When people think about New York, they often think about finance, fashion, and the big city.
But the Empire State is also home to some of the nation's best veterinary schools.
These schools are committed to preparing students for the future of veterinary medicine and the health of the animals that they will care for.
From large state schools to small private colleges, New York has something for everyone.
Here are the best veterinary schools in New York.
As part of the Medaille College of Buffalo, the School of Veterinary and Animal Sciences is committed to preparing students for successful careers in animal care.
The school offers four pathways for students to enter the program, allowing them to choose the best fit for their interests and experience.
Those pathways include a direct admission pathway for students currently enrolled in the college who have completed prerequisites, a transfer student pathway for those who have already earned a degree from another college, a international student pathway for those who are currently studying abroad, and a summer institute pathway for those who want to explore the program before making a longer-term commitment.
Through these pathways, Medaille College has seen an increase in the number of students studying veterinary sciences, with a 35% increase in the major from 2015 to 2018 alone.
The school also prioritizes giving back to the community through its Animal Health Care Experience (AHCEM) program.
Through the program, students work with animals and local veterinarians while receiving hands-on training. They also gain experience in diagnosing illnesses, performing surgery, administering medications, and more.
Medaille College is also home to the first veterinary hospital in the world to be staffed by only women. The hospital was founded by Medaille alumna Dr. Debra L. Wissman and is staffed by Wissman's daughter, Dr. Lauren St. Claire, as well as several other students.
Through these programs and resources, Medaille College is equipping students with the knowledge and experience needed to enter the animal care field.
Although New York is home to a number of fine veterinary schools, the SUNY Canton veterinary program stands out for its unique approach.
Where many institutions focus on the science of animal health, the SUNY Canton program embraces the humanity of veterinary medicine.
That might sound like a strange claim, but it's true.
Every year, the school welcomes a new class of veterinary technicians, training them to care for animals while putting their own empathy and kindness to work.
No matter how good their care, veterinarians can never be everywhere at once. That's why every practice employs trained technicians to care for animals when they can't be there.
But caring for animals also means caring for the people who love them. That's why veterinary technicians play such an important role in every practice.
That's why SUNY Canton has made caring for animals and caring for people the focus of its veterinary technology program.
No other program in the country trains technicians alongside future veterinarians, ensuring that they share the same values.
That's why so many of SUNY Canton's alumni go on to win awards and serve on advisory boards, shaping the future of veterinary medicine.
Mercy College is home to the only veterinary technology program in New York State that is part of a college's bachelor's degree program.
In addition, Mercy College offers an associate degree in applied sciences with a concentration in veterinary technology.
The two-year program takes about a year to complete, with about 24 credits earned in the first year and 12 in the second. Students spend about half of their time in the classroom and the other half in internships at veterinary offices.
Students learn the basics of veterinary medicine, including how to handle, treat, and monitor animals. They also gain technical skills, such as how to draw blood, take X-rays, and perform ultrasounds.
Upon graduation, students receive a certificate of completion from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society.
Mercy College also has a four-year program, called associate in advanced studies, in which students earn a bachelor's degree in veterinary technology.
After completing the same core courses as the two-year program, students then take about two years of classes focused on advanced subjects, such as infectious diseases, immunology, and medical ethics.
At the end of their second year in the four-year program, students take the Veterinary Technician National Exam, which is administered by the National Board of Veterinary Examiners. If they pass, they receive a professional certificate that is issued by the college.
SUNY Suffolk County Community College
Veterinary technicians play an integral role in the health and care of animals. They not only provide a service to animal owners, but they also assist veterinarians in providing excellent care to their patients.
That's why SUNY Suffolk County Community College created its veterinary technology associate degree program. Students gain hands-on experience and learn the theory behind veterinary medicine, giving them a solid foundation for a career in the field.
SUNY Suffolk's 36-credit associate degree includes classes in basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and pathology, as well as animal care and management, diagnostic procedures, and medicine and surgery.
Students also complete an internship with a veterinary practice, giving them experience working with animals and in a professional setting. SUNY Suffolk has partnered with several animal hospitals, including the Animal Medical Center in New York and the Brookhaven Animal Hospital in Long Island, to offer internship opportunities for their students.
This combination of classroom learning and hands-on experience makes SUNY Suffolk an excellent choice for those looking to study veterinary medicine at a more prestigious university.
CUNY LaGuardia Community College
Veterinary technology is a growing field, and students who want to get in on the ground floor should consider enrolling at the Veterinary Technology Program at CUNY LaGuardia Community College.
The program trains students in the basics of veterinary technology, allowing them to begin their careers working alongside professional veterinarians.
The program requires three years to complete, including 63 credits. But those first two years focus on core knowledge, giving students the opportunity to gain a solid foundation before diving into more advanced topics in the third year.
During the first two years, students learn about animal anatomy and physiology, animal disease and pathology, clinical sciences, and veterinary technology. These topics form the basis for the national Veterinary Technician National Examination, which students can take after completing the first two years of study.
Those who complete all three years of study also have the opportunity to take the International Veterinary Technicians Examination, which is recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association and most states. This gives students the opportunity to begin their careers working in the same states as their mentors, giving them an advantage as they gain experience.
CUNY Bronx Community College
The College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at CUNY Bronx Community College is a unique program that allows students to gain hands-on experience without having to complete the standard four-year bachelor's degree program.
Instead, students who want to pursue a career in veterinary medicine can apply for the two-year associate of science degree in veterinary technology.
This program is designed for people who already have an associate's degree in a different field and want to build on their existing knowledge to pursue a career as a veterinary technician.
After completing the two-year program, students earn the highly regarded American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Registered Veterinary Technician designation.
This is no mere certificate but a professional designation that opens doors for employment opportunities in some of the best veterinary clinics around the country.
With this credential, students are ready to hit the ground running in their career as a veterinary technician, bringing their knowledge and experience to the table to help care for animals.
SUNY Westchester Community College
Veterinary technicians are an integral part of every veterinary hospital. They perform many critical tasks that make it possible for veterinarians to provide excellent care for their patients.
That's why SUNY Westchester Community College offers its Veterinary Technology Program as a two-year associate's degree. Students gain foundational knowledge in animal sciences, then earn certification through the American Association of Veterinary Technicians that allows them to begin their careers.
The program culminates with a clinical rotation where students put their knowledge to work in a hospital setting. They spend 80 hours performing vital tasks such as drawing blood, administering medication, and more in a hospital setting.
Students also get the opportunity to take part in community service activities through the Association of Animal Hospitals Accreditation Committee. The committee aims to improve the quality of veterinary care by advancing accreditation standards. Members help evaluate hospitals and write standards to improve the care animals receive nationwide.
SUNY Genesee Community College
SUNY Genesee Community College is one of the most respected community colleges in the state. It has a total enrollment of over 6,500 students and offers a variety of associate's degrees and certificates.
In addition to traditional academic subjects, the school also offers a number of veterinary programs. Its associate of science in veterinary technology degree program can be completed in just one year and prepares students to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Its associate of science in veterinary technology degree with an animal health and production emphasis takes three years to complete and prepares students for graduate school. The program features intensive coursework in animal health, animal production, and business aspects of veterinary medicine.
No matter which veterinary program students choose, they'll be taught by renowned faculty. The school's director of the veterinary technology program, Susanne Scheutz, has more than 30 years of experience in the field. She's been an active member of the American Association of Veterinary Technician Educators for over a decade.
Veterinary medicine is a rigorous and demanding field, requiring years of study and a great deal of hands-on experience. SUNY Ulster's associate's degree in veterinary technology is one of the best in the nation, having won multiple awards. But even that degree is just the beginning. Those who want to practice at the highest level must go further, entering the two-year veterinary medicine program.
That program is one of the most highly regarded in the nation, thanks to its high standards and rigorous curriculum. SUNY Ulster's veterinary medicine program was ranked 7th in the US by Pets magazine in 2018, making it one of the best in the country.
That ranking is a result of several factors. First, the program has an extremely high acceptance rate, accepting nearly 50% of those who apply. That selectivity ensures that only the best and brightest enter the program, ensuring that those who make it to the second year are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
Second, the program maintains high standards, ensuring that those who make it to the second year are the best of the best. As a result, SUNY Ulster's Department of Veterinary Medicine has trained hundreds of new veterinarians, who go on to serve in hospitals across the nation.
SUNY Ulster is home to the only Veterinary Medicine program in the state of New York that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). As such, it is the only program that can grant the D.V.M. degree, the highest level of accreditation available.
The program's rigorous curriculum prepares students for the day when they enter the workforce, ready to care for animals. Courses cover everything from animal anatomy and physiology to infectious diseases and immunology.
Students gain hands-on experience through supervised clinical rotations, which take place in hospitals and clinics across the nation. These rotations give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in the lab and the classroom, helping them to develop the expertise needed to care for animals.
SUNY Ulster's Veterinary Medicine program is one of the best in the nation, training the next generation of veterinarians. Its high standards and rigorous curriculum ensure that those who make it to the second year are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.