Pre-Veterinary Medicine Information

Selection criteria for most veterinary schools include the following:

  • A likelihood of academic success
    • Included in this category are pre-requisite course requirements (see below), GPA, and GRE scores. Some schools may also accept MCAT scores in place of the GRE.
  • Possession of qualities deemed valuable in a veterinarian
    • These include personality traits such as compassion, integrity, motivation, and maturity, etc, and are often assessed through letters of recommendation, personal essays, and interviews.
  • Knowledge of the veterinary profession
    • Veterinary experience, either paid or volunteer, and/or other animal-related experiences are essential. Some schools may require documentation of a minimum number of hours in this area.

Undergraduate Course Requirements

These may vary slightly from school to school. Oregon State University’s requirements are given here

  • General Biology: one year (BIO 211, 212, 213)
  • Biological Sciences: minimum of two additional quarters of upper division biology (recommended are anatomy and physiology, cell biology, immunology, microbiology and others)
  • Physics: one year (PHY 201, 202, 203)
  • General Chemistry: one year inorganic chemistry with lab (CHE 221, 222, 223)
  • Organic Chemistry: 2-3 quarters organic chemistry (CHE 331, 332, 333)
  • Biochemistry: three quarters of upper level biochemistry (CHE 450, 451, 452)
  • Animal Nutrition: one quarter; must be animal nutrition, not human nutrition;
    • ANS 311 is offered online by OSU for students not attending OSU
  • Genetics: one quarter (4 credits) of general genetics that includes both Mendelian and molecular genetics (BIO 341)
  • Mathematics: one quarter of calculus (MATH 251)
  • Statistics: one quarter (MATH 243 or 361)
  • Physiology: at least one quarter of animal or human physiology (BIO 331/332/333)
  • English writing: two quarters (WRI 121/122)
  • Public Speaking: one quarter (SPE 111)
  • Humanities & Social Sciences: four quarters

Important Sources of Information

Entrance Examinations

  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam): required by most schools www.ets.org/gre
    • Format: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test): may be used in place of GRE by some schools
  • Kaplan web site has info on the GRE and MCAT: www.kaplan.com

Admission Information

VMCAS applications are available on-line starting in early June. Deadline for VMCAS application is early October.

There are a total of 28 accredited veterinary schools in the United States and 5 veterinary schools in Canada. State residency may need to be certified. In some cases, WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, www.wiche.edu) can help. It oversees cross-enrollment agreements between 15 western states, and has special agreements related to veterinary medicine.

Regional Veterinary Schools