What Are the Prerequisites for Veterinary School?

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Gaining entrance to veterinary school is no simple task. The process is highly competitive and based on a number of factors including grade point average, completing prerequisite courses, fieldwork with animals, test scores and leadership capabilities. Since there is no standard list of prerequisite courses for vet school, students should be familiar with the requirements for the schools they intend to apply to. However, there are some general guidelines about what courses are most often required.

Academic Requirements

  • Most veterinary schools don't require a bachelor's degree, but they generally request between 60 and 90 semester hours, or two to three years of full-time college work. A grade point average of at least 3.0 is recommended to apply at most schools. Different schools have different requirements regarding testing. Some want GRE (Graduate Record Examination) tests; others request specific subject tests such as the Biology GRE. Some schools will accept the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) instead of GRE results.

Course Requirements

  • Different universities will have slightly different course requirements, but the following is a list of typically required courses for veterinary schools: general or inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, general biology, microbiology, math/statistics, English composition, speech, humanities/social sciences and other electives. All science courses should include a lab. For the best chances of getting accepted, take the courses at a challenging four-year university.

Experience

  • Experience is an important part of the requirements for veterinary school. Acceptable forms of experience include any type of work with animals, whether with a shelter, zoo or 4-H, and should also include work with a veterinarian in some capacity. A varied resume of work experience is most desirable. Also, you will need to provide letters of recommendation are required from professors or those who supervised your work experiences. Examples of leadership experience are also helpful.

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