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  Home > Prospective DVM Students > Pre-Veterinary Preparation

Pre-Veterinary Preparation

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M.) is a rigorous four-year professional program preceded by three to four years of pre-professional study.  During the first three years of the D.V.M. program, students focus on the study of the normal animal, the pathogenesis of diseases and the prevention, alleviation and clinical therapy of diseases.  The D.V.M. program concludes with fourteen months of clinical rotations in the Veterinary Medical Center during which time students learn methods of veterinary care and develop skills needed for professional practice.  The fourth year includes ten weeks of externship experiences at off-campus sites of the student's choice.  Critical to the selection of a career in Veterinary Medicine is the individual's love, concern and compassion for animals.

High School Preparation 
High school students considering a career in veterinary medicine should pursue a strong background in high school science courses, especially in biology and chemistry.  A foundation in mathematics and physics is also helpful as students enter their pre-professional studies in college.  High school students are also encouraged to become familiar with the veterinary profession by seeking experiences with practicing veterinarians and broadening their experiences with a variety of animal species.  These experiences might include volunteering at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter.

Pre-Veterinary Studies 
Pre-veterinary studies include required courses in chemistry, biology, physics, math, English composition and liberal education.  Please see the listing of specific requirements on page 5-6 of the Admissions Planning Guide.  Students may pursue their pre-veterinary studies at any accredited college or university and pursue any undergraduate major.  Many community and junior colleges offer the majority of courses required with the possible exception of some of the more advanced science courses such as genetics and biochemistry. Although a Bachelor's degree is not required for admission to the D.V.M. program, approximately 90% of the students entering the program each year have completed their Bachelor's degree. The most common majors of students entering the D.V.M. program are biology and animal science but include a variety of majors such as engineering, business administration, history and music.

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