Preparing for Admission to Veterinary School
This is a summary. Check individual program details here. You should visit a program’s own website if you want to view additional information.
Note: Many veterinary schools state a minimum GPA, but not everyone attaining that GPA will be admitted, and those admitted generally have very high (>3.75 GPA).
Take these courses in your first three years at UIU (required by most veterinary schools as prerequisites for admission):
- Principles of Biology I (BIO 135)
- Principles of Biology II (BIO 140)
- Microbiology (BIO 210)
- General Genetics (BIO 283)
- Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 381)
- General Chemistry I (CHEM 151)
- General Chemistry II (CHEM 152)
- Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 251)
- Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 252)
- Biochemistry (CHEM 330)
- Physics I + Lab (PHY 111 & 112)
- Physics II + Lab (PHY 113 & 114)
- Trig/Analytic Geometry (MATH 115) and/or Calculus (MATH 120)
- Statistics (MATH 220)
Other recommended or required courses vary, but may include:
- Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 381)
- Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 270)
- Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 275)
Additional courses to earn a major if you complete all the courses listed above, your general education courses (and earn 120 total credit hours):
Biology (Pre-Prof/Health Sci Emphasis):
- Evolution (BIO 340)
- Scientific Literature Skills (BIO 201)
- Thesis I (BIO 398)
- Thesis II (BIO 498)
- 2 hrs BIO 3XX or higher
- Scientific Literature Skills (CHEM 201)
- Calculus I (MATH 120)
- Calculus II (MATH 200)
- Calculus III (MATH 210)
- Physical Chemistry II (CHEM 302)
- Quantitative Analysis (CHEM 220)
- Chemistry Research I (CHEM 391)
- Chemistry Research II (CHEM 491)
- 12 hrs of approved CHEM electives (CHEM 301, 325, 331, 335, 361, 401, 410, 431, 471)
While earning excellent grades is essential for admission to veterinary school, it is not the only thing you will need to do. You should strive to obtain experience in veterinary settings during your college career. This might include experiences that you do for credit (BIO 303 Experience in Health Science Careers) or on a voluntary basis, and will likely include job-shadowing.
Research experience is also a great way to make your application to veterinary school stand out. There are a multitude of summer research fellowships available. Deadlines are usually fall/winter for research experiences the following summer. This is a good website with links to lots of different programs: http://people.rit.edu/gtfsbi/Symp/premed.htm
Veterinary schools are looking for students that are not only strong academically, but that also exhibit the character traits desirable in a veterinarian. Put simply, they are looking for an academically strong student who exhibits strong interpersonal skills and is a caring individual, tuned into the needs of their patients and their community. For this reason, it is important to seek out opportunities to get involved in community service as you build your resume. You should seek opportunities that you are sincerely interested in that will enrich your application with information about your character. This may include veterinary-related activities (volunteering at a vet clinic or shelter, for example), but it need not be related (working with the homeless, coaching a youth sports team, etc.).
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Most veterinary schools require you to take the GRE. Consult individual schools for guidelines and minimum scores. Plan to complete the GRE in the summer between your junior and senior years.
The deadlines for application vet school is September 15 of each year, but you may apply beginning in May. Applications are submitted through a centralized application service, VMCAS (http://aavmc.org/Students-Applicants-and-Advisors/Veterinary-Medical-College-Application-Service.aspx), and will include your detailed academic record, experiences, and letters of reference from faculty and veterinarians whom you have shadowed.