How Long Do You Have to Go to School to Be a Vet?


The path to becoming a veterinarian is both exciting and demanding. If you’ve ever asked, “How long do you have to go to school to be a vet?” this guide offers insights into the educational journey, including required degrees, internships, and licensing.

Educational Pathway to Becoming a Veterinarian

1. Undergraduate Degree (3-4 years)

A bachelor’s degree in a science-related field is typically required. Learn more about prerequisites at official university websites.

2. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Degree (4 years)

A DVM program consists of academic studies and clinical training. Detailed information can be found at accredited veterinary schools.

3. Internship and Residency (Optional, 1-4 years)

Specialization in fields like surgery or wildlife medicine may require additional training. Explore options at veterinary specialty organizations.

Licensing and Certification

After obtaining a DVM degree, aspiring veterinarians must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). More details are available at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Total Time Required

So, how long do you have to go to school to be a vet? The journey typically takes 7 to 12 years, depending on optional internships and residencies.


Q: Are there online DVM programs available?

A: Most DVM programs require in-person training, but some pre-veterinary courses may be online. Visit official university websites.

Q: What are common specialties within veterinary medicine?

A: Specialties include surgery, oncology, and equine medicine. Learn more at veterinary specialty websites.

Q: How competitive are veterinary school admissions?

A: Admissions can be competitive, often requiring strong academic performance. Consult veterinary school admission offices.

Q: Can I work as a vet tech before becoming a veterinarian?

A: Yes, working as a vet tech can provide valuable experience. More information can be found at veterinary technician association websites.


Becoming a veterinarian involves significant educational commitments, ranging from undergraduate studies to specialized internships and residencies. The rewards of this profession include working with animals and making a difference in their lives. Always refer to authentic sources such as universities, veterinary schools, and professional associations for up-to-date and accurate information.