What Are the Different Types of Veterinary School Prerequisites?

K. Kinsella
K. Kinsella
A vet vaccinating a puppy.
A vet vaccinating a puppy.

Veterinary schools offer postgraduate vocational classes that are designed to prepare individuals to work in this field. While admission procedures vary between educational establishments, veterinary school prerequisites typically include successful completion of an undergraduate degree course in a science related topic. Additionally, competition for places at these schools is often intense and many academic establishments narrow the candidate pool by imposing minimum grade requirements.

Prerequisites for veterinarian school courses often include a minimum number of hours spent working at a farm.
Prerequisites for veterinarian school courses often include a minimum number of hours spent working at a farm.

Many colleges offer undergraduate Bachelor of Science (BS) courses in veterinary science or technology. Aside from completing these courses, an applicant for veterinary school must also have completed certain core classes such as general chemistry, microbiology and zoology. Veterinary school prerequisites often include minimum grade point averages in these topics and the undergraduate degree as a whole. In many instances, students must have completed second or third year courses in these topics as opposed to freshmen or foundation classes. Some colleges accept applications from those who have not completed science related BS degree programs but only if those individuals chose to study the core subjects that are veterinary school prerequisites as electives.

In some nations such as the United States, many colleges require applicants for postgraduate programs to complete a standardized entrance examination. Veterinary school prerequisites may include successful completion of several such science related tests. The more applications a college receives, the higher the minimum test score that students must achieve in order to be considered for admission to the program.

As with some postgraduate courses, veterinary school courses usually involve both classroom study and some practical training. To participate in clinics and field work, students must have some prior experience in dealing with animals within a medical environment. Therefore, prerequisites for these courses often include a minimum number of hours spent working or volunteering at animal hospitals, farms, zoos or other locations.

Even with strict academic and vocational requirements in place, qualified applicants often greatly outnumber the available places at the schools. Consequently, many establishments require students to provide letters of recommendation for qualified medical professionals or college professors. These individuals must explain in the letter why a particular student deserves to be admitted to the program.

The final step in the application process typically involves an interview. Professors and admissions offices test the student's knowledge of the field with general questions and also ask the applicant to elaborate on his or her academic credentials and experience. As with the other prerequisites, failure to attend an interview will normally result in an application for admission being rejected.

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    • A vet vaccinating a puppy.
      A vet vaccinating a puppy.
    • Prerequisites for veterinarian school courses often include a minimum number of hours spent working at a farm.
      Prerequisites for veterinarian school courses often include a minimum number of hours spent working at a farm.