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How to Become a Veterinarian

Holly and Hugo
Holly and Hugo

Joking aside, applying to veterinary school in the USA is very competitive and most schools require a minimum 3.0 grade point average for acceptance. The closer to a 4.0 you can have, the better... but there are other factors to be considered in the application process; a 4.0 is not required. Let's take a closer look at the application process:

The Basics

There are 30 accredited veterinary medical schools in the United States.
Several universities in other countries, such as in Australia and the UK, are also accredited, which makes licensing to practice in the USA a lot easier after graduation.
American veterinarians typically complete 4 years of undergraduate schooling at a College or University before applying to veterinary school.
Most vets begin the application process in their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies.
They then graduate with a Bachelor's degree in the late spring and then begin veterinary school in the fall.
Veterinary schools do not require applicants to have a Bachelor's degree before admission.
"Non-traditional" students often only complete the pre-requisite courses required for admission.
Veterinary school is a 4-year program.
The application service, VMCAS, is available online every year on June 1 and closes October 1.
Interviews are typically done in January or February.
Accepted students are typically notified between March and the end of April.

What do I need to do before I apply?

1. Start early

If you are a high school or first-year university student, you need to select a major that will require you to take all of your "pre-requisite" courses. In your second year of undergraduate studies, begin to look at the schools you are interested in and make sure you have planned to complete all the required pre-recs on time.

Excellent majors to consider include: Animal Science, Biology, or Chemistry

If you are allowed to select your advisor, choose one that has experience helping students get into veterinary school. Advisors are typically professors within your major field of study or veterinarians who may teach at the undergraduate level.

What are "pre-requisite" courses?

Pre-recs, as they are called, are courses that must be completed in order to be considered for veterinary school. Each school as a specific number of courses that must be taken and can vary from school to school.

Examples of pre-requisite courses include:

Physics I and II
Animal Nutrition
Organic chemistry I and II
Cell Biology

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