department menu

Veterinary Medicine

The AAVMC states that besides medical skills, veterinarians often take a holistic approach to human well-being and animal welfare that, combined with communications and problem-solving skills, makes veterinarians uniquely qualified to fulfill a variety of roles. Many veterinarians, of course, provide care for companion animals through private medical practices, but veterinarians are also involved in promoting the health and welfare of farm animals, exotic animals, working animals (like those in the equine industry), and those that need a healthy environment in which to thrive, whether that environment is a rain forest, a desert or even the ocean.

´╗┐Planning to pursue veterinary medicine is a big decision. While the vet school application process is highly competitive, it is not impossible with hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Veterinary schools' admissions officers look for a competitive GPA and GRE scores, along with a variety of animal experiences. Many pre-vet students choose an animal science or animal biology major, but pre-vet students can major in anything, as long as the prerequisite coursework is completed. In whatever courses you take, you should be achieving at a minimum 3.0, although this minimum would not suffice for most veterinary schools.

Each veterinary school requires different amounts of experience. For example, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine requires 180 hours of veterinary, animal and health-related experience, while Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine requires at least 500 hours of hands-on experience. Many pre-vet students strive to acquire thousands of hours of experience, but we warn you to do so carefully. Gaining so many hours will not help you in the admissions process if your GPA falls under a competitve range. Build a strong GPA, then begin adding in a diverse set of experiences. Pre-vet students must manage their time carefully.