Fachschaft Veterinärmedizin
Universität Bern

How do I become a vet?

Veterinary school consists of 5½ years of perseverance, plus some preparation....

What you need:

  • passed matura
  • passed aptitude test ("Numerus Clausus")

What else can help:

  • good knowledge of German (lectures are mostly in German)
  • Interest in natural sciences
  • Fun in learning
  • Willingness to persevere
  • Initiative
  • Commitment
  • Social skills
  • an Emotional Support Animal ;)

How the study program is structured:

1st to 3rd year: Bachelor of veterinary medicine
4th and 5th year: master of veterinary medicine
after the 5th year: state examination

1st year
  • Natural science basics (chemistry, physics, radiation physics, general radiology)
  • Morphological basics I (anatomy, histology/cytology, embryology, comparative morphology)
  • Functional basics I (pathology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular genetics, physiology, cell and molecular biology)
  • Animal welfare, animal ethology and animal husbandry
  • Practical skills I (general surgery, hospital hygiene/safety aspects, teamwork/communication, handling of different animal species, clinical case demonstrations)
  • Scientific work (literature research, evidence-based medicine)
  • Elective (digitalization or sustainability)


2nd year
  • Organ block: musculoskeletal system
  • Organ block: blood, immune organs, laboratory medicine, 
  • Organ block: respiration, cardiovascular system
  • Organ block skin
  • Functional Basics II (general pharmacology/toxicology, general animal nutrition, biology, physiology/nutritional physiology, animal breeding)
  • Immunology and general infection biology
  • Bacteriology
  • Practical Skills II (general surgery, clinic days/practicum days/para-clinic days, communication, propaedeutics, night and emergency deeinste, skills lab)
  • Population and population medicine I

3rd year
  • Organ block: digestive tract, endocrinology and metabolism
  • Organ block: kidney, salt, water balance
  • Organ block: reproduction and mammary gland
  • Organ block: nervous system, sensory organs
  • Virology
  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Food safety
  • Practical Skills III (applied anatomy, professional skills, clinic days/practicum days/para-clinic days, communication basis 2, night and emergency services, propaedeutics, skills lab)
  • Herd and population medicine II
  • Parasitology
  • Elective


4th year

  • Clinical topics
  • Leading Symptoms
  • Elective focus (biomedical research, small animals, farm animals, pathobiology, equine, veterinary public health).
  • Paraclinical topics
  • Veterinary public health II, animal diseases, animal welfare
  • Herd and population medicine III
  • Practical skills IV (bacteriology internship, clinic days/practice days, communication III, emergency and night services, parasitology internship, pathology internship).
  • Elective

5th year

  • Rotations: Small animal, ruminant/pig, equine and pathology
  • Master's thesis