Camp Experiences for Future Vets

Veterinarian doing a check-up on a Corgi in clinic
••• Ron Levine / Getty Images

Many aspiring young veterinarians seek experience through internships or summer jobs at veterinary clinics, but vet camp is another great option that can offer valuable hands-on experience. Summer vet camps are offered by most veterinary colleges, and these programs can give high school and college students an insider’s look at what attending vet school would be like. There are many options for vet camp.

Auburn University

Auburn University in Alabama offers three vet camps: Junior Vet Camp for rising 6th-grade to 8th-grade students, Vet Camp for rising 9th-grade to 11th-grade students, and Senior Vet Camp for rising 12th-grade students. Students get six full days of veterinary-related experiences, including hands-on work in Auburn’s raptor, equine, beef, dairy, and swine units. The cost of the camp is $850 and includes lodging, meals, instruction, recreational activities, counselor supervision, and transportation fees.

Clemson University

Clemson University in South Carolina offers a vet camp for rising 10th-grade to 12th-grade students. Students participate in dissections, use ultrasound equipment, run lab tests, milk cows, and much more. The school offers a choice between four one-week sessions during the course of the summer. The cost of the program is $950 for students who pay in full before April 1 and $1,100 for those who pay in full after that date.

Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers a five-day vet camp for 10th-grade to 12th-grade students. Students must apply with an essay, and only 30 students are accepted to the program. The cost for the residential session is $1,600, while the day session for students who are able to commute costs $600. A few need-based scholarships are available.

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University offers several hands-on vet camps, including day camps for kids ages 10–12, 13–14, and 15–17, and an overnight camp for kids ages 15-17. One-day camp sessions cost $125, three-day camp sessions cost $300, and overnight camp costs $600. The university also offers the VetAspire program which allows students in 10th grade through 12th grade, and college freshmen, to spend a day attending clinics, lectures, and hands-on activities to experience vet school firsthand. 

North Carolina State University

NC State University offers a few five-day vet camp sessions for high school students each summer. The camp includes demonstrations, lectures, presentations, and a variety of hands-on activities to expose students to the field of veterinary medicine. The camp is priced at $550 and includes meals, transportation, lab materials, activities, t-shirts, binders, and backpacks. Lodging is available at an additional cost.

Purdue University

Purdue University in Indiana offers two vet camps for aspiring vets and vet techs: Junior Camp for 8th-grade and 9th-grade students, and Senior Camp for 10th-grade, 11th-grade, and 12th-grade students. Students in the program spend a full week enjoying presentations, laboratory work, and hands-on activities. The junior camp is priced at $950, and the senior camp is priced at $1500. Fees are all-inclusive, and partial scholarships are available.

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M offers a four-day vet camp for high school students that are interested in a career in veterinary medicine. Applicants must have completed their sophomore year of high school to attend and must meet GPA and volunteering requirements. The cost to attend the camp is $530.

Tufts University

Tufts University in Massachusetts offers several vet camp programs for middle school, high school, college, and adult students. The middle school sessions run on a first-come, first-served basis, are five days long, and cost $790. The other programs are competitive. The high school program offers a day camp, which lasts 12 days and costs $2,295, and an overnight camp, which lasts 13 days and costs $3,750. The college and adult programs both last five days and cost $1,000. All camps are day camps except the high school overnight option.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia offers a week-long vet camp for students in grades 10–12. Students are included in activities at the veterinary teaching hospital, the poultry center, and a behind-the-scenes field trip to the Georgia Aquarium. The camp costs $900, and the fee covers all activities, meals, instruction, and lodging.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania offers a one-week day program for aspiring veterinary students. The program is open to used to be open to high school students, but now it's only open to college students. Participants spend an entire day at the acclaimed New Bolton Center for large animals. Tuition is $9995 and includes lunches, materials, and transportation to the New Bolton Center. 

Many additional vet camp opportunities can be found at other veterinary schools, veterinary clinics, humane societies, animal rescues, wildlife rehabilitation facilities, and other related organizations.