Pre Vet Schools and College Programs

While you will find a lot of information on pre-veterinary schools and degrees this is not an actual degree in itself. Most pre-veterinary degrees are bachelor's degrees in biology or animal sciences with a pre-vet specialization. If you major in biology you will want to take specialization classes such as animal behavior, anatomy and physiology of domestic animals, comparative anatomy, embryology, histology and parasitology.

A bachelor's degree in a related field is the basic prerequisite for most of the 28 veterinary schools in the United States. At times the equivalent amount of college credit hours will also suffice: ranging from 45 to 90 semester hours at an undergraduate level. Most applicants will have a bachelor's degree though so it's best to have one. Admission into a veterinary program is extremely competitive, so planning ahead is essential. Only about one in three applicants are accepted per year. It is wise to speak with your advisor to make sure you are doing everything possible to prepare for veterinary school. If you are attending a college or university that offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, many times the school will have a pre-veterinary counselor or advisor who will work with undergraduate students.

Classes for a Pre Veterinarian School Program

There is a core of courses required by veterinary colleges and universities. Prerequisite courses they typically require are organic and inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, general biology, animal biology, cellular biology, microbiology, animal nutrition, vertebrate embryology, genetics, zoology, and systemic physiology. Most programs will also require courses in math, English, social sciences and other humanities. Some programs require statistics, while others require calculus, some require genetics while others require microbiology. So remember to check with each school that you might apply to. General business management and business courses are a recent prerequisite for many applicants. Most veterinarians will start their own practice someday and they will need to have a basic understanding of effectively running a business.

When applying to veterinary schools you will need to complete the VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Services) application. The Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC) website has a plethora of information for students completing this application. The deadline to complete this application is October 3rd of every year. You will need to submit your test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), dependent upon the preference of the school to which you are applying. The majority of schools require the GRE test. At the current time 22 schools require the GRE, 4 require the VCAT, and only 2 require the MCAT. Many schools also require their own supplemental application and letters of evaluation or recommendation in regards to their animal/veterinary/biomedical experiences.

AVMA (Association of American Veterinary Colleges) is the accrediting body for all veterinary programs. Graduation from an accredited college is required for licensure in all the states. AVMA also has a list of the accredited schools on their website and you can follow the links to each school. This will enable you to research the requirements for each school.