Pre-Veterinary Requirements

1. Core Curriculum:

Required by all schools:

  • 1 year bio w/labs (Bio 220, 221, FSBio201)
  • 1 year intro chem w/labs
  • 1 year organic chem w/labs
  • 1 year physics w/labs
  • 1 year English (FS 101 will count for 1/2 of this)

Some require (others recommend):

  • biochemistry (see Note 3)
  • microbiology
  • genetics – included in Intro Biology – You must write a letter of explanation
  • math – definitely math 160 – possibly Math 170 also
  • statistics – Bio 385 (biometrics or Psych 206 (psych stats)
  • computer science (Comp Sci 111 )
  • public speaking (any FS102 or Comm Arts170)
  • animal nutrition – online course available from Purdue U or Oklahoma State U.

Note 1: Do not take required or recommended courses on pass/fail basis.
Note 2: Summer school courses are okay, but only at schools considered on a par with or more competitive than Allegheny.
Note 3: Although we encourage you to take biochemistry at Allegheny, there are other options including a couple of on-line courses. These courses do not, of course, include a lab option, so be sure to confirm that a lab is not part of the requirement should you choose to go this route. The on-line courses are offered at:

  • UC Berkeley
  • University of Utah
  • University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

2. Required Tests: GRE – general (accepted by most) or MCAT

Your scores are counted heavily, so prepare carefully and take the exam seriously. The summer that you make application to vet school is the best time to take the exam. To learn more about the test, to register and to order study materials go to:

3. Other Requirements:

  • Extracurricular Activities–These are important since they demonstrate leadership and teamwork. They will not, however, make up for poor grades and/or a low GPA.
  • Experience With Animals–including, but not limited to, work with veterinarians, animal shelters, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, breeders, kennels. etc. Most schools require a letter of recommendation from a practicing veterinarian. One of the most common reasons for rejection from vet school is lack of experience working with animals.

Note: Starting freshman year, keep a file of your experiences and number of hours spent. Some schools have minimum hour requirements. The average requirement is 500 hours working with animals (paid or volunteer). Cornell has the toughest requirement; their applicants average 1800 hours! Start early and document your hours.

4. Also Recommended:

  • Research–summer research, independent studies, and, of course, your senior comp
  • Teaching–work as a tutor (preferably for your peers,) and as a T.A. in a science lab

Pre-Veterinary Time Table

Freshman Year:

  • Plan coursework carefully and do well!
  • Start getting experience with animals. Keep a log of hours spent and anecdotes about your experiences.
  • Start thinking about which schools interest you.

Sophomore Year (or Earlier):

  • Identify schools you plan to apply to
  • Check their course and test requirements.
  • Continue getting experience with animals.
  • Check your transcript and future schedule.

Junior Year:

  • Gather letters of recommendation. At least one must be from a veterinarian.
  • Study for the GRE
  • Research your schools carefully
  • Check deadline dates for application.
  • Continue getting experience with animals and/or research.
  • Become aware of animal ethics issues.

Note: Although vet school deadline dates tend to be later in the year than medical schools, you are expected to follow the Allegheny Health Professions Committee guidelines and deadlines.

Senior Year:

Summer Prior to senior year

  • Apply to veterinary school (VMCAS service for most schools).
  • Notify the Health Professions Office and have recommendation letters sent.
  • Have transcript sent to schools.

And beyond…

  • Become aware of animal ethics issues.
  • Prepare for interviews.
  • Try to relax!

For more information, check the following web sites: