Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine: Program Information
See examples of careers that graduates of bachelor's degree programs in pre-veterinary medicine can pursue, as well as these programs' curriculum and prerequisites. You can also get information on the education needed to become a licensed veterinarian.
The study of veterinary medicine typically takes place at the doctoral level. While bachelor's degrees specific to veterinary medicine don't exist, students who intend to go to veterinary school can enroll in a pre-veterinary science program. Heavily concentrated in the natural sciences, a bachelor's degree program in pre-veterinary medicine provides the foundation for students to enter a 4-year graduate-level veterinary school. Veterinary professionals diagnose and treat diseased and injured animals, as well as care for healthy animals.
There are no direct prerequisites for a pre-veterinary bachelor's degree program, but a solid science background in high school is helpful. In addition, some experience in working with animals, even as a volunteer, will be well-received on college applications.
Since this is an undergraduate degree that is specifically designed to prepare graduates for veterinary school, the coursework is extremely science-intensive. In addition to basic undergraduate degree courses, students can expect to take:
- Biology/cell biology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Organic chemistry
- Microbiology and immunology
- Advanced physics
- Mammalian physiology
- Vertebrate zoology
- Animal parasitology
Popular Career Options
Alternate career paths in veterinary science that do not require a graduate degree might include:
- Veterinary hospital manager
- Veterinary pharmaceutical industry researcher
- Animal research technician
- Animal care technician
- Meat or poultry inspector
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
With a doctorate degree and licensure, graduates can become a veterinarian. The mean annual wages for vets in May 2012 were $93,250, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau also projected the vets would see a 36% growth in employment from 2010-2020, which is much faster than average for all occupations.
The vast majority of graduates from these degree programs will go on to enter veterinary school and earn Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degrees. Most DVM graduates will become veterinarians in private practice.
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