10 Veterinary Schools in Illinois

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Welcome, today we are going to look at the veterinary schools in Illinois for aspiring Veterinarians to consider. These Veterinary schools in Illinois are at the forefront of advancing animal health through their comprehensive educational programs.

In 2022, 136 Veterinary Science students graduated in Illinois, with students earning 128 Doctoral degrees, and 8 master’s degrees. This reflects the state’s commitment to providing excellence in veterinary education and research.

Whether you’re interested in becoming a Vet Tech, a Veterinary Assistant, or a Veterinary Scientist, Illinois offers a diverse range of programs to help you achieve your career goals. As we delve into the specifics of the top 10 veterinary schools in Illinois, we will explore the unique qualities that each institution brings to the flat table of the state.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Veterinary School

Choosing the right veterinary school is a crucial decision for aspiring veterinarians. Let’s explore some key factors to consider when making this important choice:

  1. Courses: Look for a program that aligns with your career goals and interests. Some schools focus on small animal medicine, while others emphasize large animal medicine. Ensure that the curriculum includes relevant courses.
  1. Specializations: Check if the program offers specializations such as surgery, dermatology, or dentistry. These can enhance your skills and career prospects.
  1. Cost of Attendance: Veterinary school can be expensive. Evaluate the tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs. Ensure that the program provides good value for your investment. Look into financial aid options, scholarships, and grants.
  1. Hands-On Experience and Clinical Rotations: Practical experience is vital. Investigate the school’s partnerships with local clinics, hospitals, and animal care facilities.
  1. Accreditation: Verify that the program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Accreditation ensures rigorous academic standards and prepares you for licensure.

Why Study Veterinary Medicine?

  1. Look after animals: If you love animals, Veterinary Medicine equips you with the tools and knowledge to make their lives better.
  1. Exciting tasks: Life as a vet is fast-paced, varied, and interesting. You might work with different animals every day, engage in research, or contribute to large-scale projects in unique environments.
  1. Learn in expert facilities: Veterinary schools offer cutting-edge equipment for teaching and research. Facilities include farms, clinical labs, dissection suites, pathology labs, kennels, and stables.
  1. Great graduate prospects: Veterinary Medicine graduates have excellent job prospects. Almost every university scores above 90% in graduate prospects, ensuring high chances of professional employment within 15 months of graduating.

List of 10 Veterinary Schools in Illinois

Below is a list of 10 veterinary schools in Illinois:

10 Veterinary Schools in Illinois

1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Acceptance rate: The acceptance rate for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is around 45%.
  • Tuition fee: The tuition fee for the Veterinary Medicine department is $29,708 per year for residents and $53,214 per year for non-residents.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is dedicated to transforming animal, human, and environmental health through a comprehensive approach that includes biomedical science, clinical care, and public health.

The college is known for its rigorous multi-species study and is positioned to explore the critical connections among animal and human health, the environment, and agriculture.

The college boasts three academic departments and a full-service teaching hospital. It is also home to the state’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory and offers clinical, diagnostic, and research services in Chicago.

The University’s areas of excellence include comparative and diagnostic medicine, conservation medicine and ecosystem health, and environmental health and toxicology.

2. Fox College

  • Acceptance Rate: The acceptance rate at Fox College varies between 61% and 69.8%.

The Veterinary Technology Program at Fox College prepares students to become veterinary technicians. These professionals are the first line of care for animals recovering from surgeries and illnesses.

The program focuses on skills such as safe administration of medicine, laboratory analysis, patient assessments, radiography, and surgical assistance. Graduates are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam and become licensed veterinary technicians.

The program is an 18-month Associate of Applied Science degree program. Students receive plenty of hands-on instruction and spend 8 weeks in an externship to practice what they’ve learned and make industry contacts.

The program meets all requirements set by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

3. Joliet Junior College

  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Tuition Fee: The in-state tuition fee is approximately $9,369, while the out-of-state tuition fee is around $10,006.

Joliet Junior College (JJC) is the nation’s first public community college and offers over 180 degree and certificate programs. The Veterinary Medical Technology Program (VMTP) at JJC provides hands-on training for students interested in working with animals.

Students can choose between two options:

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT): This program combines classroom learning with practical experience. It offers both full-time and part-time options, as well as day and evening sections. Competitive entry is required, and all vet tech courses must be completed within four years of program entry.

Veterinary Technician Assistant (VTA): VTAs assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians in providing animal care. This program has open enrollment and can be completed in one semester or multiple semesters.

The VMTP is fully accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Graduates of the VMTP are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) for licensure in Illinois.

4. Parkland College

  • Tuition fee: The in-district cost of the Veterinary Technology Program at Parkland College for an academic year is $19,553.

The Veterinary Technology program at Parkland College trains students to become Certified Veterinary Technicians. This exciting two-year program prepares graduates to be an integral part of the health delivery team in veterinary medicine.

As a veterinary technician, you’ll perform various aspects of veterinary care, excluding diagnosing, prescribing, and surgery. The program covers a wide range of areas and species, including both large and small animals.

During the second year, students have the opportunity to rotate through the various service areas at the University of Illinois’ Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This exposure allows them to witness state-of-the-art methods and techniques in use.

Parkland College’s Veterinary Technology Program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s CVTEA.

5. Shawnee Community College

  • Tuition fee: The in-state tuition fee is approximately $5,640.

Shawnee Community College offers a diverse range of academic programs, including a Veterinary Technology Program. This program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to become certified veterinary technicians, providing professional, competent, and humane care and treatment for all animals.

The Veterinary Technology Program at Shawnee Community College is part of the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market.

It provides comprehensive education and training, covering areas such as:

  • Small and large animal nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Veterinary terminology
  • Legal issues
  • Office management
  • Parasitology
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Veterinary pharmacology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Radiology
  • Emergency care
  • Clinical pathology.

The program offers a challenging academic environment coupled with practical, hands-on training. Graduates are well-prepared to enter veterinary care facilities with entry-level skills and contribute to the well-being of a wide variety of animals.

6. Black Hawk College

  • Acceptance rate: The overall pass percentage for the Veterinary Technician National Examination over the years has been around 67%.
  • Tuition fee: The total tuition & fee for an academic year is $7,950 for Illinois residents and $8,100 for out-of-state students.

Black Hawk College offers an associate in applied science in Veterinary Technology and a Veterinary Assisting Certificate. Students gain practical experience with both small and large animals on-site at the specialized Veterinary Sciences Center.

The programs are taught by veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, and specialists in the field.

Applicants need a high school diploma or equivalent, a physical examination, and a minimum of 40 hours shadowing a veterinary professional. The application process is competitive, with interviews conducted by the selection committee.

The Veterinary Technology Program has received initial accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

The program has a three-year Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) pass percentage of 67%, with the most recent year achieving a 100% pass rate.

7. Heartland Community College

  • Acceptance rate: Heartland Community College has an open admission policy, so the acceptance rate is 100%.
  • Tuition fee: The tuition for in-district students is $168 per semester hour. For out-of-district students, it’s $336 per semester hour, and for out-of-state/out-of-country students, it’s $420 per semester hour.

Heartland Community College offers an engaging and comprehensive Veterinary Assistant program designed for those passionate about animal care. This 8-week program is a gateway to the dynamic field of veterinary medicine, providing foundational knowledge and practical skills under the supervision of experienced veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

The curriculum covers essential topics such as animal behaviour, veterinary ethics, medical and dental procedures, and front office operations. Students gain hands-on experience through classroom content and labs, learning to recognize signs of illness and disease in animals.

The program also emphasizes administrative duties, equipping students with the skills necessary to manage an efficient veterinary office.

8. Kaskaskia College

  • Tuition fee: The tuition fee for in-district students is $160.00 per credit hour.

Kaskaskia College offers a comprehensive Pre-Veterinary Medicine program designed to provide students with a solid foundation for a career in the veterinary field.

The program is structured to meet all requirements for the 64-credit-hour associate in science (AS) Degree, which is essential for students planning to pursue further education in veterinary medicine.

The program emphasizes a range of subjects including animal science, management, nutrition, health, handling, and welfare, preparing students for various roles within the veterinary sector.

9. Rend Lake College

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Tuition fee: $7,800 for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Rend Lake College offers a comprehensive Veterinary Assistant certificate program designed for individuals passionate about animal care.

The program equips students with essential knowledge and skills to work effectively in various animal care settings, including veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, grooming salons, pet shops, and animal shelters.

The curriculum focuses on practical training and theoretical knowledge necessary for a career as a veterinary assistant.

Students learn about animal anatomy, veterinary medical terminology, animal handling and restraint, basic veterinary office procedures, and the fundamentals of animal health and diseases.

10. Southeastern Illinois College

  • Tuition fee: The tuition fee for in-district students is $160.00 per credit hour.

The Veterinary Assistant program at Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) offers a unique opportunity for individuals passionate about animal care. This program is designed to prepare students for a fulfilling career working with animals in various settings, including veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, kennels, pet shops, and animal shelters.

The curriculum focuses on small animal nursing, veterinary practice management, and customer service, ensuring that graduates are well-equipped to support veterinarians and animal care teams.

The Veterinary Assistant program at SIC is a certificate program that can be completed in just one semester.

The program includes hands-on learning experiences and an internship, providing practical skills in areas such as doggy daycare/boarding and veterinary assistantship. Students learn to handle, restrain, and provide nursing care to small animals, which are essential skills in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any scholarships or financial aid options available for veterinary students in Illinois?

Yes, there are various scholarships and financial aid options available for veterinary students in Illinois, including awards from the University of Illinois and external organizations.

What are the prerequisites for applying to veterinary school in Illinois?

Prerequisites typically include courses in biological sciences, chemical sciences, physics, and English composition. Specific requirements can vary by school.

What is the accreditation status of the veterinary schools in Illinois?

Veterinary schools in Illinois are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education, ensuring they meet high standards of veterinary education.

Can I transfer between veterinary schools in Illinois or to other states?

Transfers are possible but depend on individual school policies and compatibility of curricula. It's best to check directly with the schools for their transfer policies.


In conclusion, these institutions provide students with a strong foundation in veterinary medicine, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this field.

Furthermore, these schools are not just academic institutions; they are places where students can pursue their passion for animal health and welfare, and where they can make a real difference in the lives of animals and their owners.

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