University of Vermont

Additional Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Professional Information
For Prospective Animal Science Majors

This page offers additional information that may be of interest to those students who plan to major in animal and veterinary sciences.

Elective Courses:
Former students admitted to colleges of veterinary medicine highly recommend courses in animal science such as anatomy, physiology, physiology of reproduction, endocrinology, CREAM and/or EQUUS.  Courses such as these can also introduce students to exciting possibilities for undergraduate research.

Experience with Animals:
Dog sled racing. Since veterinary medicine is animal oriented, an applicant's experience in working with animals and understanding the veterinary profession are viewed as important.  Such experience should have been obtained after the age of fifteen and could involve breeding, milking, feeding and showing various kinds of animals including pets, livestock, laboratory animals, zoo animals or wildlife.  This experience should be of appropriate breadth and depth and should entail more than routine care and feeding of companion animals.  A farm experience that includes understanding the management aspects of the enterprise is highly recommended. ASCI 134-135, CREAM , is an excellent opportunity for dairy herd management. ASCI 121-EQUUS provides an equine management option.

Experience with Veterinarians:
Most applicants to veterinary colleges will have attained experience working with a practicing veterinarian.  This should include working in a small animal hospital and traveling with a large animal specialist making farm visits. Getting both kinds of experience is most desirable.  Animal Science students are often notified of these opportunities through an e-mail list maintained by the Department.
Working with a veterinarian.Other Experiences:
Applicants with unique experiences, related to animals and otherwise, could have an advantage (everything else being equal) when applying to vet schools because it makes them stand out.  The attainment of these experiences is one more example that the applicant demonstrated initiative, drive, resourcefulness, etc.

The veterinary schools also like to see evidence of successful teaching and research experience.  Independent research of honors quality, plus experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant would strengthen any application.  Finally, veterinary schools like to see a long, continuous record of interest in, and involvement with, animals.  This can be farm, kennel, stable or veterinary experience - voluntary or paid. Many students set up an internship through the department, or go abroad for a semester. A semester abroad is an opportunity to get experience with animals and cultures that you may not otherwise be exposed to, however, you must plan early to fit it in a pre-veterinary curriculum.

Applying to Veterinary School
Students are usually required to take standardized tests prior to applying to veterinary school.  Most schools require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT).  At least 20 vet schools use the VMCAS process for the initial application. This is a standardized application process that is available on the web at . Be sure to visit it early since it can be very hard to access it right before applications are due. Many schools will ask for a supplemental application after completion of the VMCAS.

Alternative Careers with a B.S. Degree in Animal Science
Please refer to the web page “Where to – After Your Degree”. It lists many careers that are available and other places to explore career possibilities for graduates with a B.S. Degree in Animal and Veterinary Sciences.

Applying to Vet School
Possible Four-Year Program
Veterinary Medicine - Types of Careers

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Last modified January 13 2016 03:47 PM

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