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Veterinary Medicine

Want a career as veterinarian? Most students choose to major in biology or chemistry from UNC before going to veterinary school, but you can choose any undergraduate major.

Choosing a major outside of the sciences might extend the time it takes you to earn your degree as you'll also need to complete the graduation requirements for that major.

Contact Information

NHS Advising Center



Ross Hall, Room 1210

Course Requirements

Course requirements vary depending on your veterinary school, the following are usually required for most schools:

  • Two semesters biology with lab
  • Two semesters introductory chemistry with lab
  • Two semesters organic chemistry with lab
  • Two semesters physics with lab
  • One semester genetics with lab 
  • One semester microbiology with lab 
  • One semester biochemistry
  • Two semester or three semesters English 
  • One semester public speaking 
  • One semester nutrition 
  • One semester statistics

Illustration of footsteps


During your time here, you should do your best to stick to this timeline. It will help make sure you're ready for veterinary school.

  • First Year

    During your first year, it's important that you focus on your coursework and learn how to be a successful student. Knowing how to study and manage your time is critical and can help you earn a strong GPA. You should also:

    • Begin to work on prerequisite courses, especially both semesters of biology (BIO 110 and 111) and chemistry (CHEM 111 and 112)
    • Shadow a a veterinarian — either over breaks or during the summer
    • Join the Pre-Health Professionals Club (PHPC) student organization
    • Start working with a variety of animals in a clinical setting
  • Sophomore Year

    You should continue doing as best you can in your courses to earn a strong GPA during you sophomore year, as well as continuing to look for community service and shadowing (or other clinical experience) opportunities. You should also:

    • Take prerequisite courses:  biology (BIO 220), chemistry (CHEM 331 and 332) as well as physics (PHYS 220 and 221) 
      • Some wait until junior year to complete physic courses
    • Continue working with animals in a volunteer or paid position
    • Look for leadership and research opportunities
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor
    • Consider who to ask for letters of recommendation
  • Junior Year

    During your junior year, you should still strive to earn a strong GPA as well as continuing your community service, shadowing, experience with animals and leadership activities. You should also:

    • Finish your science prerequisite courses 
    • Study and take the GRE 
    • Conduct research in your major
    • Obtain letters of recommendation
    • Work on your personal essay
    • Meet with you pre-health advisor
    • Fill out and submit VMCAS in May —  application information below
    • Submit letters of recommendation
  • Senior Year

    You should continue your community service, shadowing, work with animals and leadership activities during your senior year, as well as continue your research experiences. You should also:

    • Fill out and submit secondary applications 
    • Meet with your pre-health advisor 
    • Go to vet school interviews

How to apply to veterinary school

Start by completing the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application. This will then be sent to the veterinary schools of your choice.

We've outlined the general process below, but you can also learn more about the VMCAS admissions process.

  1. You will need to complete and submit your application along with your official transcripts to VMCAS. Each application includes a space for your personal essay, coursework history, list of activities, GRE scores and the names of your recommenders (letters of recommendation are typically sent directly to each veterinary school).
  2. After receiving your application you will be sent a secondary application. This require more information and a series oof short answer/essay questions. Complete and submit secondary applications to each school.
  3. After reviewing your secondary application and letters of recommendation, veterinary schools may then invite you for interviews.
  4. From here, you will either be accepted, denied or placed on a waitlist for each school. The next choice is all yours!

General information about applicants

Students accepted to veterinary school typically have an overall GPA of 3.6, science GPA of 3.5 and an GRE score of 64.8 (verbal) and 54.2 (quantitative)

View admission requirements

Veterinary Medical College Application Service and Assocation of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Applications typically open in May of each year

Start Your VMCAS Application