The AVMA Council on Education is recognized by the US Department of Education as the accrediting body for colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. Through its accreditation policies, the Council on Education ensures that colleges of veterinary medicine meet minimum standards in veterinary medical education and that students who graduate from those colleges receive an education that will prepare them for entry-level positions in the veterinary profession. On request, the council will also accredit colleges of veterinary medicine in other countries, and 20 nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine are currently accredited by the Council on Education.
In 2019, almost 3,200 students graduated from the 30 accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. That same year, however, an additional 1,530 US citizens graduated from nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine.1 Historically, many US citizens who graduated from nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine have returned to the United States to enter the veterinary profession. Thus, information on their employment prospects, starting salaries, and educational indebtedness is vital to understanding the market for veterinarians in the United States.
The 2 nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine that train the largest numbers of US citizens are Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, located in St Kitts, and St George's University School of Veterinary Medicine, located in Grenada. In 2019, the AVMA sent surveys to 630 veterinary students expected to graduate from these 2 schools that year. Responses were received from 282 students, representing a response rate of 44.8%. This consisted of responses from 210 of 458 (45.9%) students at Ross University and 72 of 172 (41.9%) students at St George's University. Overall, these 282 students would represent 18.4% of the 1,530 US citizens graduating from nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine in 2019. Consequently, the findings reported here should not be considered to necessarily represent all US citizens graduating from nondomestic colleges of veterinary medicine in 2019.
The survey was distributed to graduating students at Ross University and St George's University approximately 4 weeks prior to their anticipated graduation date. Some respondents did not answer all questions; therefore, the base sizes vary.
1. Annual data report 2019–2020. Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Available at: www.aavmc.org/about-aavmc/public-data. Accessed Jun 7, 2020.