A Closer Look at Amarillo’s Vet School

Three years after opening its doors in the fall of 2021, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo celebrated its first white-coat ceremony this spring. The event marks a student’s passage from pre-clinical training to actual veterinary care—in the form of clinical rotations—on their way to working more directly with animals.

The milestone represents the school’s first steps toward fulfilling the goal that drove its existence in the first place. When it opened in northwest Amarillo, near the medical district, it represented the first new veterinary school in Texas in more than a century. It addresses a growing shortage of rural and agricultural veterinarians and has quickly become a center for research in veterinary sciences.

“There is a huge need for veterinarians in the United States,” says John Dascanio, the school’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. “We’re trying to put veterinarians into some of the underserved areas of Texas and New Mexico.”

The numbers support that need. Since opening in late 2021, the school has admitted around 100 students per class out of nearly a thousand applicants. “There’s still a big demand for programs,” he says. Texas Tech hopes to offer not just a world-class veterinary education, he explains, but one that is also affordable for students from rural, and regional communities.

With the first class of vet school students moving into the final clinical year of their four-year education, Brick & Elm toured the $90 million, 185,000-square-foot facility to better understand how students are learning in the school’s state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and clinical spaces.