The Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, D.V.M. programs have very high expectations of the candidates’ undergraduate preparation.
No veterinary school specifies an undergraduate major. “Pre-vet” majors at other institutions are repackaged biology degrees. All veterinary school programs require a specified set of pre-requisite coursework that we offer at Penn State Behrend. Due to the advanced biology requirement at many veterinary schools, a biology or biology related major is often pursued. Prerequisite courses for most veterinary programs include:
Although not required, many in the veterinary profession run their own practices. Business courses (3-6 credits) are strongly encouraged!
Our Pre-Health Option of our Bachelor of Science degree in Biology covers all of these pre-requisites. However other biology, chemistry and physics degree programs can easily be customized to meet these requirements. At Penn State Behrend, you will have a dedicated, personal Pre-Health Advisor who will guide you through the process!
The more rigorous the academic preparation in the sciences, the more prepared students are for advanced coursework in a veterinary school program. The student must demonstrate a consistent and high GPA as well as perform well on the MCAT.
A strong candidate for veterinary school:
Applies to 4-7 schools with a mean GPA >3.6 and a minimum GRE score (where required) of 80th percentile or better. The candidate also has 500+ hours of shadowing or work experience in a veterinary setting.
The minimum GPA considered on average is 3.3.
It is vital to have veterinary related experiences for your application. Work or volunteer in places such as a veterinary clinic, farm, zoo, wildlife park, aquarium or animal shelter. Keep a record of the time you spend in each veterinary-related experience and keep a journal about type of knowledge you gained from it. Working with a veterinarian directly will also help you decide if the career is right for you. Make sure at least one letter of recommendation is from a D.V.M. who you observed/worked with.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has a section dedicated to prospective veterinarians. This and other helpful links include:
Pre-Health Advisor for Veterinary: Beth Potter, Behrend Pre-Health
Coordinator of Pre-Health Advising: Michael W. Justik, Behrend Pre-Health