This page contains statistical information and other data provided to me by veterinary medical schools and a variety of other sources to be used in advising pre-veterinary medical students. Although every attempt has been made to be factual, the accuracy of all data contained on this page cannot be guaranteed. It is provided here for students to consider as they plan their pre-veterinary medical studies at SBU. Also, toward the end of the page is an exhaustive list of Internet Resources for Pre-Veterinary Medical Students.
Pre-Veterinary Medical Websites
Undergraduate CoursesUsually Required For Admission
Additional Undergraduate CoursesUsually Recommended
Average Undergraduate GPA of Successful Applicants
VCAT/GRE ScoresRequired For Admission
TypicalVeterinary Medical SchoolAdmissionFees
Approximate Tuition Costs Per Year
Length of Time to Obtain Degree
Average Indebtedness Upon Graduation
A Typical Timetable For Pre-Veterinary Medical Admissions Applications
SBU Acceptance Rates
Miscellaneous Items of Interest
Internet Resources For Pre-Veterinary Medical Students
Doctors of veterinary medicine (D.V.M.s) are highly educated and skilled in preventing, diagnosing and treating animal health problems. They provide a variety of services in private practice, teaching and research, government services, public health, military service, private industry, and other specialized areas. Most veterinarians (75%) work in private practice where they examine animals, immunize them against diseases, and advise owners on ways to keep pets and livestock healthy. Of those, 57% are engaged in exclusively small animal practice. There are 27 accredited schools of veterinary medicine in the U.S. where a veterinary medical degree can be earned. Each college is evaluated regularly by the American Veterinary Association and must maintain high standards of excellence to keep accreditation. The following information is pertinent to students wishing apply to one of these schools and to pursue veterinary medicine as a career (D.V.M.).
|English (ENG 1113, 2213)||6 hrs.|
|Biology (BIO 1004, 2134, 2234)||8 hrs.|
|General Chemistry (CHE 1115, 1125)||10 hrs.|
|Organic Chemistry (CHE 3304, 3314)||8 hrs.|
|Physics (PHY 1114, 1124)||8 hrs.|
|Animal or Human Nutrition (with chemistry pre-requisite)||3 hrs.|
|Biochemistry I (BIO 3364/CHE 3364)||4 hrs.|
|Social Sciences and/or Humanities||6-10 hrs.|
|College Algebra (MAT 1143)||3 hrs.|
|Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIO 3335)||5 hrs.|
|Microbiology (BIO 3314)||4 hrs.|
|Genetics (BIO 3323)||3 hrs.|
|Vertebrate Physiology (BIO 3344)||4 hrs.|
|Parasitology (BIO 3374)||4 hrs.|
|Statistics (PSY 3243 or MAT 3344)||3-4 hrs.|
|Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 4224)||4 hrs.|
3.1-3.4 is typical. For the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, the 1994 entering class had an average GPA of 3.4. The four classes currently enrolled have had an average entering GPA of 3.56.
Approximately 75-80% of students entering schools of veterinary medicine each year have a bachelor's degree.
Veterinary medical schools generally do not care about the undergraduate major of a given student. The critical factors are admissions test scores (e.g., VCAT (Veterinary College Admission Test), GPA, personal references, interviews, experience, and letters of recommendation. If a student scores well on the VCAT and has a solid background in the sciences, the major choice is irrelevant.
University of Missouri requires the VCAT, but doesn't accept the VMCAS from in-state applicants. Admissions testing varies among schools. Some veterinary medical schools require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (usually the General Test and the Biology Subject Test are required). A few schools accept the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Many schools now use the VCAT (Veterinary College Admission Test). The VCAT is a standardized, multiple choice exam prepared by The Psychological Corporation. The VCAT is a specialized test which attempts to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. For information about the VCAT contact The Psychological Corporation, 555 Academic Ct., San Antonio, TX, 78204-2498, 1-800-622-3231. The VCAT measures five content areas:
|AREA||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS|
Approximately three and one-half hours are allotted to complete the exam, with a short break half-way through. Each content area is scored on a 100-300 scale, with a 200 corresponding to the 50th percentile.
Scores on the VCAT should be approximately 50-54 for the composite percentile. For the 1994 entering class at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the average VCAT score was 51.8 composite percentile. GRE scores vary greatly among schools. The individual schools should be contacted concerning acceptable VCAT and/or GRE scores.
Eighteen veterinary medical schools make use of VMCAS (Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service). Four school require VMCAS use by non-resident applicants only. For 1998 applicants, the fee of VMCAS is $125 for one school and $30 for each additional college. (A maximum of $820 for all 24 participating colleges of veterinary medicine). For other schools, application is made directly to the schools of veterinary medicine.
The tuition and fees varies greatly among schools. It is always best to contact the financial aid officer at a specific school for detailed information. For 2000, at the University of Missouri-Columbia, first-year students paid $10,940 in tuition and fees while fourth-year students also paid $10,940 in tuition and fees. For selected schools; the following are tuitions and fees:
|Univ. of Missouri-Columbia |
College of Vet. Med. (2000)
|Iowa State University |
College of Vet. Med. (2000)
|Oklahoma State Univ. * |
College of Vet. Med. (1998)
* Tuition, living, fees, etc.
Four years. Residencies and internships are available for those wishing to specialize and get additional training, but they are not required. At present, there are 20 recognized specialty boards:
3) clinical pharmacology
5) internal medicine, with subspecialties: cardiology, neurology, internal medicine, oncology
6) laboratory animal medicine
7) microbiology, with subspecialties: virology, immunology, bacteriology/mycobiology
9) pathology and/or clinical pathology
10) preventive medicine (subspecialty: epidemiology)
11) poultry medicine
14) theriogenology (reproduction)
16) veterinary practice, with subspecialties: companion animal, equine, food animal, dairy, feed-lot/cow-calf, swine health management, avian
17) zoological medicine
18) emergency and critical care
20) animal behavior
A 2- to 5-year residency is required for each specialty, and a certifying exam must be passed.
Data not available--check with specific school. Note that in 1994, the average starting salary of veterinarians was $31,000 (private practice - small animal) and $35,000 for large animal. In 1994, veterinarians with 5 years experience were earning on average $44,000/year while those with 10 years experience earned an average of $73,000/year.
For students wishing to complete their bachelor's degree at SBU, application is normally begun in the spring of their junior year. If early admission is desired before completion of the bachelor's degree, application is begun in the spring of the sophomore year.
Beginning in February of the Sophomore/Junior Year:
- FEBRUARY--Begin a systematic preparation for the VCAT and/or GRE. Obtain study materials and commit a minimum of 2-4 hours per week in study and preparation. Periodically reviewing old exams from completed science courses is also a very useful supplement to this preparation.
- FEBRUARY--Start a file with the SBU Pre-Health Committee by completing the Pre-Health Committee forms. When your file is established with the Pre-Health Committee, evaluation forms will be sent to all science faculty and any non-science faculty selected by the student.
- AUGUST--Contact the school of veterinary medicine and obtain application forms. Begin completing the forms and submit them as early as possible. Transcripts from all schools attended and letters of recommendation will be required as a part of this process. Most schools of veterinary medicine require recommendation letters from the SBU Pre-Health Committee, one or more practicing veterinarians, and other individuals. Deadlines for completion of the application file vary. Most schools require completed files by mid-December.
- AUGUST-SEPTEMBER--Register to take the VCAT; register to take the GRE. The October administration of the GRE is the last date one should plan to take the exam. Earlier dates are advisable.
- OCTOBER--Take the VCAT; take the GRE.
- NOVEMBER-DECEMBER--Complete the application files.
- DECEMBER-MARCH--Interviews at the schools of veterinary medicine.
- APRIL--Letters of acceptance/rejection.
Based on information available to the chairman of the SBU Pre-Health Committee, from 1983 to 1998, only three SBU students applied to schools of veterinary medicine. All three were accepted. The average acceptance rate nationally for 1997 was 35.190% -- less than were accepted into medical schools.
Involve yourself in activities which will improve your nonacademic credentials:
1) Do volunteer and/or paid work with a veterinarian.
2) Participate in an externship program.
3) Participate in campus activities (e.g., Student Association, sports, clubs, etc.).
4) Participate in community activities (e.g., volunteer work).
5) Participate in church activities.
Involve yourself in activities which will improve your academic credentials:
1) Participate in undergraduate research and/or independent studies, especially those leading to a scholarly publication.
2) Participate in the honors program.
3) Enroll in writing-intensive courses to improve your communication skills.
Don't give up too easily if you are not admitted the first time you apply to a school of veterinary medicine. Recognize any academic or nonacademic deficiencies brought to light by your application and take steps to correct them. Make realistic contingency plans. Keep the doors open to do any additional graduate or undergraduate work needed to improved your qualifications for admission.
As a student selects a school for his undergraduate education, a basic question to be answered is "Why go to SBU and not someplace else?" There are a number of factors about SBU that should be considered in answering this question:
- SBU is committed to Christian, higher education. The primary purpose of the SBU faculty is academic excellence, with Christ as the focal point of all activities, both in and out of the classroom.
- SBU has a history of success. SBU graduates applying to professional schools are accepted at a very high rate. Once in professional programs, the performance of SBU's graduates has been outstanding.
- Most upper-level classes at SBU are small (usually less than 20-25 students). This has a number of important results. Closer interactions between faculty and students will occur at SBU than at most other institutions. You will get to known everyone "up close and personal." Life-long friendships will be established with both the faculty and other students because you will have many of the same classes. Individualized, one-on-one attention, assistance, instruction and counseling are available from the SBU faculty. Students do not have to push through a maze of graduate students, teaching assistants and secretaries to meet with their professors.
- SBU has a Pre-Health Committee, consisting of faculty from the departments of biology and chemistry. This committee is dedicated to preparing and sending out those SBU students who wish to become veterinarians. The SBU Pre-Health Committee provides a number of services to the pre-veterinary medicine students. Some of these services, information and assistance about schools of veterinary medicine, school catalogs, admissions policies, grade requirements, application procedures, VCAT information, preparing letters of recommendation, etc., are provided.
Selected Veterinary Medical School Websites:Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Medical Associations and OrganizationsAmerican Veterinary Medical Association
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges - links to VMCAS (Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service), admission statistics and other links
Veterinary Medical Colleges Application Service
Other Internet ResourcesAcceptance Statistics - from AAVMCA
Profiles of Entering Classes - Colorado State University
fastWEB - financial aid search through the web
Financial Aid Information Page - contains links to other sites
List of Veterinary Medical Schools - world-wide list from NetVet
List of Veterinary Medical Schools from AAVMC
NetVet Veterinary Resources - links to a virtual zoo and other resources
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Sallie Mae - financial aid information
Veterinary Links - provided by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Veterinary Medicine Libraries - links to veterinary medical libraries around the world
The Veterinary Profession
Veterinary Specialties - incredible VetNet list of almost every veterinary-related organization anywhere
The "Virtual" Veterinary Center - Martindale's Health Science Guide-'98