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Veterinary Medicine

Will Huntingdon prepare me for veterinary school?

Clare Shannon

Clare Shannon ’11 completed her D.V.M. with honors at Auburn University in 2015 and practices with New Hope Veterinary Clinic in Nashville.

The Huntingdon College Veterinary Medicine Track will provide you with the skills, knowledge, confidence, laboratory training, and communication skills to be successful in veterinary school and in a variety of veterinary practice 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 to take.

Because of our challenging course work, undergraduate research equipment, detailed lab assignments, and opportunities for meaningful internships, you will gain a competitive advantage for admission to veterinary programs. Letters of recommendation—written by Huntingdon faculty who know you personally throughout your Huntingdon academic career—will strengthen your veterinary school applications. Mock interviews, essay writing assistance, personal advising by faculty in Huntingdon’s Pre-Health Professions Committee, and our “Boot Camp” GRE (Graduate Record Exam) are part of the Huntingdon Veterinary Medicine Track.

Veterinary Medicine

Animal welfare—whether for pets, livestock or other animals—matters considerably 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 they make sure that the food supply is safe from infectious disease. They work to control the spread of human diseases through animal livestock. They conduct research on animals that helps both animals and humans. Veterinarians are at the forefront of protecting the public’s health and welfare.

A doctorate in veterinary medicine (D.V.M.) 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. Here are a few of the programs to which Huntingdon graduates have been admitted

  • 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

Preparing for Admission

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

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

Veterinary medical schools do not select students on the basis of major. While most of our successful applicants have majored in one of the sciences (i.e., Biology or Chemistry), students from other majors have been admitted. We recommend that a student choose a major that interests him/her and that gives him/her a reasonable chance of taking the required courses in a timeframe of 4–5 years. This timeframe may exclude some majors. The veterinary medical school curriculum is not easy, so your pre-veterinary medical school curriculum should not be easy, either. Some suggested majors at Huntingdon College are listed below:

College Course Prerequisites

The course prerequisites for admission vary significantly across veterinary medicine programs. Our advisers will help you with the specific requirements for your program. You can also visit the institutional website to determine what courses are required by each doctoral program. The most commonly required course prerequisites are below:

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

Requirements met in the College 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 may require the MCAT. Programs may have minimum acceptable scores and last acceptable test dates. Policies regarding the consideration of multiple sets of GRE scores vary by institution. Acceptable scores at Alabama Veterinary Medical Schools (Auburn, Tuskegee) require a GRE verbal/quantitative composite above 310 with each subscore (verbal and quantitative) to be above 150.

References

Most veterinary medicine programs require 1–3 letters of reference (also known as “letters of evaluation” or “recommendations”) 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.  You should select individuals who meet the program’s requirements, know you well, and can speak to your maturity, dependability, dedication, compassion, communication skills, leadership, and any hands-on experience in the field.

Interviews

Veterinary medicine programs may 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 invited, dress in professional business attire. Applicants should be prepared to discuss why they have chosen to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and how they perceive the role of vets in health care. Those who have researched and gained direct exposure to the profession will be better prepared to respond to the interview questions. During the interview, applicants may be rated on their oral communication skills, professional behaviors and attitudes, ability to interact in a group, knowledge of the profession, ability to solve problems, and motivation to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. The applicants’ 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