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Top Veterinary Schools in Washington

Washington is a fantastic state for anyone who loves animals. The Evergreen State is home to many animal-centric organizations, including the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Animal Health and Wellbeing.

The state also has a rich history of animal welfare, from the first laws protecting domestic animals in 1854 to the first humane society in 1868.

Today, Washington is home to many animal-related industries, including horse breeding, farming, and fishing. There are also many non-profit animal welfare organizations in the state, such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Seattle Aquarium.

For anyone who wants to help animals, there are many rewarding careers in veterinary medicine. Veterinarians are responsible for diagnosing and treating animal ailments. They also provide education and counseling to pet owners to help them better care for their animals.

There are many different types of veterinarians, each with their own specialty. Some of the most common include small animal veterinarians, who treat pets like dogs and cats, and large animal veterinarians, who treat horses and livestock.

While the exact duties of a veterinarian vary depending on their specialty, they all must complete a rigorous training program.

In the United States, there are only 28 schools that are approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These schools must meet the AVMA’s rigorous standards for educating future veterinarians.

Of these 28 schools, Washington is home to four. These schools are all nationally accredited by the AVMA and are among the best in the country for training future veterinarians.

Here, we have compiled a list of the best veterinary schools in Washington. These schools have highly qualified faculty members, strong research programs, and a commitment to training the next generation of veterinarians.

Pima Medical Institute - Seattle

Situated in Seattle, Washington, Pima Medical Institute is a small, private, non-profit college dedicated to training future veterinarians. The institute started in 1966 with a handful of students and a single faculty member, and now, fifty years later, Pima has graduated more than 2,500 veterinarians.

As one of the smallest and most intimate schools on this list, Pima maintains a student to faculty ratio of about 4:1. This allows the institute to provide each student with highly individualized instruction, keeping each cohort small enough that each class can have a dedicated faculty member for every student.

The small size of Pima allows its students to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, from community outreach programs to competitive sports. Pima's club sports include horsemanship, rodeo, and equestrian jumping, as well as horse racing and breeding. More peaceful students can get involved in the institute's animal welfare programs.

Founded in 1966 by Thomas W. Scott, DVM, PhD, and headquartered in Tucson, AZ, the Center for Animal Health and Wellbeing is an animal health and welfare research center. The center's mission is to advance the understanding and application of animal health and welfare science to benefit animals, humans, and the environment.

In order to advance this mission, the Center gathers, synthesizes, and disseminates information through basic, applied, and implementation research. The Center also trains future leaders in the animal health and welfare field through academic courses, seminars, and field experience programs.

Through its research and training programs, the Center provides animal health and welfare professionals with the knowledge and resources they need to address the world's most pressing animal health and welfare concerns.

Bellingham Technical College

The Bellingham Technical College is part of the nationwide Bellingham Technical College network. Its network consists of eight campuses across the state, all offering relevant technical and professional education.

Bellingham Technical College's Centre Campus is where students can find the Veterinary Technician program. The two-year program gives students the practical experience needed to work in animal care.

Students gain hands-on experience through the cooperative agreement between the college and the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

Through this agreement, students spend 10 weeks in the veterinary technician program and then transfer to the Lake Washington Institute of Technology to finish their associate degree.

This agreement gives students the opportunity to pursue their passion while saving money on tuition.

Bellingham Technical College offers other programs that help animals and their owners, such as the animal cruelty investigator program and the dog grooming program.

Pima Medical Institute - Renton

Pima Medical Institute is a private college located in Renton, WA. It was established in 1988 as Pima Medical College. It was the first medical college in Washington to be established in more than 30 years.

Since its founding, Pima has graduated more than 4,000 students, many of whom have gone on to receive national and even international awards. Some of the programs that have received acclaim include the emergency and paramedic programs and the physician assistant program.

The institute prides itself on its diverse student body. In fact, 75% of the students at Pima come from a multicultural background. In addition, nearly 10% of the student body is made up of international students.

To help students gain exposure to different cultures, Pima has agreements with more than 20 universities around the world. These agreements allow Pima students to take courses at these universities and then have them accepted back at Pima.

Washington State University

Veterinary medicine students at Washington State University learn from experts in the field who bring their experience and passion to the classroom. The university's College of Veterinary Medicine has a long history dating back to 1909, when it was the first in the state to offer a degree program in veterinary medicine. Today, WSU continues to advance the field by supporting research and teaching programs that bring new knowledge to the world.

Students in the WSU veterinary program start their studies in the College of Veterinary and Biological Sciences. In their first two years, students take core classes in biological sciences, along with classes focused on animal health. The latter include subjects such as animal pathology and immunology, as well as animal medicine and surgery. In the final two years, students begin focusing on veterinary medicine, taking classes such as large animal medicine and surgery and veterinary medical communications.

Thanks to the program's unique structure, students can transition into the veterinary medicine track after just two years of study. However, those who want to continue studying in the College of Sciences can do so for up to four years before entering the four-year veterinary program. This gives students the chance to see first-hand how the two disciplines complement each other.

Thanks to this structure, WSU has been educating some of the field's leading figures since its earliest days. Alumni include Dr. Ronald D. Verhulst, a former president of the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists. Other notable graduates include Dr. Katherine A. Houpt, a former director of the Animal Health Institute, and Dr. William W. Campling, a pioneer in the field of surgery.

Today, WSU continues to be a leader in the field, advancing our knowledge of animal health. Thanks to the school's research initiatives, we better understand how animals behave and how we can improve their lives. Additionally, WSU continues to pioneer new treatments, such as those for livestock animals.

The school has some of the best research facilities in the country, thanks to its affiliations with the Washington Animal Disease Center and the National Animal Disease Center.

The WSU Veterinary Medical Center is an internationally recognized hospital, with accreditation from the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The hospital provides around-the-clock care for large animals, including cows, horses, pigs, and more. Thanks to its expertise, the center is the go-to choice for large animal specialists, providing the highest level of care.

Thanks to its research and teaching missions, WSU is a leading institution in the field. The school continues to advance our knowledge of animal health, helping both animals and humans.

Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom

As a part of the Lake Washington Technical College network, Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom has a long history of training future veterinarians.

Since 1927, the college has offered courses and degrees in animal science, giving students the knowledge and experience they'll need to care for animals.

In addition to the associate of science degree in animal science, which takes two years to complete, Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom offers a number of certificates of completion in animal science.

These one-year programs are designed for those who already have some experience working with animals and want to expand their knowledge and skills.

With a faculty made up of animal care experts, including specialists in animal science and veterinary technology, Pierce College gives students the hands-on experience they'll need to enter the profession.

The college also maintains strong ties to the community, collaborating with animal care organizations, such as the Seattle Animal Care & Control Team.

Yakima Valley College

Located in Yakima, Washington, Yakima Valley College is a branch of the Associated Colleges of the Pacific. Yakima Valley College is a respected two-year institution that offers a range of associate degrees. The school is unique in that it offers several agriculture-based associate degrees that are approved by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

Yakima Valley College's agriculture program takes a unique approach to training students in the science of farming. Rather than train them to be doctors for animals, YVC instead teaches them the business side of agriculture. Students in the agriculture program learn how to run a farm business, including how to manage finances and how to market crops. The program also offers courses in horticulture, agronomy, and crop production.

Along with its agriculture programs, Yakima Valley College is known for its veterinary technician program. Established in 1988, the YVC veterinary technician program has a long history of training highly-regarded professionals. Today, YVC's program is officially partnered with Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Through the affiliation, YVC students take classes alongside those in WSU's veterinary college, earning the same credits. In addition, YVC students also take part in WSU's winter semester, allowing them to complete more courses.

Like WSU, Yakima Valley College is affiliated with the American Association of Veterinary Medicine Education Programs. Therefore, YVC's veterinary technician program is approved by the National Board of Certification for Veterinary Technicians, allowing students to take the certification exam once they graduate.

As of 2020, YVC had enrolled over 3,200 students in its veterinary technician program. Nearly 600 of those students graduated, with an additional 200 continuing their studies at WSU. These numbers show that YVC is an excellent choice for those looking to begin a career in veterinary medicine.

Skagit Valley College

Veterinary Assistant training at Skagit Valley College allows students to gain hands-on experience working with animals and also earn credits that can be transferred to a veterinary technology program.

Taking two semesters to complete, the 30-credit veterinary assistant certificate includes two classes: veterinary assistant and animal care and health.

Students in the veterinary assistant class learn about animal anatomy, diseases, treatments, and first aid. They also gain hands-on experience, working with small and large animals in a clinical setting.

Those in the animal care and health class study animal behavior, nutrition, and diseases. They learn how to care for animals in a clinical setting and in their everyday lives. They also gain experience working with animals in a local farm, at a stable, and in a pet store.

Nearby Central Washington University also offers a veterinary technology program, allowing students to continue their education in Wenatchee, Washington.

Charter College - Alaska

Where other schools on this list train future veterinarians in the classroom and laboratory, the College of Veterinary Medical Sciences at the Charter College in Alaska focuses on hands-on experience. Rather than learning about animal health in the abstract, students at CVS spend their time caring for the animals they'll one day treat as veterinarians.

That emphasis on practical experience makes sense given the College's affiliation with the University of Alaska Anchorage. Rather than learning alongside undergraduates, the CVS is part of UAA's Graduate School. This arrangement allows the College to tailor its courses toward experienced practitioners, freeing up the University to focus on undergraduates.

As part of a larger university, the Charter College has the resources needed to provide excellent training. The school's 14,000 square feet of lab and classroom space are designed to accommodate a variety of animal species, from dogs to farm animals to fish. These resources allow the school to teach students how to diagnose illnesses and how to handle a variety of situations they'll encounter in practice.

In addition, the Charter College has several research centers, including one focused on fish health and another on dairy cattle. These centers give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-world situations, but they also serve a research function. The College's centers allow the school's researchers to study animal diseases, improving the care that veterinarians provide.

Lower Columbia College

Located in the city of Longview, Lower Columbia College is a two-year college that has a very specific goal: to provide students with the skills they need to get jobs in the Lower Columbia area.

As a result, LCC doesn't offer many degrees in the veterinary profession. Instead, students can get an animal health associate degree, which takes two years to complete, or a veterinary technician associate degree, which takes one year to complete.

That focus on practical, in-demand skills makes LCC an excellent choice for those who want to start a career right away, rather than spending four years in a traditional college.

Furthermore, LCC is a very small school, with only about 3,500 students. That means that the school has a very low student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1. That's a perfect environment for learning, since every student gets personal attention from the faculty.

The small size also means that LCC has plenty of extracurricular activities, including a student-run radio station, a literary magazine, and a volunteer organization.

Renton Technical College

As the only technical college in the state of Washington to offer a veterinary technician program, Renton Technical College is certainly a unique institution. But it stands out for more than that.

RTC's veterinary technician associate degree combines classroom instruction in animal science and practical experience, giving students the knowledge and skills to work as a technician.

Students spend around half of the 1,200-hour program in the classroom, learning about animal anatomy, physiology, pathology, medicine, surgery, pharmacology, and more. They put their knowledge into practice in the animal clinic, where they work with real pets under the supervision of veterinary faculty.

The program is among the most highly rated in the state, receiving a 6 out of 10 in the 2020 College Consensus Ranking. This ranking takes into account a school's reputation among its professional network, as determined by the number of professional connections each graduating student makes.

RTC also offers an associate degree in veterinary technology, which operates differently but still gives students an inside look at the profession.

Eugen

Eugen

About the author
Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
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