5 Swoon-Worthy Marine Veterinarian Schools in the USA

Want to be an Aquatic Vet?

Becoming an aquatic veterinarian may be one of your best marine career options if you love animals and water. Many marine veterinarian schools offer such career paths. Numerous aquatic animals, such as gigantic whales, amiable dolphins, and beautiful walruses, will be under your care.

Aquatic veterinarians specialize in treating and preventing diseases in marine and aquatic species. Work opportunities in this profession include research facilities, aquariums, and charitable groups.

Students with book

How to Become a Marine Veterinarian

A marine veterinarian or aquatic veterinarian is a professional who treats marine species like fish, whales, dolphins, sea lions, turtles, octopuses, jellyfish, and lobsters. The diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and diseases in marine animal species are by marine veterinarians, along with the implementation of plans for disease control and prevention. 

Aquariums, zoos, and facilities for rehabilitating wild animals are typical workplaces for marine veterinarians.

The duties of a marine veterinarian vary depending on their place of employment and the species of animals they treat. However, some typical responsibilities of marine veterinarians include the following:

  • Giving animals routine vaccines
  • Offering examinations as a follow-up to a therapy
  • Examining and assessing animal behavior
  • Recommending and dispensing prescription drugs
  • Performing operations
  • Preserving the accuracy of patient records
  • Taking and analyzing samples of blood and tissue
  • Taking X-rays and other diagnostic procedures
  • Wound care and dressing

The following nine steps can help you become a marine veterinarian:

Finish Your Bachelor’s Degree

The best way to prepare for marine veterinary school is to finish your bachelor’s degree and keep up your grades. Focus on science-related topics like biology, chemistry, and environmental studies while choosing your classes. Future marine veterinarians generally pursue the following majors and specialties:

  • Veterinary science
  • Biology and medicine
  • Aquatic biology
  • The study of molecules
  • Zoology

Enroll in a Veterinary College

A doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) from approved marine veterinarian schools is mandatory for marine veterinarians. In the first phase of your veterinary school education, you will study anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology, and imaging. You participate in clinical rotations near the end of your study.

Decide on a Specialty

Your institution may ask you to choose a specialty at the end of your doctoral degree. Future marine veterinarians may have an interest in the following:

  • Aquaculture medicine is a field of study that focuses on treating fish infections, frequently in the context of fish farming.
  • Clinical research: These professionals evaluate the efficacy and security of drugs, medical equipment, and treatment protocols used by marine veterinarians.
  • Those specializing in emergency and critical care learn how to handle sick or injured animals that urgently need medical assistance.
  • Ophthalmology: Veterinary ophthalmologists specialize in the surgical and preventive care of the eyes.
  • Veterinarians specializing in oncology deal with animal cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.
  • Surgical procedures for marine animals are the attention of surgical specialists.
  • Students specializing in zoological medicine learn how to care for and meet the demands of wildlife.

Acquire Expertise

Gain experience by participating in an internship or residency program after graduating from veterinary school. These changes allow you to put your knowledge into practice in a veterinary hospital or clinic. To maximize your chances of working with marine animals, look for internship or residence opportunities in aquariums, zoos, or wildlife rehabilitation facilities.

Get a State License 

To practice on animals, you must get a state license. Do an online search to determine your state’s licensing requirements because they vary by state.

Acquire a Valid North American Veterinary Licensing Exam Score (NAVLE)

Marine veterinarians must pass the North American Veterinary License Exam and obtain a state license (NAVLE). The NAVLE is a six-hour test with 360 multiple-choice questions covering all types of animals.

Acquire Credentials

You can obtain an aquatic medicine certification through the American College of Zoological Medicine Board or a fish pathology certification through the American Fisheries Association. However, these are optional for particular occupations. 

A certification shows off your particular knowledge and could open up the possibility of employment in a higher-paying position. The usual requirements for certification are passing a test and having at least a few years of professional experience.

Discover Work

You can start looking for full-time employment once you finish your degree and either an internship or a residency. Use networking tools to connect with experts and organizations of interest, and prepare for veterinary interviews by researching and practicing marine and general veterinarian interview questions.

Keep Learning

Marine veterinarians must maintain their education to perform their job. Some positions could require on-the-job training, and some licenses need renewal through ongoing education. Joining a professional association could help you get access to conferences and other educational events. 

These efforts assist you in staying current on research and discoveries in your particular field of study so that you are aware of the most recent developments.

Marine veterinarians need to have particular characteristics to treat and care for animals. Following are a few traits of effective marine veterinarians:

  • Swimming and scuba diving: Marine veterinarians may submerge themselves to investigate and treat species in their natural environment. A marine veterinarian employs analytical and medical expertise to choose the best action when evaluating what is wrong with an animal and what treatment choices to pursue.
  • Effective communication: Marine veterinarians often produce reports and communicate with colleagues to discuss their findings and patient files.
  • Observation: Marine vets pay close attention to the little things because they keep an eye on animals following operations and treatments. Successful marine veterinarians can maintain their composure under pressure and concentrate on their profession.
  • Physical stamina is essential for carrying out the daily chores that a marine veterinarian must perform because they frequently involve working on their feet, swimming, and handling huge animals.

What Do Aquatic Veterinarians Do?

You likely know what a companion animal veterinarian does if you’ve ever taken your dog or cat to the vet for emergency or routine care. However, there are a lot of other kinds of veterinarians.

Depending on their area of expertise, aquatic veterinarians have a wide range of responsibilities. Still, they are typically in charge of the primary medical treatment and welfare of the animals under their care. Along with common injuries, they must be knowledgeable about various ailments and diseases and the appropriate drugs and treatments. 

Typically, marine and aquatic veterinarian job descriptions are as follows:

  • Performing surgery and delivering anesthesia
  • Performing medical examinations
  • Carrying out necropsies (animal autopsies)
  • Administering exams and shots
  • Examining and observing the behavior
  • Healing injuries
  • Carrying out nutrition plans
  • Taking action in emergencies
  • Providing euthanasia and end-of-life care
  • Doing lab diagnostics
  • Taking part in science research

A List of Marine Veterinary Schools


Cornell University – College of Veterinary Medicine

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is a leader in veterinary medical education, animal medicine, biomedical research, and public health. In addition to a wide choice of additional and continuing education options, they provide top-notch training in DVM, Ph.D., master’s, and combination degree programs.


For more than 150 years, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has been working to maintain the health of both people and animals.

Prior to the College’s founding in 1894, Cornell had a long history of training veterinarians. Ezra Cornell advocated the establishment of a chair of veterinary medicine soon after establishing the institution in 1865. He gave the university’s first president, Andrew D. White, the directive to look for the most competent individual to instruct veterinary medicine and surgery courses.

President White hired Dr. James Law, a famous veterinarian, educator, and alumnus of the Edinburgh Veterinary College in Scotland. Law brought with him a dedication to strict veterinary training. Law insisted that Cornell create significantly higher standards for a veterinary degree than any other college at the time, and Cornell complied.

A degree previously unavailable from any institution in the United States came to action after a resolution passed by the University Faculty in 1871 that mandated four years of study for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVS) degree and an additional two years for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

Dr. Law’s initial classes at the university began in the fall of 1868. They included people pursuing degrees in biology and agriculture and a few “special students” who wanted to become veterinarians. The university awarded the first BVS degree to Myron Kasson in 1871. 

Daniel Salmon immediately succeeded him in 1872. Salmon received the nation’s first DVM degree four years later. Salmon became the US Bureau of Animal Industry’s first director and is still in memories for discovering Salmonella and starting the war against infectious diseases.

James Law battled state lawmakers for money to turn Cornell’s veterinary education into a real college for the following 20 years. In the spring of 1894, a flurry of letters, visits, speeches, and editorials paid off. 

The law establishing Cornell University’s veterinary college as the first state-supported college passed on March 21 by New York State Governor Roswell P. Flower. Flower was born and raised on a farm, so he was aware of the requirements of livestock owners and the risks to human health posed by unhealthy animals and their products. 

The New York State Veterinary College was thus founded at Cornell to acknowledge the significance of veterinary medicine to the state’s residents’ health.


The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine location is at the intersection of Route 366 and Tower Road in Ithaca, New York, 14853. For a bigger, interactive map, go here.

Entry Requirements

Cornell requires both an academic review and a veterinarian evaluation. You are welcome to contribute any further assessments based on your work with animals and veterinarians. The VMCAS eLor system may conduct these evaluations.

The VMCAS application eLor system requires a minimum of three evaluations (they will take up to 6).

Instructions for Evaluators

Give the people writing your letters the “Guidelines for Evaluators PDF.” This helps students learn about and comprehend some topics the admissions committee focuses on.

Details for Repeat Applicants

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program has a very competitive admissions process. Admission to the program could necessitate a few application cycles in specific circumstances. We advise students to resubmit and give tips on strengthening their application for a subsequent cycle.

Previous applicants who wish to reapply must fill out the VMCAS application and submit all necessary materials (the Cornell Supplemental Application is no longer required). Beginning this year, only applicants from the prior year will be able to view and revise their applications using VMCAS. 

It would be necessary to provide all supporting documents (eLors, transcripts, etc.) once more.

Certification by Dean

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Admissions Committee demands documentation proving that applicants are in good standing at their school. 

The school also wants information on any legal or disciplinary measures that the applicant may be subject to. Alternates and newly-admitted Students must fill out the top portion of the Dean’s Certification Form and submit it to the Dean of Students office where they last earned a degree. 

State of New York Residency

If you are a dependent, you must reside in the residence of your parents or legal guardians for the 12-month period immediately before the enrollment date to qualify as a New York State Resident.

If you live in New York State, you must fill out the New York State Residency Form and, upon request, show the relevant documents, which must be a year old before enrollment. This New York State Form will give the college-specific data that establishes whether you are a New York State Resident.


  • Biomedical Sciences 
  • Clinical Sciences 
  • Microbiology and Immunology 
  • Molecular Medicine 
  • Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences 
  • Public and Ecosystem Health

University Life

By all standards, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine students are successful. They bring the College a wide range of interests and life experiences. To assist students in succeeding, the school offers a variety of resources, advising, and support services. The attrition rate is under 2% as a result.

The students appreciate the College’s emphasis on practical, cutting-edge instruction that is both challenging and rewarding.

Cornell students participate in various extracurricular activities outside the classroom that broaden and improve their academic experience. Students can pursue their interests through more than 35 student organizations.

Teacher tutoring student


The University of Florida (Aquatic Animal Health Program) – College of Veterinary Medicine


Dr. C.E. Cornelius was the college’s first dean appointed by Florida Governor Reubin Askew. The Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital sits on a 120-acre (48.56 hectares) property west of the UF Health Science Center on Archer Road. Forty members of the charter class joined the college in 1976. 1977 saw the founding of Florida’s first wildlife medicine service by the college.


The University of Florida has a long tradition of providing quality on-site programs that are well-established in education, research, service, and international education. The college is in Gainesville, a town in north central Florida with a population of about 125,000. 

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Health Science Center contains the College of Veterinary Medicine. The summer and mild winter both allow for year-round outdoor activity involvement. 

Entry Requirements

Recommended academic standards in science, last 45, and overall GPAs of 3.0 or above for Florida CVM students

Completion of the necessary undergraduate course requirements with a “C” or above

You must have three necessary science or math courses before submitting your application.

Experience in Veterinary

There is no prerequisite for veterinary experience at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Experience in the field of veterinary medicine should have a wide variety of duties and a focus on quality above quantity. 

Before applying to the program, we advise individuals to have experience working with both large and small animals in clinical settings under the direction of veterinarians. As a result, they will have the chance to assist or shadow a veterinarian and eventually get letters of recommendation, which are crucial for the application procedure. 

Working in a research environment as an undergraduate or graduate student can also aid in developing skills necessary for practicing veterinary care. Research is also a significant type of experience.

Professional References

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine requires three excellent professional references, including at least one from a veterinarian. References from committees are okay, but not ones from relatives.

Overview of the Admissions Process

Admission to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (UFCVM) does not have a predetermined minimum GPA. However, in determining the applicant’s academic standing, the science, last 45, and overall GPAs will be a consideration. Candidates rank in two candidate pools according to residency: State-funded and self-funded seats. 

The new students in the class split between 104 state-funded students and 46 self-funded pupils.

Full Application Review

Two members of the UFCVM admissions committee will examine each application for veterinary school submitted by candidates chosen based on their academic standing. There will be two application pools once more: self-funded and state-funded. candidates will get grades according to the following standards:

Academic history and experience include course load, withdrawal rates, research involvement, teaching assistant roles, the quality of academic references (if any), and academic flags or concerns.

Veterinary Experience and Preparation 

The number of substantial hours spent working with animals, the integrity of your references in the veterinary/animal field, and your own veterinary/animal experiences.

Professionalism in General and Readiness for Matriculation 

The degree of professionalism displayed throughout the application, the quality of your written communication skills, your extracurricular activities, your involvement in the community and abroad, your awards and recognition, and your employment history outside of the veterinary or animal industries. 

Candidates should read over the technical standards in the student handbook before submitting their applications and during the admissions selection process.

Veterinarian Experience and Training 

The number of substantial hours of veterinary training, the integrity of the animal experiences, the reliability of the veterinary/animal references, and the connection between the references and the veterinary/animal experiences.

Candidate Interview

Candidates chosen from the pool of all review applications will attend the interview process. A panel of two admissions committee members and one upper-division veterinary student will interview each candidate. 

Candidates will participate in a behavioral interview that lasts 45 minutes and get grades on various behavioral traits like cooperation, moral character, maturity, and problem-solving.


Selected candidates receive instructions for the Casper test, which must be in their application package, via email before the interview. Those chosen applicants who take the test before the interviews need only ask for their results to reach the institution. 

Casper is an online situational judgment test that lasts 60 to 90 minutes and evaluates the personal and professional skills necessary to become a veterinarian. The snapshot and duet assessments are not needed. 

Candidates Selection

The criteria and percentages used to choose candidates for the final class are as below:

  • Academic (Based on GPAs): 15%
  • Interview: 30%
  • Packet Review: 45%
  • Casper: 10%


The primary goal of the Aquatic Animal Health Program is training. The college can provide various educational opportunities to veterinary professionals, students, and master’s and Ph.D. students thanks to this mission.

  • Aquatic Animal Health
  • Shelter Medicine
  • Veterinary Business Management

University of Florida (SeaVet Intensive Course) – College of Veterinary Medicine


The school aims to enhance the health and welfare of animals, people, and the veterinary medical profession through top-notch instruction, ground-breaking research, and cutting-edge clinical services, as stated in the strategic plan.

Following the 1980 graduation of its first class, the college has expanded upon the university’s stellar reputation. They claim their professional (DVM) degree program has graduated about 3000 people. 

The veterinary medical graduates work in various fields, including public health, epidemiology, the military, zoological and aquatic medicine, traditional small and big animal practice, and veterinary medicine throughout Florida, the United States, and beyond. 

They take great pride in their dedication to expanding scientific understanding. Through the graduate studies program, about 800 people have a master of science (MS) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences. 

These people are advancing the health of animals, people, and the environment by working in academia, biomedical sciences, government, and industry. 


The Sea Vet Clinical college is in Florida. Its address is 2015 SW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32608.

Entry Requirements

Only licensed veterinarians and veterinary students are eligible to take this course. Otherwise, registrations won’t be successful. There will be a deduction of the registration processing cost from your refund if you register online and they later discover that you need to meet this condition.

There’s a cap on participation. The University of Florida offers a 3-credit graduate and professional course on this topic. Only UF veterinary students can receive academic credit. Veterinarians will get credit for continuing education.


  • Sea vet clinical training


University of California, Davis – School of Veterinary Medicine


The School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis has a long history of training vets and vet scientists, advancing the field of veterinary research, and establishing benchmarks for the treatment of animals. 

The success of the school and career progress rests on innovation and teamwork. To solve complex health challenges at the intersection of animals, people, and the environment, the faculty have developed new disciplines and novel treatments and advanced the One Health concept.


Based in Davis, California, UC Davis Veterinary Medicine is a top-ranked academic medical facility with activities across the state and the globe. It has a school, hospital, specialized clinics, research centers and institutes, and other facilities.

Entry Requirements

All submitted applications for admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine must fulfill the following conditions to qualify:

  • 180 hours of veterinarian experience with a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Three references from professionals, including at least one from a veterinary
  • Fulfill the conditions successfully (courses must have a grade of C and higher; a C- will not qualify)
  • A bachelor’s degree from a university with regional accreditation

Please keep in mind that these are only the minimal qualifications; successful applicants typically have GPAs and experience that are much higher. There are additional conditions for applicants from abroad.

Grade Point Averages (GPA)

Admission requires a grade point average of 2.50 or above (A is a 4, 2.50 is the minimum). Two GPAs determine the initial ranking of an application:

GPA in science overall (includes all science courses as deemed by VMCAS)

GPA for the last 45 semesters and 68 quarters (includes any graded courses taken within these parameters, including but not limited to undergraduate, graduate, or prerequisite courses)

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Each applicant must take the GRE’s verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing portions. The verbal and analytical writing portions may be part of the comprehensive review process, even though just the quantitative score determines an application’s initial ranking.

Ordering Official Performance Evaluations

The UC Davis school code 4804 must send all GRE score reports to VMCAS electronically from ETS. When the application window opens, VMCAS will accept scores. Do not send score reports to UC Davis directly. ETS takes time to process scores and requests for score reports, while VMCAS takes time to process the reports. 

Do not put off requesting reports until the last minute. Your application will be incomplete and not qualify for admission if your test results are not with the  VMCAS by the deadline.

Experience in Veterinary

To qualify for admission, you must have completed at least 180 hours of veterinary experience before the application deadline (September 15 of the current application year); however, admitted applicants typically have 1,475 hours of meaningful “hands-on” experience in the veterinary sector. 

You must see the obligations of the veterinary profession realistically and acceptably. Your experience can be the result of employment or voluntary work. Working with vets in private practices, farms, ranches, animal shelters, zoos, aquaria, etc., will help you gain experience.

Letters of Recommendation (eLOR)

You must include a minimum of three eLORs with the VMCAS application (refer to VMCAS instructions for more information). More than three evaluations are acceptable, but VMCAS will only consider three. 

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)

Interviews will follow the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) approaches. The MMI is a set of quick, organized interviews designed to evaluate character attributes. Before entering the interview room for each mini-interview, the candidate has a brief window of time to read the question or scenario. 

Upon entering, the candidate speaks with one interviewer, assessor, or rater for several minutes (or, in certain situations, a third party as the interviewer/assessor observes). The candidate moves on to the following scenario when the interview is over, giving the interviewer/assessor some time to assess. There is a repeat of this pattern ten times around a circuit.


  • Molecular Biosciences
  • Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology
  • Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Population Health and Reproduction
  • Surgical and Radiological Sciences

University Life

As the field of veterinary medicine is broad and offers a wide range of exciting prospects for externships, internships, and permanent work opportunities, career planning is a crucial component of becoming a veterinarian. 

The Career, Leadership, and Wellness Center at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine provides a wide range of professional and career development services and activities to support the success of professional DVM students. 

The services aim to meet your goals, whether you’re looking for career counseling, CV/resume guidance, interviewing advice, or job search techniques.


Ohio State University – College of Veterinary Medicine


The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine started in 1885 after the OSU Board of Trustees petitioned the legislature to create a veterinary college after realizing a significant portion of the state’s investment was in livestock and sensing the need for adequate protection against infectious diseases.

In 1897, the School adopted the name College of Veterinary Medicine. The initial entrance requirements were a high school diploma, a teaching credential, or an exam in a certain subject. 

There was an addition of exams in more disciplines to the criteria in 1906, and high school diplomas qualified in place of exams for the additional courses. Pre-veterinary college coursework was first necessary for admission in 1933, but from the academic year 1949 to 50 on, it was for two years.

The professional curriculum was three years long, from 1885 to 1914; in 1915, it became four years. More than 9,100 people, including more than 8,300 DVMs, have graduated since the first class did so in 1887.

Currently, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State has a staff of 300, 650 veterinary students, 125 graduate students, and 105 faculty members.


College of Veterinary Medicine is in Ohio at 1900 Coffey Road Columbus

Entry Requirements

Admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine is only offered on a full-time basis and only for the fall semester of each year. To qualify for admission, candidates must be able to perform academically in a demanding, intensive four-year professional science program and exhibit commitment and dedication to the veterinary profession. 

To ensure that we choose the most highly qualified candidates with the potential to complete the DVM program successfully, the admissions evaluation procedure is intricate and involved. No admissions consideration will be for candidates expelled from another college of veterinary medicine.

Objective Assessment: 10% of the applicant’s overall grade. Academic success serves as the foundation for impartial assessment. To determine academic accomplishment, all certified transcripts of college course grades must have a review. 

All grades are useful when calculating the VMCAS GPA, regardless of whether your university has forgiven your grades or you have retaken the course.

  • GPA overall (as calculated by VMCAS)
  • GPA in science (as calculated by VMCAS)
  • Last 30 credit hour grade (as calculated by VMCAS)
  • Review by the admissions committee: 30% of the applicant’s overall grade

Recommendation letter stating your experience with animals, veterinarians, and jobs

Leadership positions, extracurricular activities, honors, and awards, as well as community service

An interview on communication and interpersonal skills, academic performance, and file review are crucial in choosing candidates for interviews. 60% of the total admissions score measures the interview.

The interview score accounts for 60% of an applicant’s total admissions score, together with the file review score (30%) and the objective score (10%). Offers of admission will be according to the overall admissions score.


  • Veterinary Biosciences
  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine
  • Veterinary Public Health

University Life

Be Well is a comprehensive and integrated health and well-being campaign for students, employees, and professors at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Graphic illustrating the components of well-being, with icons for mental, physical, economic, social, emotional, artistic, and environmental wellness.

The program integrates evidence-based techniques, outcome assessments, and programming tailored to academic and healthcare professionals, as well as veterinary students, in accordance with the Be The ModelTM strategic plan and in collaboration with Ohio State’s Buckeye Wellness team.

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s new health and well-being project covers physical “wellness” and emotional, social, spiritual, financial, intellectual, professional, and environmental well-being, according to Rustin Moore, DVM, Ph.D., Dean of the College. 

Data indicate that there is still more to do to enhance wellness by the veterinary profession and the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Oregon State University – Hatfield Marine Science Center


In the early 1900s, the Hatfield Marine Science Center was a modest, one-building fisheries laboratory. It has since expanded into a 40-acre complex for joint research and education.

In its initial year, Hatfield welcomed 50,000 people and contributed to the growth of OSU’s substantial maritime research and education program. Hatfield’s inauguration was officially in 1965. As the Hatfield expanded, new faculty members and researchers joined, and there was the construction of new wings and buildings to make room for new initiatives and institutions.

In honor of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, the school acquired the name Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center in 1983. (pictured here at the dedication). Throughout the center’s planning and development, he provided support.

Hatfield has expanded over the years to include ground-breaking research initiatives focused on fisheries, undersea volcanoes, wildlife refuges, marine mammals, and animal genetics.

Currently, Hatfield collaborates with six state and federal agencies, offers student programs from OSU for students in grades K–12, and seeks to inform the public about oceanographic issues.


The Hatfield Marine Science Center is Oregon State University’s marine lab based in Newport, Oregon. It offers academic opportunities and activities to students in secondary and post-secondary education and serves as a base for eminent oceanographic research and instruction.

Entry Requirements

The 18-credit graduate certificate consists of self-directed (no major professor) online or in-person courses and a three-credit Capstone project that links you with a local mentor at an organization or other establishment. 

Certificates can act as a stepping stone to the online PSM degree, as course credit toward professional society certification (such as from The Wildlife Society or The American Fisheries Society), or to help meet educational requirements for jobs with federal or state agencies.


  • Integrative Biology
  • Marine Resource Management
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Fisheries and Wildlife


World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association


Since 2005, the World Veterinary Medical Association- WAVMA can organize aquatic veterinary educational sessions or streams at the WVA Congress. Since 2015, the WSAVA Congress has hosted an aquatics stream. 

Through these connections, the WAVMA has forged relationships with many international veterinary and non-veterinary organizations, including the OIE and FAO. As a result, WAVMA has promoted aquatic veterinary medicine within and outside our profession.

We must continue to be the conduit of shared knowledge to advance, promote, and broaden aquatic veterinary care as a global organization. The WAVMA is a charitable organization ready to offer and develop resources for the global aquatic veterinary community.


WAVMA is in Colorado at Duran Avenue, Conifer.

Entry Requirements

People who want to participate in the WAVMA CertAqV Program must apply first and submit an application fee. After the application payment date, you have up to one year (12 months) to submit the necessary documents (KSE record and current CV). The candidate is responsible for choosing a mentor. 

The WAVMA member directory makes it simple for applicants to find and get in touch with current Certified Aquatic Veterinarians (CertAqVs) who might be ready to act as mentors.

Your mentor will ask the WAVMA Credentialing Committee to review your application after they confirm that you have amassed enough KSE credits. Once the Committee and the WAVMA executive board have assessed these (every two months) and are confident that you meet all requirements, you will get information.


  • Aquatic Environment and Life Support Systems
  • Legislation, Regulations, and Policies
  • Taxonomy, Anatomy, and Physiology
  • Husbandry and Industries
  • Diagnostics and Treatment of Aquatic Animal Diseases
  • Clinical Veterinary Experience and Client Communications
  • Pathobiology and Epidemiology of Aquatic Animal Diseases
  • Public Health, Zoonotic, and Seafood Safety
  • Principles of Aquatic Animal Welfare
Stressed and worried girl during exam

Veterinary Universities’ Conclusion

Aquatic veterinary medicine is emerging as a specialty study area within marine veterinarian schools. However, as the International Association for Aquatic Animal Care (IAAAM) notes, “No veterinary college offers a full curriculum for concentrating in aquatic or marine mammal medicine.”   

This is so that students can learn about the treatment of cats, dogs, cows, and horses in a broad four-year program. However, certain marine veterinarian colleges may offer elective or specialty training in non-domestic animals, including amphibians, fish, reptiles, pet birds, and poultry.

Fellowships in fish or aquatic medicine are a great way for students interested in the discipline to advance their knowledge. They can also look for work prospects in aquatic medicine, though the IAAAM notes that these jobs are often challenging to come by, particularly for graduates. 

The IAAAM recommends getting experience in private practice before applying for an aquatic medicine internship at a facility like the Florida Aquarium, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, or another comparable facility.

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