A tightly-knit and supportive learning community

The DVM program at the Atlantic Veterinary College is fully accredited by the Canadian and American Veterinary Medical Associations, and is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Our highly sought after graduates are eligible for licensure in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. They consistently achieve high success rates in licensing examinations and have excellent employment opportunities worldwide.

“The AVC is committed to producing graduates with the knowledge, skills, aptitudes, and attitudes to become proficient entry-level veterinarians in multi-species clinical practice, with the flexibility to pursue a variety of focused opportunities in clinical practice or other career tracks available to the veterinary profession.”

The DVM curriculum is four years in duration consisting of three preclinical years followed by one clinical year. It combines a broad based, multispecies core with elective opportunities that allow students to shape their own career paths in Years 3 and 4.

Four AVC students stand in an veterinary operating room

All Year 1 courses are required and include instruction in the basic science disciplines with a focus on normal form and function with opportunities for integrated problem-based learning. Coursework in animal behaviour, welfare and production systems, as well as epidemiology and critical reasoning is included. Basic clinical skills including animal restraint and handling are also introduced with opportunities to interact with faculty, staff and senior students in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Year 1 also includes a course in fundamental research principles, and expanded opportunities to explore concepts related to professional identity and develop skills such as reflective practice, self-awareness, communication, cultural competence, resilience, and well-being.

All Year 2 courses are required and include instruction in disease processes and agents as well as public health and evidence-based medicine. Course work in clinical disciplines such as medicine, surgery, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, theriogenology, and primary care practice is introduced as well as training in related clinical skills. In addition, a course that builds on Year 1 content in the Professional Foundations strand offers opportunities related to ethics and moral reasoning, professional values, leadership, and clinical communication skills.

Year 3 transitions to a core-elective structure for both large and small animal disciplines with the majority of core coursework occurring in semester one and the majority of elective courses offered in semester two in a series of five week modules. Year 3 core courses address fundamental knowledge and skills in large and small animals, including decision-making for both well and sick animals. Year 3 electives are designed to give students added flexibility and allow them opportunities to focus on a particular species or career interest beyond the core curriculum.

In Year 4 students are required to participate in at least 39 weeks of clinical rotations and a 2-credit seminar-based course entitled Clinical Conference. Clinical rotations offer students the opportunity to apply their veterinary medical and professional knowledge and skills under the mentorship of experienced faculty members. Each rotation ranges in duration from one to three weeks and one week of rotation equates to one academic credit. Students are required to take a common core of eight three week rotations including Anesthesiology, Radiology, Companion Animal Medicine, Companion Animal Surgery, Community Practice, Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Large Animal Health Management, and Diagnostic Services. Beyond this core, students must take an additional three weeks of more specialized internal electives, while the remaining twelve weeks of electives may be any combination of internal or approved external rotations.

Horses graze in a field behind the Atlantic Veterinary College
Horses graze in a field behind the Atlantic Veterinary College
Course Structure

First Year

Semester 1

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VBS 1010 Macroscopic Anatomy I 2 5 4
VBS 1110 Microscopic Anatomy I 1 2 2
VBS 1210 Physiology I 2 0 2
VBS 1410 Integration of Structure and Function I 0 5 2
VBS 1040 Principles of Veterinary Research 1 0 1
VBS 1050 Professional Foundations I 1 2 2
VBS 1030 Animal Behaviour and Welfare 2 0 2
VHM 1110 Animal Production Systems 2 1 2
VPM 1110 Veterinary Immunology 2 1 2
  13 16 19

Semester 2

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VBS 1020 Macroscopic Anatomy II 2 5 4
VBS 1120 Microscopic Anatomy II 1.4 1.7 3
VBS 1220 Physiology II 2 0 2
VBS 1420 Integration of Structure and Function II 0 3 1
VHM 1120 Principles of Veterinary Epidemiology 2 1 2
VHM 1130 Clinical Skills I 0 3 1
VPM 1220 Parasitology 2 2 3
VPM 1520 General Pathology 2 2 3
  11.4 17.7 19

Second Year

Semester 3

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VBS 2130 Veterinary Pharmacology I 3 1 3
VCA 2520 Diagnostic Imaging I 1 1 1
VHM 2310 Veterinary Public Health 2 0 2
VHM 2410 Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine 1 1 1
VHM 2510 Clinical Skills II    1 2 1
VPM 2010 Bacteriology and Mycology        3 2 4
VPM 2110 Virology 2 2 3
VPM 2210 Systemic Pathology I 2 2 3
VPM 2020 Professional Foundations II 1 2 2
  16 13 20

Semester 4

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VBS 2140 Veterinary Pharmacology II 1 1 1
VBS 2150 Veterinary Toxicology 2 1 2
VCA 2140 Diagnostic Imaging II 1 1 1
VCA 2120 Principles of Medicine  2 0 2
VCA 2310 Principles of Surgery 1.5 0 1.5
VCA 2410 Principles of Anesthesiology 1.5 0 1.5
VCA 2150 Small Animal Primary Care Practice I 2 0 2
VCA 2130 Clinical Skills III 0 4 1
VHM 2220 Principles of Theriogenology 1 0 1
VPM 2220 Systemic Pathology II 2 2 3
VPM 2420 Clinical Pathology 2 2 3
VPM 2620 Aquaculture and Fish Health 1 0 1
  17 11 20

Third Year

The third year of the DVM program consists of core and elective courses. Students are required to take all of the core courses and at least 16 credit hours of elective courses. The majority of elective courses are delivered in 5-week modules (M) in semester 6.

Semester 5 

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VCA 3160 Small Animal Primary Care Practice II 1 0 1
VCA 3150 Small Animal Medicine 4 0 4
VCA 3170 Small Animal Surgery 4 0 4
VCA 3130 Clinical Skills V 0 2 0
VHM 3220 Food Animal Health and Disease 5 0 5
VHM 3230 Equine Health and Disease 4 0 4
VHM 3540 Clinical Skills IV 0 3 1
VHM 3630 Professional Foundations III M 0 1
  18 5 20


  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VCA 3240 Advanced Small Animal Anesthesiology 1 0 1
VCA 3510 Introduction to Exotic Pet Medicine 1 0 1
VHM 3520 Principles of Integrative Medicine 1 0 1

Semester 6

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VCA 3130 Clinical Skills V 0 2 2
VCA 3140 Professional Foundations IV 0 1 0.5
  0 3 2.5
Elective (s)      
VBS 3110 Comparative Medicine M 0 1.5
VCA 3230 Advanced Large Animal Anesthesiology M 0 1

VHM 3250 Production and Infectious Diseases of Food Animals

M   0.5
VHM 3260 Bovine Herd Management and Nutrition M   0.5

VHM 3270 Advanced Bovine Mastitis and Quality Milk Production

M   1.0

VHM 3280 Current Issues in Bovine Lameness, Welfare and Cow Comfort

M   0.5
VHM 3290 Topics in Poultry and Swine M   0.5
VHM 3330 Topics in Small Ruminants M   1.0
VHM 3340 Health of Aquatic Animals and the Ecosystem M   1.0
VHM 3390 Topics in Advanced Equine Medicine M   1.0
VHM 3430 Advanced Equine Medicine Techniques M   0.5
VHM 3440 Equine Preventative Medicine M   0.5
VHM 3450 Food Animal Anesthesia and Surgery  M   0.5

VHM 3460 Techniques in Food Animal Anaesthesia and Surgery

M   0.5
VHM 3470 Equine Anaesthesia, Surgery and Lameness M   1.5

VHM 3480 Techniques in Equine Anaesthesia and Surgery

M   0.5

VHM 3510 Techniques in the Evaluation of Equine Musculoskeletal Diseases

M   0.5
VHM 3360 Topics in Advanced Equine Theriogenology M   0.5
VHM 3370 Advanced Equine Theriogenology Techniques M   0.5
VHM 3350 Topics in Advanced Bovine Theriogenology M   0.5
VHM 3380 Advanced Bovine Theriogenology Techniques M   0.5

M designates modular course format


Fourth Year

The fourth year of the DVM program consists of at least 41 semester-hours of credit comprising:

  • one two-semester-hour didactic course (VHM 4110)
  • 24 semester-hours (24 weeks) of core clinical rotations
  • at least 15 semester-hours (15 weeks) of elective clinical rotations.

Semester 7 or 8

  Weekly contact (hours)  
Course Lecture Lab Credit
VHM 4110 Clinical Conference 0 2 2

Clinical rotations in Fourth Year must consist of at least 39 semester-hours of credit selected from among approved one-to three-credit-hour core and elective rotations. Fourth-year rotations require a minimum time commitment of 28 hours per week of each student, and emergency and out-of-hours duties may be required. Normally, one week of fourth-year rotation experience equates to one semester-hour of credit.

Fourth-year rotation selections comprising the required 39 semester-hours of credit must meet the following criteria:

  • All students must take a core consisting of 24 semester-hours (weeks) of internal rotations as follows:

a. Clinics in Radiology (VCA 4400)—3 weeks
b. Clinics in Anaesthesiology (VCA 4000) —3 weeks
c. Clinics in Companion Animal Medicine (VCA 4100)—3 weeks 
d. Clinics in Companion Animal Surgery (VCA 4300)—3 weeks
e. Communit Practice (VCA 4340)—3 weeks
f.  Clinics in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery (VHM 4600)—3 weeks
g. Large Animal Health Management (VHM 4230)—3 weeks
h. Diagnostic Services (VPM 4500)—3 weeks

  • 27 semester-hours of credit must consist of internal rotations offered by the AVC.
  • 6 semester-hours of credit may consist of internal rotations offered by the AVC and/or external clinical experiences in institutional/specialist practices (VBS 4900, VCA 4900, VHM 4900, VPM 4900), 
  • 6 semester-hours of credit may consist of internal rotations offered by the AVC, and/or external clinical experiences in institutional/specialist practices (VBS 4900, VCA 4900, VHM 4900, VPM 4900), and/or external clinical experiences in general private practice (VCA 4940, VHM 4940).

Students are required to select rotations from the following list:

VBS 4400 Exotic and Laboratory Animal Medicine
VBS 4900 External Clinical Experience-Institutional or Specialist Practice
VBS 4950 Special Topics in Biomedical Sciences
VCA 4020 Clinics in Anaesthesiology II 
VCA 4200 Clinics in Companion Animal Medicine II 
VCA 4220 Clinical Nutrition in Companion Animals
VCA 4320 Clinics in Companion Animal Surgery II
VCA 4600 Clinics in Dermatology 
VCA 4750 Client Communications
VCA 4800 Clinics in Companion Animal Cardiology 
VCA 4820 Clinics in Ophthalmology 
VCA 4900 External Clinical Experience-Institutional or Specialist Practice
VCA 4940 External Clinical Experience-General Private Practice
VCA 4950 Special Topics in Companion Animals
VHM 4010 Career and Practice Management
VHM 4020 Applied Epidemiology
VHM 4030 Short Course in Applied Epidemiology
VHM 4040 Aquaculture Health Management I 
VHM 4050 Aquaculture Health Management II 
VHM 4060 Topics in Regulatory Veterinary Epidemiology
VHM 4120 Animal Welfare Assessment & Regulations
VHM 4130 Fish Health
VHM 4310 Clinics in Farm Service - Ruminants and Swine I 
VHM 4320 Clinics in Farm Service—Dairy 
VHM 4340 Ecosystem Health
VHM 4360 Clinics in Farm Services—Swine 
VHM 4380 Ecosystem Health—Case Studies
VHM 4410 Clinics in Farm Service—Ruminants and Swine II 
VHM 4430 Clinics in Farm Service—Feedlot Management
VHM 4450 Clinics in Farm Service—Ruminant Nutrition
VHM 4460 Clinics in Farm Service—Ruminant Mastitis
VHM 4530 Clinics in Equine Ambulatory Service I
VHM 4540 Clinics in Equine Ambulatory Service II
VHM 4550 Clinics in Farm Service I
VHM 4560 Clinics in Farm Service II
VHM 4570 Clinics in Equine Sports Medicine I
VHM 4580 Clinics in Equine Sports Medicine II
VHM 4590 Clinics in Equine Ambulatory and Reproductive Services
VHM 4610 Clinics in Large Animal Medicine & Surgery II
VHM 4670 Swine Health Monitoring
VHM 4680 International Small Holder Dairy Health Management
VHM 4800 Clinics in Regulatory Medicine
VHM 4810 Clinics in Ruminant Medicine and Surgery Rotation at the University of Montreal – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (English Rotation)
VHM 4840 Veterinary Chiropractic Techniques (Cooperative Section)
VHM 4860 Veterinary Acupuncture (cooperative section)
VHM 4900 External Clinical Experience-Institutional or Specialist Practice
VHM 4920 Advanced Equine Dentistry and Health Care
VHM 4940 External Clinical Experience—General Private Practice
VHM 4950 Special Topics in Health Management
VPM 4100 International Veterinary Medicine
VPM 4210 Foreign Animal Diseases
VPM 4220 Foreign Animal Diseases with Practicum
VPM 4300 Clinical Virology
VPM 4600 Morphologic Pathology
VPM 4720 Wildlife Health
VPM 4900 External Clinical Experience—Institutional or Specialist Practice
VPM 4950 Special Topics in Pathology and Microbiology

Admissions Criteria
What's Required for DVM Admission?

Four students stand in a barn surrounded by cows

Admissions information for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program is organized into five (5) sections:

  1. Admissions Overview
  2. DVM Academic Requirements
  3. DVM Non-Academic Requirements
  4. DVM Application Procedure
  5. General DVM Applicant Information

The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) is a regional institution that serves the needs of Atlantic Canada. The college is funded by the four Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and approximately two thirds of the seats in the program are reserved for Atlantic Canadian residents. These seats are divided into four distinct applicant pools and the remaining seats are allocated to international applicants (including those from the United States), constituting a fifth applicant pool.

The admissions process strives to select applicants most likely to succeed in the veterinary curriculum with the potential to become competent, responsible veterinarians, dedicated to a lifetime of productive public service and continued learning.

Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs.

avc professor and students

But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.

Fees and Funding
DVM Program Tuition

DVM program tuition costs vary depending on whether the seat is designated as Atlantic Canadian or International. If you are an international student, did you know that tuition is comparable or less than out-of-state tuition at most other US colleges of veterinary medicine?


CAD $13,260 per year (domestic students).
International students pay CAD $66,500 per year.

For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Financial Aid

We understand that the decision to attend veterinary school requires a major investment and UPEI's Financial Aid Office is here to assist you in finding the best way to finance your education. For US DVM students, UPEI is pleased to be able to offer Direct Stafford Loans and Direct Plus Loans through the US Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program.

For more information regarding financial aid for both Canadian and US students please visit the UPEI Financial Aid Office webpage.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms.