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Veterinary Medicine (State Examination)

Taught in German



The course, Veterinary Medicine, is regulated uniformly in the federal republic.
The aim of the course is to produce theoretically - and practically - trained veterinaries who are able, independently and responsibly, to practice their profession in accordance with §1 of the federal veterinary regulations (Bundes-Tierärzteordnung) and to constantly train further.
The course imparts basic veterinary, scientific, interdisciplinary and methodical knowledge, practical skills, an intellectual and ethical basis and a professional attitude dedicated to the well-being of man, environment and beast.

Subject-specific prerequisites

Features of studying Veterinary Medicine in Giessen

JLU offers a comprehensive programme of courses of study which is not reduced to one specific area of veterinary medicine. Therefore, a degree opens up the possibility to work in all veterinary career fields. Moreover, a large number of optional subjects can be selected from a variety of competence areas (from beekeeping to physiotherapy), which enables an individual specialisation area.

Likewise, the university offers selectable courses on learning techniques and stress management. The teaching in the area of clinical- practical skills is supported by simulators in a Clinical Skills lab (partly in cooperation with the faculty of medicine).


Subject-specific prerequisites

The prerequisites for the successful study of veterinary medicine are a good knowledge of natural science in the areas of biology, chemistry and physics and a basic medical and scientific understanding. Knowledge of Latin is no longer required but is always helpful.

Number of enrolled students

1210 students are enrolled in this degree course (as of winter semester 2016/17).

Composition of the Study Programme

Duration of Studies

Duration of studies

The duration of studies at all universities in Germany is 5 years and 6 months.

Composition of the Study Programme

Composition of degree programme

1. Pre-clinical studies, first section of the studies (1st to 4th Semester)  

The natural science section (Pre-Intermediate Examination/Vorphysikum) includes the subjects;

  • Physics, including the basics of physical radiation protection,
  • Chemistry,
  • Zoology
  • the Botany of feed crop, poisonous and medicinal plants

The anatomic-physiological section (Intermediate Examination/Physikum) includes the subjects:

  • Anatomy,
  • Histology and Embryology
  • Physiology,
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal breeding and
  • Genetics including the evalutation animals.

2. Clinical studies, second section of the studies (5th to 11th semester)

The Veterinary Medical Examination at the end of the course of studies includes the following subjects:

  • Animal Husbandry and Animal Hygiene,
  • Animal Welfare and Ethology,
  • Animal Nutrition,
  • Clinical Propaedeutics,
  • Virology,
  • Bacteriology and Mycology,
  • Parasitology,
  • Combating Epizootic and Infectious Disease,
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology,
  • Pharmaceutical and Drug Prohibition Law,
  • Poultry Diseases,
  • Radiology,
  • General and Specific Pathology and Histology,
  • Food Science, including Food Hygiene,
  • Meat Hygiene,
  • Milk analysis,
  • the medicine of reproduction,
  • Internal medicine,
  • Surgery and  Anaesthesiology, 
  • forensic veterinary medicine, vocational and professional law


Commencement of Studies in the Winter Semester

Commencement of studies

Only possible in the winter semester

Application: Entrance requirements

Entrance requirements

  • Applicants must have Abitur (German school-leavers' examinations) or equivalent.
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. Read more...
Application and admissions

Application and admissions

The intake capacity of this degree programme is limited throughout the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • Application for acceptance to the first semester of study: the application must be directed to (formerly ZVS). More on this...
  • Applications for higher semesters: applications must be directed to Justus Liebig University Giessen. More on this...
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. More on this...
Application Deadline

Application Deadline

  • May 31 for "old high school graduates" who acquired their university entrance qualification (Abitur) before January 16 of the current year.
  • July 31, 2021 for "new high school graduates" who acquired their university entrance qualification (Abitur) after January 15 up to (and including) July 15 of the current year.


Career Options

Career Options

Doctoral studies

In general, the prerequisite for embarking on doctoral studies is a successfully completed university degree. The doctoral course of study will be completed with the written dissertation and an oral exam (disputation). Having been conferred a doctorate, you are allowed to bear the title “Dr. med. vet.”.

Career options

Veterinaries are responsible for keeping animals healthy. They treat sick animals and are also concerned with protecting humans against animal plagues and infections. This involves the quality control of food from animal sources.

They are active in veterinary institutions and consumer ministries with the task of preventing and/or combating animal epidemics, the protection of animals and the examination of animals for slaughter and meat.

Fields of activity:

  • Veterinary practice
  • Livestock practice (cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, productive poultry)
  • Equine practice/ clinic
  • Small animal practice/ clinic
  • Mixed practice (small animals and livestock)
  • Specialist practice ( e.g. birds, reptiles)
  • Public veterinary area
  • Veterinary inspection office, national investigation office and other similar organisations (tasks include animal disease control, supervision of animal protection, drug monitoring)
  • Industry and free economy
  • Pharmaceutical enterprises, animal feeding, food
  • Research and teaching research (universities, institutions outside the university, the pharmaceutical industry)
  • Journalism and public relations (editorial staff, public relations for associations, industry)
  • Consulting firms (animal breeding, animal feeding, animal husbandry)
  • Laboratory animal science

Further Information

Further Information: Documents

PDF documents for the courses of study


Examination- and study regulations

Courses offered in the course cataloge

International pages

Please have a look at our International Pages for more information in English.

Any Questions

Any Questions?

Information- and advisory services of JLU can be found under the category “contact” on this page!


Do you need assistance in choosing the right courses of study?

Offers: Courses of study

Which courses of study suits me best?

Ask Justus offers information for prospective students


Events for prospective students

There is a whole range of events offered by JLU, current events can be found under “news”: (in German)


Subject Advisors

Office of the Study Coordinator, Dean's Office

Prof. Dr. Melanie Hamann
Schubertstr. 81
35392 Gießen
Office hours: by appointment


Study Coordinator

Frankfurter Straße 94
35392 Gießen

Office hours: Mo, Wed, Thurs 9 a.m. - 13 p.m.

Katrin Ziegenberg (Head of the Office)
Phone: 0641 - 99-38007

Melanie Junck (Assistant)
Phone: 0641 - 99-38008

Central Study Advisor
Central Student Services

Directions and welcome desk