Summer Volunteer Program

“The summer volunteer team is a great way to see unique cases you might never encounter during the academic year, gain clinical experience, and form bonds with fantastic people.” 

– Mackenzie Wells, Class of 2024

The Summer volunteer application is OPEN NOW, and will close on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Please read through the FAQ’s to learn more about the program and how to apply

About the Summer Volunteer Program

As a nonprofit, volunteer organization we look to students to help manage the clinic and fulfill our mission between school years.

Volunteers work under the supervision of the Wildlife Medical Clinic director, house officers, the two student managers and summer interns. This summer volunteer team is responsible for the care of the orphan patients that are admitted to the clinic. Summer student volunteers also have the opportunity to observe clinical procedures and participate in daily activities in the clinic. Groups can vary in size but will be around twelve to sixteen members.

Dates of the Program

The program begins the Saturday after finals (May 11) and goes through the Friday before school starts in August (August 25). Volunteers must sign up for a minimum of 4 shifts per week which is about 20 to 25 hours in the clinic a week, but volunteers are always encouraged to sign up for more to gain additional experience.

Summer Volunteer FAQ

Are the hours flexible?

Yes, we have three shifts available per day and volunteers can sign up for shifts that work best for your schedule.

7:30 AM-11AM, 11:30AM-3:30PM, and 5PM-9PM.


Is this a paid position?

No. The Wildlife Medical Clinic is a non-profit student volunteer-based organization. There is no paid or stipend for this position.

Will there be housing provided?

The Wildlife Medical Clinic will not be providing housing options for the duration of this program.

Qualifications and Requirements

Please read carefully, these are required to volunteer.


  • Who can apply?

Applicants must be over the age of 18 and actively enrolled in higher education institutions. Priority will be given to University of Illinois students. Non-U of I students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Must have a current rabies vaccination

All volunteers must complete a full set of rabies vaccinations to participate in the summer program (series of 2 vaccinations). At least one vaccination needs to be completed before the program begins in May. Any volunteer that fails to obtain both vaccinations within one month of the start of the program will be dismissed. This is to ensure the safety of all students volunteering at the WMC.


Volunteers must maintain rabies vaccination currency during their entire tenure at the WMC. The 2-series rabies vaccination is considered “current” for two years, after which a rabies titer must be performed to determined need for a booster. Rabies titer results are accepted in place of proof of vaccination if the vaccines were administered more than two years prior to the start of the program


The rabies vaccination series can be completed through the University of Illinois Mckinley Health Services. Additional information can be found at:

We understand that some students may have financial constraints, so we will allow students to submit all other application materials first, receive conditional approval, and then begin their rabies series. Our deadlines provide applicants enough time to complete all requirements before the beginning of the program

  • Must submit one letter of recommendation

The letter of recommendation should focus on animal experience, leadership and management skill, and maturity. The letter should be from an individual familiar with your interest in and experience with animals.

  • Must submit an updated resume and personal statement

Your resume should reflect previous animal-related experience and interest in veterinary medicine and/or wildlife. A brief personal statement (less than one page) should outline your motivation and goals for volunteering at the WMC.

  • Must have a method of transportation to the WMC

A personal automobile is preferred. In the absence of a personal automobile, bus access is acceptable. Bicycles are also an acceptable mode of transportation during the summer months.

  • Fees

There is no fees associated with the program.

For non-University of Illinois students, you are responsible for obtaining a university card (i-card) prior to the start of the program after acceptance. There will be a small fee associated with the process.


Requirements to Stay a Volunteer Once Accepted 

Must attend orientation (online) before the start of the program. Must complete the minimum number of required shifts per week and demonstrate reliability.

Volunteers must sign up for a minimum of 4 shifts. There will be three shifts available per day: 7:30 AM-11AM, 11:30AM-3:30PM, and 5PM-9PM. Total hours will be roughly 15-20 hours per week, but volunteers are always encouraged to sign up for more than the minimum to gain more experience. Volunteers sign up for shifts that work best with their schedules, so there is usually quite a bit of flexibility.