Pre-Veterinary Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Pre-veterinary programs are designed to prepare students for veterinary school. Pre-veterinary courses can be completed alongside any major. In addition to coursework, students may consider gaining experience in veterinary medicine.
How to Select a Pre-Veterinary School
While pre-veterinary majors aren't available, students may select a related major and complete the prerequisites for veterinary school. A degree in science isn't required but the courses and labs commonly required by veterinary schools include biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics and microbiology. Students may want to check that a prospective school has a strong science departments to ensure that they receive adequate preparation.
Veterinary programs are highly competitive and typically prefer to admit individuals with hands-on experience over those without it. Prospective students should look for a pre-veterinary school that offers the opportunity to complete an internship at a local veterinary clinic, animal shelter, zoo or farm or offers guidance in finding such placements. Some schools may have on-campus facilities for students to gain experience with animals, including farms and veterinary facilities.
Students may also look for research opportunities related to veterinary medicine. While some schools may not offer research that deals specifically with animals, students may complete research in areas like microbiology. Students may investigate the type of research being performed by faculty members.
Students may look for certificate programs in areas closely related to veterinary medicine, such as animal health management, which may supplement a bachelor's program. These programs may offer coursework specific to a certain type of animal, as well as related courses in topics like immunology and epidemiology.
Pre-Veterinary Program Overview
A pre-veterinary course of study includes science and math courses along with the general education requirements. It usually takes three years to complete the requirements and a student may apply to veterinary school as soon as the requirements are met, even if they have not yet completed a bachelor's degree. Upperclassmen may have the best chances at landing research and volunteer opportunities.
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