DVM Program Admission Requirements

The goal of St. Matthew’s University School of Veterinary Medicine is to prepare our veterinary medical graduates to be competent, caring veterinarians who have the skills of lifelong learning necessary to incorporate new knowledge and methods into their practice as either a generalist or a specialist and to adapt to a changing professional environment.
In order to apply for the Basic Sciences program, you will need to have prerequisite coursework.

View Admissions Requirements
The Basic Sciences program costs $14,993 per semester and the Clinical Sciences program costs $24,757 per semester.

See Financials

Brendan Lee,
D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., D.A.C.V.P.M.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Associate Professor of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology

Dr. Lee is cross trained in Human and Veterinary Public Health and joined Saint Matthew’s after serving as senior fellow with the Institute of Science for Global Policy. Previously he worked as a research fellow with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. Dr. Lee’s interest revolve around foodborne and zoonotic diseases.

D.V.M., The University of The West Indies,M.Sc., Royal Veterinary College, University of London, M.P.H., University of Minnesota
Date of appointment: January 2013

Elaine Blythe, B.S., Pharm.D.

Associate Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology

B.S., Pharmacy, Southwest Oklahoma State University Pharm.D., Creighton University

Instructor at West Texas A& M University and Creighton University Assistant to Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, Creighton University Certified Online Instructor (Creighton University). Dr. Blythe has a strong background in the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory affairs. She has had extensive training and experience in disaster relief work, including a three week deployment during Hurricane Katrina.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree Curriculum

Semester 1

The Basic Science Curriculum consists of:

Semester I

VB101 Veterinary Anatomy I 4 credits
VB103 Veterinary Histology and Embryology 5 credits
VB105 Veterinary Physiology I 5 credits
VB120 Veterinary Immunology 3 credits
VCS110 Professional Development I 1 credits

Semester II

VB201 Veterinary Anatomy II 5 credits
VB205 Veterinary Physiology II 4 credits
VB207 Veterinary Parasitology 4 credits
VB211 Veterinary Bacteriology and Mycology 4 credits

Semester III

VB301 Veterinary Pharmacology I 3 credits
VB303 Veterinary Pathology I 3 credits
VB305 Veterinary Virology 3 credits
VB307 Veterinary Public Health/Epidemiology 4 credits
VCS310 Professional Development II 0.5 credits
VCS311 Veterinary Clinical Skills I (Companion Animals) 3 credits
VCS321 Animal Welfare and Behavior 2 credits

Semester IV

VB401 Veterinary Pharmacology II 4 credits
VB403 Veterinary Pathology II 5 credits
VCS405 Veterinary Clinical Pathology 4 credits
VCS407 Veterinary Ethics and Communication 2 credits
VCS411 Veterinary Clinical Skills II (Livestock) 2 credits

Semester V

VCS501 Veterinary Anesthesiology 2 credits
VCS503 Principles of Veterinary Surgery 2 credits
VCS505 Veterinary Toxicology 3 credits
VCS507 Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging 4 credits
VCS509 Veterinary Clinical Nutrition 3 credits
VCS511 Theriogenology 4 credits

Semester VI

VCS601 Small Animal Medicine I 6 credits
VCS605 Food Animal Medicine & Surgery 6 credits
VCS607 Exotic Companion Animal Medicine 3 credits
VCS611 Veterinary Clinical Skills III (Clinical Rotations) 2 credits

Semester VII

VCS701 Small Animal Medicine II 6 credits
VCS703 Small Animal Surgery 6 credits
VCS705 Large Animal Medicine & Surgery 7 credits
VCS710 Professional Development III 0.5 credits
This course will introduce the students to basic anatomical concepts including anatomic terminologies and directional terms. The course focuses on comparative gross anatomy of the canine, equine and to a lesser extent bovine, feline and porcine. In the laboratory, embalmed canine cadavers will be fully dissected and compared with prosections of the other species. Lecture/tutorials will reinforce observations in the laboratory and will highlight structures of clinical importance to the practice of veterinary medicine as well as, to research other areas of veterinary interest. The course will be integrated with radiographic anatomy and live animal palpations of the canine and equine . The topics for this course include osteology, thoracic limb, thorax, abdomen, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.

The fundamental principles of histology, the microscopic study of body tissues and organ systems in domestic animals, are presented in lecture and laboratory formats. Complementary understanding of developmental anatomy of the animal body is approached through the study of chick and pig embryos with reference to developmental anomalies.

The course includes the cellular basis of animal physiology, basic neurophysiology and neural control of body systems, the organs, hormones and functions of the mammalian endocrine system, endocrine control of reproductive cycles and development of certain important diseases relating to the physiology of the mammalian and endocrine systems.

The course will give a review of the innate and acquired immunity and their components, including both the humoral and cellular arms of the immune response. The course is designed to help you in understanding the animal body defense mechanisms at cellular and molecular levels. The role of host defense mechanisms and the development of acquired immunity after infection will be discussed. The use of the different immunological tests in diagnosing animal diseases, malfunctions of the immune response and the role of vaccines in disease prevention will be covered.

This course will provide students with a forum to discuss major current issues facing veterinary medicine in a discussion/seminar format. The course also will introduce practice and business management concepts to begin preparing students for the business aspect of veterinary medicine.

Semester 2

This course is a continuation of Anatomy 1, VB 101. The tutorials, laboratories, radiographic anatomy and live animal palpation will follow a similar format and approach as in VB 101. The topics include the comparative gross anatomy of the pelvic viscera (urogenital organs), pelvic limb, perineum and head and neck. Neuroanatomy and avian anatomy are integrated into this section.

This course will focus on the control, physiological mechanisms and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and non-ruminant and ruminant digestive systems. The basic physiology of birds, reptiles and fish and how specific aspects of physiology differ between these taxa and mammals will also be presented.

This course examines helminthic, protozoan, and arthropod parasites which affect domestic animals, including animal parasites transmissible to humans. Life cycles, identification, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of parasites are stressed in lecture. The laboratories focus on identification of parasites, and the clinical signs and lesions they produce.

The course covers basic and pathogenic bacteriology and mycology. The objective of the course is to give veterinary students a thorough introduction to the theoretical and practical basis for the study of bacterial and fungal pathogens of animals. Lectures cover description of the organisms themselves as well as virulence, pathogenesis, diagnosis and control of animal pathogens. Zoonotic potential of some of the microbes and food safety issues are also discussed. To relate concepts of lectures to practicals, laboratory exercises are carried out using microbiological techniques for isolation and identification of disease causing bacteria.

Semester 3

The course focuses on the global principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drugs affecting the autonomic nervous system. Additionally, categorical classes of anesthetics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs will be presented. Upon completing this course, students will have obtained the pharmacologic knowledge base that can positively impact therapeutic choices that influence treatment, cure, prevention and mitigation of disease states and conditions in animals. Legal and regulatory issues that affect the practice of veterinary pharmacy will be emphasized. Additionally, current topics in veterinary medicine and veterinary pharmacy will be discussed.

This course examines the diseases and their processes in tissues and organs of the domestic animals. The general disease processes of cells and tissues—degeneration, necrosis, inflammation, growth abnormalities, and neoplasia—are studied, as well as the healing process. This course begins the study of the diseases of the various organ systems.

This course investigates the basic properties and clinical aspects of important domestic and foreign animal viruses. Topics discussed include the nature, taxonomy, replication and pathogenesis of important virus families, as well as clinical and pathological characteristics, methods of diagnosis, epidemiology, and methods of treating, preventing and controlling the spread of specific viral diseases of veterinary significance.

Topics will include the use of epidemiologic methods to understand disease events in animals, including the interactions of domestic animals, wildlife, the environment and the human population. The role of the veterinarian in public health is presented with respect to safety of the food chain and the increased incidence of zoonotic agents.

This course will focus on preparation of resumes, cover letters to employers, financial/business issues including student debt. Attendance is mandatory.

This course is the first in a series of clinical skills courses and is intended to introduce students to the clinical aspects of veterinary medicine, with a primary focus on dogs, cats, and horses. Additionally, an emphasis is placed on performing a complete medical history and developing physical exam skills. Other topics covered include: breed identification, husbandry and preventive medicine practices, restraint and handling techniques, and SOAP writing skills. Field trips and practical labs are an important component of this course.

This course examines the husbandry of food animals, companion animals, and laboratory species as well as normal and abnormal behavior of these animals. Welfare assessment of animals and welfare issues related to the practice of veterinary medicine will be discussed.

Semester 4

The second in the pharmacology series, categorical classes of drugs presented are; cardiovascular, renal, blood, endocrine, anti-infectives, chemotherapy, antinematodal,  GI, dermatology, respiratory and zoological pharmacology will be discussed. Upon completing this course, students will have obtained the pharmacologic knowledge base that can positively impact therapeutic choices that influence treatment, cure, prevention and mitigation of disease states and conditions in animals. 

This course continues the discussion of anatomic pathology with a focus on disease processes in specific organ systems, including reproductive, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, alimentary, liver, muscle and bone systems.

Students learn the principles of hematology, cytology and clinical chemistry. They are taught to interpret clinical data derived from blood, serum, urine and aspirates from solid tissues and fluids. Clinical cases are presented to the students and they are required to apply their knowledge to interpret the cases and make appropriate differential diagnoses.

The course is an introduction to veterinary ethics and veterinary law. Students will learn ethical theory and discuss numerous clinical cases involving ethical decisions, as well as the laws that govern veterinary practice. Additional topics will include client communications and conducting oneself in a professional manner with colleagues and the public.

This course provides a general introduction to veterinary medicine, with emphasis on veterinary issues such as ethics, animal breeds, animal welfare, behavior, animal restraint and alternative medicine. Students will continue to develop their skills in history taking, physical exams and communication skills. Additional species, including food animals such as goats, pigs and cattle are presented for students to acquire appropriate animal handling skills.

Semester 5

Integrated lectures and laboratories are designed to introduce students to the principles of general and local anesthesia of small and large animals, and also recognition, treatment, and prevention of anesthetic emergencies. Laboratory instruction provides students with experience in small animal anesthesia, in addition to demonstrations of monitoring equipment, mechanical ventilation, and large animal general anesthesia.

This course is designed to prepare students for later courses in surgery. Emphasis is on suturing techniques, proper procedures for aseptic surgery, experience using surgical instruments.

Basic and clinical aspects of the more common poisonings that affect domestic animals/birds and wildlife will be considered. Emphasis will be given to intoxication resulting from drug interactions, pesticides (rodenticides, insecticides, herbicides), heavy metals (arsenic, copper, lead, iron, zinc etc.), poisonous plants, mycotoxins, gases, feed additives, poisonous and venomous animal toxins, household toxins, prescriptions/recreational/over the counter medications, selected industrial pollutants and forensic considerations.

Will introduce the student to the fundamentals of diagnostic radiology and acquaint the student with other imaging modalities such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR) and nuclear medicine (NM) as they are used in veterinary medicine.

This course will introduce students to concepts of basic nutrition as well as to clinical nutrition. The aim is to provide students with a detailed knowledge of basic nutrients and energy, nutritional disorders, diverse aspects of feeding behavior and practices, and key concepts in nutritional management of life stage nutrition and of various disease states. Students will learn to calculate energy requirements, read pet food labels and understand regulations pertaining to pet food. The course focuses largely on small animal nutrition but some large animal topics will be covered. A significant portion of this course is case based and there are opportunities for some lab components.

The course presents material on the normal and abnormal reproductive function of dogs, and the common livestock species including cattle, sheep, swine, goats, and horses. Laboratories on breeding soundness and semen morphology of dogs are included. Special attention is made toward dystocia correction of livestock, stallion handling and management, assisted reproduction technologies, and breeding soundness of mares and cows. Pelvic examination of cattle and horses are emphasized.

Semester 6

Students investigate concepts concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting small companion animals, including dermatology, ophthalmology, urology, endocrinology, and more.

The course studies a selected list of common medical and surgical diseases of food producing animals. For each disease, the etiology, epidemiology, clinical signs, common differential diagnoses are presented, and ancillary methods for diagnosis are listed. Medical and supportive treatment options and surgical intervention are discussed for each condition. A preventive approach and public health significance for each disease condition is also presented. Ample case studies and clinical examples are presented in a lecture format. Swine, sheep, goats, camelids and cattle (beef and dairy) are discussed.

This course covers anatomy, physiology, husbandry, and medicine of commonly kept exotic companion animals, including birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Discussion topics include clinical diagnostic techniques (including animal handling and restraint, physical examination, clinical sampling, imaging, necropsy), infectious and noninfectious diseases and medical and surgical approaches to treating these diseases. Important topics related specifically to the exotics animal practice and careers are also discussed.

*Each elective offered once per year in alternating semesters
This course will include topics on husbandry, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases affecting aquatic species including mammals and fish.
*Each elective offered once per year in alternating semesters

This course will include the husbandry, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases affecting captive animals in zoo settings (‘zoo’) and free-ranging (‘wildlife’) species.

This course gives students access to large animal farm calls and small animal clinical rotations. Taking histories, performing specialty examinations, writing problem-oriented veterinary medical records and communicating with clients are practiced. Students are required to have primary responsibility of a clinical case and present the case to the faculty and student body.

Semester 7

Students investigate concepts concerning the diagnosis, treatment, and management of infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting small companion animals, including cardiology, neurology, oncology, and other diseases.

This course is an introduction to surgery of the dog and cat, with emphasis on basic principles of asepsis, tissue handling, and surgical skills. Laboratories focus on students performing surgical procedures which are common in small animal practice. Initial surgical training is done on cadaver specimens.

Medical conditions of horses are described and discussed with respect to etiopathogenesis, treatment, prevention and control, using a systems based, problem oriented approach. Principles of equine clinical pathology, therapeutics and critical care are addressed. Basic common surgical approaches for treatment of clinical problems will be discussed.

This course will include job searching, interviews, negotiating, contracts, practice management and review of resumes and cover letters. Attendance is mandatory to achieve a Pass grade.

St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine has arrangements with numerous U.S. and Canadian Colleges of Veterinary Medicine to provide the important bridge from academic classroom settings to hands-on, real-world settings.

St Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine students, mixing in with US and Canadian-based 4th year veterinary students, will have direct contact with patients of a variety of species, working with state-of-the-art technology in the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening medical conditions. Through a series of clinical rotations in the schools mixed track programs, providing wide-ranging small-animal and large-animal hospital experiences, clinical students will be called on to integrate their knowledge acquired during the preclinical years of studies.

Key areas of focus include professional judgment, teamwork, problem-solving expertise and communication skills. Students will have St. Matthew's University oversight during their clinical rotations to ensure a great transition from the Grand Cayman campus, and success in the clinical programs.

Clinical students will be required to devote considerable time to rigorous case analysis, providing comprehensive and appropriate rationale for their conclusions. During this one-year period, opportunities for closely-monitored externships with practicing veterinarians will be available in many geographic locations, offering the student first-hand exposure to veterinary practice in the field and a potential springboard to career-building opportunities.

Regardless of which affiliate school attended, successful completion of the clinical program will culminate in the granting of a Veterinary Medical degree granted by St. Matthew's University.

The following web links are for the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine with whom we have agreements. Please visit their websites to learn more about their programs.


University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College

United States:

Iowa State University

Mississippi State University

University of Georgia

University of Illinois

Louisiana State University

University of Minnesota

University of Missouri

Washington State University

PAVE and ECFVG Licensure

In order to practice in the United States, graduates of St. Matthew's University School of Veterinary Medicine must be certified by either the Programmatic Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE, a component of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) or the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG, a committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association). After successfully completing either of these programs, the student is eligible to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE).

The process for these two pathways is somewhat similar but not identical. Both require proof of competency in English, either by proof of education in an English speaking high school or via exam (TOEFL or EILTS)

About PAVE:
For the PAVE program, the candidate can take the Qualifying Exam during either semester 6 or 7 on campus. Success in passing the QE then allows the student to have a state that accepts PAVE certify them to take the NAVLE. If you are following the PAVE program, the student can then take the NAVLE near the end of their clinical program. The NAVLE exam is given in November/December and in April each year.

An important point is that if you have passed the PAVE QE ;prior to doing your clinical training year in an AVMA accredited school/college, you have fulfilled the clinical competency requirement and do not need to take any further exams related to clinical competency.

At the present time most U.S. states (exceptions include Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico) and Puerto Rico, all provinces in Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand accept the PAVE program as a basis for licensure. For more complete information visit the website http://www.aavsb.org/pave.

About ECFVG:

For the ECFVG program, after meeting the English requirement, the candidate must pass the Basic and Clinical Sciences Exam (BCSE). Completion of this exam then permits you to take the NAVLE during your clinical year.

After graduation, the candidate must then take and pass the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE). The primary site for this exam is the Oquendo Center in Las Vegas and some US Veterinary Schools also administer this exam. More information on the ECFVG program is available at http://www.avma.org.

Students who intend to practice outside the U.S. must meet the licensing requirements of the country in which they want to practice.

Spring 2023
Classes Begin January 9, 2023
Last Day of Classes April 21, 2023
Diploma Date June 10, 2023

Summer 2023
Classes Begin May 8, 2023
Last Day of Classes August 18, 2023
Diploma Date October 7, 2023
Fall 2023
Classes Begin September 4, 2023
Last Day of Classes December 15, 2023
Diploma Date February 10, 2024
Spring 2024
Classes Begin January 8, 2024
Last Day of Classes April 19, 2024
Diploma Date June 8, 2024

Summer 2024
Classes Begin May 6, 2024
Last Day of Classes August 16, 2024
Diploma Date October 5, 2024
Fall 2024
Classes Begin September 2, 2024
Last Day of Classes December 13, 2024
Diploma Date February 8, 2025
Spring 2025
Classes Begin January 6, 2025
Last Day of Classes April 18, 2025
Diploma Date June 14, 2025

Summer 2025
Classes Begin May 5, 2025
Last Day of Classes August 15, 2025
Diploma Date October 4, 2025
Fall 2025
Classes Begin September 1, 2025
Last Day of Classes December 12, 2025
Diploma Date February 14, 2026
Spring 2026
Classes Begin January 5, 2026
Last Day of Classes April 17, 2026
Diploma Date June 13, 2026

Summer 2026
Classes Begin May 4, 2026
Last Day of Classes August 14, 2026
Diploma Date October 10, 2026
Fall 2026
Classes Begin August 31, 2026
Last Day of Classes December 11, 2026
Diploma Date February 13, 2027

Student Success Stories

St Matthew’s University encourages ambitious, hard-working and curious individuals to apply for the Veterinary Medicine program. Becoming a veterinarian is a challenging process that students must be fully committed to as hours can often be unpredictable and workloads large. Throughout your program, you will be expected to study hard and to apply yourself in clinicals to ensure you are successful in your studies and in your future career.
St. Matthew’s University offers an affordable alternative to US and Canadian medical schools meaning the majority of our students come from North America. However, St. Matthew’s University does attract aspiring veterinary doctors from further afield including the UK. Although the average age of our incoming students is in the 20s, the range of ages is quite broad. Some of our most successful students have had prior careers, including as veterinary technicians. When you come to study on Grand Cayman, you’ll be part of a diverse student population, made up of individuals with ambitions to be the best veterinary doctors possible.

St. Matthew’s University provides a Basic Sciences program taught by expert faculty, all of whom hold extensive qualifications in both veterinary medicine and teaching. The program offers students the opportunity to develop extensive knowledge to prepare them for a successful career in veterinary medicine through on campus teaching and clinical training. Students will be taught in our state-of-the-art facilities on Grand Cayman, part of the Cayman Islands which has one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

In addition, our students have achieved an average pass rate of 92% on the NAVLE in the last three years. Students coming to study on Grand Cayman will be prepared for a fulfilling and exciting career in veterinary medicine.
Earning a degree in veterinary medicine allows a host of career options. As you progress in your veterinary studies, you should consider which type of career you might prefer. Approximately 80% of veterinarians choose to work in private practice, typically either with small animals or large animals. Additional career options include work in research, consulting, education, diagnostic laboratories, public health and regulatory medicine.

Veterinary students take the NAVLE during their final (clinical) year of studies. The NAVLE is notoriously long with candidates required to answer 360 multiple choice questions during 6 blocks of 65 minutes. As with any exam, you should create a study plan that helps you to focus on the areas you’re not confident on.

In order to be successful on the NAVLE, you should review the study guides online and complete as many practice questions as possible. The exam is computerized and to help you prepare, there is an online mock exam. Prior to sitting the exam, St. Matthew’s University recommends you sit a full mock exam to get a real understanding of what the exam is like and how to pace yourself throughout it.
In order to practice veterinary medicine in North America, you will need to score at least 70% on the NAVLE. It is vital that you prepare sufficiently for the exam by spending a significant amount of time studying and learning as much as you can from your clinicals.

If you decide to pursue specialty training, having a good score on the NAVLE can help you to obtain a veterinary internship or residency. However, some programs do not require you to have completed the NAVLE before applying. You can learn more by reviewing the Veterinary Internship and Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).

St. Matthew’s University has three start dates during the year: September, January and May.


(excludes fees, tuition only)

Tuition per semesters 1-7

Lectures, Labs & Small Groups

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(excludes fees, tuition only)

Tuition per semesters 1-7

Lectures, Labs & Small Groups