ECFVG: Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates

ECFVG Program Website 


Program Description

The Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, offers a 1 semester (approx. 24 week) clinical training program for ECFVG candidates designed to meet the needs of graduates of non-AVMA accredited veterinary schools who wish to

  • Prepare for the ECFVG Clinical Proficiency Examination
  • Increase veterinary knowledge and skills applicable to North America
  • Become familiar with the culture of practice in North America
  • Improve communication in veterinary professional terminology
  • Develop skills in client communication in the U.S.

The 1 semester (approximately 24 weeks/6 blocks) LSU ECFVG Clinical Training Program will entail the following: 

Required Coursework:

 Special Topics  ~4 weeks (2 half-blocks)
 Small Animal Surgery - Soft Tissue  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Small Animal Medicine  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Equine Medicine and Surgery  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Food Animal Medicine and Surgery  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Anesthesiology  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Radiology  ~2 weeks (half-block)
 Diagnostic Pathology/Anatomic Pathology/Microbiology/Parasitology  ~4 weeks (2 half-blocks)
 Electives  ~4 weeks (2 half-blocks)


Required coursework must be taken as listed above. Electives allow program participants to have a focus area.

Instruction in additional disciplines such as Oncology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Theriogenology, Exotics, Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, Ambulatory Practice, Laboratory Animal Medicine, Fish Medicine, Externships and others may be covered during the Elective rotations. A full listing of elective offerings may be obtained from the Office of Veterinary Education & Student Affairs.

Up to 2 half-blocks (approx. 4 weeks) may be taken as externships. During the externship phase, enrolled trainees may gain further professional experience in veterinary practices and establishments. Externship locations must be preapproved and they must be in the U.S.

Trainees will be enrolled as full-time students at LSU. If the participant is in the U.S. on a visa, externships must follow immediately after the completion of Part 1 in order to maintain visa status. The program will be offered each year on a competitive basis.

Criteria for Acceptance

Candidates must be fluent in both written and spoken English, have graduated from an AVMA recognized school of veterinary medicine within the last 10 years and have completed Step 3 of the ECFVG program. Applicants will be accepted based on merit.

Start Date Application Deadline Notification of Acceptance
mid-January (Block 9) September 1 September 15
mid-May (Block 1) January 2 January 15
early September (Block 5) April 1 April 15

Materials to Submit Prior to the Application Deadline

Please mail all application materials to the address listed below. Please do not staple your documents. 

  • A non-refundable application fee of $50* in the form of bank check or money order made payable to “Veterinary Clinical Sciences”
  • Completed application form
  • Letter of intent
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of passport
  • Photocopy of DVM (or equivalent) degree
  • Transcript of grades from veterinary school (translated)
  • Copy of BCSE or NAVLE test score results
  • TOEFL test results (or equivalent) or proof of high school education in English
  • Three letters of reference from instructors at your veterinary school or veterinary professionals you have worked with since graduation.**

*If an applicant is not accepted for the initial term, the $50 application fee will be rolled over for 2 more terms. After this time, an applicant must resubmit their application packet and a new $50 application fee.

**Letters of reference should accompany the application materials.

Mailing Address for Application Materials


Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

1909 Skip Bertman Drive

Baton Rouge, LA 70803-8410



Application materials received before the deadline will be considered by a selection committee. During consideration of the package, individuals who provide references may be contacted to obtain information about the candidate and the candidate may be called for a telephone interview.

Enrollment and Visa

Participants will be enrolled in LSU as full-time students. Assistance in acquisition of a Form I-20 through the LSU International Services Office will be available for participants eligible for an F-1 student visa. All visa expenses are the responsibility of the candidate. In order to apply for an OPT visa you must be enrolled in two consecutive, full time semesters (2 semester ECFVG Program available, see PAVE page).


Participants will pay the LSU non-resident Veterinary Medicine tuition fee for one semester (or two semesters, depending on desired program length). The current best-estimate of fees can be viewed at the LSU Tuition & Fees webpage (or search the LSU webpage for "Tuition & Fees"). This rate does not include additional student fees and it is subject to change. Fees must be paid in full at the beginning of each semester in the program. The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine does not handle loan applications. Dismissal from the program will not qualify participants for a refund of fees. 

After students have been officially accepted into the PAVE or ECFVG program, a non-refundable down payment of $500 must be sent to the LSU SVM Student Affairs office with the Admissions Form made payable to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine (money order or cashier's check). Payment must be received within five days of being accepted into the program. The $500 fee will be applied to the program tuition. Should there be a postponement of the program the $500 deposit will be lost, however the application packet and application fee will be carried over to the following program start date, however another $500 tuition deposit will be required.


The clinical experience follows the block schedule of the clinical training curriculum where students rotate through various clinical disciplines on a regular basis. The sequence of rotation through the various blocks is dependent on scheduling limitations.


During the time at LSU, trainees will accept the same duties as those required of LSU students in the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. During the Externship phase of the program, trainees are expected to follow the standards of behavior and performance as set by the individual practices/facilities they are assigned to.


During the Clinical Training Program, trainees must fulfill the requirements of each block rotation including the requirement for perfect attendance. Participants must recognize that they will be enrolled in courses as a full-time student. Failure to comply with attendance regulations could result in dismissal from the program with loss of visa status and no recourse for reimbursement of fees. For foreign nationals, unauthorized absences longer than 3 days must be reported to the LSU International Services Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

Orientation and Probationary Period

LSU recognizes that it takes time to organize personal matters such as accommodation, transportation, etc. when first arriving in Baton Rouge. For this reason, participants are expected to arrive and be present for orientation 1 week prior to the start date of their training program. Following the start of the program, participants will be observed for a 4 week probationary period. Satisfactory performance during this period will result in final acceptance into the program.

Performance Evaluation

As enrolled full-time students, participants will be evaluated at the end of each clinical rotation. No diploma or certification from LSU will be issued at the end of the Clinical Training Program.

International Hospitality Foundation at LSU

The International Hospitality Foundation (IHF) links the Baton Rouge community and LSU's international students in friendship and intercultural exchange. Founded in 1960 as a non-profit organization, IHF has fostered global understanding for more than 50 years through its programs: (1) Matches Friendship Families with students in non-residential program: hosts invite students for a meal, include them in activities approximately monthly, as time permits for student and host, (2) Organizes party to welcome new students in the fall and spring semesters, (3) Arranges for students to address local clubs, schools, and churches about their home culture, (4) Coordinates community orientation/shopping tours each semester and (5)  Sponsors a Loan Closet for students to borrow or purchase at minimal cost household items during their stay here. Donations of good serviceable items from the community are needed.


The Clinical Training Program is designed to assist participants in their preparation for the ECFVG Clinical Proficiency Examination. However, Louisiana State University, the School of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences do not guarantee that participants will pass the CPE and accept no responsibility for participants who fail the CPE. Program requirements may change with annual review.