Top 20 Best Veterinary Schools in South Africa (How To Apply)

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Review with us the 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.

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 600,000.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Apply For University of Pretoria Here

2. 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.

Apply For University of KwaZulu-Natal Here

3. University of the 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.

Apply For University of the Witwatersrand Here

4. University of Stellenbosch

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.

Apply For University of Stellenbosch Here

5. 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.

Apply For University of the Free State Here

6. 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.

Apply For University of Cape Town Here

7. University of Fort Hare

The University of Fort Hare (Afrikaans: Universiteit van Fort Hare) is a public university in Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

It was a key institution of higher education for Africans from 1916 to 1959 when it offered a Western-style academic education to students from across sub-Saharan Africa, creating an African elite. Fort Hare alumni were part of many subsequent independence movements and governments of newly independent African countries.

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In 1959, the university was subsumed by the apartheid system, but it is now part of South Africa’s post-apartheid public higher education system. It is the alma mater of well-known people including Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Robert Sobukwe, Oliver Tambo, and others.

Apply For University of Fort Hare Here

8. North-West University

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

Apply For North-West University Here

9. University of Limpopo

The University of Limpopo (Afrikaans: Universiteit van Limpopo) is a public university in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. It was formed on 1 January 2005, by the merger of the University of the North and the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA). These previous institutions formed the Turfloop and MEDUNSA campuses of the university, respectively. In 2015 the MEDUNSA campus split and became the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University.

Apply For University of Limpopo Here

10. 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.

Apply For Rhodes University Here

11. University of South Africa

The University of South Africa (UNISA),[a] known colloquially as Unisa, is the largest university system in South Africa by enrollment. It attracts a third of all higher education students in South Africa. Through various colleges and affiliates, UNISA has over 400,000 students, including international students from 130 countries worldwide, making it one of the world’s mega universities and the only such university in Africa.

As a comprehensive university, Unisa offers both vocational and academic programmes, many of which have received international accreditation, as well as an extensive geographical footprint, giving their students recognition and employability in many countries the world over. The university lists many notable South Africans among its alumni, including two Nobel prize winners: Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the University of South Africa (or Unisa as it is commonly known) spent most of its early history as an examining agency for Oxford and Cambridge universities and as an incubator from which most other universities in South Africa are descended. Legislation in 1916 established the autonomous University of South Africa (the same legislation established Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town as autonomous universities) as an “umbrella” or federal institution with its seat in Pretoria, playing an academic trusteeship role for several colleges that eventually became autonomous universities. The colleges that were under UNISA’s trusteeship were Grey University College (Bloemfontein), Huguenot University College (Wellington), Natal University College (Pietermaritzburg), Rhodes University College (Grahamstown), Transvaal University College (Pretoria), the South African School of Mines and Technology (Johannesburg), and Potchefstroom University College. In 1959, with the passage of the Extension of University Education Act, UNISA’s trusteeship also extended to the five “black universities”, namely University of Zululand, University of the Western Cape, University of the North, University of Durban-Westville, and University of Fort Hare. In 1946, UNISA was given a new role as a distance education university, and today it offers certificate, diploma and degree courses up to doctoral level.

In January 2004, Unisa merged with Technikon Southern Africa (Technikon SA, a polytechnic) and incorporated the distance education component of Vista University (VUDEC). The combined institution retained the name University of South Africa. It is now organised by college and by school.

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Apply For University of South Africa Here

12. 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.

Apply For University of Johannesburg Here

13. Tshwane University of Technology

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT; Afrikaans: Tshwane-Universiteit vir Tegnologie) is a higher education institution in South Africa that came into being through a merger of three technikons — Technikon Northern Gauteng, Technikon North-West and Technikon Pretoria.

As the number of students registering annually grows rapidly, records show that Tshwane University of Technology caters for approximately more than 60,000 students and it has become the largest residential higher education institution in South Africa.

Apply For Tshwane University of Technology Here

14. Durban University of Technology

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) is a multi-campus university situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was formed in 2002 following the merger of Technikon Natal and ML Sultan Technikon and it was initially known as the Durban Institute of Technology. It has five campuses in Durban, and two in Pietermaritzburg. In 2022, approximately 31 991 students were enrolled to study at DUT. The university is one of five technical institutions on the African continent to offer Doctoral Degrees.

Apply For Durban University of Technology Here

15. University of the Western Cape

The University of the Western Cape (UWC; Afrikaans: Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland) is a public research university in Bellville, near Cape Town, South Africa. The university was established in 1959 by the South African government as a university for Coloured people only. Other universities in Cape Town are the University of Cape Town, (originally for English speaking whites), Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the Stellenbosch University (originally for Afrikaans speaking whites). The establishing of UWC was a direct effect of the Extension of University Education Act, 1959. This law accomplished the segregation of higher education in South Africa. Coloured students were only allowed at a few non-white universities. In this period, other “ethnical” universities, such as the University of Zululand and the University of the North, were founded as well. Since well before the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, it has been an integrated and multiracial institution.

Apply For University of the Western Cape Here

16. University of Venda

The University of Venda (Univen; Venda: Yunivesithi ya Venḓa, Afrikaans: Universiteit van Venda) is a South African comprehensive rural-based institution, located in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province.[2] It was established in 1982 under the then Republic of Venda government.

Apply For University of Venda Here

17. 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.

Apply For Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Here


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?

Answer: 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?

Answer: 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?

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

For any more questions or inquires, engage us via the comment section below…

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