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Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Educational Pathway

After completing an Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree with a major in Science Specialization: Pre-Medical, you will continue your pre-veterinary study by transferring to a four year school. You can declare a major in any subject at the four year school to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree which will require an additional two years of college. Your chosen major does not determine your success in being accepted to a veterinary college.

After being accepted it will take four years to be awarded a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) or Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (V.M.D.) Early in your academic career you will need to research some veterinary colleges you are interested in attending in order to insure you will meet all their criteria for admission. Some basic factors are:

  • Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.5 or higher is desirable)
  • Test scores (GRE®)
  • True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field and this is very important; some colleges require numerous documented hours
  • Leadership and communication skills
  • Strong reference letters from professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic

What is the GRE®?

It is Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test taken by students who are applying to veterinary schools. It will be similar to the ACT® or SAT®. It is a broad assessment of your critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills — all skills developed over the course of many years, which includes your two years at SWCC.

Important qualities for veterinarians

A great veterinarian has compassion for animals and their owners. They must have excellent communication skills as well as customer service skills. Veterinarians must be able to make quick decisions in emergency situations, have good manual dexterity, and be very knowledgeable.

Is being a veterinarian for you?

The student should shadow veterinarians and ask questions about the profession. Veterinarians diagnose and medicate sick animals. They also perform surgeries, treat wounds and advise pet owners on care and animal behavior. Veterinarians are employed in animal clinics, zoos, laboratories, and in government work related to animal care.

Veterinary Medical Colleges

There are 30 veterinary medical colleges in the United States. You can review them at the following site:

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