This article contains information about the veterinary medicine programme in Nigerian universities.

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

It is also concerned with research on animal nutrition, husbandry, breeding of species and development in most cases.

The duration of the undergraduate training for the veterinary medicine programme in Nigerian universities is six(6) years. After completion of the undergraduate training, the awarded degree is the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(DVM).

The First year of the undergraduate training in Veterinary Medicine is known as Pre-Vet. During this level, students studying veterinary medicine are taught courses in the faculty of sciences Like Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and biology plus other General courses like Use of English, philosophy and the likes. They also borrow ancillary courses like Introduction to Agriculture or Agronomy in their Pre-Vet or in early year 2. They may also start an introductory approach to veterinary medicine from their first year. This is dependent on the university.

The Second year in Veterinary Medicine is known as DVM 1. In this level, veterinary medicine students are being introduced to the basic of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry. Courses taught in this level includes Introductory Veterinary Anatomy, Introductory Physiology, Blood, Cardiovascular Respiratory Systems and Comparative Physiology of Gastro-intestinal tract, Veterinary Embryology, Basic Splanchnology, General & Introductory Veterinary Biochemistry, Neuromuscular Systems, Sense Organs, and Environmental Physiology etc. In some schools, general courses like Use of English and a faculty of Humanity course may be included in the curriculum. The ancillary course at this level is computer science. This is also university dependent.

The third year in Veterinary Medicine programme is called DVM 2. Students offer courses like Veterinary Histology, Veterinary Biochemistry of body fluid, Renal Function and Body fluid, Reproduction and Endocrinology, General Principles of Animal Production, Genetics and Breeding etc. They may also borrow an ancillary course and general course at this level depending on the university curriculum.

The fourth year in the Veterinary Medicine programme is called DVM 3. Students are introduced to courses like Veterinary Pharmacology, Veterinary Microbiology, Veterinary Helminthology, Veterinary Pathology, Veterinary Immunology, Principles of Animal Nutrition in Health, Veterinary Bacteriology, Veterinary Mycology, Veterinary Virology, Veterinary Protozoology, Pathology of the Haematopoietic, Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Sensory Systems, and Parasitic Immunology. They also also taught courses like Veterinary Chemotherapy, Veterinary Toxicology, Large Ruminant Health & Management, Pathology of the Digestive and Urinogenital systems, Pathology of the Integumentary, Musculoskeletal, and Nervous Systems, Pathology of Bacterial, Viral, and, Poultry Pathology of Fungal, Protozoan, Parasitic, Nutritional, Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases, Introduction to Medicine/Diagnostic, Introductory Veterinary Surgery, Veterinary Anaethesiology and Veterinary Gynaecology. Additional courses may also be offered in this level depending on the university curriculum.

The fifth year in the Veterinary Medicine programme is called DVM 4. Courses offered in this level may include Large Animal Surgery, Obstetrics, Udder Health Management, Mastitis & Neonatal Diseases, Andrology & Artificial Insemination, Porcine Medicine, Ruminant Medicine, Small Animal Medicine, Avian Medicine, Aquatic, Laboratory & Wildlife Medicine, Veterinary Radiology, Tomography & Ultrasonography, Small Animal Surgery, Orthopaedics and Lameness, Applied Anatomy, Equine Medicine, Swine & Poultry Health Management & Monogastrics, Biostatistics & Computer Application, Epidemiology & Veterinary Economics, Meat, Milk and Fish Hygiene, Zoonosis & Environmental Health, Veterinary Preventive and Medicine & Jurisprudence. A particular university curriculum for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(DVM) programme may be different from the other.

The final year (DVM 5) is the clinical year for veterinary students. Clinical courses like Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, Veterinary Clinical Parasitology, Veterinary Clinical Pathology (Haematology & Clinical Biochemistry, & Cytology), Theriogenology Clinics etc are being taught. They do most of the practical and clinical work at this level. They take their final professional exams and graduate.

The graduates veterinary doctors are inducted into the profession by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria and are given license of practice.

NOTE – Veterinary Students take professional exams to move to the next class or level. The courses offered in each level is dependent on the university curriculum.

The Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association(NVMA) is the umbrella of all Veterinary Surgeons who are registered with the Veterinary Council of Nigeria.


This is the oath taking by graduate veterinary doctors during induction.

“As a member of the veterinary medical profession, I solemnly swear that I will use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society.

I will strive to promote animal health and welfare, relieve animal suffering, protect the health of the public and environment, and advance comparative medical knowledge.

I will practise my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I will strive continuously to improve my professional knowledge and competence and to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards for myself and the profession.”


The following universities in Nigeria offer an undergraduate training for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

  • Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM)
  • Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU)
  • Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
  • Usmanu Dan Fodio University (UDUSOK)
  • University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID)
  • University of Ilorin (UNILORIN)
  • University of Jos (UNIJOS)
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU)
  • University of Ibadan (UI)
  • University of Abuja, Gwagwalada (UNIABUJA)
  • University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)


To qualify to apply for the DVM degree course, an applicant must have had at least 5 credit passes in o’level result. The passes must include Mathematics, English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Other subjects like Agricultural Science should also be passed by the applicant.


To be eligible for admission consideration, the following subjects combination must selected during JAMB registration.

  • Use of English
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

This is really important. The student must do well in JAMB UTME because in some universities, the DVM course is very competitive as they don’t admit much students so as a result, their cutoff will be high. Students should do their best to score high in UTME.

So this is an overview of the DVM degree course in Nigerian universities.

Thanks for reading and we hope find this article informative and helpful.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here