Musings of a Veterinarian

How do I increase my chance of getting into veterinary school?

February 15, 2009 By: Dr. K Category: Questions, Veterinary School

Congratulations on making the decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine! May you find it rewarding and challenging. The decision to become a veterinarian is the first in many steps to actually receiving a degree. Being a veterinarian carries great responsibility and necessitates a life long commitment to learning. The most important thing to remember: Loving animals is not enough of a reason for becoming a veterinarian. VETERINARY MEDICINE IS FIRST ABOUT LOVE OF MEDICINE AND SECOND ABOUT LOVE OF ANIMALS. Once you are sure veterinary medicine is the career for you, read below for a few tips to improve your odds of getting into veterinary school.

1. Do Your Research

There are only 28 veterinary schools in the United States.  The average number of new veterinary students admitted to school nationwide is only 2,100. On average, about 43% of applicants are accepted to veterinary school yearly. Certain schools are more difficult to gain acceptance into than others. Your chances of getting into one of these schools sometimes depends on the state in which you reside. For example, the University of Pennsylvania typically accepts a high percentage of in state students. However, every year the state of New Jersey (with no veterinary school) purchases several seats for New Jersey residents. Other states may have similar contracts. Knowing your chances at different schools can help you narrow down the application process.

2. …More Research

Most veterinary schools prefer students to have their bachelor’s degrees prior to matriculation. Other schools will allow students with a certain number of credits, typically junior undergraduates,  apply and matriculate prior to undergraduate graduation. Know the undergraduate course requirements and GPA requirements prior to application. Preveterinary programs can tailor your undergraduate education to ensure all of the prerequisite courses are completed but does no guarantee admittance. Make sure your undergraduate institution has a network to assist with the application process.

3. Get Experience

You should have in depth experience in at least one field of veterinary medicine prior to application. Some schools, like Cornell University, emphasize breadth of experience over depth of experience. That means the admissions committee seeks applicants with experience in small/large animal medicine, research, shelter medicine, and even human medicine. Most schools recommend at least 1000hrs of hands-on veterinary experience: equivalent to 2-3 summers of full-time work. Cleaning kennels or mucking stalls shows you aren’t afraid of hard work. Of course, the more technical experience the better.

4. Emphasize Other Relevant Experiences

Have a few bad grades but salvaged your GPA? Dealt with the public as a waiter/cashier/fast food provider? Use your non-veterinary experiences to emphasize highly desirable traits like perservereance and social aptitude. Good communication skills are a MUST. Any previous occupations or volunteer efforts that extoll your interpersonal skills need special attention.

5. Be a Man

Sorry ladies. This one is out of your control. Only 25% of veterinary school students are male. Schools are actively seeking men to try to even the field.

6. Pursue a Career in an Under Served Area

Recent updates reveal critical shortages of large animals veterinarians, public health veterinarians, and governement veterinarians. Don’t limit yourself to private practice! Check out this article at AVMA.org!

7. Visit Veterinary Schools

Visit veterinary schools you are interested in at least 6 months to a year prior to application. You will most likely meet with an admissions officer. This is a chance to show initiative and interest in a particular school. This is your first chance go make an impression: ALWAYS DRESS WELL! Take copies of your transcripts and be prepared to discuss any grades under a “B”.

8. Be Persistent

Even if you don’t get accepted to veterinary school your first try, don’t give up on your dream! I know of veterinarians who were accepted on their 3rd attempts. In the interim, strengthen your application with more veterinary experience, a master’s degree, or research.

With proper preparation you can greatly increase your chances of acceptance to veterinary school.

76 Comments to “How do I increase my chance of getting into veterinary school?”

  1. From VMDiva email.

    Name: Zach

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind answering a question. Well I have been studying veterinarian terms, but how many terms does a vet have to know?

    There is no set number of terms a vet needs to know. My guess would be in the thousands when you take into account the large number of unique terms and diseases. There are certain terms we use everyday. They include terms describing locations, lesions, and various organs affected. At first knowing these terms is overwhelming but soon they become part of your normal conversation. Don’t worry about how much you’ll have to learn!

    Also, one question on vet school. I know grades below B are bad, but my High school went horribly wrong, can I make that up in community college an transfer to a good “vet college”?

    Once you graduate from high school and complete a college degree or the required courses, veterinary schools generally don’t pay much attention to your grades from high school. They focus on your college grades, your personal statement, and your extracurricular activities. Transferring from a community college to a 4 year program is key. You cannot go from a 2-year community college to a veterinary school in the US. Veterinary schools require a minimum of 3 years of education (the number of years you’ll need to fill of the requirements) but most applicants will have a bachelor’s degree. As long as you’ve fulfilled your course requirements and done relatively well in college, you’ll have a reasonable chance at acceptance to vet school.

  2. I graduated from a four year college three years ago and after volunteering at an aquarium for a year, I decided to pursue vet school. My grades from college are not exactly that great. I just got accepted into a zoology program at a community college and will attempt to take all the pre-reqs to boost my GPA. Will this help my chances of getting into a vet school if I bring my GPA up and continue working with animals?

  3. I am working on my personal statement and was wondering if you or anyone had a personal statement to share so that I can use as an outline as to how to write mine.

  4. My own personal statement is long gone. Any readers out there have one they would share???

  5. Well i am in 8th grade and I’m working to take a bunch of biology classes and especially honors biology in high school. Am i on the right track to becoming a vet???

  6. Ashley – Taking biology classes is a great start to becoming a veterinarian! Having a well-rounded education is equally important. At your age getting exposure to animals, whether that be walking dogs or mucking stalls, is very important to informing a decision to pursue veterinary medicine. However, at your age it’s also very important to have fun and enjoy your youth! You’ll have many years of hard work ahead of you, don’t get too far ahead of yourself!

  7. Hello, I am currently at Old Dominion University pursuing an undergrad. degree as an Exercise Science Major. It is strongly centered around Human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. Is that a good undergrad degree to use to apply to vet school? My next question is, I really love the University of Tennessee and would love to go there but some of the classes they require to apply to vet school there (animal science courses) are not offered at my school; No school near Chesapeake VA offer those courses; How can I proceed with that problem?

  8. Tyler, congratulations on deciding to enter the exciting and ever changing world of veterinary medicine! Let’s address your questions in line.

    Is that a good undergrad degree to use to apply to vet school?
    Any undergraduate degree can get you into vet school so long as you’ve fulfilled your prerequisites. Schools are similar in their requirements but you should research individual schools. Be prepared to answer questions about how you chose your major and what changed to bring you to veterinary medicine.

    I really love the University of Tennessee … How can I proceed with that problem?
    Simply put, if you cannot fulfill their prerequisites you will not be accepted (nor should you apply). The problem is so simple that you’ve probably overlooked the solution. Instead of trying to circumvent the requirement, you must fulfill it – either by transferring to another school or going through a post-bac program to fulfill their prerequisites. You can also open your search to more schools. I cannot speak for any other schools, but I do know the University of Pennsylvania does not require any “animal science” courses.

    Lastly, as an exercise science major, I am assuming you are a late in your decision to go to veterinary school. This does not pose a problem unless you’ve failed to accumulate contact hours in the veterinary field. Contact hours are not the same as mucking stalls and cleaning kennels but rather require actual exposure to medicine. I recommend all applicants shoot for 1000hrs of contact time.

    Best of Luck!

  9. Ashley Z says:

    I am currently working on my undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a minor in Marketing. I should graduate on time next may from Augusta State University in Augusta, Ga. I was thinking about taking the year off and move to Colorado to hopefully get a full time vet tech. job and gain experience as well as state residency. I am currently a Michigan resident. I am also a Pharmacy Tech. at a local grocery store, which turns the highest volume in our area. I also played college volleyball at ASU and was the starting setter until I tore my rotator cuff and labrum my junior year. I decided with all my harder classes coming up, and how long the surgery takes to heal from, that I should just focus on school. I was wanting to apply to CSU the fall of 2013. I was going to try my hardest to obtain a vet tech job in co to gain some experience. I have a very outgoing personality and I can communicate well with others. I wanted to get into CSU and then try to get into the ARMY program. I currently own three pets of my own and I volunteer with my greyhound rescue group every weekend. What else can I do to increase my chances of getting in. Also, do I have an okay chance of getting in? I just want to know my realistic odds. Oh, and my gpa is around a 3.0-3.2.

  10. Hi Ashley, welcome to the world of veterinary medicine! What experiences make you want to be a veterinarian?

    The biggest deficit I see, based on your brief CV listed, is in your veterinary experience. You really need to get a significant amount of experience doing kennel work and veterinary tech work, I recommend 6-12 months at minimum. If you haven’t had significant experience, I would recommend getting a year under your belt prior to applying to veterinary school to ensure this is the right career path for you. Veterinary medicine simply isn’t the puppies and rainbows the general public thinks it is but rather is much more complex involving public relations, finances, death, and even counseling!

    As far as using the Army program, my impression (it’s been a while since school) is that when you graduate with your veterinary degree you are a Captain in the Army. There are lots of interesting opportunities but most Army vets provide service on Army bases.

    Here are the steps I think you need to take:
    1. Establish residency in the state with the veterinary school of your choice. You’ll appreciate this more as you pay off student loans when you are paying on in-state tuition.
    2. Get as much veterinary experience as you can in both small and large animal medicine.
    3. Focus on your coursework as I believe your current GPA is a little low compared to the national averages.
    4. Think about MSU since you have Michigan residency.

    Remember that getting into veterinary school takes more than a high GPA and experience. More and more veterinary schools are looking for well rounded individuals who demonstrate life balance and a life outside of veterinary medicine. It sounds like you have that covered!

  11. Hello,
    I am a freshmen at the University of Georgia majoring in wildlife pre-vet. I know that I need to gain veterinary experience (250 hours required to apply to UGA vet school) and that you suggest 1000 hours. I have reviewed the requirements for UGA vet school and understand my GPA should be 3.5 at the minimum for UGA at least. Do you advise volunteering at local vet clinics in my area or trying to volunteer at the UGA vet school? Also, I know for people trying to go into the medical field the major of pre-med is not as favourable as a biology major because its ‘different’. Do you suggest using a pre-vet major? I know it meets the requirements for vet school, but I am not sure if I should keep my major as pre-vet. Do you have any other suggestions for a freshmen to try and get a head start on?

  12. Emma,

    Any experience is good experience, whether it is at the vet school or a local practice. Keep in mind that at a veterinary teaching hospital you are less likely to get hands on experience because you will have residents, interns, students, and veterinary technicians all ahead of you in the pecking order. You are more likely to get meaningful experience at a local hospital and it may even turn into a paid position. You don’t necessarily need to volunteer to acquire experience.

    As far as majors go, people from all background majors can get into veterinary school so long as the prerequisites are met. Choose the path you will enjoy the most that fulfills the requirements! I didn’t have the option of a pre-vet major in undergraduate but went to a school with a very strong science program along with a high medical school acceptance and matriculation rate.

    The path is not the same for two people. Best Wishes!

  13. Jeanmarie says:

    Hi Dr. K! My name’s Jeanmarie. I’m currently in 11th grade, and my dream is to become a veterinarian. Ever since I was in 4th grade, I’ve been interested in how animals function, live, and interact with their environment. I also just love animals, even though that’s probably a given. I’m a science geek, and I plan on double majoring in Chemistry and Biology, maybe a minor in music (I am extremely involed with my high school’s music department, with Marching band, jazz band, symphonic orchestra,concert band, chorus, and wind ensemble) at Temple or others. Since 8th grade, I have volunteered and shadowed multiple vets at a local clinic. I have cleaned cages, helped with laser therapy, ultrasounds, surgeries, and checkups. This shadowing is a part of my graduation reqruirements. I plan on shadowing a zoologist at some point in the next year or so, and next summer, I will hoperfully be interning at a cancer center research lab, after I have taken an application/inrterview only acceptance class this year. Only 15 people, usually senior are accepted. I have also participated in NYLF MED, a conference for high schoolers who dream to go into the medical field. I am so excited about getting to become a vet, and hopefullyr opening my own clinic, but I’m scared of not being accepted anywhere. My top picks are MSU, NCS, and UoP, maybe even UGA. I know the statistics of getting in are lower than other schools, but what else should/could I do to up my chances of getting into vet school after undergrad school? You’re help on this topic would be very helpful! 🙂 Maybe some pointers on what to do during rthe last years of high sschool? My GPA is a 4.6 on a 4 scale, and I’ve taken all honors/ap classes (science and math ap only) I can get my hands on. Thanks so much for advising others who have dreams of becoming animal docotors! You rock! :Dr

  14. Dear Dr.K
    I’m in my last year of middle school, and I am deeply interested in becoming veterinarian. I really enjoy working with animals and already volunteer at a local horse farm! I have loved animals since I was 2 years old. I was curious as to which classes to take in high school to help me with getting into a vet school! I was also wondering if there are any recommendations you would offer for a start at volunteering at any other different types of medical/biological/animal related facilities! Love your website! -Carolyn

  15. Dear Dr. K.

    I am currently a sophomore at Crowder College majoring in Pre-Vet Med. I will soon transfer to Missouri Southern State University and continue my major in Pre-Vet Med with a minor in Biology. I have at least a year’s worth, and continuing, experience in small animal clinics and hospitals. The previous vet I worked for has inspired me to pursue my career in veterinary school, something I have wanted to do my whole life. Literally. I am nervous about my admittance exams and what Mizzou expects. I don’t want all my hard work to go to waste. My question is what are some tips or qualities that universities look for when choosing a future vet student? How much more experience do I need or what experiences do I need?

  16. Dear Dr. K,

    I’m currently a junior in college and I’m a Biology major hoping to get into veterinary school some day. Last year I took Molecular Cell Biology and two Organic Chemistry courses, all of which I got C+ in. I did well in all my labs, but what got me where the exams, even though I gave everything to those classes and studied non-stop! I guess I’m a hands on learner, but at least I did not drop any of the classes and stuck with it! Because of those grades, I’ve been really working on strengthening my resume all around. I’ve been working at an animal shelter for about 10 months now doing animal care and adoptions. I just recently took on helping the veterinarian at the shelter with spay and neuter clinics as well as examinations once a week for 4 hours and today I just got an internship for my winter break. I cannot even describe how fulfilling the past month has been working under the veterinarian! I should be up to over 300 hours of experience in both animal and clinical by the end of this year. I’ve really been working on getting ample amounts of experience to try to make up in a way for those grades. I’m also involved in quite a few groups on campus and even have a leadership role for event planning for my house I live in. I’m doing relatively alright this term in maintaining a B to B+ average and recognize I am most likely going to have to retake the classes I got those C’s in before possibly getting into veterinary school. I know this is long, but I guess I’m just really nervous about never getting in, something that probably haunts all pre-vets! Do you have any words of wisdom to share that could possibly help?

  17. Dear Dr. K,

    I graduated college in 2011 with a BS in animal science. However, my GPA was terrible and I am looking for a way to get into vet school. I am considering taking a Master’s program to boost my academic abilities. Do you think that with a great GPA for my master’s and animal experience I’ll be able to get in?

  18. Carolina,

    It depends on the school. Some schools are more forgiving and look at the total package where others care about GPA more than anything. I suggest meeting with an admission official to discuss your chances of admission. Most schools are happy to schedule meetings.

    If you can prove yourself in a Master’s program you’ll have a much better chance but will still likely have to explain your undergraduate grades. Experience, additional education, and grades in the prerequisite courses matter the most.

  19. hi there. i am currently a senior in high school, i want to be a wildlife vetinarian. would animal science be a good thing to major in?

  20. Absolutely, just make sure it fulfills veterinary school prerequisites.

  21. Kaitlyn Kane says:

    I am currently an enlisted active duty member, the military is all I have ever known and I joined right out of High School. I have been able to take some classes-but they have been all online because I can’t expect to always be in one area-and I have an associates- but it is in Tactical Aircraft Maintenance…so really nothing that is relatively close to what I want to do.
    In 2016 I will have the opportunity to reenlist again or become a civilian, I should be able to optain my bachelors before then-but it would have to be online classes. In order to go to vet school I would have to leave the military so my questions to you are-does it hurt me substantially that all my classes will be online? Will I stand a chance?
    What should my bachelors be in to help with my goal of vet school?

    Thank you,

  22. Hi, I’m a junior in high school and have always dreamed of being a vet for zoo’s, unfortunately, i had some life problems during my first 2 years of high school which resulted in bad grades, but with this last semester I am improving and plan on keeping my A average, but at the moment my GPA is 2.19… My question is how much do vet schools look into your high school grades? I like to think i have a okay chance because of my courses of advanced biology, Anatomy& physiology, physical science and chemistry, which i am doing well in, but I’m really worried and scared I wont be able to make it. what can i do other than keep up my grades?

    Thank-you very much, Amy

  23. Hi Amy! Good news for you is vet schools don’t look at high school grades at all. They will only look at your college grades and course-load. Keep up the hard work, get into college, and really attack your courses there! You will be successful with hard work and a well rounded resume.

  24. Hi! Im in the eighth grade and would love nothing more than to pursue a career in vet medicine. I plan on goin to MSU in montana and the hopfully getting a vet degree in colorado. After ive made enough money after college i hope to open my own vet clinic for small and large animals with emergency staff on standby 24/7. I have an a-b average as far as grades… any advice as to what will enhance my chances of being accepted to a vet school?

  25. Cheyenne says:

    Hi! I’m in the 10th grade, and I’ve been working for a veterinarian for a couple of months now! I have a question concerning one of my prier grades. My 9th grade year, I got on “C” in history (the rest of the year, made All B’s and C’s). History has never been my forte! Now this year I’ve gotten all A’s all year round. Would that make up for my one mistake? I plan to go to Texas A&M for veterinary medicine. I will be taking Advanced Animal Science next year, as well as Dual Credit classes. ( I also want to use the days that I’ll be off, to work at a local animal clinic) How do my standings look, for getting accepted? Also any advice for increasing my chances? Thanks!

  26. Cheyenne says:

    Edit: I got a “C” for one 6 weeks. The rest I was able to bring it up to an A or B!

  27. Cheyenne says:

    Edit: The rest of the year Made all A’s and B’s! sorry

  28. I’m a student in the british curriculum and in England the undergrad and graduate program are both the same thing for veterinary schools and the years are a lot shorter… i was wondering if it is possible to shave off a few years from the undergrad program?

  29. Tyler P. says:

    I want to get into vet school. I am a sophomore in HS. Everybody talks about getting a well rounded education. I plan on taking Chem, Honors Chem, Honors Bio, and anatomy in my next two years, along with Spanish 3,4 and 5, and my required classes. I have between a 3.8 and 4.0 GPA. I am wondering if that is too much science, and not enough of anything else. Should I change anything in my schedule to have a better chance of getting into vet school. I also run cross country, am in tech crew, jazz band, enviromental club, and church. I know that vet schools don’t look at HS grades and courses, but should I continue this pattern, or change it.
    I plan on getting a job at a vet clinic this summer. People say you should get a variety of expierecies, working with a large number of different animals. How should I go about doing this, if I am working in the kennels? Or is it unrelated to a job?
    Thanks for all your help.

  30. elizabeth says:

    i’am only in middle school but they want us to start thinking what we want to be when we grow up and I chose a vet because I love animals and so far I have good grades and I have two dogs of my own and I go to the vet with them and I as their vet questions and he answers my questions and I did a project on what I wanted to be when I grow up and when I saw I could be a vet I fell in love with al the info I was learning

  31. elizabeth says:

    i’am only in middle school and I have a few question I have to ask you because I am wondering…………..
    how many year of college did you do
    do we have to do 8 years of college to be a vet not a vet parther
    as a vet do you just do dogs and cats or any animals

  32. Elizabeth – In most cases you do need to do 8 years of college but if you chose your college classes wisely you can get away with 3 years of college and 4 years of vet school. I only practice on small animals like dogs and cats, however, I have the education to practice on large animals like horses and cattle as well if I chose to.

  33. Hello Dr. K,

    I am intrested in becoming a veterinarian, I do have a A.A. degree in liberal arts-mortuary science. I have been a Funeral Director/Embalmer for 10 years, and I am looking to change my career. I have alwaysed loved animals,science as well as helping others in need. Do I need to get a BA to get accepted into the Veterinarian program? Would I be a good candidate for the program?

    Thank you,

  34. Hello Dr. K,

    My daughter, a BIMS major wants to be a vet. She is transferring to a university that has a vet school as well to continue her junior / senior year. She’s excited. My daughter works for a vet now who graduated from the university she will attend. She also works with another vet who graduated from another school. Both Doctors are great but have different viewpoints about the welfare of animals. And I guess this is good to understand from a student. My question, with regards to experience gained, how is the social impact of clubs at universities equally important for a vet major? Should she continue to work with a vet while in upper level classes or is this too much for a student?


    “My question, with regards to experience gained, how is the social impact of clubs at universities equally important for a vet major?”
    I‘m not sure I understand this question. If the question is how important are social clubs for a veterinary major and matriculation to vet school the answer is somewhat important. Experience in the field along with understand of the profession and good grades are most important but I believe most schools are looking for well rounded individuals.

    “Should she continue to work with a vet while in upper level classes or is this too much for a student?”
    If she has the time and ability to do so without her studies suffering then go for it. If she has 1000+ hours of experience then it’s probably not needed.

  35. Hello Dr. K
    I’m going to be a sophomore in high school this year and I have a couple of questions for you.

    1.) There are a few undergraduate schools that offer veterinary technician major. Will that increase my chances of vet school?

    In my opinion, no, a veterinary technician major won’t help you get into vet school. The education difference between a technician degree and a BS/BA then a doctorate is not comparable.

    2.) I can’t choose with undergraduate major I want. I can’t choose between Biology, Zoology, Agriculture, Livestock Science, and Equine Science. Which one do you think I should do? And should I double major? If so which ones?

    Choose a major you like. Double major if you think you can handle it. A double major likely won’t make a big difference in admissions committees unless that double major is in 2 sciences and you excel in both.

  36. Hello Dr. K,

    Thank you for taking the time to provide liable information to help others get into vet school.

    I graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga Tech) last December with a Biology degree and a 3.57 GPA. I also have a Associates in music/ organ from Young Harris College. I worked full time as a server/ bartender for my entire college career, which did prevent me from joining more than 3 organizations to be apart of.
    For most of my college career, I was pre-med. I gained many hours volunteering and shadowing around public and private hospitals. In my senior year, I decided that it was not working for me but I loved medicine and wanted to continue. My last semester I decided to look into veterinary work. I was able to snag a full time vet internship for 5 months working with mainly small animals but some large while I continued to work as a server.
    I have been away from the United States since January doing missions and providing help to people in 11 different countries. I will be returning to the US in December to pursue vet school. I have had plenty of time to think about what I really wanted to do with my life. I have been looking into the University of Penn but am concerned because of my GPA. I also have not taken the GRE yet.

    I plan on gaining more experience on my return. Would you have any personal advice for me? Any more steps I should take?

    Thank you.

  37. Hello Dr.K,
    My name is Lilly I’m in 9th grade, and in 4-H, Vet Science, voulenteering at a Vet clinic, and after school babysitting. After 2 years of Vet Science I will be able to take a test to become a certified Vet Asst. but I don’t want to stop there I’m planning on going to Texas A&M. My grades are semi-good but I just switched to a differnt online public school. I passed all of my first semester classes too. Do you think I have a good chance of getting into Texas A&M? I’ve also voulenteered ALOT (4-H, Horse Stables, Vet Clinic.) I also ALWAYS EVERY SUMMER try to get a small job at a Animal Shelter or Vet Clinic.

  38. Dear Lilly,

    Just try to get as much experience as you can in veterinary medicine. Keep your grades up and be involved in school and community activities. In 9th grade, you still have a lot of time to figure out exactly what you want! Don’t forget to be a kid.

    Dr. K

  39. Graduate of MA in Medical Sciences. GPA 3.47. Officer in US Military for 6 years, still serving with Special Operations. Pre-req GPA for most vet schools around 3.4-3.3. Grew up on a ranch, prior to military, worked for several vets in mixed practice in extreme rural areas. Waiting for break in service to take GRE. Would it be best to look towards an instate vet school or others? In regards to GRE, have had limited time to prepare due to service obligations. Will vet schools take current duties into consideration. All ready submitted applications, as for the interview, what is a way to express your future desires to serve in areas in need of vets? I’ve also been told vet schools are looking for your ability to work in a team as well as leadership and communication skills, if this true? Thank you.

  40. Dear CB,

    Every school admissions team is different. Your GRE is fine and your military service makes you unique. When you interview, simply stating that you plan on practicing medicine in an under-served area, whether that be geographically under-served or an area like public health that has a paucity of vets), is the best plan. And yes, vet schools definitely expect you to work as a team player – that’s what you have to do in veterinary practice!

    Thank you for your service!

    Dr. K

  41. I recently decided to pursue a career in vm but a few concerns have arisen for me. First I have a bachelors degree in political science, and currently am working a full time job. The concern I have is first, I will most likely attend school part time, and at an community college to save money. Will VM schools look down on this, or not consider it as scholarly? Secondly will my choice of major when I attended a 4yr university also discredit me, or have a concern of uncertainty? I’ve been out of school for almost 4 years now and am 26 years old, did my research and work with veterinarians, and am sure this is my desired career. Any direction would be great thank you!

  42. Dear Mike O,

    So long as you have your pre-reqs and your work experience, most schools don’t care what you did in undergrad (trust me, I had a few art majors in my class). If anything, schools are looking for more diverse applicants so this could even benefit you!

    Best Wishes!
    Dr. K

  43. Dear Dr K

    My name is Sharom. I am a student at Miami Dade College. I’m entering my second year. I’m majoring in Biology for the reason that 1) I’d like the field of medicine and Biology and 2) I also love animals. After getting my AA, I’m transferring to FIU to get my Bachelor in Biology. So, as I started to analyze my thoughts I came into the conclusion that I want to pursue a career in veterinarian medicine. During high school, I took all the sciences classes. The one that I enjoyed the most was Biology because I got the chance to interact with animals when I did the experiments. Also, during High School, I also was part of the school government where I got the chance to experience of oral communication was and so on. I also have volunteered and so many events where it gave me the knowledge of communication and costumer service. Now, I am volunteering at the Miami Zoo as a specialist in animals. There, I’m learning the habit of taking care of them and knowing how they behave, eat and sleep. In other words, analyzing their behavior. I’ve also been learning how to know if the animals is sick or not by just their behavior. Again, analyzing them. Also I’ve been going to animals clinics to ask if they are needing assistants or just any help in general so like that I start to have experience on that. Besides that I also have a part time job as a cashier that has nothing to do with VM but it has been helping more with my communication skills and team work. So I would like to know If I’m on the right track and if you could give me any advice based on your experience. Thank you. And oh yeah, I’m just 20 years old.


    Sharom Sayol

  44. Dear Sharom,

    It sounds like you are on the right track. You really need those contact hours in a veterinary hospital or laboratory with direct care of animals. Keep knocking on doors and one will open.

    Dr. K

  45. All my life I have wanted to be a vet, so I started very early preparing. As of now I am in 11th grade, and have a 3.89 GPA. I have taken many science classes and I’ve even almost finished my associates degree!! I am focusing on doing AP science classes so I get even more experience from the harder classes. I have been involved in FFA for 3 years and have raised TONS of animals. I am working on getting an internship at a Vet clinic so that I can have more experience hours. I am hoping by the time I graduate to have most of the prerequisites to Vet school done, but it’s hard work!! How do you think I’m doing? Any advice? I want to stand out on my application!

  46. Jentry,

    It sounds like you have a great start to getting the attention you want when applying to veterinary school. Don’t get too bogged down in just animal/veterinary work, as admissions committees for both undergraduate and veterinary school expect you to have a well-rounded list of experiences that could include sports, student government, volunteering, etc. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy high school, though, as these truly are some of the best years of your life.

    Best Wishes!
    Dr. K

  47. Dr. K,

    I am extremely interested and motivated to become a veterinarian and will do what ever it take. I volunteer at the local vet here in Yokosuka, Japan as much as I can when I am not at sea! However, I am an active duty US Navy sailor, and attached to a ship, this is my life right now. I want to start college ASAP, but I am afraid I can only take courses online and I know how competitive veterinary school is. So, my question is, what do you think the chances are of my getting accepted to a veterinary school with an online degree? Any suggestions or recommendations?? Just need a push in the right direction to get the ball rolling and I am more than certain I will become a fantastic veterinarian! Thanks so much for your time!

    Very Respectfully,
    Evan M. Horn, USN

  48. Dear Evan,

    First let me say a big “Thank You” for your service. Active military and veterans have a spot in my heart.

    Down to business. I can’t speak for the individuals on admissions committees, however, if I were on a committee and saw a serviceman who was able to complete online courses and get veterinary experience all while on active duty, I would be clambering to admit you to my school. That said, I doubt you will be able to fulfill all the pre-reqs for veterinary school online. Many of the sciences requires lab hours and advanced courses like biochemistry will be hard to come by. That shouldn’t deter you from getting as many out of the way as possible. I had a few classmates who already had degrees who went back to college to fulfill a few pre-reqs.

    Keep up the hard work and you’ll be sure to get there! Best Wishes and Stay Safe.
    Dr. K

  49. Hi Dr.K,
    I am currently a high school junior and I have an intense passion for become a vet in future.But I do not know what I should do to boost my chance to get into a good vet school.Because I am not doing too well acadimically ,especially in Math and Science .(But I am trying hard to improve!!) So I feeling quite confused what I should do now.Could you provide me some advice ,please? And by the way,I want to explore more at vet medicine field,could you suggest me some books to read ?

    Thank you so much,

  50. Dr. K,

    I graduated with a B.S. in Zoo Science in 2012 with a cumulative GPA of a bit over 3.0, my GPA of my final semester was a 3.75 with the end of my undergrad looking more like that GPA. I have been working as a zookeeper full time continuously since graduating. I also worked part time while in my senior year as a zookeeper while also interning at anither institution. I also almost continuously was completing internships from my sophomore year on. It’s hard to estimate but overall I probably have around 6000 to 7000 hours of animal experience. Much of my work as a zookeeper involves working with our Vets and participating in procedures. Not to mention we are solely the ones responsible administering the medications. (Ever tried to convince a V
    Black bear to take 7 very bad tasting pills twice a day? Or a pair of Siamangs to take their antibiotics? It’s incredibly challenging haha) I love my work but have long considered going to Vet school down the road. I have much of the required coursework for the vet school I hope to one day attend but I am missing a few of the higher level science courses. I have a competitive SAT score and am in the beginning stages of preparing for the GREs. I do tend to do well in standardized tests but I realize my GPA is not very competitive for vet school though it does just barely make the required minimum for the vet program I am looking into. All of this being said, my question is, in your opinion, would it be wiser to first apply for a graduate school program at the same school as the vet program I hope to attend, or to just do a post baccalaureate program to take the courses that I need to meet the prerequisites for the vet program? I had recently sought advice from my undergrad advisor a d he seemed to think that my broad range of experience should speak volumes but did suggest I start volunteering in a clinic to gain vet experience as well as gain recommendations. I have as he advised started doing that and am looking to volunteer at my zoo’s vet hospital as well since I know the vet fairly well. This is quite different but I also have plans to travel to Belize next year for 2 months to work at a howler monkey orphanage and rehabilitation center, pending the funding coming through. So I also am trying to figure out if all of my experiences will help to tip the scales in my favor despite a fairly lackluster GPA.


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