Pre-veterinary colleges, also referred to as pre-vet colleges, are the recommended track for those interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Pre-vet colleges offer a wide range of classes that cover veterinary prerequisites such as business management for opening private practices, as well as chemistry and biology for animal health and food safety.
Overall, pre-vet programs are ideal for students interested in becoming practicing veterinarians as they help build a strong foundation in veterinary science and medicine. Read on to learn more about some of the top pre-veterinary colleges in the U.S.
Students can complete the courses for the pre-vet program at North Dakota State University in three years and may choose to complete a fourth year to obtain a bachelor of science (BS) degree. Students can then apply for entry to a veterinary program in the U.S.
The state of North Dakota has admission agreements through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) with Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for students who are certified by the state as long-time North Dakota residents. To be eligible for this agreement, students must prove in-state residency and have graduated high school in North Dakota.
All students receive an advisor to help them through the three- to four-year program. In addition, the school offers a pre-vet club, which provides opportunities to hear from guest speakers, watch films, take field trips, and further explore the veterinary field. The school also has a wide number of private annual scholarships available for pre-vet students. Notably, the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources offers extensive scholarships for students enrolled in its pre-vet program.
Students in the pre-vet program at Bowling Green State University can begin applying to veterinary programs before their senior year. As is the case at other schools, the pre-vet program is not a degree program, but some students choose to complete a four-year degree in a science field in preparation for veterinary school. Any degree may be acceptable as long as a student has completed the coursework that meets minimum application requirements.
Bowling Green State University pre-vet students take a wide variety of science classes that include biology, genetics, microbiology, organic chemistry, and physics. The school’s pre-vet medical association may be of interest to students who want to explore the vet field and career options.
The school has two advisors in the science department to help students through their program and help prepare them for applying to veterinary school. Some of the school’s graduates opt to attend the veterinary program at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Most students in the pre-vet program at the University of Connecticut complete their coursework while doing a bachelor’s degree in animal science or pathobiology and veterinary science. The animal science department has advisors who can help students work on a plan of study necessary for completing the requirements for application to a veterinary school.
Students from UConn have gone on to attend vet schools all over the U.S. as well as in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Students completing their coursework through the pathobiology and veterinary sciences degree can be a part of cutting-edge learning, research, and public service in animal-related issues including zoonotic disease (animal diseases which are transmissible to humans).
The university also has a UConn Pre-Vet Club that sponsors a dog wash, and offers related events and trips of interest to veterinary students.
Students at Augustana College typically complete a science degree such as biology while completing their pre-vet school requirements. The school also offers a 3:4 program with the University of Illinois College of Medicine in which students complete their pre-vet coursework at Augustana College. Upon acceptance to the program, students start vet school their senior year. After the senior year at vet school is done, they return to Augustana College to receive their bachelor’s degree. This program allows students to jump-start their veterinary training and is available to all pre-vet students, including those who have out-of-state residency.
While completing their pre-vet coursework, students gain hands-on instruction through clinical rotations available in various veterinary clinics in the area—experiences which can be valuable when applying for admittance to a veterinary school. Advisors can help students work on a plan of study from their first year and can guide them to related elective coursework.
Most of the students in the pre-vet program at the University of Wisconsin complete their program requirements while working on a bachelor’s of science (BS) degree in animal science, biology, or dairy science.
Notably, students can seek early admission to veterinary school through the school’s 3+1 program. This program allows students to apply for veterinary school following their junior year, start vet school their senior year, and earn their bachelor’s degree after completing this first year of school in a veterinary program. Many of the school’s pre-vet students seek admission to the veterinary programs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison or the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
The school recommends that students complete their full degrees before applying for veterinary school, but also notes that their curriculum surpasses the minimum requirements for admission to several veterinary schools.
Additionally, the school offers a pre-vet club that features opportunities for students to study together, volunteer, or attend related veterinary symposiums and open houses. The university's pre-vet programs are available at the Eau Claire, Madison, Platteville, and River Falls campuses.
Most pre-vet students attending New Mexico State University work on completing an animal science degree. Biology, chemistry, math, and physics coursework make up a substantial part of their curricula.
The school’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences has been helping train students to apply to veterinary school since 1965. The school’s animal science degree allows students to complete the requirements for admission to a veterinary program, as well as gain hands-on experience working with small and large animals.
While completing their animal science degree, students can choose to focus in one of three concentration areas: animal science, companion animal science, or equine science. Students can also join the school’s pre-vet club, which provides related experience and resources helpful to students applying to veterinary school.
Finally, New Mexico State University has agreements through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) and offers in-state tuition to accepted out-of-state students.
Students in the pre-vet program at the University of Hawaii can use the services of a dedicated advisor to help develop a plan of study for preparing for veterinary school. Most of the students do complete a four-year bachelor’s degree, but the advisor can help ensure that they are taking the coursework that may be necessary for acceptance into a particular veterinary program.
The school holds agreements through the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) with Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state universities, meaning that students accepted from those states pay in-state tuition.
Students in the pre-vet program can also find a number of volunteer opportunities available to work with animals in the veterinary field, including at the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and Hawaiian Humane Society. The school also hosts its own pre-vet club, which offers a number of events related to the veterinary field and assistance with applying to veterinary and mentorship programs. Finally, the school offers more than ten scholarships listed on the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources website.
Students at the University of Kentucky typically complete a bachelor’s of science (BS) degree in animal sciences, equine science and management, or agricultural and medical biotechnology in order to meet the requirements to apply to veterinary school.
The State of Kentucky has agreements with the veterinary programs at Auburn University and Tuskegee University (both in Alabama) via a Southern Regional Education Board Plan. It even pays the out-of-state component of the tuition for qualified Kentucky students. Through these contract seat arrangements, students from the University of Kentucky can enter the Auburn University and Tuskegee University programs (as well as 28 other US veterinary schools) so long as they meet the school’s admission requirements. The schools also provide advising to help students develop plans of study and apply to veterinary school.
Students in the University of Kentucky program can find opportunities to work or volunteer at veterinary hospitals, horse shows, and veterinary clinics. Some past students have even obtained semester internships at places like the Cincinnati Zoo and Disney World. Finally, the program offers mock interview sessions to prepare students for veterinary school interviews and a pre-vet club.
Most students in the pre-vet program at Boise State complete a bachelor of science (BS) degree in biology. As with most pre-vet programs, students take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and zoology. The school’s academic advisors help students develop a course of study appropriate to their career goals.
Students can gain additional experience and knowledge about the veterinary field through the school’s pre-vet club. Additionally, the school has an agreement with the veterinary program at Washington State University which makes 11 seats available to accepted pre-vet students each year. Competition for this agreement is intense and the school recommends that students applying to any veterinary program seek to obtain a 3.5 GPA or above.
The University of Findlay notes that 85 percent of its pre-vet students go on to gain admission into veterinary programs, more than two times the national average. In fact, most students at the school complete an animal science degree, but can alternatively major in biology or chemistry to complete their pre-vet coursework. The school also allows students who gain acceptance into a program at the end of their junior year to obtain a bachelor’s degree after they have completed their first year of schooling in a veterinary program.
Students in the program have access to two farm complexes, including a 31,000-square-foot facility called Dr. C. Richard Beckett Animal Science Building. This facility is home to a number of farm animals and where students spend a significant amount of time their first two years of school earning practical hands-on experience in areas such as animal care and behavior. Finally, the school offers seminars to help students learn more about the veterinary field and to prepare them for application to veterinary school.