Junior Veterinary Medicine

If your student is passionate about caring for animals, likes hands-on learning, and is considering a career in veterinary medicine, this is the program for them!

Your student can look forward to experiencing the life-changing power of working with animals as they spend up to six days getting a firsthand look at the life of a veterinarian.

Prepare for the future

Getting an early taste of various potential careers is essential for young students. At Junior Veterinary Medicine, your student can look forward to doing just that as they:
  • Get hands-on experience in the lab, from blow dart practice to bandaging a wound and placing catheters
  • Explore the Smithsonian National Zoo to learn about enrichment activities and enclosure design
  • Learn about veterinary school from the application process to what it’s like to study so many different species

By attending Junior Veterinary Medicine, you can earn up to 25 veterinary hours, a required part of every vet school application.

2024 Program Dates & Tuition

  • Residential
  • July 21–26
  • July 28–August 2
  • $3,799
  • Day
  • July 22–26
  • July 29–August 2
  • $3,399

What’s Included

All Meals

On-Campus Accommodations at American University

15:1 Teaching Vet-to-Student Ratio

Up to 25 veterinary hours

Program Highlights

The National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo is home to over 2,100 animals that represent nearly 400 different species. There’s no better place for your student to learn about animal anatomy and the important role of zoos in animal conservation.

Hands-On Lab Time

Students can look forward to using the same tools and techniques as professional veterinarians, from taking heart rates and using a microscope to suturing a wound and even performing a dissection!

Career Discussions

Throughout their time at Junior Veterinary Medicine, students will explore the various career paths in veterinary science and learn about the dedication it takes to become successful in veterinary school.

The Business of Zoos

In addition to learning about the important roles played by zookeepers and veterinarians, students will also learn about the business side of caring for animals, from the cost of animal feed to designing and maintaining new zoo enclosures.

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1

Arrival in Washington, DC

  • Orientation and welcome dinner

Day 2

Companion Animal Medicine

  • Lab Time: Suturing and Using Stethoscopes
  • Activity: Dog Visit
  • Workshop: Introduction to Animal Anatomy
  • Speaker: Humane Rescue Alliance
  • Lab Time: Pig Heart Dissection

Day 3

Exotic Animal Medicine

  • Lecture: Veterinary Careers with Exotic Animals
  • Activity: Hamsters and Guinea Pigs
  • Lab Time: Using a Microscope and Canine First Aid
  • Veterinary School Discussion

Day 4

Day One at the Smithsonian National Zoo

  • GPS Tracking and Animal Training Activity
  • Lesson: Comparative Anatomy of Zoo Animals
  • Activity: Designing an Animal Enrichment Activity
  • Lab Time: Blow Darts and Injections

Day 5

Day Two at the Smithsonian National Zoo

  • Cost Analysis: Feeding Zoo Animals
  • Activity: Designing a Zoo Exhibit
  • Lab Time: Reptile Handling and Anatomy

Day 6


The events included in this itinerary are subject to minor changes before your program.

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What some of our students and their parents are saying…

My son was able to have a wonderful experience learning meaningful things while having fun with his new friends.”

The [program] was very interesting to him. He actually wanted us to go to the zoo the day we picked him up so he could show us around! He loved it.”

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For the safety of students, staff, and animals, not all animals may be touched or handled by participants. The teaching veterinarian and other professional staff members will advise students of the proper time, place, and method to handle animals when it is safe to do so.