Pre-Veterinary Medicine Advising
Veterinarians play a major role in the healthcare of pets, livestock, and zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals. Some veterinarians use their skills to protect humans against diseases carried by animals and conduct clinical research on human and animal health problems. Others work in basic research, broadening the scope of fundamental theoretical knowledge, and in applied research, developing new ways to use knowledge.
Most veterinarians perform clinical work in private practices. More than 50 percent of these veterinarians predominately, or exclusively treat small animals. Small-animal practitioners usually care for companion animals, such as dogs and cats, but also treat birds, reptiles, rabbits, and other animals that can be kept as pets. About one-fourth of all veterinarians work in mixed animal practices, where they see pigs, goats, sheep, and some nondomestic animals in addition to companion animals. Veterinarians in clinical practice diagnose animal health problems; vaccinate against diseases, such as distemper and rabies; medicate animals suffering from infections or illnesses; treat and dress wounds; set fractures; perform surgery; and advise owners about animal feeding, behavior, and breeding.
Prospective veterinarians must graduate with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree from a 4-year program at an accredited college of veterinary medicine and must obtain a license to practice. Many of these colleges do not require a bachelor’s degree for entrance, but all require a significant number of credit hours—ranging from 45 to 90 semester hours—at the undergraduate level. However, most of the students admitted have completed an undergraduate program. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree face a difficult task gaining admittance.
In admittance decisions, some veterinary medical colleges place heavy consideration on a candidate’s veterinary and animal experience. Formal experience, such as work with veterinarians or scientists in clinics, agribusiness, research, or some area of health science, is particularly advantageous. Less formal experience, such as working with animals on a farm or ranch or at a stable or animal shelter, also is helpful. Students must demonstrate ambition and an eagerness to work with animals.
- Biology I & II
- Chemistry I & II
- Organic Chemistry I & II
- Physics I & II
Additional courses may be required in:
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II
- Cell Biology
- Animal Biology
- Animal Nutrition
- Vertebrate Embryology
- Systemic Physiology
Required Admissions Exam:
Applicants must submit test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), depending on the preference of the college to which they are applying.
The Psychological Corporation
Veterinary College Admission Test
P.O. Box 96152
Chicago, Illinois 60693