About FDA

FDA Veterinary Clerkship Program

Experience the power of protecting human and animal health. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Veterinary Clerkship Program is the only one of its kind in the United States. The program is designed to give fourth year veterinary students a real-world opportunity to see how policies guiding the approval of new animal drugs are developed and implemented by FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Students may also choose to learn more about CVM’s role in applied regulatory research and how this research is used to support the safety of animal derived food and animal health products.

The Program

The FDA Veterinary Clerkship Program has been in existence for over 25 years in collaboration with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

The Program was created for students to gain a comprehensive perspective on the vital role federal veterinarians play in safeguarding animal and human health. Specifically, the experience is intended to afford students an opportunity to apply their advanced backgrounds in basic and clinical science supporting CVM’s regulatory review and research activities.

Each student is paired with a mentor who will guide them throughout their Clerkship. The Clerkships typically range four to six weeks in length.


Application to the FDA Veterinary Clerkship Program is open worldwide to veterinary students currently enrolled in both AVMA and non-AVMA – accredited veterinary schools. All students must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and in good academic standing.


Participants in the Clerkship Program are considered “student volunteers” and therefore do not receive a stipend for their work at CVM.


CVM does not provide living accommodations.

How to Apply

There are typically many students interested in this program so students are encouraged to contact FDA as early as possible and no later than four months from the requested Clerkship start date. All students must submit the following documents to be considered for the Clerkship Program:

  • Letter of intent indicating proposed Clerkship dates and specific areas of interest;
  • Current resume; and
  • Two signed letters of recommendation

The documents may be forwarded electronically or via mail to:

Marcia Sheets
FDA Veterinary Clerkship Program
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Veterinary Medicine
7500 Standish Place HFV-100
Rockville, Maryland 20855
Phone: 240-402-0636

For information on the range of public practice options available in the greater Washington DC area, you can contact:

Valerie E. Ragan, DVM
Director, Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
205 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-1176

Page Last Updated: 11/21/2017
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