School of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary education at Hokkaido University started in 1880. The School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1952 after the establishment of the Veterinary Science Course and the subsequent establishment of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture. The School has consistently played a part as the only independent school of veterinary medicine in national universities up to the present day. Since its establishment, it has been providing, not only clinical education, but also education based on basic and applied research in veterinary sciences and life sciences, thereby having produced excellent human resources, such as veterinarians and veterinary graduates, who play active roles in a wide range of fields domestically and internationally, as well as having assumed social responsibility as a professional education institution. The basic policy has not changed. The mission of the School, in other words, is to foster the following human resources: those who are equipped with character and ability to create a sound, healthy circle of humans, animals and the environment; those who can play active roles as members of that circle in various fields, such as in veterinary medicine for pets and farm animals, life sciences, hygiene, industries related to livestock breeding, food and drugs, and academia; and those who will build a future for global society.

To achieve this policy, it is essential to provide education that enables us to produce graduates who meet international standards as world-class veterinarians. Especially in the past 15 years, we have been making efforts through several undergraduate educational innovation programs to cultivate international perspectives and a sense of animal ethics, to enhance clinical education, to innovate on teaching methods and to promote educational partnerships with other universities. With the aim of boosting these efforts, in 2012 Hokkaido University established the cooperative veterinary education program (VetNorth Japan) with Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, which provides education under a single curriculum to a total of 80 students from the two universities. VetNorth Japan is distinguished by the following: the full and mutual utilization of educational and research resources of both universities (including teaching staff, facilities, equipment and off-campus environments); the provision of face-to-face education that teaching  staff can provide and that students can take advantage of at the other’s campus; the enhancement of education based on practical research and education related to clinical veterinary science and public hygiene; the improvement of self-learning environments; and the formulation of a framework for ensuring educational quality. By creating a framework and system of veterinary education that exceeds international standards, we play the vital role of producing excellent veterinarians and veterinary graduates. With the aim of improving the veterinary education in Japan, we are also striving in various ways to establish the specific target of acquiring, by 2020, the European Standard Certification granted by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE).


Specifically, the human resources that we aim to foster under this cooperative veterinary education program are those with the following.

  1. The ethics required in their duties as veterinarians, and a code of conduct bolstered by moral values
  2. In-depth knowledge and superb skills related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases, and the maintenance and improvement of animal health, as well as of public health
  3. The international perspectives, expertise and skills needed to solve global issues such as food supply stability, the safety of livestock and livestock products, and zoonosis control
  4. The ability to resolve issues related to veterinary science, such as the ability to elucidate the mechanisms behind new life phenomena based on front-line life science research and the ability to develop new medical products, as well as the ability to implement international activities


Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1953. Following a major reorganization aimed to emphasize the Graduate School in 1995 and the incorporation of national universities in 2004, we have played a leading role as a graduate school in the disciplines of veterinary care and in research and education in veterinary sciences, thereby providing distinctive findings and prominent doctors in relevant academic realms and in societies at home and abroad.  All faculty members and students who have completed the programs of the Graduate School should take pride in this. Our ambitious educational improvement policies have encompassed the promotion of research on infectious diseases based on COE and Global COE (from 2004 to 2013) and the implementation of various educational innovation programs, including the Program of Leading Graduate Schools (from 2012). The results of these policies attest to our efforts. Today, however, as academic research and graduate school education advance further, our efforts must be more interdisciplinary and concerted than ever, in order to facilitate research and education towards the creation and maintenance of a sound, healthy circle of humans, animals and the environment, under a concept referred to as “One Health.” We need to create flexible new concepts according to social needs, thereby providing fascinating, essential scientific research and education, as well as continuing to foster superior doctors and other human resources.

To promote such academic, interdisciplinary graduate school education, it is important to appropriately position teaching staff according to educational intent and content, as well as to make effective, purposeful use of them. Based on this principal concept, we decided to reorganize the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine as a faculty (a faculty and research organization) and a graduate school (a graduate school education organization) in April 2017. As a new graduate school, the Graduate School of Infectious Diseases plays a leading role in providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary higher education on infectious diseases, as well as in practically cultivating international experts to address infectious diseases. Teaching staff from disciplines related to infectious diseases in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Research Center for Zoonosis Control and relevant medical faculties are collectively responsible for this education. In addition, the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, where teaching staff members who specialize in disciplines other than infectious diseases in the Faculty provide higher education on veterinary sciences and advanced veterinary medicine based on individual, basic, applied, environmental and clinical research activities, aims to implement educational activities that include unconventional approaches, such as by setting an advanced veterinary healthcare.

Students of the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine acquire extensive expertise and undergo research instruction. Their research base is naturally the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, as it was before. The most important roles and responsibilities required of universities are research and the practice of education based on that research. The Faculty serves as a basic organization for supporting educational practice. Individual teaching staff, who also play roles as researchers, and students collaborate to globally disseminate diverse, fascinating, essential scientific research on veterinary sciences and advanced veterinary medicine.