Top 10 Best Veterinary Schools in Japan in 2024 | How to Apply

As an aspiring veterinarian searching for the best veterinary schools with state-of-the-art laboratories and updated technological tools, Japan is ultimately the most suitable choice for you as it fields some of the best veterinary universities in the world.

Also, Japan is a fantastic location to study and live, especially for international students. The country provides a mixture of Eastern culture and Western modernity. 

Although highly competitive, veterinary medicine is an essential profession around the world. Aspiring veterinarians will be taught how to treat and care for all animals to ensure a healthy life.

If you are looking for the top veterinary schools in Japan, this guide will provide relevant information to help you pursue a veterinary medicine career.

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Admission Requirements by Veterinary Schools for International Students

Application prerequisites for international students are similar for each University. These lists cover basic requirements common to each University.

It is essential to research the University’s admission policy of your prospective institution.

Undergraduate Veterinary Medicine Degree:  

  • Individuals who have graduated (or expect to graduate) from a high school/secondary school. 
  • Individuals who have completed (or expect to complete) a twelve-year formal school education.
  • Be able to submit a copy of an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and transcript or transcripts for the SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject tests administered by the College Board in the United States.
  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N1 Level. 
  • School recommendation letter. 
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Self-recommendation letter.
  • Thesis.
  • Summary of the idea. 

Doctorate Veterinary Medicine Degree: 

  • A degree for completion of a six-year veterinary curriculum at a Japanese university. 
  • A degree for completion of a curriculum in Medicine or dentistry at a Japanese university.
  • Eighteen years of formal education outside Japan.
  • Identification by the Ministry of Education 1955 Notification No. 39. 
  • Identification by the School of Education Law, Article 70, Paragraph 1, Line #7. 
  • Many universities will also have an entrance exam for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

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Best Veterinary Schools in Japan

Veterinary Medicine involves the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and injury in animals. Furthermore, it deals with animal care, farming, and breeding, to mention a few.

The foundation to successfully becoming a vet doctor starts with enrolling at veterinary schools that fit your schedule and provide adequate knowledge and training to help you reach your goal.

Without further ado, here is the list of Japan’s top 10 vet schools.

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1. Azabu University

As one of the 16 members of Japan’s National University Veterinary Association Representation Council, Azabu University is one of the most popular private veterinary schools in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.

The University was founded as the Tokyo Veterinary Training School in 1890 and then renamed Azabu in 1894, offering a six-year bachelor’s degree program in veterinary science. 

One of the University’s goals is to nurture veterinarians in animal husbandry and public health. 

In addition, the department of veterinary Medicine allows room for specialization in five (5) distinct areas. These include:

  • Basic Veterinary Medicine
  • Pathological Veterinary Medicine
  • Environmental Veterinary Medicine
  • Livestock Veterinary Medicine
  • Clinical Veterinary Medicine

Also, the Department of Veterinary Medicine has a Graduate School of Veterinary Science. This is a four-year doctorate in veterinary Medicine. 

This places a higher focus on problem-solving proficiency and practical skills. Training is provided to facilitate advanced clinical veterinarians, scientists, and experts.

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2. Gifu University

Gifu University, a national university, was founded in 1949 and is situated in Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

In 1990, the United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences (UGSVS) was established. This is affiliated with Tottori University, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and Gifu University.

The UGSVS integrates the veterinary programs at each University into a four-year doctoral course. Below are the 4 major areas in the course:

  • Basic Veterinary Science
  • Pathogenetic Veterinary Science
  • Applied Veterinary Science
  • Clinical Veterinary Science

The UGSVS has various departments and institutes to facilitate learning which include, 

  1. The National Institute of Health Sciences
  2. The National Institute of Animal Health
  3. The Japan Racing Association Equine Research Institute
  4. The Central Institute for Experimental Animals

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3. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is the first imperial University, established in 1877, located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan, and is ranked the third best University in Japan.

The University of Tokyo’s Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences offers a six-year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree and a four-year doctoral degree in Veterinary Medical Sciences.

The Department of Veterinary Medicine collaborates with the Veterinary Medical Centre, which has the best laboratory facilities to aid aspiring veterinarians’ training.

The University of Tokyo also has an Animal Resource Science Centre. It was founded in 1949 as a livestock farm for student learning. It is currently located in Kasama, Ibaraki Prefecture. The Centre provides education in the form of practical activities and seminars.

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4. Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University is a national university considered one of the top universities in Japan and the world. The Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1952 and is located just north of Sapporo Station, in the heart of Sapporo City. 

Hokkaido University offers a six-year undergraduate degree in veterinary Medicine. The degree is patterned to provide fundamental knowledge, which is subsequently built upon.

The University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine has a Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, which offers a four-year doctorate in veterinary Medicine. 

The aim is to focus on advanced veterinary sciences and underlines the four (4) area of specialization, such as

  • Basic Veterinary Sciences
  • Applied Veterinary Sciences
  • Environmental Veterinary Sciences
  • Clinical Sciences

Hokkaido University provides various learning opportunities through the Department of Veterinary Medicine. Some of the best learning facilities are The Veterinary Teaching Hospital, The Facility for Infection and Hazardous Substance Pathology, The Facility for Farm Animals, and the Veterinary Specimen Room.

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5. Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, commonly known as TUAT, is a national university that offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in veterinary Medicine. 

The University is a member of the Cooperative Department of Veterinary Medicine and shares an inter-university curriculum with Iwate University and, as such, offers a six-year undergraduate degree in Veterinary Science.

Also, the university is a member of the Cooperative Division of Veterinary Sciences. At Iwate University, they offer a four-year doctoral degree. 

Some of the learning facilities at the University include the Animal Medical Centre and Research and Education Centre for Prevention of Global Infectious Diseases of Animals.

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6. The Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine was established in 1941. Also, It is now a member of the United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences. 

The University offers a four-year doctoral program in veterinary science, which prepares students to play a prominent role in education and research. 

Also, It seeks to contribute to enhancing food protection and animal and human health. 

The University is known to produce students ready to engage in cutting-edge research or practice as clinical veterinarians. 

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7. Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University

Nippon Veterinary and Life Sciences University is a private university in Musashino, Tokyo, Japan, and it is ranked among the best universities in Veterinary Medicine.

Founded in 1881, the University was the first private veterinary school in Japan, and it offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in veterinary Medicine. 

The School of Veterinary Medicine offers a six-year undergraduate veterinary degree. The bachelor’s degree focuses on five (5) divisions: 

  1. Basic veterinary Medicine
  2. Pathological Veterinary Medicine
  3. Clinical veterinary Medicine
  4. Veterinary Medicine for disease prevention
  5. General education in veterinary Medicine

The Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine offers a four-year doctoral degree. Students can specialize in one of the following four fields: 

  • Veterinary Science I
  • Veterinary Science II
  • Clinical Veterinary Medicine
  • Applied Veterinary Medicine

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8. Kagoshima University

Kagoshima University is a Japanese national university located in Kagoshima, Japan which has been dedicated to empowering its students to contribute to the future positively. 

The University offers both an undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in veterinary Medicine. 

The Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is a six-year program focusing on Basic Veterinary Science, Pathogenetic and Preventative Veterinary Science, and Clinical Veterinary Science.

Kagoshima and Yamaguchi University also offer the Joint Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine. The four-year doctorate in Veterinary Medicine.

The Veterinary Science Course includes advanced research components. These include: 

  • Basic Veterinary Medicine
  • Applied Veterinary Medicine, 
  • Clinical Veterinary Medicine

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9. Rakuno Gakuen University

Rakuno Gakuen University is a private university in Ebetsu, Hokkaido, Japan, established in 1960 with the department of Dairy Science.

The University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine offers a six-year degree program in Veterinary Medicine. Its primary aim is to train aspiring veterinarians from the clinical level to advanced research. 

In addition, it strongly emphasizes creating practical veterinarians for animals and public health safety. 

Rakuno Gakuen University also offers a four-year doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. The Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine focuses on three (3) main areas, namely: 

  • Basic Veterinary Medicine
  • Clinical Veterinary Medicine
  • Applied Veterinary Medicine 

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10. University of Miyazaki

The University of Miyazaki, established in 1949, is a national university in the Kibana neighborhood of southern Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.

The University is affiliated with a Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which helps to promote the clinical practice, education, and research of veterinary Medicine. 

Also, the Graduate School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine provides a joint course. The course is formulated to improve education and research in Medicine and veterinary Medicine. In addition, it promotes closer collaboration between the two disciplines. 

There is also the Sumiyoshi Livestock Science Station which was founded in 1929. The station is used to stabilize and scrutinize management systems for grassland and animal production. 

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Cheapest Vet Schools In Japan For International Students 

Japan captivates the best and brightest students in the world because of its reputation for having the best vet schools with stringent admissions processes and affordable tuition fees. However, an excellent academic record will give you an upper advantage.

Also, Japan has an excellent location, making it a country with easy travel systems compared to other Asian countries. In Asia, graduates from Japanese universities are guaranteed to gain employment after their studies, which makes it a very attractive study destination.

Although studying at a Veterinary School in Japan comes at no cheap fee, this article provides a series of universities in Japan that offer some of the most affordable tuition fee rates while providing quality education. These universities include

  1. Kyushu University
  2. Tohoku University
  3. University of Tsukuba
  4. Osaka University
  5. Aichi University
  6. Kyoto University
  7. Keio University
  8. Kansas University
  9. Nagoya University
  10. Tokyo City University 

How to Become a Veterinarian in Japan

Veterinary Medicine is one of the most competitive professions in the world today, and research has shown that in Japan, there will be a constant shortage of 1,100 veterinarians in extensive animal practice by 2040.

Becoming a veterinarian could be daunting as there are different opinions from academics and certified doctors on how to become a veterinarian in Japan.

Below are some general ways to become a Veterinarian in Japan.

Obtain a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine 

A veterinary school lays the first foundation for becoming a veterinary doctor in Japan. Japan is known to have some of the best universities that offer veterinary Medicine.

Nationals and international students interested in becoming a veterinarian should apply to these universities, ensuring they have the desired results from the prospective University of their choice. 

Obtaining an undergraduate degree in veterinary Medicine in Japan usually takes about six years.

Apply for Internship Training Program

During their undergraduate days at the University, students should ensure that they take advantage of the internship training programs made available by their institutions.

These programs provide students with exposure to the veterinary field, giving them an overview of what it takes to become a veterinary doctor.

Students are trained by experts in the field and are taught how to identify, make diagnoses, and proffer treatment to animals. Also, internships give students an idea of the area they want to specialize in.

Obtain your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (DVM)

A typical doctor of veterinary Medicine (DVM) program curriculum spans four years in Japan. Usually, the first two years consist of completing coursework in classes and labs.

The DVM provides advanced knowledge and practice, which will be needed in some regions of specialization.

Although veterinary schools may differ, some of the veterinary courses taken during the DVM programs involve advanced research on the following:

  • Veterinary Science I
  • Veterinary Science II
  • Clinical Veterinary Medicine
  • Applied Veterinary Medicine

Write the Examination for a National License

To practice as a vet in Japan, you need to pass the exam for a national license in Japan.

To be eligible to sit for the examination, you have done the following:

i. Completed the six-year veterinary studies in a Japanese university, or

ii. Have completed the equivalent studies outside Japan or have been licensed as a vet outside Japan and considered (by the Japanese authorities)to be equally competent to or more competent than those who completed six-year studies in Japan.

Once you meet the requirements and apply for the examination, ensure that you pass successfully, which guarantees you the opportunity to become a Veterinarian in Japan.

How Much Do Veterinarians Make in Japan?

Being a Veterinary doctor is one of the most lucrative professions in Japan. It should be pointed out that veterinarians’ salaries vary depending on experience, skills, gender, or location in Japan. 

In 2023, a person working as a Veterinarian in Japan typically earns around 621,000 JPY per month. Salaries range from 329,000 JPY – 944,000 JPY. 


Japan is a fantastic place to learn veterinary Medicine for international students and its residents.

Japan has about 17 veterinary schools that closely compete among the best schools in the world today. We have researched and provided data on the best 10 veterinary schools suitable for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a veterinary degree in Japan?

A Veterinary Medicine degree in Japan takes six (6) years to complete.

How many veterinary schools does Japan have?

There are 17 veterinary schools located in Japan.

How much does a veterinarian earn in Japan?

A Veterinarian in Japan earns around 621,000 JPY per month.

Do veterinary schools offer scholarships in Japan?

Yes. Most Japanese veterinary schools offer scholarships to both national and international students.


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