This program is not available to students with only a high school diploma. University credit is required before admission.
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine DVM program provides future veterinarians with a contemporary, relevant education that enables them to meet the changing needs of society and be prepared for vital careers in private practice, public service, research, academia and industry.
Visit the College of Veterinary Medicine's website for detailed admissions information.
60 credit units of pre-veterinary courses (at least two years)
- 6 credits of Biology
- 6 credits of Chemistry
- 6 credits of English
- 6 credits of Mathematics or Statistics
- 3 credits of Physics
- 3 credits of Organic Chemistry
- 3 credits of Biochemistry
- 3 credits of Genetics
- 3 credits of Introductory Microbiology
- 21 credits of elective courses
Up to 78 students are admitted to the first year class. Selection is based on a number of factors including: mental aptitude, academic performance, motivation, maturity, experience with animals, leadership qualities, social awareness, deportment, verbal facility, and ability to communicate, and an understanding and knowledge of the veterinary profession. The weighting of academic performance to non-academic qualities is 60:40. These factors are assessed through the following criteria:
1. Academic Record
At least two full years of university courses are required to complete the pre-requisite course requirements. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative average of 75% to be considered.
Applicants are selected for interview based on their academic performance.
Two references are required: one must be a veterinarian, while the other must have an individual with an animal-related or agricultural background.
As a regional veterinary college, the program accepts applicants who are residents of the four western provinces and the northern territories. The allotment system is:
- British Columbia: 20
- Alberta: 20
- Saskatchewan: 20
- Manitoba: 15
- Northern territories (Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories): 1
- Education Equity Program: 2
Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba Residents
- For an applicant residing with his or her parents, the residence of the parents shall determine the residence of the applicant.
- For an applicant not residing with his or her parents, residence is established by the applicant's residing in the province in question for at least one year (12 consecutive months) without attending post-secondary education prior to the WCVM’s December 1 application deadline.
Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories Residents
Because Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories are not formal signatories of the interprovincial funding contract, they apply their own rules for applicants claiming to be residents of these areas.
Aboriginal Equity Access Program
Two seats are available for Aboriginal students under this category. Proof of Aboriginal ancestry is required.
The Education Equity Program encourages students of Aboriginal descent to apply to the college. Spaces are available each year for Aboriginal students applying through this program.
Requirements for access to equity program
A certified copy of one of the following cards:
- Status or Treaty Card
- Métis Membership Card
- Nunavut Trust Certificate Card2.
Proof that an ancestor's name has been entered on one of these lists:
- Indian Register according to the Indian Act
- Inuit Roll
- individual band list
Evidence of an ancestor who received a land grant or a script grant under the:
- Manitoba Act
- Dominion Lands Act/Homestead Act
Written confirmation of:
- aboriginal ancestry from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
- membership by a band council which has enacted its own band membership code
- Other forms of proof may be considered.
- Roll number or any other proof accepted by the Inuit communities is also accepted for the purpose of admission
2012-2013 Veterinary Medicine Entry Admission Statistics
Total Applicants: 340
75 to 94%
Years of University
2 years: 7
3-4 years: 42
+5 years: 29
Age Range: 20-37
- Training: The College’s students gain hands-on experience with animals through formal laboratory exercises, elective courses and fourth-year rotations. Student club activities, research mentorships and volunteer positions offer additional experiences.
- Progressive Curriculum: Our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum includes refined core courses and a wide range of third-year elective courses that allow students to focus on particular interest areas. It also provides instruction in leadership, communications and practice management to prepare graduates for their future professional careers.
- Undergraduate Research Program: The WCVM’s Undergraduate Summer Student Research program is one of the finest introductory research initiatives in North America. First- and second-year students work alongside experienced researchers at the college to learn more about the world of research and to gain valuable experience.
- Diverse Caseload: The Veterinary Medical Centre’s diverse caseload ensures that veterinary students are exposed to a range of animal species and health issues during their senior years.
- Modern Facilities and Advanced Technologies: The College recently expanded its Veterinary Medical Centre, built a new research wing and diagnostic complex, and upgraded a number of student spaces including lecture theatres, classrooms, locker rooms and gathering areas. These improvements ensure that the College meets international accreditation standards.
- Post-Graduate Options: The WCVM has Master of Veterinary Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in various medical and scientific disciplines. In addition, the College offers combined Master of Veterinary Science degree and clinical residency programs in a range of areas. Internship programs are also available in the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre.
- VBMS 333: Veterinary Pharmacology
- To provide a basic understanding of how drugs work, and how they interact with the animal that they are administered to, e.g., the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. In addition the processes by which drugs can produce unwanted side effects will be studied. Drugs that are used widely in veterinary medicine will be particularly featured.
- VTMC 336: Veterinary Parasitology
The course covers helminth, anthropod and protozoan parasites, including zoonoses, of domestic animals, with emphasis on those important in western Canada. The course includes aspects of life cycles, pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and prevention. Text and images for the course are available at www.wcvmlearnaboutparasites.usask.ca (password protected), and multiple choice quizzes through U of S Blackboard.
- VSAC 463: Small Animal Medicine and Surgery I
A comprehensive course covering the clinical signs, diagnostic features, appropriate management, and prognosis of common and/or important small animal diseases affecting each body system. The emphasis is on establishing a solid diagnostic approach to cases and developing the clinical skills necessary to manage medical and surgical cases. Laboratory sessions will allow the student to learn and practice the common diagnostic techniques necessary to make a clinical diagnosis. This course will cover medical and surgical diseases of the respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal and nervous systems as well as surgery of the ears and reconstructive surgery of the skin.
Private practice: Mixed animal practitioners treat large and small animals while large animal practitioners focus on agricultural livestock. Small animal veterinarians provide health care for dogs, cats and exotic pets. Some private practitioners specialize in treating individual species such as dairy and beef cattle, swine, horses or companion animals.
Specialized disciplines: Clinicians with advanced training provide specialized services in many clinical disciplines, including surgery, internal medicine, medical imaging, anesthesiology, ophthalmology, pathology, dentistry, wildlife medicine and oncology.
Public service: Provincial and federal veterinarians help to develop public policy and legislation related to animal and animal-human health. Their responsibilities include:
- regulating the import and export of livestock and food products.
- controlling infectious diseases among livestock and wildlife from a local to a global level.
- providing diagnostic services and ensure the health and safety of commercial meat products through slaughter inspection.
Academia and research: Veterinarians are involved in teaching and researching animal health at veterinary colleges, universities and research institutions.
Industry: Veterinarians take part in the research and commercial development of new feed products, drugs and technologies with animal health companies.