National Licensing Exam

Information about the NAVLE

Louisiana State University veterinary students can take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination during their senior year and have consistently performed well since the test was first offered in the fall of 2000. The AVMA Council on Education expects that 80% or more of each college's graduating senior students sitting for the NAVLE will have passed at the time of graduation. The pass percentage since 2001 for Louisiana State University students has always been well above this 80% benchmark.

Results by Graduating Class

  • Class of 2001 - 99% pass rate
  • Class of 2002 - 97% pass rate
  • Class of 2003 - 97% pass rate
  • Class of 2004 - 100% pass rate
  • Class of 2005 - 96% pass rate
  • Class of 2006 - 99% pass rate
  • Class of 2007 - 99% pass rate
  • Class of 2008 - 99% pass rate
  • Class of 2009 - 96% pass rate
  • Class of 2010 - 97% pass rate
  • Class of 2011 - 96% pass rate
  • Class of 2012 - 98% pass rate
  • Class of 2013 - 96% pass rate
  • Class of 2014 - 91% pass rate
  • Class of 2015 - 100% pass rate
  • Class of 2016 - 95% pass rate
  • Class of 2017 - 94% pass rate
  • Class of 2018 - 91% pass rate
  • Class of 2019 - 86% pass rate

The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) was first offered in the fall of 2000 and is the only national licensing examination used in North America that all veterinarians graduating from AVMA accredited schools must pass before they can become licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the United States or Canada. The test is offered twice a year and serves as one requirement for licensure by all states in the United States and provinces in Canada. Each state or province has additional requirements that are administered by their respective licensing boards.

The primary objectives of the NAVLE are: 

  • To provide a comprehensive objective examination to state or provincial boards charged with the licensing of veterinarians.
  • To protect the public by ensuring that veterinarians demonstrate a specified level of knowledge and skills before entering veterinary practice..
  • To assess the professional competency of veterinarians in terms of their qualifications to enter private clinical practice.
  • To provide a common standard in the evaluation of candidates that will be comparable from jurisdiction to jurisdiction .
  • To contribute to the veterinary profession through the development of improved definitions of the relationship between knowledge and professional practice.
  • To facilitate interstate/interprovincial licensing reciprocity for practicing veterinarians.

Licensure Information

To obtain a license to practice veterinary medicine in a state in the United States one must first take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). The NAVLE is offered twice a year and can be taken at earliest in November prior to graduation. To apply for the NAVLE one must apply to take the test online before August 1 of the year of testing and also apply through a State Board of Veterinary Medicine. In Louisiana the application must be done through the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine. Additional requirements for licensure in Louisiana include graduation from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine, completing an 8-week preceptorship, passing both the NAVLE and the Louisiana State Board Examination, having at least three letters of recommendation, and paying all associated fees. One cannot practice veterinary medicine until licensure is granted. One should inquire into the policies of other states in which one may intend to practice through the board of veterinary medicine in that state.