Preparing for Admission
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 thirteen 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.
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. The College of Veterinary Medicine offers a great career exploration program for high school students called VetCamp.
Learn more about career opportunities and get recommendations for gaining experience in high school.
Applicants must complete specific prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in the D.V.M. program. This includes courses in chemistry, biology, physics, math, English composition and liberal education. A list of prerequisite courses for admission starting fall 2015 can be found in our 2015 planning guide. A list of prerequisite courses for admission starting fall 2016 can be found in our 2016 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. Please view our area college prerequisite guides for a list of approved prerequisites courses available by college or university.
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.
The University of Minnesota offers a variety of options for undergraduate courses including:
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Science Resources (CFANS)
Undergraduate Admissions Office
College of Continuing Education (CCE)
College of Liberal Arts (CLA)
College of Liberal Arts (CLA)
Strong academics standing is an important factor in admission to the D.V.M. program. Applicants can assess their personal academic standing by comparing their prerequisite course GPA, last 45-semester credit GPA, and GRE scores with those who were recently admitted to the D.V.M. program. The D.V.M. Class of 2018 profile lists the academic averages of students who were recently admitted as part of the Class of 2018.
Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program (VetFAST)
The Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program (VetFAST) addresses a nation-wide need for more food animal veterinarians. In response to this need, the College of Veterinary Medicine created VetFAST, an early-decision program for students interested in a career in food animal veterinary medicine. Undergraduate students in an approved VetFAST degree program can apply for provisional program acceptance during their freshman or sophomore years of college. Learn more about VetFAST.
Veterinary Leadership through Early Admissions for Diversity (VetLEAD)
To meet the increasing demand for veterinarians and to promote diversity within the veterinary student body, the University of Minnesota has introduced the Veterinary Leadership through Early Admissions for Diversity (VetLEAD) program. VetLEAD creates a pathway into veterinary school for high-ability students at partner institutions, such as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Learn more about VetLEAD.