Top universities for veterinary science | Top Universities
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Top universities for veterinary science

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Holly Hemmings

Updated Oct 25, 2023
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The recently released QS World University Rankings by Subject features 70 of the top higher education institutions to study veterinary science degrees with 10 new entries this year. 

The subject rankings are based on four indicators: academic and employer reputation, citations per paper and H-index citations (a way of measuring the productivity and published work of a scientist or scholar). You can find more details about the methodology behind the subject rankings here

Read on as we discover the best veterinary science schools in each region. Alternatively, if you would like to explore the full list of veterinary science schools in more detail, click here

QS World University Rankings by Subject – Top universities for veterinary science 

Rank 

University 

Location 

Royal Veterinary College, University of London 

United Kingdom 

University of California Davis 

United States 

Cornell University 

United States 

Vetsuisse Faculty Bern and Zurich 

Switzerland 

Utrecht University 

Netherlands 

University of Guelph 

Canada 

Colorado State University 

United States 

The University of Edinburgh 

United Kingdom 

University of Pennsylvania 

United States 

10 

The Ohio State University 

United States 

Top universities for veterinary science in the US and Canada 

There are a total of 27 veterinary science universities in North America this year: 21 in the United States and six in Canada

The US’ top-ranked university is University of California Davis which came second in the world rankings. UCD has shaped the field of veterinary medicine, developing veterinary treatments and making key discoveries related to animal, human and environmental health. The school is investing US$500million in its new UC Davis veterinary medical centre. 

The US has two new entries this year: The University of Tennessee Knoxville (51-70) and University of Missouri Columbia (51-70). 

Canada’s highest-ranked university for veterinary science, University of Guelph, is sixth in the subject rankings and earns a near-perfect score for H-index citations. Researchers at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary School conduct research to improve health and wellbeing of animals, people and ecosystems. Their research focuses on a wide range of topics from cancer biology to infectious diseases to reproductive biology. 

Canada’s other universities are Université de Montréal (30th), University of Calgary (33rd), University of Alberta (51-70), University of Prince Edward Island (51-70) and University of Saskatchewan (51-70). 

Top universities for veterinary science in Europe 

There is a total of 29 European universities featured in this year’s veterinary science rankings.  

Eight of Europe’s best veterinary schools are found in the United Kingdom, including two in the global top 10. Amongst these is the world’s best university to study veterinary science, Royal Veterinary College, University of London: the largest and oldest established veterinary school in the English-speaking world. It earns a perfect score for academic reputation this year. 

Outside of the top 10, other UK universities performing well this year are The University of Bristol (16th), The University of Cambridge (=18th) and The University of Liverpool (=18th). 

Italy has five universities in the rankings this year with two in the top 50: University of Pisa (40th) and University of Milan (48th). 

The Netherlands, Germany, and Spain each have two entries in this year’s veterinary school rankings. The Netherlands’ Utrecht University is ranked in the global top 10 at fifth and Wageningen University and Research is 24th. 

Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Finland, Austria, and Denmark all have only one entry to the rankings this year. Of these, Switzerland’s Vetsuisse Faculty Bern and Zurich is ranked fourth, closely followed by Denmark’s University of Copenhagen (14th) which still ranks within the top 20. 

Top universities for veterinary science in Australia and New Zealand 

Australia has five universities in the subject rankings for veterinary science this year. The University of Sydney is the top-ranked veterinary science school, falling one place this year. Other notable universities include The University of Melbourne (26th), The University of Queensland (44th), Murdoch University (51-70) and The University of Adelaide (51-70). 

New Zealand only has one entry this year: Massey University, ranking 28th in the world. Massey University earns a high score in the employer reputation and the citations per paper indicators, reflecting the quality of the research produced by the institution's faculty. 

Top universities for veterinary science in Asia 

Asia is home to three ranked veterinary science schools. Japan’s The University of Tokyo ranks 34th and is the top-ranked veterinary school in Asia, despite dropping two places this year. The University of Tokyo’s veterinary medicine courses cover a wide range of life sciences including medicine for animals and biology of mammals and higher vertebrates. 

The other veterinary science universities in Asia are Malaysia’s Universiti Putra Malaysia (46th) and South Korea’s Seoul National University (49th). 

Top universities for veterinary science in Latin America 

Latin America also has three entries this year. The highest-ranked of these is Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo in 42nd, having scored highly for employer reputation, suggesting that a degree in veterinary sciences from this university is highly valued and increases a student’s employability. 

The other schools within Latin America are Brazil’s UNESP (51-70) and Mexico’s Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México (51-70).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is veterinary science?

Veterinary science degrees look at animal health. It allows students to study some animal biology and gives them information on all health topics from preventative health practices to the medicating of different animals and surgical procedures.

How can I become a veterinarian?

In order to become a veterinarian, a veterinary science degree is a necessary step. You will need to complete a degree from an approved veterinary college and, after completing your studies, apply to your country's official register of veterinary professionals so that you can begin practicing professionally as a veterinarian, veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon. In the UK, the official register is the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons).

Experience working or volunteering with animals is also a great step. The experience will increase your employability.

How many years of college must I do to be a veterinarian?

Courses vary from country to country but in the UK veterinary science degrees take five years to complete.

Is veterinary science a good career path?

Veterinary science can be a very good career path depending on the country that you work in. It is generally a competitive field, but jobs are generally stable and well-paying.

According to the Prospects website, starting salaries for a veterinary surgeon in the UK are just over £30,000, can often rise to £40,000-£70,000 and can go up to £92,000 depending on experience and specialisation.

Can I study veterinary science online?

No. The practical elements and lab time in a veterinary science degree are very important and to achieve the best education and information possible, it is important that a student is able to get hands-on experience and interaction with their tutors.

 

For more information on veterinary science, visit our subject guide.