Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Tending to the health of creatures great and small

Want to use your passion for science to help your furry and feathered friends? Becoming a veterinarian may be the clear choice, but prepare for a rigorous training program. Veterinarians practice in a variety of specialties, working with neighborhood pets, farm livestock, or even exotic animals.

To practice as a veterinarian, you must first obtain your DVM, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. This is a four year graduate program that may be completed after earning your bachelor’s degree.

Admission into degree programs can be competitive. The AVMA offers tips on how to strengthen your chances of being admitted. Many programs will be looking closely at your volunteer experience, so be sure to engage in whatever hands-on experience you can find. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges provides a directory of veterinary medical schools to help you become familiar with the individual requirements of various programs before you apply.

The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is a common application service much like those used for medical school applications. They provide a great timeline for the DVM application process as well as a comprehensive guide to the application process.

Most Veterinary Medicine programs require*:

  • 2 Biology courses: Zoology (BIOL 111) and Microbiology (BIOL 208)
  • 4 Chemistry courses: Introductory Chemistry (CHEM 117), Environmental, Analytical, and Geochemistry (CHEM 220), Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 230), and Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 235)
  • BIOL/CHEM 260 or 300
  • General Physics I and II (PHYS 101 and 102)
  • 2 semesters of English with intensive writing
  • GRE scores

Additional Requirements

Individual schools may have specific requirements. Check the website of schools that you are particularly interested in applying to.

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