Accreditation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Accreditation of U.S. schools and colleges consists of two types: institutional and specialized.  Institutional accreditation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is provided by the North Central Association for Higher Learning Commission (

Current University of Wisconsin-Madison accreditation status: Accredited

Accreditation of the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Within the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specialized accreditation is sought by such units as the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, and others.   The accreditation review of the School of Veterinary Medicine is conducted by the Council of Education (COE) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) (  As noted by the COE (, “Accreditation by the AVMA Council on Education (COE) represents the highest standard of achievement for veterinary medical education in the United States. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.

In brief, AVMA accreditation of veterinary medical programs and institutions assures

  • prospective students that they will meet a competency threshold for entry into practice, including eligibility for professional credentialing and/or licensure;
  • employers that graduates have achieved specified learning goals and are prepared to begin professional practice;
  • faculty, deans, and administrators that their programs measure satisfactorily against national standards and their own stated missions and goals;
  • the public that public health and safety concerns are being addressed; and
  • the veterinary profession that the science and art of veterinary medicine are being advanced through contemporary curricula.

The COE develops and publicizes a series of standards that must be met by a program of veterinary medical education in order to be accredited ( and conducts reviews of such programs to determine their accreditation status.  The COE may, after accreditation review of an educational program, confer several levels of accreditation, as described in detail at  In brief these levels of accreditation include the following:

Reasonable Assurance – Reasonable Assurance is the classification granted to an institution seeking initial accreditation.

Provisional Accreditation – A United States or Canadian college granted Reasonable Assurance that is still in effect will be granted Provisional Accreditation status on the date the initial class is admitted.

Full Accreditation – An accreditation status granted to a college that complies with the accreditation Standards. Colleges which meet all the Standards are granted Full Accreditation for a period of no more than seven years contingent upon satisfactory review by the Council of each annual report.

Limited Accreditation – An accreditation status granted to a college that has specific deficiencies in one or more Standards that affect student outcomes or safety. The deficiencies are considered of a nature that they can be corrected in a reasonable length of time that must not exceed two years. Prior to expiration of this prescribed period, the Council may either review the annual report(s), request that an institutional representative appear before the Council, or conduct a comprehensive or focused site visit to determine if the deficiencies have been corrected.

If at the end of the two-year time period deficiencies have been corrected and there is evidence to support full compliance, the college may be granted Full Accreditation for the remainder of the accreditation cycle, as determined by the COE. Conversely, if at the end of the two-year time period the college can provide reasons that must be acceptable by the Council for its inability to comply with all the Standards, the Council may by majority vote extend Limited Accreditation for good cause. Interim measures must be taken to ensure education of DVM students. If the reasons for non-compliance do not have merit, the Council must take immediate action to place the college on Terminal Accreditation.

Terminal Accreditation – In addition to the circumstances noted above, which may result in a program being placed on Terminal Accreditation or voluntarily closes, the Council may revoke accreditation when evidence indicates that the number or severity of deficiencies in the program with regards to complying with each of the accreditation Standards cannot be corrected before the admission of the next first-year class.

Current UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine accreditation status: Full Accreditation. Full accreditation status was most recently re-affirmed in 2015 following a full accreditation review by the Council on Education. The Council, on the basis of that review, granted full accreditation status for a period of seven years, subject to annual approval of reports submitted to the Council by the SVM. The next full accreditation review is scheduled for 2022.

Performance of SVM graduates on examinations for licensure

Following the award of the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (or equivalent), the new veterinarian must receive a license in order to engage in the clinical practice of veterinary medicine.  An important step in that process is successful completion of an examination prepared and delivered by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners ( That examination is the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (, or NAVLE®.  The examination is administered twice annually in November/December and in April.  The success rate, or pass rate, of the graduates of a veterinary medical educational program on the NAVLE examination is one of the factors considered by the COE in its annual consideration of the accreditation status of a school or college.

The summary of the performance of UW-Madison SVM Class of 2018 graduates, as compared with all veterinarians taking the examinations in Nov/Dec 2017 and in April 2018 is as follows:

Summary for all candidates, Ultimate Performance


Number Taking Exam

Number Passing

% Passing

Mean score

All candidates