10 Best Veterinary Schools in South Africa in 2024 | How to Apply

Are you in search of the best veterinary schools in South Africa? Search no more; we’ve got you covered.

This article fully reviews the best veterinary schools in South Africa, including the requirements, cost & how to apply to these schools.

Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with disease, disorder, and injury prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in animals.

The scope of veterinary medicine is broad, encompassing all animal species, both domesticated and wild, and a wide range of diseases affecting different species.

To become a veterinarian in South Africa, one must attend the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

To become a competitive veterinary school applicant, it is essential to take all prerequisite courses for your target school, experts say, and it’s important to understand that different veterinary schools in South Africa have different prerequisite requirements.

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What Courses are Required to Become a Veterinarian? 

Veterinary school applicants typically hold a bachelor’s degree. Veterinary medical colleges often require an extensive background in science, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, zoology, microbiology, and animal science.

How much does a Veterinarian Earn in South Africa?

In South Africa, the average annual salary for a veterinarian is R 744 181.

How many years does it take to Become a Vet in South Africa?

Students who have already enrolled in the program will need three years to complete the BSc (Veterinary Biology) degree and four years to complete the four-year BVSc degree, for seven years.

The Bachelor of Veterinary Science program lasts six years.

What is the Cost of Veterinary Schools in South Africa? 

In-state tuition and expenses for a doctor of veterinary medicine degree normally range from $28,000 to $54,000 per year (resident rate), or from $41,000 to $66,000 per year (for four years) for out-of-state tuition and fees (non-resident rate). The tuition for non-residents attending a state school is typically more expensive.

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Do Veterinarians in South Africa Get Well Paid? 

A median annual wage of $88,770 is reported for veterinarians by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Veterinarians are paid the highest, $161,070, and the least, $52,470. In their first year of practice, veterinarians can anticipate earning a salary of about $60,000. Vets that specialize in large animals started at $68,933.

What language is the Presentation of Veterinary Science in? 

Students can select to study classes in either English or Afrikaans throughout their first year. The subjects are all delivered in English starting in the second year, but most test questions are in English and Afrikaans. 

Do Veterinary Students need to Complete a year of Practicum Work as Medical Students? 

The sixth and final year of the veterinary science program involves clinical rotations at an academic veterinary hospital. 

Do South African Veterinary Students have to do a year of Mandatory Community Service After Graduation? 

Yes. Before being eligible to register and start practicing as a veterinarian in South Africa, newly graduated veterinarians must complete a year of mandatory community service.

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What are the Best Veterinary Schools in South Africa?

After thorough research, rankings, reviews, and value offers, we have curated a list of the best veterinary schools in South Africa from the best MOOC platforms online.

Below is a list of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

1. University of Pretoria

One of the best African institutions and the most prominent contact university in South Africa is the University of Pretoria (UP) which is also one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

To address the most critical global problems, we conduct socially significant research. Our teaching and learning are high caliber in the classroom, online, and in communities.

We have programs to help students graduate on time and become mature, responsible citizens who are adequately equipped for life after college.

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2. University of Cape Town

The Department of Veterinary Medicine is a large academic and clinical department that plays a leading role in medical education and research at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

We provide clinical services to Western Cape communities and, in the case of our highly specialized services, patients from all over southern Africa, making us one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

The Department of Cardiology, Ageing, Leukaemia, Lung Infection, Chronic Diseases, Porphyria, HIV, and Immunology is based at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH). It consists of 18 clinical divisions and ten central research units.

We have a robust research ethic and an increasing research output in primary and applied medical sciences.

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3. Stellenbosch University

The Department of Animal Sciences celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1996, making it one of the country’s oldest established departments of Animal Sciences.

It is a top department that uses discipline-based expertise to conduct interdisciplinary research on animal agriculture and biology issues. It is one of South Africa’s top veterinary schools.

The department’s mission is to train exceptional animal scientists to meet South Africa’s research, extension, and development needs to improve the quality of life for all of its inhabitants.

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4. University of KwaZulu Natal

South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province is home to the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), which has five campuses and is one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa. Following the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville union, it was established on January 1st, 2004. 

In 2004, the University of Natal and the University of Durban-Westville merged to become the current institution. 

Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, a renowned medical researcher and former president of the Medical Research Council, was appointed Vice-Chancellor and University Principal by the University of Natal Council on May 31st, 2002. He began serving in this capacity on September 1st, 2002.

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5. University of Witwatersrand

The Wits School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences is home to several world leaders in sustainability, savannah ecology, conservation, and other research areas, as well as one of South Africa’s best veterinary schools.

The School has a diverse, research-active, and enthusiastic faculty and postgraduate cohort working on projects ranging from animal behavior to plant systematics and evolution to ecology and aquatic ecology.

They are also proud of the breadth of their research experience. Many of the School’s Ph.D. graduates have become recognized research leaders in their respective fields.

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6. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Previously known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Nelson Mandela University was formerly known as the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE), Port Elizabeth Technikon, and the Port Elizabeth branch of Vista University. Also, it is one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

The Port Elizabeth seaside city serves as the primary administrative hub for this South African institution. The Port Elizabeth Art School was established in 1882, and in January 2005, three other universities came together to become Nelson Mandela University.

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7. Rhodes University

Rhodes University is a public research university in Makhanda, South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. The university, founded in 1904, is the province’s oldest university and one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

In 1918, Rhodes University became a constituent college of the new University of South Africa and continued to grow. The university was founded on March 10th, 1951.

Human activities have a wide range of effects on animal life. Every decision we make has ramifications. Many Rhodes University staff and students take significant action to address such concerns.

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8. University of Johannesburg

The Department of Veterinary Science at UJ provides a range of relevant courses in today’s society, and our students gain skills that are in high demand in the workplace.

They have a very high student success rate (90%), and the academic staff in the department is exceptionally well qualified (most staff members have doctorates and NRF ratings). We are also one of South Africa’s best veterinary schools.

Aquatic Toxicology and Physiology, Freshwater Ecology, Cave Ecology, Parasitology, Taxonomy, Respiratory Physiology, Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Population Genetics, and Genomics are among their research specialties.

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9. University of the Free State

The Veterinary Biotechnology group’s primary objective is to examine methods for better disease management, primarily in avian species, through biosecurity, prevention, and treatment. Antibiotic resistance is becoming an increasing concern due to incorrect antibiotic use; we are one of the best veterinary schools in South Africa.

As a result, a large portion of recent research has focused on non-antibiotic therapeutic approaches. 

This covers work on bacteriophage treatment and bacteriophage enzyme expression. The expression of small peptides and antibody fragments is also a focus of this research effort. Disinfectant resistance has recently come to light, endangering biosecurity efforts.

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10. Northwest University – South Africa

The undergraduate program offered by the department aims at producing qualified personnel who are trained to be Animal Scientists with competence in research and to give students vocational training in the practical application of scientific principles to animal production.

The Degree options include;

  • Diploma in Animal Science
  • BSc Agricultural Animal Science
  • MSc Agric in Animal Science
  • Ph.D. Agric in Animal Science

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Veterinary Professional Life is a subject that is studied from the first to the final year. This article aims to improve skills essential for becoming a successful professional veterinarian after graduation.

We hope this list of Best Veterinary Schools in South Africa will help you achieve your dream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find a job as a veterinarian?

Veterinarians can visit websites like Indeed, where there are thousands of jobs posted weekly.

When should someone start obtaining work experience to be a veterinarian?

Students considering a veterinarian career should obtain veterinary medical and animal experience in animal shelters, farms, zoos, and animal clinics as soon as possible.

How do veterinarians keep themselves updated with the latest developments in animal medicine?

Veterinarians should read professional journals for animal medicine and attend veterinary conferences to be updated with the latest veterinary medicine trends.


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