Veterinary Preceptorship

The preceptorship program at the Shedd Aquarium offers exposure to the veterinary management of a large and diverse collection of fishes, marine mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, nonmarine mammals and invertebrates. Students work closely with the veterinary staff (includes three veterinarians, a veterinary resident, four veterinary technicians, staff microbiologist and water-quality personnel). Responsibilities are assigned based on each student’s level of interest and aptitude. Students must complete a project, which will be determined in the first week of the preceptorship. A full-service aquatic sciences library is available to students on site. Please note that student housing and stipends are not available. Some students have been able to arrange boarding accommodations with Shedd employees, but this is uncommon.

Decisions will be made by winter break and are provisional based on results from a mandatory background check.


Public transportation allows for fairly inexpensive and easy commuting to the aquarium. Parking is available with daily discounted passes or monthly passes.


  • Fourth-year veterinary student at time of the preceptorship
  • Four- to six-week time commitment (five days weekly, eight hours a day)
  • Negative tuberculin skin test within 60 days prior to arrival and current tetanus vaccination.
  • Student must provide vaccination history and TB test results on the first day.
  • Health insurance

Required Materials

• Letter of intent

• Resume or curriculum vitae

• Three letters of reference

• Provide at least three avalable four- to six-week blocks of time during the academic year, Sept.-May. No June, July, or August dates, please.

How to Apply

To be considered for the Veterinary Preceptorship Program, please send all required materials to:

John G. Shedd Aquarium
Veterinary Preceptorship Program 
Attn: Bridget Thornton
Volunteer Services
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL  60605

Application Deadline

Applications are due by Dec. 1 (e.g., Dec. 1, 2014, for the 2015-2016 academic year).


For more information, please e-mail