Vet schools with global animal health/international veterinary medicine classes

This post was written in the spring of 2014 and there may be curriculum changes from what is mentioned here. Make sure to check with individual vet schools for the exact details of their programs.

For pre-vet students who are interested in international veterinary medicine, you might have wondered which vet schools offer curriculums that will give you a solid foundation for your future work.  The good news is that many schools today do indeed have some sort of international veterinary medicine courses.  Plus, even more schools offer other valuable foundations for the global vet in subjects like epidemiology, public health, shelter medicine (which gets you thinking about resource-limited settings), and zoonotic/foreign disease classes.  Depending on the type of international work you want to do, look further for species-specific elections for those options, such as wildlife conservation, small ruminants, infectious disease epidemiology, or even marine animals.  Some vet schools have their own in-house DVM/MPH programs, and the University of Minnesota has a mostly distance education MPH program open to anyone in an accredited veterinary school.  And whatever program you attend, you will have countless options for volunteering abroad during school breaks, even if your school doesn’t offer any for-credit courses in their curriculum.

Lots of vet schools these days have “international vet med program” web pages.  It’s hard to tell how good some of these “programs” are, as some simply give you general advice on how to find summer volunteering (in less detail than my blog), and others offer elective credit for approved international projects.  My list notes schools that create their own academic courses and offer something unique to students, or have for-credit international options.  It’s entirely possible that more schools have the option to earn elective/rotation credit for international volunteer work but didn’t mention it on a web page I visited, so be sure to ask about it.

Depending on the size of your undergrad university, you might be able to get your start before vet school.  Check to see if your university offers courses in areas like international studies, global health, zoonotic/emerging diseases, public health, epidemiology, or nonprofit management.  Of course, taking Spanish or another second language is also a great idea.  All of these subjects would benefit you if you think you’re interested in international veterinary work, and at the very least they’re electives that will help you earn your bachelor’s degree.

As of spring 2014, here’s a list of American, Canadian, and Caribbean vet schools and the courses they offer that would be of special interest of people interested in practicing/volunteering abroad.  Bolded are the specifically international courses, the others listed are courses also likely to interest you.  The school links go to their curriculum pages.  Please contact me if my list needs updating!  I’ve listed the schools with the best offerings nearest the top.

Washington State University
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Medicine and Human Health, Epidemiology, Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals.
Optional: Epidemiology rotation, Shelter Medicine rotation.
Note: The school’s Global Animal Health Pathway includes these as core courses: International Veterinary Medicine, Introduction to Global Health, Emerging and Exotic Animal Diseases, Global Animal Health Major Project, Scientific Writing and Presentation. GAHP electives: Global Studies, Animal Human Disease Interface, Special Problems in Global Animal Health, Veterinary Research Practicum, Student Initiated Professional Experience, Animal Health Food System Policy and US State/National Governments, Animal Health Food System Policy and Intergovernmental Organizations, Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Global Health Challenges, Spanish for Veterinarians, Advanced Conversations Spanish for DVM students.

Virginia-Maryland Regional College
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Epidemiology, Veterinary Public Health, Emerging & Exotic Diseases of Animals.
OptionalVets in Global Community, Advanced Epidemiology, Emerging Infectious Disease I & II, Advanced Veterinary Public Health, International Food Animal clerkship, International Public/Corporate Vet Med.

North Carolina State University
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology & Public Health, Exotic and Emerging Diseases.
Optional: Epidemiology rotation, Special Topics – Epidemiology rotation, Veterinary International Experience selectiveVeterinary International Field Studies rotation, Subtropical Zoology and Medicine in Bermuda.

Cornell University (New York)
In the core curriculum: Public Health.
Optional: Transboundary and Emerging Diseases of Animals, Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Shelter Medicine I and II, Veterinary Medicine in Developing Nations, Field Techniques of International Wildlife Management.

University of Georgia
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.
OptionalInternational Veterinary Medicine.
Note: Offers a Certificate in International Veterinary Medicine requires the above mentioned elective, an externship of at least 3 weeks, foreign language proficiency, and a directed reading project.

Tufts University (Massachusetts)
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Emerging and Exotic Diseases of Animals, Public Health.
Pre-clinial selectives currently offered: Shelter Visits (comparisons of shelters), Hands-on Biostatistics, Infectious Disease Rounds (in a human hospital), Shelter Medicine.
OptionalPost Graduate Certificate Program in International Veterinary Medicine.

Kansas State University
In the core curriculum: Principles of Epidemiology, Veterinary Public Health.
Optional: Practicing Veterinary Medicine in a Multicultural Society, Practical Use and Interpretation of Veterinary Scientific Literature, Topics in Global Veterinary MedicineGlobalization & the Food Trade. (Links to lists of 1st and 2nd year electives, 2nd year spring electives, 3rd year fall electives, 3rd year spring electives.)

Western University of Health Sciences (California)
In the core curriculumVeterinary Public Health, Global Animal Health.
Optional: Global Health rotation, Public Health rotation, Public Policy rotation, Shelter Medicine rotation.

Atlantic Veterinary College (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Public Health, Principles of Veterinary Epidemiology
OptionalInternational Small Holder Dairy Health Management rotationInternational Veterinary Medicine rotation, Foreign Animal Diseases rotation, Applied Epidemiology rotation, Short Course in Applied Epidemiology rotation, Topics in Regulatory Veterinary Epidemiology rotation.

Purdue University (Indiana) and 4th Year Curriculum
In the core curriculum: Principles of Epidemiology, as well as a later choice between a livestock or small animal Epidemiology course, Vet Public Health & Zoonoses.
OptionalInternational Veterinary Medicine, Shelter Animal Medicine, Shelter Medicine and Surgery rotation, Public Health rotation.

University of Minnesota
In the core curriculum: Clinical Epidemiology.
OptionalOpportunities in International and Cultural Immersion (0.5 credit class with info about traveling internationally), Public Health, Advanced Public Health rotation, International Diseases, Public Health Issues and Veterinary Medicine Opportunities, Veterinary Public Health, Advanced Veterinary Public Health, Veterinary and Community Public Health, Advanced Clinical Epidemiology, Externship in Public Health Practice.

Louisiana State University
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology and Public Health.
OptionalVeterinary Medicine in International Development, Emerging and Exotic Animal Diseases.

University of Illinois
Optional: Shelter Medicine, Veterinary Spanish, Public Health Concepts and Practice, International Vet Medicine, One Medicine – One Health, Geographic Methods for Health.

Universite de Montreal Faculte de Medecine Veterinaire (Quebec, Canada)
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Public Health, Infectious Diseases/ Public Health / Zoonoses.
OptionalInternational Development Veterinarian, Veterinary Public Health.
Note: I was using Google Translate on the curriculum page, I may have missed something.

Oregon State University
In the core curriculum: Public Health, Epidemiology.
OptionalInternational Veterinary Medicine.

Tuskegee University (Alabama)
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology, Public Health.
Optional: Biomedical Statistics, Advanced Epidemiology, Disease Control and Eradication (with an “emphasis on those infections which have implications in international health”), Research Epidemiology, Foreign Animal Diseases.

Ohio State University
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology, Zoonoses.
OptionalOSU’s page of fourth-year electives/externships has a lot of options all over the country for meeting your elective credit hours requirements.  See their sections for Public HealthStudy Abroad, and Shelter Medicine.

Texas A&M University
In the core curriculum: Intro to Public Health Concepts, Public Health.
Optional: A few credit-earning summer study abroad options on this page.

Iowa State University
In the core curriculum: Public Health.
Optional: Public Health selective, Study abroad programs that count towards your required weeks of rotations.

University of Wisconsin, Madison
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Epidemiology.
Optional: Shelter Medicine, Applied Epidemiology and Quantitative Methods for Population Health.
Note: The school offers a 9 credit certificate program in Global Health (though not veterinary medicine focused), see bottom of this page.

University of California, Davis
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology, Introduction to Public Veterinary Practice and Foreign Animal Diseases, Fundamentals of Zoonoses.
Optional: Introduction to One Health, Shelter Medicine (course and rotation), Vector-borne Infectious Diseases: Changing Patterns, Zoonoses of Non-Human Primates, Epidemiology of the Zoonoses.

University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Alberta, Canada)
In the core curriculum: Principles of Epidemiology, Public Health and Risk Analysis, Foreign Animal Disease, Ecosystem and Public Health Field Course.
Optional: Ecosystem and Public Health.

University of Pennsylvania
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology, Veterinary Public Health.
Optional: Ecological Epidemiology, Epidemic Infectious Disease, Emerging & Exotic Diseases of Animals, Intro to Shelter Animal Medicine.

Western College of Veterinary Medicine (Saskatchewan, Canada)
In the core curriculum: Disease Ecology and Epidemiology, Evidence Based Medicine, Veterinary Public Health.
Optional: Zoonotic Diseases, Introduction to Epidemiology for Regulatory Medicine and Public Health, Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases.

University of Missouri
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Veterinary Public Health.
Optional
: Epidemiology and Community Health rotation, Shelter Medicine.

University of Tennessee
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology / Evidence Based Medicine, Zoonoses / Food Hygiene.
Optional: Shelter Medicine rotation.

Oklahoma State University
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology / Food Safety / Public Health.
Optional: Zoonotic Diseases, Animal Shelter.

Midwestern University (Arizona)
In the core curriculum: One Health, Shelter Medicine.
Optional: Advanced Shelter Medicine.

Colorado State University
Optional: Emerging Issues in Infectious Disease, Principles of Shelter Veterinary Medicine.

Michigan State University
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Epidemiology, Veterinary Public Health.

Ross University (St. Kitts, Caribbean)
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology.
Note: Ross students complete their first three years of their DVM program in the Caribbean, then transfer to an American, Canadian, British, or Australian school for their clinical year.  Your final year rotation options depend on the school to which you transfer.  While in Sts Kitts, you certainly have the chance to learn about the challenges of living in a less developed country.

St George’s University (Grenada, Caribbean)
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Public Health, Veterinary Epidemiology.
Note: St George’s students complete their first three years of their DVM program in the Caribbean, then transfer to an American, Australia, European, or Canadian school for their clinical year.  Your final year rotation options depend on the school to which you transfer.  While in Grenada, you certainly have the chance to learn about the challenges of living in a less developed country.

St Matthew’s University (Grand Cayman, Caribbean)
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology.
Note: St Matthews students complete their first three years of their DVM program in the Caribbean, then transfer to an American or Canadian school for their clinical year.  Your final year rotation options depend on the school to which you transfer.  While in the Cayman Islands, you certainly have the chance to learn about the challenges of living in a less developed country.

University of Florida
In the core curriculum: Epidemiology, Shelter Medicine.

Mississippi State University
In the core curriculum: Veterinary Epidemiology.
Optional: Shelter Medicine rotation.

Lincoln Memorial University (Tennessee)
In the core curriculum: One Health.

Auburn University (Alabama)
In the core curriculum: Public Health.

Ontario Veterinary College (Guelf, Canada)
Note: Their fourth year rotations list requires a login, there might be something interesting there.

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