Few years back in Nigeria, the idea of going to a higher institution to study veterinary medicine seemed like a dream that belonged to people who have no idea what to do with their lives. If you were not going to study medicine and surgery, law, or even any engineering course, you were not deemed to be well read.
However, the importance of veterinary medics is now seen as people venture into animal husbandry and need their animals to be well taken care of.
Veterinary medicine is a branch of mainstream medicine that focuses on animals; both in the wild and domesticated. It deals with the prophylactic, therapeutic, and control of infections, diseases, injuries and all health-related disorders that can be attributed to animals. It also includes the principles that guide the rearing, breeding, and nutrition of animals.
In this article, you will find useful information such as the best schools to study veterinary medicine in Nigeria, academic requirements to study veterinary medicine, professional options in veterinary medicine, and how long it will take you to become professional veterinarian.
Academic Requirement to Study Medicine in Nigeria
Every medical course needs a strong background in the core sciences at least at O’ level. Veterinary medicine is no different. It requires that you must have been in the science department and passed the required subjects before you can be admitted to study veterinary medicine.
Apart from your O’ level, you will need to pass your JAMB with a combination of recommended subjects. There are also other admission options for other individuals who are not willing to start from the scratch.
O’ Level requirement
It is mandatory that you pass English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics with at lease credit passes to get considered as a candidate to study veterinary medicine. This will, in combination with your JAMB subject passes, give you a higher chance of gaining admission to study this course.
However, note that some schools admit students who have better pass grades in Agriculture in lieu of Biology for this course.
JAMB UTME Subject Combination
It is required that you take English Language test in UTME regardless of the course you wish to study in the tertiary institution. However, for veterinary medicine, you must take tests on Biology, Chemistry, and Physics also.
There are institutions such as Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, that allow prospective veterinary medicine students options of either physics or mathematics.
For candidates who have been in a higher institution of learning and desire to study veterinary medicine, they are required to posses A’ level passes in Chemistry, Biology/Zoology, and Physics/Mathematics.
Candidates who have been in polytechnics and have at least upper credit pass in relevant courses such as animal husbandry and animal health can also apply to some schools and get accepted.
However, it is important that you have all the O’ level requirements to stand a higher chance of getting admission into the school you desire.
Best Universities to Study Veterinary Medicine in Nigeria
There are numerous universities in Nigeria that offer veterinary medicine as a course of study. Note that the schools on this list have been accredited and authorized by the appropriate bodies to offer this course. In no particular order, some of them are:
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
ABU, Zaria is undoubtedly one of the best Veterinary schools in Nigeria. The university provide scientifically-backed academic lessons and practical classes for its students. It has a Veterinary Teaching Hospital where undergraduate and postgraduate students amass practical experience and offer their services to the public.
Veterinary learning options abound in their various departments such as Veterinary microbiology, veterinary Physiology, Veterinary Pathology, Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, Veterinary Surgery and Radiology and many more.
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
Udusok for short, this university is one of the best agricultural universities in the northern part of Nigeria. The faculty of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1984 and has since then grown to be an outstanding one. It focuses on educating intelligent minds that seek to improve the health of animals and their safe interaction with the rest of their environment.
Usmanu Danfodiyo University achieves this by providing education, research and practical animal care through their ten departments under the faculty. The departments, Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, Veterinary Pathology, just to mention a few are all accredited by the National Universities Commission and the Veterinary Council of Nigeria.
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike
College of Veterinary Medicine, Michael Okpara University, Umudike is one of the top veterinary Universities in Nigeria. It started operation in 2006 and had the vision of producing high-grade graduates that will help the nation with food-sufficiency and security.
Despite its youthfulness, it has produced six sets of veterinary surgeons through its department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiation. It has awarded successful candidates from other departments like Veterinary Anatomy, Veterinary Microbiology, Theriogenology and many more with a Degree in Medical Veterinary (DMV).
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
FUNAAB has a well-developed College of Veterinary Medicine that comprise seven departments. It was established and started operation in the 2001/2002 academic session and has since then continued to produce DMV certified graduates.
The university has a Veterinary Teaching Hospital where undergraduates and postgraduates take their clinical trainings and offer their services to the public. Studying Veterinary medicine in FUNAAB is a big task as it requires its students to meet up to its set standard within three academic sessions. Failure to do that comes with and advice to withdraw from the programme.
Its departments include Veterinary Anatomy, Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology and many more.
Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi
Here is another Federal government owned veterinary school equipped with the best facilities you can find in the country. It has its own Veterinary Teaching Hospital where its students and other professional staff offer their services to the public. It also serves the students for the clinical aspect of their trainings.
It awards successful students with a degree in Veterinary Medicine through its various departments such as Veterinary Microbiology, Veterinary Surgery and Radiation and many more.
University of Ilorin
University of Ilorin is known for its fast academic calendar as compared to other Nigerian Universities. Under its College of Health Sciences is the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine comprising of seven departments, some of which are: Veterinary Anatomy, veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, and Veterinary Surgery and Theriogenology.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine commenced operation in 2010, the same year it was accredited by the National Universities Commission.
University of Ibadan
One of the best and oldest universities in Southwestern region of Nigeria, University of Ibadan is undoubtedly one of the best tertiary institution options that are out there for those interested in pursuing a study in veterinary Medicine.
The Faculty of veterinary Medicine kicked off its operation in 1963 with two departments; Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology and veterinary Medicine. Until 1972, University of Ibadan produced graduates through a collaborative programme with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
In 1980, the faculty approved the publication of its own scientific journal, Tropical Veterinarian. Graduates of this faculty have gone on to fill positions of importance in different sectors of the country, a testament of their success as an institution.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
University of Nigeria is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after universities in the east. Its Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
started as the Department of Veterinary Science in 1963 under the Faculty of Agriculture. It was primarily supposed to serve the purpose of training staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and award them Higher National Diploma in Animal Health and Husbandry after three years of study.
In 1970, the university started a programme that awards the degree of veterinary Medicine to its students. Five years later, the department had become a full faculty with three departments; veterinary pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Veterinary Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.
Now, the faculty has nine departments and is looking to add some more. One of its departments is the Veterinary Teaching Hospital where students and staff offer their services to the public and students do their clinical trainings.
University of Jos, Jos
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Jos is one of the youngest in Nigeria. It was established in 2013 and has seven department that cover most aspects of veterinary Medicine, like the older universities with this faculty.
The faculty was designed to produce individuals with academic excellence that will help in disseminating new information and techniques to local animal producers through extension services and provide health services as needed by the animal farmers.
University of Abuja, Abuja
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Abuja is one of the widest in the country. It has nine departments, seven is similar to the ones in other universities on this list and a department of Animal Health and Reproduction.
It also has a Veterinary teaching Hospital where students go through their clinical trainings and staff offer their service to the public.
How Long Does it Take to Study Veterinary Medicine?
If you get accepted to study Veterinary Medicine in any Nigerian University, you either start from the first year (through UTME) or the second year (Direct Entry). As a UTME entrant, you will spend six years before you get certified as a Veterinary Medical Personnel regardless of your department.
However, if you started from the second year a total of five years, 10 academic semesters, is what you will spend in the University.
Professional Careers in Veterinary Medicine
You may wonder why there are different departments in the faculties of Veterinary Medicine in Nigerian schools. It is because each department caters to the academic need of different aspects of Veterinary Medicine. Therefore, depending on the department you belong to, you career options in helping maintain animal health may vary.
Some of them include:
- Veterinary Physician
- Animal Physiotherapist
- Animal Dentist
- Public Health official
- Veterinary Consultancy
- Private Practice
Veterinary Medicine is as much an important aspect of medicine as any other aspect of medicine. It helps to determine the safe interaction that should exist between human and animals and consequently, help in preventing and treating diseases transferred from animals to humans.
To study Veterinary Medicine, it is essential that you possess all academic requirements before you apply to any tertiary institution so as to have a high chance of being chosen.
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