The Georgia Aquarium provides veterinary students with the unique opportunity to gain experience in the field of aquatic animal medicine at one of the largest aquariums in the world. We are fortunate to have a nutritionist, full commissary staff, a water chemist, and a team of veterinary and laboratory technicians. There are four full time clinical veterinarians and a veterinary resident. Through a partnership with the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine, we have an established an aquatic veterinary pathology program as well as a growing clinical partnership with the zoological medicine service. The Georgia Aquarium has a state of the art veterinary hospital with equipment comparable to that found at a teaching hospital or specialty practice.

Preceptorships/externships lasting a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of 6 weeks are available. Preference will be given to 3rd and 4th-year students, but all students may apply. Work hours are typically 7:30–5:00 but may vary depending on the medical needs of the collection. The work week will be Monday through Friday. However, students should be flexible if asked to work on their weekend days.

Low-cost housing may be available but should not be expected. Students should provide their own transportation to and from the aquarium. There is limited public transportation. A current tetanus vaccination and health insurance are required.

Students will spend time working in the commissary, water quality laboratory, diagnostic laboratory, quarantine, and will assist in performing necropsies as well as assisting with clinical cases. Individuals are expected to complete a research or special project and give a PowerPoint presentation during the last week of the preceptorship. We will provide both required and recommended reading lists intended to broaden the student’s knowledge base in aquatic animal husbandry and clinical care.

Applications for the academic year Fall 2019 through Spring 2020 are due by October 1, 2018. All applicants will receive notification regarding final decisions by December 1. There are some dates externships may not be available so please provide 3 different sets of dates.

Required application materials:

  • Letter of intent
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • Veterinary School transcript, electronic copy (unofficial is acceptable)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • 3 sets of available dates in order of preference

Submit to with “Vet Extern Program” in the subject line.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. It is the student’s responsibility to check that their information packet is complete. Your application will be reviewed by Dr. Alexa McDermott, Dr. Chelsea Anderson, and Dr. Tonya Clauss.

For additional questions or inquiries, please e-mail: