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Veterinary Medicine

Preparation for Veterinary School

Clare Shannon

Clare Shannon ’11 completed her D.V.M. with honors at Auburn University in 2015. 

The Huntingdon College Veterinary Medicine Track provides the knowledge, confidence, laboratory training, and communication skills to be successful in veterinary school and in a variety of professional settings. Whether you plan to practice as an independent or corporate veterinarian or as a veterinary specialist, your Huntingdon training will prepare you for any path you choose.

Challenging coursework and labs, experience with research equipment, and opportunities for meaningful internships give you a competitive advantage for admission to veterinary programs. Moreover, your letters of recommendation will be written by faculty who know you well. Mock interviews, essay writing assistance, personal advising by faculty in Huntingdon’s Pre-Health Professions Committee, and our Boot Camp GRE (Graduate Record Exam) preparation are part of the Huntingdon Veterinary Medicine Track.

Veterinary Medicine

Animal welfare—whether for pets, livestock or other animals—matters to individuals and to society. Every community needs veterinary medical professionals to provide animal health care; however veterinarians can also do many other kinds of jobs. They tend the livestock that produces the nation’s food supply, and make sure our food supply is safe. Veterinarians work to control the spread of human diseases and conduct research that helps both animals and humans. In fact, veterinarians are at the forefront of protecting the public’s health and welfare.

A doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM) is awarded at 27 institutions in the U.S. DVMs are licensed to practice medicine on all animal species except humans. A degree from Huntingdon with a Veterinary Medicine Track curriculum can lead to acceptance in veterinary medical schools nationwide.

Huntingdon’s Recent Veterinary School Admissions

  • Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Mississippi State University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • St. Matthew University School of Veterinary Medicine—Grand Cayman Islands

Steps to Veterinary School Admission

In order to gain acceptance into a veterinary medical school, you must accomplish five things:

  • Complete the required courses listed below.
  • Achieve excellent grades overall and in the basic sciences.
  • Earn a competitive GRE score.
  • Get involved as a health-related volunteer or veterinary technician.
  • Gain shadowing and research experience working with animals.

Veterinary medical schools do not select students on the basis of major. While most successful Huntingdon applicants have majored in one of the sciences (Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry), students from other majors have been admitted. You should major in the field that interests you most, keeping in mind that veterinary schools require evidence of rigor in your program. In addition, you should be able to complete the prerequisite courses for admission as you complete your degree requirements.

College Course Prerequisites

The course prerequisites for admission vary significantly across veterinary medicine programs. To that end, visit the program websites to determine what courses are required by each doctoral program. The most common course prerequisites are:

  • Cell Biology with lab (4 credits)
  • Introductory Biology with lab (4 credits)
  • *Animal Nutrition (3 credits)
  • General Chemistry with labs (8 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry with labs (8 credits)
  • Biochemistry with labs (4 credits)
  • Physics with labs (8 credits)
  • Pre-Calculus (or Calculus I; 3 credits)
  • Statistics (3 credits)

Other Requirements Met in the Huntingdon Core

  • English Composition (6 credits)
  • English or American Literature (3 credits)
  • Fine Arts (6 credits)
  • Humanities (6 credits)
  • Social Sciences (3 credits)

Other Admission Requirements

Some schools require:

  • Biochemistry II (4 credits)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II (8 credits)
  • Microbiology (4 credits)
  • Genetics (4 credits)

GRE/MCAT

Most veterinary medicine programs require applicants to complete the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), but some schools require the MCAT. Programs may identify minimum acceptable scores and acceptable test deadlines. Policies regarding the consideration of multiple sets of GRE scores vary by institution. Alabama veterinary medical schools (Auburn, Tuskegee) require a GRE verbal/quantitative composite above 310, with each subscore (verbal and quantitative) above 150.

References

Most veterinary medicine programs require one to three letters of reference as part of the admission process. You may need to submit references from a particular individual, such as a veterinary medical doctor, a science faculty, or academic health professions adviser.  Select individuals who meet the program’s requirements and who know you well.

Interviews

Most veterinary medicine programs require competitive applicants to visit the campus for an interview. The interview format varies by institution. Applicants may be required to speak with a single faculty member, a student, a vet, or a panel of interviewers, or to participate in an orientation program.

If you are invited to interview, dress in professional business attire. Be prepared to discuss why you have chosen to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and how you perceive the role of vets in society. Research and experience in the field will prepare you to respond to the interview questions. Your written communication skills may also be measured with an on-site essay.

Huntingdon Veterinary Medicine Track students have interned, worked, or volunteered at these places:

  • MANE (Montgomery Area Non-traditional Equestrians)
  • Montgomery Humane Society
  • Local veterinary practices and hospitals
  • PetSmart
  • Golden Poultry, Inc.
  • Auburn University Raptor Center
  • Montgomery Zoo
  • The Florida Aquarium

For more information, contact the Pre-Health Professions Committee Veterinary Medicine Adviser, Dr. Paul Gier.