The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) is the AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization™ for certification of veterinarians in large animal surgery and small animal surgery. AVMA is the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Pathway to Certification

The official credential of a board-certificated veterinary surgeon is Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, often presented as DACVS or ACVS Diplomate.

Veterinarians interested in pursuing ACVS board certification and animal owners interested in learning about the training of a veterinary surgeon are encouraged to check out the pathway to certification illustration below. It provides a high-level overview of the steps a veterinarian takes to become an ACVS Diplomate. Additional details follow the illustration.

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Pathway Details

  • Graduate from an AVMA-accredited veterinary school; have an Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates certificate; or have a current veterinary license.
  • Complete a one-year, rotating veterinary internship or equivalent







Earn your ACVS Diplomate credential

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