University of California at Davis has the best veterinary program, according to U.S. News & World Report as of 2015. Cornell, Colorado State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Texas A&M, University of Pennsylvania, University of Minnesota at Twin Cities and Tufts complete the top 10.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings were based on peer assessment surveys sent to faculty, administrators and deans at schools offering accredited veterinary medicine programs. The surveys requested that participants rank the academic programs offered at other schools on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being best. UC Davis achieved a survey score of 4.7. Tufts, in 10th place, received a 3.3.
Veterinary programs are highly competitive. In 2013, 6,800 applicants competed for 2,700 openings nationwide. To improve the chances of acceptance to top veterinary medicine programs, Penn State recommends completing an undergraduate degree in biological or physical science, maintaining a high GPA throughout college and volunteering whenever possible with private-practice veterinarians or animal care clinics to gain hands-on experience.
A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree typically takes four years to complete, and graduates must take and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination before they are allowed to practice.