Maine is home to some of the best veterinary schools in the country, with programs at both universities and community colleges.
These programs give students the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to succeed in the field, which is growing thanks to a shortage of qualified candidates.
There are many ways to study veterinary medicine, from traditional four-year bachelor’s degrees to one-year certificates. And students don’t have to pick one type of program. They can even earn two types of degrees.
Veterinary colleges and programs in Maine allow students to study the sciences and gain hands-on experience in a variety of settings. They can also take advantage of extracurricular opportunities to network and gain hands-on experience.
Here are the top veterinary colleges in Maine, along with information on their offerings.
University of Southern Maine
Veterinary medicine students at the University of Southern Maine learn not only the technical aspects of their profession but also the social and economic aspects of animal care. That's why USM is home to the only program in Maine accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Animal Sciences.
The AVLAS accreditation means that USM's veterinary technician program meets the most rigorous standards, including rigorous curriculum, regular student assessments, and ongoing faculty support.
Students in the veterinary technician program gain hands-on experience caring for animals in the lab, hospital, and clinic. They also study biological, physical, and behavioral sciences, along with animal pathology, animal anatomy and physiology, and veterinary medical procedures.
Working with animals is only one of the ways that students can explore their interest in veterinary medicine at USM. The university also offers a single-subject human health certificate that can be completed in one or more semesters.
The certificate, which is approved by the American Medical Association, allows students to explore topics such as human anatomy and physiology, disease, and public health. They can even earn college credit that can be transferred to other schools that offer a bachelor's degree in human health.
University of Maine at Augusta
The University of Maine at Augusta is the only veterinary college in the state. Located in Augusta, the school has been training veterinarians for almost 50 years.
UMEA offers three degree programs: a bachelor of science in animal science, a bachelor of science in veterinary technology, and a master of science in animal health.
Budding veterinarians can choose to concentrate their studies in one of three areas: animal health, animal production, or preclinical sciences. Those in the animal health track can also choose to pursue a dual degree in veterinary medicine.
In addition to the degree programs, UMEA also offers a variety of extracurricular opportunities to interested students. These include student organizations, conferences, and outreach programs.
Student organizations include the Animal Health Technology Club, the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Student Small Animal Club. These groups give students the opportunity to network and gain experience in veterinary medicine.
York County Community College
Veterinary technology is a growing field, with more job opportunities than graduates. In Maine alone, there is a demand for more than 200 veterinary technicians every year.
Those looking to enter this field should consider York County Community College, where they can earn a certificate in veterinary technology.
The 17-credit program includes courses in animal biology, animal anatomy, and veterinary medical procedures. Students also complete two clinical rotations at a veterinary hospital, where they put their knowledge to work and gain hands-on experience.
Throughout the program, students learn how to care for various types of animals, including pets. They gain knowledge of basic medical procedures and how to care for animals and their owners. They also learn about animal health issues and disease prevention.
Along with knowledge, students gain the experience and credentials they need to become licensed veterinary technicians. After graduating from YCCC, students can take the National Registry Examination for Veterinary Technicians, administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.