12 Best Vet Schools in Colorado:How to Choose One

Why consider vet schools in Colorado?

With the study and knowledge of veterinary medicine, you learn how to help animals and end their suffering. 

As a graduate of veterinary medicine, you have a broad choice.

As a vet, you will have to think about the health and welfare of your patients, which might not be able to speak, but will definitely show gratitude in some way. 

Being a veterinarian is as rewarding as being a doctor- you relieve the suffering of animals that have experienced traumatic injuries or chronic illnesses and at the same time, you see the happiness and appreciation of their owners.

Furthermore, Veterinary technology programs continue to thrive in Colorado as students are mostly equipped for today’s and tomorrow’s professional environments.

Colorado has a far higher concentration of jobs than the national average. Furthermore, the Colorado Veterinary Technology occupation is expected to rise 36.5% from 2016 to 2026, much above the national average for this rapidly growing field.

Choosing the right vet school in Colorado can be a daunting task. There are many factors that need to be considered before making a decision. 

However, the most important factor is to make sure that you are choosing a university that has good graduate programs in Veterinary medicine.

Options in Veterinary Medicine

If you think the Veterinary Medicine degree sounds appealing but aren’t sure what path you want to take, we will help you explore a few options. You can work as:

1. Research Veterinarian

Working in government, organisations, biomedical research firms, or universities, research vets need strong scientific knowledge. Research vets work on:

  • Improving methods for diagnosing health conditions.
  • Developing better treating and preventing illnesses methods.
  • Teaching veterinary students at educational institutions.

2. Companion Animal Veterinarians:

The most common type of veterinarians. They are the ones who take care of cats, dogs, and some pocket pets. 

They are called General Practitioners and are responsible for activities that differ depending on the patient, same as your family doctor:

  • Medical and surgical service for pets.
  • Diagnostics of illnesses.
  • Treatments of health conditions.

3. Veterinary Specialists:

Just like doctors, vets can specialise in more than 20 fields, including cardiology, pathology, dentistry, anaesthesiology and more. 

They can also choose whether to focus on certain species. Specialists go through additional training to gain more knowledge and skills in a certain area.

4. Food-Animal Veterinarians:

These vets focus on taking care of large animals such as horses, pigs, and goats. 

Their responsibility is to make sure that their patients (farm animals) are healthy and well, so that any meat produced is high quality, and is safe for people’s health. 

They also:

  • Address issues connected to raising animals for humans’ food consumption.
  • Maintain sanitary conditions and treat illnesses in farms and ranches.
  • Spend quite a lot of time travelling and making sure the farm animals are taken good care of.

5. Exotic Animal Veterinarians:

These vets have special training and interest in caring for exotic animals such as amphibians, reptiles and some pocket animals, as people tend to adopt exotic birds and other species, not traditionally considered as pets. 

Exotic Animal Veterinarians usually pay special attention to animals in zoos or other environments. The duties of these vets can vary from:

  • Diagnosing and treating diseases in wildlife species.
  • Issuing vaccinations.
  • Performing surgeries of exotic species.
  • Providing emergency care when necessary.
  • Work in wildlife rescues facilities.

Exotic vets can work at aquariums or wildlife conversations, which is a great way for them to be close to nature and help animals out.

How To Choose The Right Vet School

There are things to consider when choosing a school and choosing a vet school is no different. Here are some things to consider before choosing a vet school.

1)  A supportive environment: 

Even if you attend one of the most esteemed programs out there, it won’t matter much if you don’t make it through the program. 

It’s important to choose a veterinary school that truly values its students and their success by ensuring no one slips through the cracks.

2) A significant amount of hands-on training: 

It’s not uncommon for DVM graduates to seek additional training after completing their initial studies. 

Some evidence suggests that graduates are opting to pursue post grad training opportunities like internships because they don’t feel adequately prepared for full-time employment immediately after school.

You can avoid this issue by choosing a veterinary school that emphasizes plenty of hands-on experience. 

That said, this isn’t always an easy thing to identify just by viewing a program’s website. 

Bates suggests attending events like the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association’s National Symposium, an annual gathering that enables prospective students to speak with representatives from veterinary schools.

Another good way to learn how much a school prioritizes hands-on clinical experience is by talking to program alumni or even current students. 

Bates recommends asking questions specifically about career preparedness and job prospects after graduation.  

3) A tradition of successful graduates: 

When a program boasts impressive graduate outcomes, that is another good signifier of a top veterinary school. 

If you want more specifics, don’t be afraid to ask the admissions team what types of work graduates do, especially if you’re hoping to pursue a particular type of veterinary medicine. 

And once again, you can always speak with program graduates to learn how satisfied they are with their postgrad experiences.

4) Opportunities to pursue your specific interests: 

Bates says that it’s up to students to decide what they want to specialize in, then pursue programs that will help them achieve those goals. 

Not taking your individual preferences into account early on could limit your choices later on, particularly when it comes time to complete clinical rotations.

At this point, you may just be interested in pursuing veterinary medicine in general. 

But you could also have your sights set on a more specialized path like equestrian veterinary medicine or working with marine animals. 

If you identify with the latter, you’ll want a DVM program that offers plenty of opportunities to take a deep dive into those areas of focus.  

The List of Vet Schools in Colorado

The best Vet Schools in Colorado are:

  • Colorado State University-Fort Collins
  • University of California Davis
  • Fort Lewis College 
  • Colorado Mesa University
  • Pueblo Community College
  • Lamar Community College
  • Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
  • Pima Medical Institue Colorado Springs
  • Apex College of Veterinary Technology
  • Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology
  • Community College of Denver
  • Pickens Technical College

Colorado State University

Colorado State University (Colorado State or CSU) is a public land-grant research university in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

It is the flagship university of the Colorado State University System. Colorado State University is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. 

The university has been previously known as Colorado Agricultural College from 1870 to 1935 and as Colorado A&M from 1935 to 1957.

In 2018, enrollment was approximately 34,166 students, including resident and non-resident instruction students. 

The university has approximately 2,000 faculty in eight colleges and 55 academic departments. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in 65 fields of study, with master’s degrees in 55 fields. 

Colorado State confers doctoral degrees in 40 fields of study, in addition to a professional degree in veterinary medicine.

University of California Davis 

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis, UCD, or Davis) is a public land-grant research university near Davis, California. 

Named a Public Ivy, it is the northernmost of the ten campuses of the University of California system. 

The institution was first founded as an agricultural branch of the system in 1905 and became the seventh campus of the University of California in 1959.

Founded as a primarily agricultural campus, the university has expanded over the past century to include graduate and professional programs in medicine (which includes the UC Davis Medical Center), law, veterinary medicine, education, nursing, and business management, in addition to 90 research programs offered by UC Davis Graduate Studies. 

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the largest veterinary school in the United States and has been ranked first in the world for five consecutive years (2015–19).

Although named after the City of Davis, the campus is technically located adjacent to the City of Davis in an unincorporated part of Yolo and Solano counties. 

The main campus is located 15 miles (24.1 km) west of Sacramento in the Sacramento Valley, part of California’s Central Valley, and is adjacent to Interstate 80.

The city of Davis is a college town, with the ratio of students to long-term residents estimated at 1:4. 

Also contributing to the college-town environment is the close proximity of downtown Davis to the campus’ main quad—a matter of a few blocks, and a 5- to 10-minute walk or bike ride. 

Davis’ 15-minute distance from Sacramento provides it with both the isolation critical to fostering a college-town environment while also providing a lively and large metropolitan area nearby. 

Although the campus itself is vast, the entire community of Davis is relatively small and is easily traversable on bikes utilizing Davis’ extensive bicycle trails.

Fort Lewis College 

Fort Lewis College is a public liberal arts college in Durango, Colorado. 

Because of its unique origins as a military fort turned Indian boarding school turned state public school, FLC follows a 1911 mandate to give qualified Native Americans a tuition-free education and awards approximately 16% of the baccalaureate degrees earned by Native American students in the nation. In 2008, the U.S. 

The Department of Education designated FLC one of six Native American-serving, non-tribal colleges.

The 247-acre Fort Lewis College campus is in southwestern Colorado, 6,872 feet atop a mesa overlooking the Animas River Valley and downtown Durango. 

A network of trails as well as a city bus service (free to students with FLC IDs) connects the campus and town.

The campus’s distinctive architectural theme utilizes locally quarried sandstone to acknowledge the region’s Native pueblo building style and evoke the Four Corners landscape and colors. 

The style was crafted by Boulder architect James M. Hunter, whom the college contracted to establish a campus building plan in the late 1950s, after its move from Hesperus to Durango.

Today, on-campus housing is in six residence halls and two apartment buildings, with singles, doubles, and suites. 

Also on campus are 14 academic buildings, as well as a Student Life Center, Aquatic Center, and Student Union. 

On-campus athletic facilities include Ray Dennison Memorial Field, Dirks Field, the Softball Complex, Whalen Gymnasium, and the Factory Trails, an off-road bicycling race course.

These universities have top-ranked graduate programs in Veterinary medicine and have excellent facilities for students to learn about animal care.

Colorado Mesa University

Their veterinary program prepares the student for employment as a Veterinary Technician. 

These professionals are integral members of the veterinary care team in private veterinary practices, research laboratories, kennels, zoos, and public practice/government agencies.

Students are trained to work with a broad range of animal species and to become proficient in performing a variety of tasks including medical and surgical nursing procedures, laboratory testing, anesthesia induction, recovery maintenance, monitoring, holding, and restraining animals during exams and treatments, collecting specimens, taking diagnostic X-rays, administering medication or treatments, assisting in surgery, and assisting with client education.

Successful completion of the program will lead to an Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology and prepares students to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination for certification. 

Pueblo Community College

At Pueblo Community College, you will learn about pet nutrition and a variety of health and safety issues.

You will understand how to treat and prevent parasites, including roundworms and heartworms.

You will even learn the facts of life, as it pertains to dogs and cats. You will explore current thoughts on spaying and neutering, how to deal with the very emotional issues of euthanasia, pet loss, and how best to assist clients in a time of need. Find out more.

Lamar Community College

This program at Lamar Community College is designed to prepare individuals, under the supervision of veterinarians and animal science professionals, to learn techniques of patient management and clinical procedures.

This program also allows students to focus on gaining the skills needed for an entry-level position working in the veterinary science field.

Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology

The Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology is one of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) fully accredited schools with an eight-quarter work immersion.

Veterinary Technology Colorado Academy students begin with general education courses such as biochemistry and medical mathematics. Small class sizes are a selling point for the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology.

Colorado Springs does not require working as a Certified Veterinary Technician under licensed veterinarians. However, certain occupations do as it is advantageous in terms of employment and promotion.

Private veterinary clinics widely employ veterinary technicians, but they may also work for various organizations that raise, rehabilitate, or care for animals. Find out more.

Pima Medical Institute Colorado Springs

The associate degree program at Pima Medical Institute Colorado Springs will give you the knowledge and training to work as a capable entry-level veterinary technician.

Courses address both clinical training and administrative skills, including but not limited to medical terminology, animal anatomy, office management, examination techniques and the radiologic, dental and surgical procedures of animal care.

Graduates of the program will be able to proficiently assist veterinarians in many different veterinary medicine environments.

Apex College of Veterinary Technology

The Veterinary Technology program at Apex College of Veterinary Technology is designed as a 2-year comprehensive progression of courses that give graduates the knowledge and skill required to perform the technical work required of a successful Veterinary Technician – A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology. Find out more.

Their Veterinary Practice Management program is a certificate program designed to fulfill the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association college credit requirements for becoming a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager while helping our students improve their own business practices and study for the CVPM examination.

Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology

Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology is located on a 6.4-acre campus just outside beautiful Denver, Colorado.

Bel-Rea is one of the oldest and largest veterinary technician training programs in the country.

Their well-equipped classroom and laboratory facilities allow them to provide the hands-on training you need to succeed in the field of veterinary medicine.

From on-site surgery and dental suites to a large animal barn and corrals, you’ll have access to a full array of settings that mimic those you’ll come across throughout your career. Find out more.

Front Range Community College

FRCC’s Vet Tech programs educate and empower students to work as veterinary healthcare professionals who interact with other veterinary healthcare professionals, patients and clients in a professional and ethical manner.

Students will develop the highest possible technical skills and demonstrate creative thinking and problem solving abilities required in the veterinary field.

Students will demonstrate utmost respect and concern for the well-being of their patients and understand the importance of team dynamics.

The program will foster life-long learners and facilitate continuing education opportunities for veterinary health care professionals.

Their Vet Tech training program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technical Education and Activities.

 The A.A.S. Vet Tech degree is a full-time program. First semester classes cover general education requirements and start a student’s focus on the veterinary profession.

The next four semesters are spent in veterinary-specific studies using a variety of methods to gain both academic and hands-on proficiency.

They utilize as many different approaches as we can to topics, to help students absorb knowledge and perfect skills.

Some classes focus on live animal work, others on laboratory procedures, and some are more academic. Clinical experiences are focused on the fourth and fifth semesters of the program giving students real-life experience. Find out more.

Community College of Denver

Veterinary technology two-year and three-year track classes are held at CCD’s Lowry location in east Denver.

Veterinary Technology apprenticeship courses are completed through remote learning via online modules and in-person labs.

Cohorts must be taken in order and students cannot switch from one of the three tracks to another without going through a new application process (see more details below).

Each track is limited to the first 24 applicants. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Internships, clinical rotations, and apprenticeships are provided by veterinary clinics and non-profits throughout Colorado. See the program details.

Pickens Technical College

This program at Pickens Technical College prepares individuals in animal management, care, animal health and nutrition, animal handling, office administration skills, and applicable standards and regulations.

Students gain valuable experience in a simulated veterinary environment. The curriculum for Veterinary Assistants includes hands-on practical work with domestic animals.

All courses are aligned with the Community Colleges of Colorado.

These commonly described courses facilitate transfer and articulation arrangements for Colorado’s secondary and community college students and ensure curriculum quality across the colleges.

Best Veterinary Medicine Programs In Colorado Based on Reviews.

Colorado is a beautiful state with a lot of opportunities for its residents. However, not all of them want to work in the medical field. Some want to study and pursue their dreams.

CSU has one of the best graduate programs in veterinary medicine is located in Fort Collins. 

They offer two different programs for students – A doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a Master’s degree in Veterinary Medicine (MVMD). 

CSU also offers a pre-veterinary program for students who are interested in pursuing careers in veterinary medicine but need additional preparation before applying to the graduate program.


Veterinary Medicine is one of the greatest medicines in the world. Having the chance to groom and help animals is an amazing feat. Do you have suggestions about these vet schools in Colorado? Please leave a comment below.

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