NAVLE Information - Obtaining a License to Practice

*** Information found on the official ICVA NAVLE website supersedes all information noted elsewhere in this document pertaining to the NAVLE®. ***

It is the students' responsibility to familiarize themselves on what is required to register for the North American Veterinary Licensure Examination (NAVLE). Passage of the NAVLE is required in order to obtain a veterinary license to practice veterinary medicine in North America. The process to register, schedule, pay, and sit for the NAVLE is summarized here:

In general, there can be no more than ten (10) months from the end of the testing cycle window and the expected graduation date of a senior/4th year student enrolled in an AVMA accredited veterinary program.

Three states (California, Texas, and New York) only allow an eight (8) month separation between the close of testing and graduation. Regardless, utilizing the 8- or 10-month graduation window, those students scheduled to graduate from LMU-CVM in May are expected to take the NAVLE for the first time during the fall window.

Students must complete their entire NAVLE application prior to the published deadlines. LMU-CVM does not have the ability to assist students in deadline extension. It is recommended that you start working on your NAVLE and licensing application at least 2 months prior to the deadline. The deadline is usually around late July/early August to register for the fall NAVLE administration.

The LMU-CVM curriculum provides a three-week block known as the NAVLE block (CVM-776 is a 3-credit required course) for students to complete preparations and sit for the NAVLE. The requirements of the NAVLE block course include registering for the Fall administration of the NAVLE, completion of a NAVLE Self­ Assessment exam through ICVA, and coursework in a NAVLE preparation program such as VetPrep® or Zuku®. Details and any other requirements for the course are listed in the CVM-776 syllabus.

It is expected that the student will register and schedule to take the NAVLE during the three-week designated NAVLE block time, so no clinical rotation time is lost due to testing. If a student is not able to sit for the examination during the Fall NAVLE block, but takes it during a clinical rotation, the student must request a leave of absence for the date they will take the examination. The procedure to request a leave of absence is explained elsewhere in this handbook.

Some states process their professional licenses directly through the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA), while others require a reporting of the NAVLE scores to the state board for professional licensing. Depending on the state in which the student wishes to be licensed, the student may need to apply directly to the state for licensing. For those states, two applications are required in order to apply the NAVLE scores to licensing. The first application is to the ICVA to register for the NAVLE itself. The second application is to the state or state-approved licensing entity (if it is not the ICVA). For more information on individual state requirements or to apply for a license through the ICVA, visit this link: