The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Atlantic Veterinary College attracts the best and brightest regional and international students, and offers an engaging, immersive veterinary curriculum in the beautiful capital of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Our program is fully accredited by the Canadian and American Veterinary Medical Associations and is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom. Our highly sought-after graduates are eligible for licensure in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and consistently achieve high success rates in their licensing examinations.
One of eight faculties at the University of Prince Edward Island, AVC maintains an outstanding reputation throughout the region, across Canada, and internationally.
Proven track record of success
Over 1,700 veterinarians have graduated from our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program since our first class received their degrees in 1990.
Our graduates consistently achieve higher success rates than the North American average on licensing examinations (NAVLE).
Highly employable graduates
Our graduates achieve close to 100 per cent employment rate one year after graduation.
They work in private practices, specialized clinical disciplines, academia and research, public service, and industry.
Exceptional learning environment and small class sizes
We are proud to have one of the smallest class sizes in North America, ensuring that our students get a first-rate education.
Professors and students get to know each other by name and work side-by-side in a close-knit and supportive community environment.
Outstanding clinical facilities
Our Veterinary Teaching Hospital is Atlantic Canada’s most comprehensive veterinary referral hospital, caring for over 7,000 small and large animal patients on-site each year.
Our students also gain unique clinical experience working with AVC's Farm Service, Equine Ambulatory, and Aquaculture veterinarians and technicians.
Building a foundation in research is an important part of the veterinary medicine program at AVC. We are recognized around the world for our research activities involving the health and welfare of numerous animal species—aquatic and terrestrial—as well as humans.
Supporting our researchers are world-class research and service centres, including the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre and the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiological Research.
Comprising three preclinical and one clinical year, AVC’s four-year DVM curriculum prepares our students to become veterinarians who are well placed to meet the needs of today’s evolving society, fulfilling roles in private practice, academic, research, industry, and public service. Students receive a broad-based, multi-species core education with elective opportunities that allow them to shape their own career path in their third and fourth years.
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.
Visit the DVM Course Structure page for complete details.
Student life at AVC is rich and vibrant with over 20 DVM student clubs and organizations representing a wide range of diverse interests.
Whether cultivating your leadership skills in student government, participating in special interest clubs, or engaging in cutting edge research under the direction of a faculty mentor, the options are endless!
Take part in research, extracurricular educational activities, and networking opportunities!
Important update: Changes to grade reporting due to COVID-19 pandemic
In response to the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the AVC Admissions Committee will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing the transcripts of applicants to the DVM program.
In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/No Record (or Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail) and other grading options during the unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruptions, whether those decisions were made by institutions or by individual students.
It is the intention of the AVC Admissions Committee that any calculation of academic average that involves coursework from the winter 2020 semester will be undertaken in such a way as to give full advantage to each individual applicant.
As a regional institution, AVC receives funding support from the four Atlantic Canadian provinces--Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Approximately two-thirds of our DVM seats are reserved for residents of the four provinces while the remaining seats are allocated to international students.
The DVM admissions process is competitive and 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.
To find out of you are eligible to apply and learn more about the academic and non-academic requirements for admission, visit our Understanding the DVM Admissions Process page.
DVM program tuition costs vary depending on whether a 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?
For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for the DVM program, visit UPEI's Tuition and Fees page.
We understand that the decision to attend veterinary school requires a major investment. UPEI's Financial Aid Office is here to help you find 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 about 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.
Visit UPEI’s Scholarships and Awards for information and application forms.
At AVC, we are proud of our exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors.
Two of our outstanding faculty, Dr. Étienne Côté, professor of cardiology, and Dr. Susan Dawson, professor of anatomy, have been named National 3M Teaching Fellows for their innovative teaching. Our favourable student-to-faculty ratio means that students learn from and work closely with faculty who are recognized experts in many fields of veterinary medicine.
Our faculty members support our students with learning opportunities beyond the classroom as they progress through their four-year degree program.