“…Penn State was a large beautiful school. It offered many different fields for students to choose to major in. There were many activities to do, organizations to join, and people to meet.” – Michelle
Veterinary studies focus on the health of animals. The archetypal career is working with household pets, such as cats and dogs, but veterinary studies are applicable in a variety of industries, including for livestock, zoo animals, and racetracks. It can also lead to research surrounding conditions and diseases that plague animals in a laboratory setting. While students often say they’re “pre-vet” majors, pre-veterinary is not a major in the traditional sense. The degree at the end of a 4-year baccalaureate won’t say “Pre-Veterinary.” Much like with the moniker “pre-med,” “pre-vet” is a statement of intentions. It helps advisors and professors know that the ultimate intention is to apply to veterinary school, so the pre-vet designation helps to create the undergraduate “track,” as it’s sometimes referred to.
Pre-vet students need to careful construct their schedule to make sure they meet all of the requirements for acceptance into veterinary school, though, which include:
One year of general biology or zoology with labs
One year of organic chemistry with labs
One year of general physics with labs
One year of English
One quarter of statistics
One quarter of college algebra or pre-calculus
One quarter of genetics
Each college has its own requirements, so be sure to check with each institution for their individual needs.
Majors that are beneficial in a pre-vet track include: Biology (the most popular), Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Zoology.
To become a veterinarian, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and licensure is required. At this level of education, the curriculum will include coursework on animal nutrition, toxicology, clinical and communication skills, radiology, pharmacology, and small and large animal surgery. There are a limited number of accredited schools that can confer DVM degrees, making admission very competitive.
The standard career path after earning a DVM is veterinarian, but there are several different types of veterinarian, including equine, food animal, food safety and inspection, and research.The average salary for a veterinarian is $88,490.