Student's Guide to Veterinary Study in Turkey
أماني نبيل Date : 26 Apr 23

History of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that studies diseases affecting animals and how to prevent and treat them.

  • The first veterinary book was written in 500 AD; however, the history of this field goes back much further, as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs depict trained workers providing medical care to their livestock.
  • The first veterinary training in Turkey started in Istanbul in 1842 by the Prussian veterinarian Godlewski. The training continued in military training centers, while the first civilian veterinary school was established in 1889.
  • In 1928, the school's name was changed to "Veterinary Higher School."
  • In 1948, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was attached to Ankara University. In the 1970s, few veterinary colleges were established in Elazig, Istanbul, and Bursa.
  • The number of veterinary colleges increased continuously in the following years to meet the growing need for veterinarians and to conduct further academic research in this field.
  • Since the emergence of veterinary medicine in Turkey, there have been significant changes and developments in the roles of trained veterinarians. Most of them prefer treating pets such as cats and dogs nowadays.

However, this is not the only opportunity for veterinarian degree holders. Many graduates specialize in various animals, giving a wide range of overseas travel opportunities.

Learn more about: How to begin studying in Turkey?

What is Veterinary Medicine?

Veterinary medicine is a broad specialization primarily concerned with the practices to maintain animal health, their treatment, and scientific research of traditional treatments, drug development, and animal life.

If you care about animals, the study of veterinary medicine will provide you with the required knowledge to improve their lives, whether you want to take care of a pet or look for ways to prevent disease.

ما هو تخصص الطب البيطري؟

Relation between Veterinary Medicine and Human Health

It would be wrong to think that veterinary medicine is just limited to animal health. On the contrary, veterinary science is concerned with human health, as protecting humans from diseases transmitted from animals or animal products is among the main tasks of veterinarians, which was evident during the COVID-19 crisis.

Veterinary Medicine Specialization in Turkey

Veterinary medicine graduates in Turkey provide health services for wild animals and pets.

Moreover, veterinarians may work in the agriculture, health, and food fields.

Duration and Medium of Instruction to Study language Veterinary Medicine in Turkey

  • The duration of veterinary medicine study in Turkey is five years rather than four years, like other undergraduate programs. Moreover, students who have joined internships can obtain a master's degree upon graduation.
  • In the beginning, students attend the language preparatory year. After that, they start the veterinary medicine program for five years, where they study the core courses. After completing the theoretical and practical education for nine semesters, students work for one semester in the university's veterinary clinics and livestock facilities, or they join an internship in Kyrgyzstan or Turkey to gain the practical techniques and skills required for their careers.
  • Regarding the study language, Turkish universities adopt English as a medium of instruction for veterinary medicine programs.

Course Structure of Veterinary Medicine Program in Turkey

The study of veterinary medicine in Turkey can be divided into three main phases:

Phase I: Early years

  •  Students study the fundamentals of veterinary medicine, anatomy and physiology of animals, and the basics of animal husbandry.
  • Moreover, the following branches are the basis of veterinary medicine: biology, zoology, botany, genetics, cell biology, chemistry, biophysics, microbiology, virology, and parasitology.

Phase II: Spring semester of the second year

  • During this semester, the students learn about animals' diseases and study pathology and physiology, providing an introduction to the second period of veterinary studies.
  • Preclinical studies allow the student to understand the processes in the organs of the infected animal and provide him with some rough skills in disease detection.
  • During this phase, the students will also study the correlation between human and animal health and an introduction to public health issues.

Phase III: Clinical Studies

  • Lecturers during the clinical courses provide the students with deep knowledge and information about the most common diseases of various animals (including birds and fish) with detailed explanations of their diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
  • Practical training takes place in the university's animal clinic, where the students can also gain extensive knowledge of veterinary public health, legislation, and government veterinary medicine.

Courses of Veterinary Medicine Program in Turkey

Students study many biology and chemistry courses during this program in addition to the following courses:

  • Anatomy.
  • Organic Chemistry.
  • Histology.
  • Biochemistry.
  • Biochemistry of Body Fluids.
  • Physiology.
  • Animal Behaviors.
  • Lymphatic Tissue of Alimentary Canal.
  • Histology of Meat and its Products.
  • Veterinary History and Ethics.

These courses are taught over five years. If the student completes these courses, he will receive a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Medicine.

أشهر الجامعات لدراسة الطب البيطري في تركيا

Most Famous Universities to Study Veterinary Medicine in Turkey

The study of veterinary medicine in Turkey is only available in public universities. Here are the most famous Turkish public universities to study veterinary medicine:

  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ankara University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Uludağ University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Selçuk University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aksaray University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University.
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University.

Read more about: Top 10 Best Public Universities in Turkey

Can Veterinarians in Turkey Work Abroad?

A veterinary medicine graduate from a Turkish university can continue his career abroad if he meets the certificate equivalency requirements and required conditions for application.

  • The most crucial factor here is the degree equivalency certificate. If the student graduates from one university holding a degree that does not have an equivalent in the country he wishes to work in, he will not be considered a graduate and will not be able to work there.

In such a case, you have two options: to study again in the country you want to work in or get a degree from a Turkish university that received accreditation for its veterinary medicine program.

  • If you are registered in a program abroad, you can apply for a job where you could be asked to appear for additional tests or take a job interview in the country abroad.

Let us explain it with an example: you want to work in Canada. First, you need to have an equivalency certificate of your veterinary medicine degree from Canada. After reaching Canada for the first time, you have to appear for the following tests:

  • General knowledge test and career aptitude Test.
  • After clearing these tests, you will appear for an interview. Upon passing the tests and interview, you have to also appear for licensure examinations in the state you want to work. After completing this process, you can practice your work as a veterinarian. It is to be mentioned that this process may vary from one country to another and may take more than one year.

How do you Obtain International Equivalency for your Turkish Degree in Veterinary Medicine?

If you seek to work abroad after graduating from the veterinary department in Turkey, you must get an equivalency certificate of your degree, as mentioned earlier. Two institutions offer the equivalency of a Turkish veterinary medicine degree.

  • European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE); is the official accrediting agency for veterinary medicine within Europe.
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA); is the official equivalency institution for veterinary medicine in America.

Learn more about: Equivalency Certificate in turkey (DENKLIK)

Faculties of veterinary medicine that received the EAEVE accreditation are as follows:

  • Kocatepe University.
  • Ankara University.
  • Adnan Menderes University.
  • Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University.
  • Uludağ University.
  • Fırat University.
  • Ataturk University.
  • Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa.
  • Kafkas University.
  • Harran University.

Faculties of veterinary medicine that received the AVMA accreditation are as follows:

  • Ankara University.
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University.
  • Adnan Menderes University.
  • Uludağ University.
  • Fırat University.
  • Ataturk University.
  • Istanbul University.
  • Erciyes University.
  • Selçuk University.

Veterinary Medicine Study Abroad and Job Opportunities for Postgraduate Students

  • Veterinary medicine is in high demand worldwide, and many job opportunities are available abroad for veterinarians.
  • These opportunities are not only for students who studied veterinary medicine abroad; you could also secure a job abroad with your Turkish degree if you meet the above-discussed requirement.
  • Veterinarians may choose to work with pets or farm animals, and they may also choose to continue their careers in academia and participate in research and development through higher studies.

Job opportunities for Veterinary Medicine Graduates in Turkey

  • Veterinarians can get job opportunities in different fields.
  • Animal care, animal production, animal reproduction control, and animal health monitoring are among veterinarians' main scope of work. They may also conduct research in the animal biology field.

The veterinarians can mainly work in the following positions:

  • Livestock farms.
  • Animal hospitals.
  • Veterinary clinics.
  • Feed factories.
  • Private companies.
  • Pharmaceutical companies.
  • Food control centers.
  • Public institutions.
  • Scientific Research.

Academic work in scientific bodies and educational institutions.

Admission Requirements to Study Veterinary Medicine in Turkey

Essential admission requirements in many veterinary medicine departments in Turkey are as follows:

  • GPA is a vital prerequisite for admission. A good GPA and a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) are often insufficient to get admission.
  • Clearing AP Exams will increase your chance of obtaining admission.
  • Language proficiency is also essential in securing admission, especially for the English medium of instruction. TOEFL with 80 is regularly the required score during the admission process.
  • Recommendation letters.
  • The student should also submit a letter of intent and CV.
  • The students who joined internships and carried out research projects previously have a great chance to get admission as the universities are always looking for students who can make a tangible change.

Know about: Application Requirements to Study in Turkey in 2023


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