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FAQ for the Small Animal Internship Program

These are answers to the most frequently asked questions from candidates interested in internship at OSU.

How many interns do you take?

Numbers may vary from year to year but traditionally there are 5 to 8 small animal rotating internship positions available. Currently, there are a total of 8 small animal rotating interns. Seven positions were offered as traditional positions, and one was offered as a minority position.

Do you take unpaid interns?


Do I qualify for the minority position?

Only US citizens and permanent residents who are part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority will be considered for this position. Federal guidelines related to race and ethnicity used in the workforce use four racial minorities: American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and one ethnic minority, Hispanic or Latino. More information can be found on the US Census Bureau or the Office of Management and Budget websites. A summary is provided on the US Department of Health and Human Services website at Completion of the minority confirmation statement is required. 

Individuals not meeting this description are encouraged to apply for the Rotating Internship in Medicine and Surgery.

Can I apply for both the minority and regular match?

Yes, If you qualify for the miniroty position, you can apply through both the minority and regular match.

Do I need an Ohio State License?

You do not need to take the Ohio Licensing exam. You must have passed the NAVLE (for candidates from US and Canadian schools), and undergo a background check. Once those are completed, you will be granted an Ohio Limited License, which allows you to practice veterinary medicine within the university.

How will I spend my time?

The internship is currently broken down into the following rotating blocks (these may change somewhat with each intern class):

  • Daytime Emergency – 6-8 weeks
  • Evening Emergency – 6-8 weeks
  • Overnight Emergency – 6-8 weeks
  • Total Emergency Work - 18-22 weeks
  • Internal Medicine – 6-8 weeks
  • Soft Tissue Surgery – 2-4 weeks
  • Orthopedic Surgery – 2-4 weeks
  • Electives – 10-12 weeks
  • Anesthesia – 2 weeks
  • Radiology – 2 weeks

What are the elective rotations?

You may chose from the following rotations: Behavior, Community Practice, Cardiology, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Dermatology and Otology, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Critical Care, Clinical Pathology or chose to have additional time in the above required blocks. You may take up to 6 weeks of a single elective.

How many of your interns match for residency?

In the past 6 years, 96% of interns matched for either residency or specialty internship on the first try. 95% ultimately obtained a residency position.

Is a research project required?

A research project is not required, but projects may be available depending on intern interest.

How much time off are interns allotted?

Interns have 10 working days of vacation and 5 working days of professional leave time. Professional days can be used for attending conferences or interviewing for residencies/jobs, but cannot be used for vacation.

Do I need to interview for the internship?

No. Due to the number of applicants, we do not conduct interviews.

Can I visit OSU to get an idea of the hospital and environment?

If you would like to visit OSU to speak with current interns and to get a feeling for the program, you are more than welcome to do so. Please remember that these visits are not interviews and that their purpose is primarily to have you take a look at our program. Visits needs to be arranged in advance and are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Only one visitor is scheduled per day, and visits are one to two days in length. If you are interested in a longer externship or a graded rotation at OSU, please refer to the following website: Externships and Visiting Programs. You may also contact the VCS education program coordinator ( to help set up a visit. Charges may apply for externship visits.

Can I request a phone interview?

Due to the large number of applicants, we do not conduct phone interviews.

For International Candidates

Applications will be accepted from those graduates of an AVMA-recognized College or School of Veterinary Medicine. For a list of the AVMA-recognized Colleges and Schools of Veterinary Medicine, click on the following link or copy the link and paste in your browser:

Applications may be considered from those graduates of a non-AVMA-accredited College or School of Veterinary Medicine ONLY if they have spent at least 6 weeks training in an AVMA-accredited College or School of Veterinary Medicine and have at least 2 letters of recommendation from that experience.


TOEFL scores must be submitted with the application for applicants whose native language is not English. Foreign applicants must also meet the Graduate School Admissions requirements for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (currently 550 for the paper-based TOEFL, 213 for the computer-based test, and 79 for the internet-based test). Scores are to be sent to:

VCS Education Program Coordinator
The Ohio State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
601 Vernon L. Tharp St. Columbus, OH, 43210

Work Authorization

Applicants must be either US citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. The Ohio State University cannot sponsor or process F, J, or H-1B visa applications for intern positions. Successful applicant must be available to report to The Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences no later than the scheduled beginning of the program.

I spent 6 weeks at a private practice in the US and also attended several CE courses – does that count as my 6 week training experience?

No. Only clinical rotations taken at AVMA-recognized North American institutions count as part of this experience.

Do I need to have taken the NAVLE or passed ECFVG requirements?

No, but you must have received a veterinary diploma and completed the above requirements prior to the start of your internship.