What you will learn at the School of Veterinary Medicine

The aim of the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program is to help students achieve the following goals:


  1. To learn standards of conduct that are based on the logic and ethics needed for veterinarians in their duties;
  2. To acquire proficient knowledge and skills on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases, as well as on the health maintenance and improvement of animals and public health;
  3. To gain international perspectives, expertise and specialized skills that contribute to the solving of global issues such as stable food supply, the safety of livestock animals and their products, and control of zoonoses; and
  4. To develop, through the research experience on advanced biomedical science, the problem-solving ability based on veterinary medical science and the ability to conduct international activities.


The outlines of the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program aimed to encourage students to acquire the abilities stated above are as follows.


Flow of learning, from enrollment to graduation



Enrollment in the Hokkaido University School of Veterinary Medicine


1st year:

Enrolled students study in the First-Year Education Division, which offers various lectures as general education, including courses in Humanities and Social/Natural Sciences. Students are recommended to actively attend these lectures in order to become well refined. During the summer holidays, the Seminar in Agriculture and Food Animal Science and the Elementary Seminar in Veterinary Science at Obihiro are intensively offered as introductory veterinary medicine education at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.


2nd year:

The Introduction to Veterinary Medicine and the Elementary Seminar in Veterinary Science at Sapporo are intensively offered as introductory education at Hokkaido University during the summer holidays. Professional education in the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program starts from the first semester. In this period, students take lectures and conduct practical training in a range of basic veterinary sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, immunology, radiobiology, microbiology and laboratory animal science, in order to gain knowledge on the structures, functions of the parts, and responses in animal bodies and basis on animal diseases.


3rd year:

Students learn pathogens that cause animal diseases and basis on diagnosis and prevention/treatment of the infectious diseases through lectures and practical training on virology, bacteriology, parasitology, epidemiology, pathology, and wildlife zoology.


4th year:

Students enroll in lectures and practical training on environmental and applied veterinary sciences, such as public health, toxicology, food hygiene, epidemiology and zoonoses, as well as in animal husbandry-related subjects, such as food nutrition, grassland science and animal feeding, and farm animal management. In addition, students are required to take subjects related to clinical veterinary medicine, such as surgery, internal medicine and theriogenology.


5th and 6th years:

In addition to lectures and practical training on clinical veterinary medicine, introductory education for veterinarians is offered, including animal welfare, ethics and regulations. From the 5th year, students are required to attend clinical rotations, in which students can experience the treatment of animals at the university teaching hospitals (Sapporo and Obihiro), after passing the common national achievement examination in veterinary medicine (since 2016). Students also choose and join one of the research laboratories, where they take advanced courses and seminars and conduct tutorial research, based on their interests and/or plans for future job. Furthermore, students prepare themselves for the entrance examination of a doctoral course or engage in job hunting, cultivating their sense of responsibility as veterinarians or researchers in the future. The National Examination for Veterinarians is given in mid-February, and the results are announced in mid-March.


Graduation from the Cooperative Veterinary Education Program at Hokkaido University and Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine