Pre-Veterinary Internships for Aspiring Vets

Get hands-on experience with a vet internship

Veterinarian tending to dog patient
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Pre-veterinary internships are a vital means of gaining experience that will boost a candidate’s chance of acceptance into vet school. Aspiring vets can never have too much experience on their resume when trying to break into this highly competitive field.

There are several great opportunities available for undergraduates pursuing a veterinary career.

FDA's Windows to Regulatory Research Program

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers internships at the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine each summer in Maryland.

Opportunities at the CVM are available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in the U.S. who have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA and are pursuing a course of study in a veterinary-related field. The program is 10 weeks in length and begins in June.

Compensation ranges from $4,812 to $9,996, though housing is not provided.

MSU's Enrichment Summer Program

The Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine offers its Enrichment Summer Program to aspiring veterinary students.

The ESP is offered to educationally, economically, or culturally disadvantaged students with a 2.7 GPA or higher. There are three program levels, ranging from undergrads wishing to explore a veterinary career to those who already have made the decision to become vets and will apply to a professional program within the next year.

Interns are compensated with a stipend, and additional compensation for travel assistance is possible. Housing is available on the MSU campus at an additional cost.

Purdue's Veterinary Scholars Research Program

The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in Indiana offers a Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program for undergraduate and graduate students.

This program is designed to expose future vets to nonpractice careers such as biomedical or clinical research. During their time at Purdue, students complete their own research study under the direction of a Purdue faculty member. 

Undergraduate students are compensated with a stipend of $3,000 for the summer program, while graduate students are compensated at the rate of $5,000.

Seneca Park Zoo's Pre-Vet Internship

The Seneca Park Zoo in New York offers its Pre-Veterinary Summer Fellowship to students who have completed at least two years of a pre-veterinary degree, gained at least 100 hours of practical experience in a veterinary setting, and maintained a 3.0 GPA.

Interns assist with veterinary treatments, necropsies, surgeries, clinical rounds, behavioral observations, and chemical immobilizations. Interns also complete research projects. The internships are five weeks in length and are available from May to August.

Fellowships are fully funded with a stipend, but housing is not provided.

PIADC's Research Participation Program

The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) in Orient, New York offers a Research Participation Program for undergraduate or graduate students studying veterinary medicine, pathology, or other biological sciences.

Students work full-time on research projects related to animal diseases. Projects may include topics in epidemiology and vaccine development. Immune response and research positions usually last for 12 months.

Benefits may include a monthly stipend, partial medical coverage, and some travel reimbursement.

Staten Island Zoo's Internship Program

The Staten Island Zoo in New York offers a veterinary technician internship to current college students or recent graduates with majors in biology, zoology, or a closely related field.

Interns assist vets and vet techs with husbandry, veterinary care, and lab work over the course of their internship, which can last from three months to a year. There also is the potential for independent research projects for college credit.

Interns are asked to commit at least two days a week, and this is an unpaid internship.

Select Sires Veterinarian Internship

Select Sires in Ohio offers a veterinary internship to undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in food animal medicine.

Interns assist with physical exams, herd health duties, the collection of blood or semen samples from bulls, and the implementation of biosecurity measures. The internship is a minimum of four weeks long and is offered in spring and summer sessions.

Students receive an hourly wage during the internship, but housing is not provided.

More Internship Opportunities

Many other internships are available. Some concentrate on particular areas of study and can be of great value if you're interested in pursuing any of these specialties:

Working at a local small animal veterinary clinic is another great way to get your foot in the door. Most new employees at veterinary clinics start out by cleaning cages and washing dogs. Once you establish a reputation for being a dedicated team player, the vet will usually offer you the chance to act as a veterinary assistant during exams and procedures.