Massey University

International Student Affairs
Undergraduate Office
Massey University Veterinary School
IVABS Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North 4442 New Zealand
Tel: (+646) 350 5222
Fax (+646) 350 5654


The Massey University veterinary program was the first veterinary program to gain AVMA accreditation in the southern hemisphere. Our program is also fully accredited by the Australasian Veterinary Board Council (AVBC), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and is recognised through reciprocity by the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA). This means you could work as a veterinarian not only in the USA and Canada, but also New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and many other countries.

The Massey University veterinary program has an international reputation for providing an excellent veterinary education with a strong science background, a broad knowledge of companion, equine, and production animal health, and a focus on independent thinking and problem-solving skills. So you can be sure that as a Massey graduate you’ll be well prepared for your veterinary career. In fact, we've been ranked number 1 for reputation with employers and 15th programme overall in the QS rankings of veterinary programmes globally.


We accept up to 24 international students annually, with a total class size of 124. Our veterinary program is 5 years (10 semesters) in length, split into a “preselection” phase (one semester—beginning in February annually), and the “professional” phase (the remaining 9 semesters or 4.5 years). In the pre-selection phase students compete for entry into the professional phase. 

As an international student, you could join our program in one of two ways depending upon your academic background.

Professional phase entry for international students (Group 2)

Group 2 students compete for entry directly into the professional phase on the basis of their academic performance overseas. You need to have completed at least two years full-time or equivalent of an appropriate undergraduate degree. Students selected via this method would start in the professional phase in semester 2 (mid-July). See entrance requirements below for more information.

Pre-selection phase entry for international students (Group 1)

Group 1 international students are those who do notmeet all of the eligibility criteria for Group 2, or dobut were not selected for a Group 2 position. Group 1students come to New Zealand and complete the preselectionphase in order to prove their capabilityfor the professional phase. This is a great optionfor those who want to get into an AVMA accreditedveterinary program who may not be the “traditional applicant”.


Throughout years 1-4 you will study core medical sciences (tailored for veterinary students), as well as normal and then abnormal animal structure and function. Then you’ll be taught how to “fix” animals, or return them to normal function through clinical studies, medicine, surgery, and health management of companion and agricultural animal species.

A revised curriculum was introduced in 2013 to further increase your learning and understanding by integrating topics within and between years, and introducing problem-oriented learning throughout the curriculum. This encourages students to apply the information learned in the various classes to veterinary cases and scenarios designed to develop problem solving and critical thinking. Additionally a greater emphasis has been placed on professional studies, to further enhance your success to further enhance your future career success. The fifth year is a semi-tracked clinically based year. You would choose a track from the following options: small animal, production animal, equine or mixed animal, or other areas as approved (i.e., wildlife, research). All tracks share a core of 18 weeks of rotations covering multiple species, then depending on which track you choose, you will have a further 7-9 weeks specified. You then have 7-9 weeks where you can choose to do externships (within New Zealand or overseas), or further clinics at Massey University. The semi-tracked, individualized final year curriculum allows you to further explore your area of interest while ensuring wide coverage of the main veterinary species. 

During the programme, you will attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes, field trips, clinical sessions and rotations, and you will also undertake farm and veterinary practical work outside of university semester time.


The veterinary school is located in Palmerston North, a student-friendly town of 85,000 in the lower North Island of New Zealand. Palmerston North is a one-hour flight from Auckland, is conveniently close to west coast beaches, and is just under a two-hour drive to the Hawke’s Bay wine region, skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Ruapehu and the capital city, Wellington. Nicknamed “student city,” Palmerston North offers free bus services for Massey students and has lots of great cafés, restaurants, bars, theatres, and outdoor recreational activities. 

Renowned for an excellent lifestyle, New Zealand is a great place to study abroad for your AVMA accredited veterinary degree.


You can find more specific information (deadlines, fees, VMCAS participation, the supplemental application and direct application) on the Massey University veterinary school website. If you are a US or Canadian resident you can apply to Massey University by either: 

1. VMCAS and a supplemental Massey University application or 

2. Direct application to Massey University. 

All other non-New Zealand residents are to apply directly to Massey University

Residency implications: All non-New Zealand resident students require a student visa, which is easily obtained following an offer of admission into the program. A requirement for a visa is that students must be able to demonstrate financial support for the duration of their course (e.g. Federal Aid loan approval).



Group 1

Application deadline: November 1, 2018

Letters of admission to pre-selection (semester 1) sent: Once completed application reviewed.

Pre-selection phase of school begins: Late February 2018 (semester 1)

Acceptances into the professional phase of the veterinary degree program notified: Early July 2019 

Professional phase of veterinary degree program begins: Mid-July 2018 (semester 2)

Group 2

VMCAS application deadline: Friday, September 17, 2018 at 11:59PM Eastern Time. Online Massey University supplemental application with all supplementary documents to be received by November 1, 2018. Please note, your application will not be processed until you complete your Massey University supplemental application.

Direct applicants: November 1, 2018 (including all supplementary documents)

Date acceptances mailed: from late December 2018

School begins: mid-July 2018 (semester 2)

Deposit (to hold Group 2 position):  $ NZ 1,500.00 (non-refundable)

Deferments: Deferments of Group 1 offers (into the preselection phase - semester 1 of the program) are permitted. Offers of a place in semester 2 of the program are for a single year only and as such deferments are not permitted.


Group 1

The selection process for Group 1 students is based 50% on academic performance and 50% on non-academic criteria. Please see the website for more detail.

Group 2

Science GPA: 50%

Non-academic criteria: 50%

This will include an interview


Course requirements

Group 1: As a Group 1 applicant you would come to Massey University in late February to complete a semester of full-time science study in order to develop a GPA for selection. If you have already taken similar classes to one or more of the four prerequisite classes, you’ll be given credit for these and choose alternate science classes to replace them.

Group 2: Competitive Selection directly into the professional phase BVSc Semester 2 (6-10 places available). 

To be eligible for group 2 you would need to have completed at least two full years of full-time, largely science-based university education, including classes equivalent to the 4 Massey University veterinary prerequisite classes.

Massey University Class: Usual classes needed for credit

123.101 Chemistry and Living Systems: General chemistry + Organic chemistry

124.111 Physics for Life Sciences: 1 year of physics

162.101 Biology of Cells (molecular) biology +/- First year biology series

199.101 Biology of Animals: Animal biology / vertebrate zoology

Each of the above classes should include laboratories.

Required undergraduate GPA: A minimum science GPA of 3.00 is required to be eligible for selection into the professional phase (Semester 2) of veterinary degree.

Course completion deadline:

Group 1: Not applicable; courses completed in New Zealand.

Group 2: All four of the pre-requisite courses (or their equivalent) should be completed by the end of the fall semester in the year prior to matriculation (e.g. Fall 2018 for matriculation in 2019).


All VMCAS applicants must complete the supplemental application for Massey University. Your application will not be processed until you have submitted your online supplemental application.

The supplemental application consists of:

• An online Massey University application form for admission as an international student. 

We also require the following but you usually do not need to supply these as they are sourced directly from NAVLE once you have completed your supplemental application:

•Your transcripts – from NAVLE application.

• Verification of your veterinary practical work experience – A letter signed by a veterinarian verifying you have completed a minimum of 10 days (80 hours) work experience at their clinic. ELoR’s submitted by veterinarians as part of the VMCAS application can be substituted for the signed letter. Letters of recommendation are not required.

A bachelors degree is not a prerequisite requirement for admission into the veterinary degree.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree Required? no

Is this an International School? yes


Estimated Tuition Resident: Subsidized

Estimated Tuition Non-Resident: $NZ 30,185 per semester


Resident: 100

Non-Resident: 24


VMCAS Participation: partial

Accepts International Students? yes

Please note: The tuition fees are in New Zealand dollars. The actual cost in your currency will depend on the exchange rate at the time of paying tuition fees. The NZD is traditionally lower than the USD and CAD. Historically once conversion rates are accounted for, tuition fees at Massey University are usually in the third least expensive for out-of-state schools.

Massey Application Deadline: 11/1/2018

VMCAS Deadline: 9/17/2018