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Veterinary Externship - Preceptorship Program

The Aquarium of the Pacific is offering 4 externship/preceptorship programs in the veterinary services department for 3rd and 4th year veterinary students.

Vet tech volunteer working at a light table on an animal

Each position is a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 6 weeks depending on the students’ availability. Accepted students will train under the supervision of the veterinary and husbandry staff during administration of the facilities preventative animal healthcare program and any current medical cases. Students will be expected to develop and present a case report or review of an applicable topic in aquatic medicine to the aquarium staff. No stipend is provided. Housing and transportation are not provided and are the responsibility of the student.

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s animal collection of approximately 11,500 animals consists of pinnipeds, sea otters, marine birds, psittacine birds, raptors, reptiles, amphibians, marine fish, and invertebrates. The majority of cases presented are fish and birds. The veterinary staff consists of one full time veterinarian, one part time veterinarian, one full time veterinary technician, and one part time veterinary technician.

Positions are available January - February, March - April, August - September, November - December. Applicants must indicate which time period(s) they are available, highest ranked applicants for each time period will be selected.

The Application deadline is October 1st of the academic year prior to externship. Example: October 1, 2020 is the deadline for positions May 2021–April 2022. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by January 1.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Proof of enrollment in a college or school of veterinary medicine with 2 years completed with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (official transcript required)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of intent that details pertinent past experience and training in aquatic animal medicine, reason for pursuing aquatic animal training, future goals, and prioritized available time periods
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor or veterinarian supporting the students’ academic professionalism and demonstrated interest in aquatic animal medicine (Letter of Recommendation can be sent directly to if professor/veterinarian does not wish for it to be visible to student applying)

To Apply

When you have all necessary documents please hit the apply button below.


Penguin being examed by two staff members in the Aquarium

Volunteering at the Aquarium

The Aquarium owes much of its success to our dedicated and committed volunteer staff. You can be part of that story by joining our team in one of the many volunteer or intern programs that we offer throughout the Aquarium.