarians have increased as well.
Veterinary schools are ranked yearly according to a number of qualifications, and detailed lists noting these ranks are produced after careful evaluation. These factors include successful graduation rates, tuition costs, campus size and peer and resident faculty evaluations among a number of other factors. These rankings are rigorously reviewed, and a list of the top schools is produced and published on a yearly basis. Many potential students use these rankings when choosing to enrol in veterinary school, so a careful review of the top schools is vital to future enrolment.
According to the 2007 U.S. News and World Report veterinary colleges survey, the top five schools are Cornell University, Colorado State University, University of California--Davis, University of Pennsylvania, and North Carolina State University. Veterinary schools are all basically similar, with a few variations depending on speciality and animal type taken into consideration. All vet schools offer basic preliminary coursework that covers the essential courses in animal care, such as basic anatomy and structure, and clinic set-up and regulation. The top veterinary schools also offer upper level coursework to cover a wide range of medical specialities for any interest.
Selecting a top-ranked veterinary school can be important to overall academic and career successes. Top schools often have some of the highest graduation rates and highest grade point averages, indicating an overall higher quality of learning. The ranking system breaks down into categories such as class size and tuition cost, so potential students can evaluate their choices on many features to choose the overall best option. Many schools, such as Colorado State University and Cornell, have tuition rates averaging £22,750 per year, while others like Auburn and Louisiana State are well under £16,250, which can make a difference when selecting a preferred institution.
Selecting a veterinary school should be done only after careful evaluation. Some schools offer what they call veterinary courses, but they are not accredited and will not result in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. Evaluate each factor carefully while deciding on a school. Vet school is a lengthy process, with degrees taking a minimum of 8 years in most cases, so choosing a school that offers the best education and is the best fit is essential.
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