What to study to be a Veterinarian

Being a vet (or a vet nurse) is more than treating sick animals. On one hand, a vet needs to examine, assess and treat animals illnesses or injuries, and two – they need to preventively educate owners and medicate animals. And it will take you five or six years to learn this…

This is how long a veterinary science degree will take, depending on the university. Australia has six universities offering undergraduate veterinary science courses. These include:

  • Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW)
  • James Cook University (Townsville Queensland)
  • Murdoch University (Perth WA)
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney

Other universities also offer veterinary courses, but attending one of these may require more time or further studies to obtain your degree.

Once you graduate, you will need to register with the veterinary registration board in any state you will practice in. Registration with the board is your license to practice veterinary medicine in that state.

The options…

Murdoch University

A Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is offered at Murdoch University in Western Australia. It is a five year course as it combines both a science and a veterinary biology degree. Minimum requirements for entry are completion of Year 12 with a high TER (Tertiary Entrance Rank). Murdoch University recommends that applicants take Mathematics, Chemistry and either Physics or Biology.

Find out more by visiting Murdoch University Veterinary Studies

University of Queensland

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is offered at The University of Queensland and is a five year course. Minimum education requirements for entrance include sound achievement or higher in Queensland Year 12 or equivalent English, Chemistry, Mathematics B and Physics.

For more information visit University of Queensland

University of Sydney

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) is offered at the University of Sydney and is a five year course. Admission is based on student performance, NSW Higher School Certificate or equivalent level Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Science. Biology would be a distinct advantage.

For more information visit University of Sydney

University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide, has introduced a new 6-year program in Veterinary Science in 2008.

For more information visit University of Adelaide

James Cook University – Queensland

Located in Townsville, Queensland the James Cook University introduced a veterinary science program in 2006.

For more information visit James Cook University

Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga

Located in Wagga Wagga, CSU’s Bachelor of Veterinary Biology / Bachelor of Veterinary Science (honours) double degree is a six-year program that prepares graduates for a career as a registered veterinarian in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and South Africa.


Something to consider: Veterinary degrees are set to become one of the most difficult of all university courses to pay off.

The average salary of a vet $75,000 which is about half the average for doctors and lawyers.

Still eager? Read celebrity vet Katrina Warren’s advice.

What to study to be a Veterinarian
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jane Ambrose

    July 18, 2017 at 3:18 am

    One of my kids has been talking a lot lately about wanting to become a vet someday. Before reading this article I had no idea that becoming a vet takes more than just a bachelor’s degree. It seems to me like it is a lot of work to become a vet but in the end, it can be really worth it. I’ll be sure to share this information with my son! Thanks.

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