Pre-Veterinary | Kent State University

Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians are trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of medical conditions in all types of animals. They work in a variety of settings ranging from: private practice, animal research laboratories, governmental organizations (National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration), teaching/academia, public health, zoos, and shelters. 


  • Would you enjoy working with animals, including those who are sick or injured?
  • Would you enjoy working with the people who own the animals?
  • Do you enjoy science classes and learning about biology, chemistry, physiology, and biochemistry?
  • Are you willing to dedicate yourself to excelling in your studies while gaining a great deal of experience working with animals?
  • Are you willing to be in school for four additional years beyond your undergraduate degree?


First Year

  • Become familiar with general prerequisite courses necessary for admission to vet school.
  • Select a major that interests you and work prerequisite courses into your curriculum.
  • Start to build relationships with your professors by visiting them during office hours to discuss your progress in the class and your long term goals.
  • Attend tutoring or supplemental instruction, if available, for any courses you find challenging to establish a strong GPA.
  • If you have not already done so, start gaining meaningful experience working with animals of all types and sizes. It is very likely you will be volunteering your time and will not be paid. Consider contacting animal shelters, sanctuaries, zoos, private veterinary practices, and farms to find out if they will allow you to shadow or volunteer. 
  • Become involved on your college campus. This should include participation in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club.

Second Year

  • Continue keeping a strong GPA and building relationships with faculty.
  • Consider becoming involved in undergraduate research.
  • Gain more experience working with animals both large and small.
  • Start researching vet schools to which you will likely apply and add any specific prerequisite courses they require into your remaining semesters.
  • If you have not already developed a professional relationship with a veterinarian, do so now.

Third Year

  • Most veterinary colleges require the Graduate Record Exam. A handful of schools accept the GRE or the MCAT. Start preparing for the test and plan on taking it spring or summer of the junior year. Send test scores directly to the schools to which you will be applying.
  • As part of your application, you will need to submit letters of recommendation. You should plan on requesting letters from at least two of your professors. Ideally, one letter should come from a science professor. It is also recommended that you submit a letter from a veterinarian by whom you have been employed or shadowed. Make certain you have built meaningful relationships with the individuals from whom you will be requesting letters.
  • Request official transcripts through FlashLine.

Fourth Year

  • VMCAS application materials are due by September 15 of the year prior to admission. Individual schools may require supplemental application materials. Check with the schools for deadlines.
  • Send fall and spring transcripts directly to the schools to which you have applied.
  • Plan on interviews in January and February. Most schools will inform you of admittance in March.

Students accepted to vet schools come from a variety of academic backgrounds; there is no particular major that is better than another. What it is most important is that you do well in your courses and display an intellectual curiosity. Many students who plan on a career in veterinary medicine select a Zoology major.


The degree earned in vet school is either a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Veterinary Medical Doctorate (VMD). Functionally, the degrees are the same and they both take four years to complete.


Veterinary medical schools have somewhat different sets of prerequisite courses necessary for admission. The courses offered by Kent State University that are most frequently required are listed below. Please consult with the individual schools are you are considering for their specific course prerequisites.


  • CHEM 10060 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 10062 General Chemistry I Laboratory
  • CHEM 10061 General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 10063 General Chemistry II Laboratory
  • CHEM 20481 Basic Organic Chemistry I
    • OR: CHEM 30481 Organic Chemistry I
  • Pair CHEM 20481 or CHEM 30481 with:
    • CHEM 30475 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory

Some schools may require additional organic chemistry:

  • CHEM 20482 Basic Organic Chemistry II
    • OR: CHEM 30482 Organic Chemistry II
  • Pair CHEM 20482 or CHEM 30482 with:
    • CHEM 30476 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory

Most schools require one semester of biological chemistry:

  • CHEM 30284 Introductory Biological Chemistry
    • OR: CHEM 40245 Biochemical Foundations of Medicine


  • BSCI 10110 Biological Diversity
  • BSCI 10120 Biological Foundations
  • BSCI 30140 Cell Biology
  • BSCI 30156 Genetics
  • BSCI 30171 General Microbiology


  • PHY 13001 General College Physics
  • PHY 13012 General College Physics Laboratory
  • PHY 13002 General College Physics
  • PHY 13022 General College Physics Laboratory


  • MATH 30011 Basic Probability and Statistics
    • OR: MATH 12022 Probability and Statistics for Life Sciences


  • MATH 11010 Algebra for Calculus AND MATH 11022 Trigonometry


  • MATH 12002 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I OR MATH 12012 Calculus for Life Sciences

Additional Courses Frequently Required:

Communications Courses:

  • COMM 15000 Introduction to Human Communication


  • BSCI 40174 Immunology

Physiology Courses:

  • BSCI 40430 Animal Physiology

Animal Nutrition or Animal Science Courses:

Not offered through KSU, but may be taken transient with prior approval through Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University and University of Kentucky.

View the Pre-Veterinary Medicine adivisng program here.


The Graduate Record Exam is offered at test site all around the world. The GRE covers:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Analytical reasoning

Preparation materials can be found here.