WCS offers three different externship programs:
More details about these programs and how to apply can be found in their respective sections below.
Please note that for ALL of these programs, the following policies apply:
Although not required as a condition of participation, we highly recommend participants in these programs have an up-to-date TB test and current vaccinations for rabies, tetanus, and COVID. If documentation of receiving these tests/vaccinations is not provided, there will be limitations in participants' ability to fully take part in the experience, including not being able to have close contact or work with some species that we care for.
The Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS's) Zoological Health Program has agreements with several educational organizations to cooperate with them for their students to participate in our Externship Programs on an ongoing basis. However, as of 17 November 2022, WCS's Zoological Health Programs made a decision not to enter into new externships, internships, placements, training or similar agreements with any university, college or other educational institution with which it didn't already have a pre-existing agreement or with which we will not be establishing an ongoing cooperation. However, we continue to accept externship applications using a WCS student agreement form. Before applying for an Externship with WCS, please confirm your eligibility by checking to see whether your educational institution requires a written agreement with WCS, since such a requirement will, if the agreement was submitted after this date, result in your ineligibility to participate in an Externship at WCS. The two foregoing sentences do not apply where a pre-existing written agreement exists between your educational institution and WCS or when use of the WCS student agreement form is sufficient. If you believe your school has an existing agreement with WCS, please contact WCS by sending an email to Meredith Barton (email@example.com) before applying for a WCS Externship so that WCS can confirm that an agreement is in effect.
Zoological Medicine and Surgery Veterinary Student Externship
WCS’s Clinical department offers four- to eight-week externships in zoological medicine and surgery for senior veterinary students. The externships take place at the Wildlife Health Center on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo. Students may also participate in clinical rotations at the Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park zoos. Externships expose students to a variety of clinical cases including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and terrestrial and marine mammals. The students will observe all facets of wildlife health care, including preventive medicine, daily medical and surgical care, clinical rounds, anesthesia, medical record-keeping, quarantine procedures, clinical pathology interpretation, and broader captive and free-ranging population conservation issues. During the rotation, students may be invited to prepare and present a topic to the Wildlife Health Center staff.
Applications are accepted for clinical year externships from July 1 through October 15 of your JUNIOR year. These applications will then be reviewed and students will be notified of the results by the end of the current year. Due to the great interest in the program, applications cannot be accepted or processed at other times.
About Our Zoological Medicine and Surgery Veterinary Externship Program
2024-2025 Zoological Medicine & Surgery Veterinary Student Externship Application
Aquatic Medicine and Surgery Veterinary Student Externship
WCS’s Aquatic Animal Health department offers three- to six-week externships (four-week preferable) in aquatic medicine, surgery, and pathology for senior veterinary students from AVMA-accredited veterinary schools. The externships take place at the Aquatic Animal Health Center at the New York Aquarium. Students will also spend time within the Water Quality Laboratory and with Animal Care teams. Externships expose students to a variety of clinical cases including fish, elasmobranchs, penguins, and marine mammals. The students will observe all facets of aquatic health care, including preventive medicine, daily medical and surgical care, clinical rounds, anesthesia, quarantine procedures, water quality evaluation, clinical and anatomic pathology interpretation. During the rotation, students will be required to prepare and present a short project or topic to the Aquatic Health and Animal Care staff.
Applications are accepted for clinical year externships from July 1st through November 15th of your JUNIOR year. These applications will then be reviewed and students will be notified of the results usually by the end of December. Due to the great interest in the program, applications cannot be accepted or processed at other times.
About Our Aquatic Medicine and Surgery Veterinary Externship Program
Aquatic Veterinary Externship: Frequently Asked Questions
Aquatic Veterinary Externship: Application Form
Veterinary Technician Student Externship
WCS’s Clinical department offers full-time, 16-week veterinary technician externships in Zoological Medicine and Surgery for senior veterinary technician students from accredited veterinary technician schools. The primary location of the externships is the Wildlife Health Center at the Bronx Zoo. The externship exposes students to a great variety of clinical cases and laboratory samples from fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and terrestrial and marine mammals. Students will observe and participate in all facets of wildlife healthcare and associated veterinary technical skills—including preventive medicine, daily medical and surgical care, clinical rounds, anesthesia, medical record-keeping, quarantine procedures, and clinical laboratory analysis. Application deadlines are July 15 (fall semester), November 15 (spring semester), and April 15 (summer semester).
For information about our Veterinary Technician Externship program and how to apply, please reach out to the program administrator, Meredith Barton (she/her/hers), at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Veterinary and Vet Technician Student Externships thumbnail image photo credit: D McAloose, WCS