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.

Browse some of the great internship opportunities available for undergraduates pursuing a veterinary career.

FDA's Windows to Regulatory Research Internship 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. that have maintained at least a 3.5 GPA and are pursuing a course of study in a veterinary related field. The program is ten weeks in length and begins in June.

Compensation ranges from $4812 to $9996, though housing is not provided.

MSU's Enrichment Summer Program

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

The ESP program is offered to educationally, economically, or culturally disadvantaged students with a 2.7 grade point average or higher. There are three program levels, ranging from undergrads wishing to explore a veterinary career to those who have already 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 non-practice 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 a Pre-Veterinary Summer Fellowship to students that 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.

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

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

PIADC's Research Participation Program

The Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) in Tennessee 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, vaccine development, and 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 is also 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 implementation of biosecurity measures. The internship is a minimum of 4 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

These are just a few of the internship opportunities for pre-veterinary students and there are more available. Some concentrate on particular areas of study and will 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.