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.
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.
IS THIS CAREER RIGHT FOR YOU?
- 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?
- 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 to build 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.
- Get involved on campus. This should include participation in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club.
- Maintain a strong GPA and continue to build relationships with faculty.
- Consider getting involved in undergraduate research through your department.
- 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.
- 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 to take it spring or summer of your third 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 to request 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 to be sent to VMCAS through FlashLine.
- 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 specific 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.