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Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians can have demanding and stressful jobs, but often derive a great deal of personal and monetary satisfaction from their position. If you are interested in a career in veterinary medicine, it is critical that you gain experience working with a wide range of animals from small to large and common to exotic.  For more information on this career path, see below. 

  • Prerequisite Coursework

    The specific prerequisite courses for veterinary medical college differ depending on the individual school. Below you will find a list of courses required at MOST schools, but it is critical that you research the requirements for each college to which you intend to apply. The list of courses by school can be in the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements published by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).


    • Two semesters of introductory biology with lab: BIO 110 and BIO 111
    • Two semesters of introductory chemistry with lab: CHEM 111 and CHEM 112
    • Two semesters of organic chemistry with lab: CHEM 331 and CHEM 332. A few schools only require one semester of organic chemistry.
    • Two semesters of physics with lab: PHYS 220 and PHYS 221. All schools require at least one semester, many require two.
    • One semester of Genetics with lab: BIO 220
    • One semester of Microbiology with lab: BIO 351
    • One semester of Biochemistry without lab: CHEM 481, a few schools require the lab and a few also require 2 semesters of biochemistry
    • Two or three semesters of English: ENG 122, SCI 291 and many other options
    • One semester of Public Speaking: COMM 100, some schools may accept this as one of the English courses
    • One semester of Nutrition: FND 250, although some schools specifically require a course in animal nutrition
    • One semester of Statistics: STAT 150
  • Timeline

    Freshman Year

    • Focus on coursework
    • Learn to be a successful student
    • Learn how to study
    • Earn a strong GPA
    • Begin working on prerequisite courses, especially BIO 110 and 111 and CHEM 111 and 112
    • Begin community service
      Shadow a veterinarian
    • Start working with a wide variety of animals in a clinical setting

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue to focus on doing well in your courses
    • Maintain a strong GPA
    • Many prevet students take BIO 220, CHEM 331 and CHEM 332 as well as PHYS 220 and PHYS 221 during their sophomore year although some will wait until the junior year to take the physics courses
    • Continue community service
    • Look for leadership opportunities
    • Continue working with animals in either a volunteer or paid position
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
    • Look for research opportunities
    • Consider who to ask for letters of recommendation

    Junior Year

    • Maintain a strong GPA
    • Finish your science prerequisites
    • Continue community service
    • Continue to work with animals
    • Continue leadership activities
    • Conduct research in your major
    • Study for the GRE
    • Take the GRE
    • Obtain letters of recommendation
    • Work on your personal essay
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
    • Fill out VMCAS in June 
    • Submit VMCAS in June or July
    • Submit letters of recommendation

    Senior Year

    • Prepare for interviews
    • Continue community service, leadership activities and working with animals
    • Continue research experience
    • Fill out and submit secondary applications
    • Meet with the prehealth advisors
    • Go to vet school interviews
  • How to Apply

    The process of applying to veterinary school starts by filling out one application that will then be sent to the schools of your choice.  For Vet programs, you will fill out the VMCAS application which includes a space for your personal essay, your coursework history, your list of activities, your GRE score, and the names of your recommenders.  This application typically opens in May so that you can begin to fill it out and then you can submit the application in early June.  For more information on filling out the application go to "link to tutorial".

    Once the schools receive your application, they will send you secondary applications which require more information and ask a series of short answer/essay questions. You will need to fill these out and then send them to each school.

    After reviewing your secondary application and letters of recommendation, the schools will then invite students for interviews. This process typically begins and September and can last through February.  For more information on how to prepare for you interview go to our informational website and view our tutorial.

    After the interview process, students will either be accepted, denied or placed on a waitlist at each school.  From here each student then must decide where he or she will attend.

  • Statistics of Successful Applicants
    Data for 2016-2017 Cycle                                                                    
    Average Overall GPA of Accepted Students 3.55
    Average Science GPA of Accepted Students 3.50
    Average GRE of Accepted Students  310
    Total Number of Applicants  7,076
    Total Number of Matriculants 3,371 
    Median Age of Matriculants  23.3
  • Other Resources