Becoming a Veterinarian in Cambodia

Becoming a Veterinarian in Cambodia: The Royal University of Agriculture

We have seen a rumor passed around on Social Media, that there are no veterinary schools, in Cambodia. However, this is not true. there is the Royal University of Agriculture, in Phnom Penh, that has been established since the mid-twentieth century. The university has been awarding diplomas at the Baccalaureate, Masters, and Doctorate levels in a number of fields, including veterinary medicine. Becoming a veterinarian in Cambodia has been possible, for decades.

The History of RUA

The Royal University of Agronomy Science was founded in 1964 by King Norodom Sihanouk, a revered ruler, with his country’s people, and their success, as his main priority. It was one of  nine royal universities established to improve Cambodian higher education, and development. However, the university was tragically closed, during the violent Democratic Kampuchea, or Khmer Rouge regime, from 1975 to 1979. Higher education in Cambodia was not possible, during those years.

In 1980, as the beleaguered country’s people worked to regain all they had lost during Pol Pot’s invasion and near-genocide, the university was reopened. The new name was the Institute of Agricultural Education. It was used to educate government staff to work in fields such as forestry, animal production, veterinary medicine, crop production, and agricultural machinery. Taking college classes, working toward becoming a veterinarian in Cambodia, was once again possible. In 1984, it became known as Institute of Agricultural Technology. It offered bachelor’s degrees in AgronomyAnimal Science and Veterinary MedicineAgricultural EngineeringForestry and Fishery. Professors assisting from abroad, were from the Soviet Union so all lectures were taught in Russian. Soviet Union support ended in 1990, so the curriculum was converted to Khmer language.

In 1994, it officially changed the name to Royal University of Agriculture (RUA). The curriculum expanded, by offering additional bachelor’s degree programs. In 2002, graduate degree programs in agricultural science-related majors were made available.


The Royal University of Agriculture is accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. RUA offers Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate degrees. Cambodia’s human resources needs are supplied by those programs, in the fields of agriculture and rural development. Two of those being the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the Faculty of Animal Science. Many have taken advantage of the programs aimed toward becoming a veterinarian in Cambodia, and some have now graduated, opening practices in different provinces.

Written by Dianne M. and Cindy C.

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