Many people who care deeply about animals have dreamed of one day becoming veterinarians. However, a career in veterinary medicine is difficult to pursue and calls for extensive schooling and training. Finding top-notch pre-vet programs is crucial to getting there. The goal of pre-vet programs is to equip students with the background they need to thrive in veterinary school and begin a rewarding career caring for animals.
The world is full of pre-veterinary programs, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It can be difficult to sort through all the possibilities as a potential veterinary student.
In light of this, we have compiled a list of the top pre-vet schools in terms of academic rigor, research opportunities, and clinical experience. This guide will help you locate the pre-veterinary program that is best suited to your needs, whether you are a high school senior just beginning to think about your future or a college student considering a major change.
Best pre vet schools
Michigan State University
Students entering their first or second year at MSU with the intent of attending veterinary school may declare a non-degree major in pre-veterinary medicine. Students work with academic advisors to plot a course of study that will both fulfill the prerequisites for entry to veterinary school and lay the groundwork for a successful professional future. Each student decides by the end of their junior year what degree-granting field they want to study, such as animal science, zoology, or fisheries and wildlife.
Students at Michigan State University (MSU), which is located in East Lansing, have access to the state’s only veterinary college. Within three miles of the campus, there are seven farms housing cattle, swine, sheep, poultry, and horses. Animal welfare advocates will find much to celebrate at Michigan State University, thanks to the university’s world-class faculty who are actively engaged in research and clinical innovation.
University of Maryland-College Park
Are you thinking about doing an internship at the USDA or the National Zoo? These types of hands-on experiences are made possible by the close proximity of this large, public institution to such locations. Also, first-year students at UMD have the opportunity to work with farm animals on the campus farm right away.
Multiple majors catering to those interested in working with animals can be found in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Animal Care and Management programs are popular among those seeking employment with animals such as horses, poultry, livestock, and laboratory animals. Sciences/Pre-Professional is a popular major for undergraduates who want to go on to medical school, veterinary school, or graduate school to study science. Students who are particularly driven may choose an accelerated program that allows them to finish their fourth year of undergraduate studies at veterinary school, thereby reducing the time it takes to earn both degrees.
The Bachelor of Science in Animal and Veterinary Sciences is offered at this public university in Clemson, South Carolina. Animal agribusiness, equestrian business, and pre-veterinary and science are the three subfields that students can specialize in while pursuing this major. Students are able to get plenty of hands-on experience with animals thanks to the six livestock farms that are available to them. Opportunities to participate in research teams are available in a number of forms.
A large number of first-year students are involved in SAVS (Students in Veterinary Sciences), a living-learning community. This setup makes it easier to form study groups, network with people who have similar professional goals, and attend exclusive events.
Kansas State University
Pre-veterinary medicine at Kansas State is not a degree-granting program, as it is at many other universities. Students interested in veterinary school can still choose any undergraduate major they like, and with the help of an advisor can take courses specifically related to their area of interest (animals) and the requirements for veterinary school. Keep in mind that a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Industry is available entirely online at K-State, with one of the available concentrations being a science/pre-veterinary one.
There is an Early Admission Program at this public university in Manhattan, Kansas, for exceptionally qualified high school seniors who are interested in studying veterinary medicine. In addition to a high school GPA, extracurricular activities, community service, intent, references, and an on-campus interview all play a role in the selection process.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Amherst, MA)
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has earned a reputation for academic excellence and a commitment to social responsibility. With over $12 million in research awards, UMass’s pre-vet program is well equipped to meet UMass’s educational goal and provide pre-vet students with everything they need to become veterinarians.
UMass Amherst’s pre-vet program gives its students access to a number of great resources, including excellent facilities and partnerships with other universities.
UMass Amherst is the starting point for pre-vet students pursuing a degree in Animal Science. Hadley Farm is the starting point for first-year students’ education, and it is here that they will find 130 acres of farmland, 24 horses, and around 60 goats and lambs.
If you want to know what it takes to enter a pre-vet program and become a veterinarian, look no further than UMass’s Department of Veterinary and Animal Science.
Tufts University (Medford, MA)
Tufts University has a long history of success in the fields of veterinary medicine and animal research, earning it a reputation as one of the top pre-vet schools in the United States. Tufts University’s pre-vet program is renowned for its combination of academic rigor and practical experience with animals.
Tufts’ pre-vet program is unique among those on this list because it is less of a program and more of a society.
The Pre-Veterinary Society at Tufts provides many of the same opportunities for both serious and casual students interested in pursuing veterinary medicine at the graduate level. Members gain access to resources that broaden their horizons in terms of career and research opportunities, as well as visits and information sessions from Veterinary Medicine schools and professional guidance on crafting a degree plan that covers all the bases for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
Tufts recognizes that in order to train future veterinarians, its students must have access to the necessary educational resources. High school students interested in applying to Tufts University’s pre-vet program can choose from a number of excellent pre-college admissions programs.
University of California – Davis (Davis, CA)
The UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine encourages students of all ages and walks of life to pursue a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
As part of its dedication to making its services available to as many people as possible, UC Davis provides students with the Barn Residence. Barn residencies provide students with free room and board in exchange for 10 hours of work per week at one of several barns.
If you want to become a veterinarian, UC Davis has one of the best programs available. The UC Davis Veterinary Medicine webpage is a great resource for curious students.
Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
Degree options at Washington State University are as varied as the students who enroll there.
Pre-veterinary students are counseled by the university’s Health Professions Student Center to complete a set of prerequisites, but they are encouraged to do so within a broad range of degree options.
A student’s education is most valuable when it allows them to work toward a goal that matters deeply to them.
Neuroscience, zoology, genetics/cell biology, and bioengineering are just a few of the majors available to pre-vet students.
The length of time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree and a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) can vary from program to program.
Under the Honors Pre-Admit Program at WSU, students can earn their baccalaureate degree and doctor of veterinary medicine in just 7 years.
WSU is able to offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, which is a unique aspect of this deal that is not provided by all universities.
Pre-vet advisors are available to help students figure out how to fulfill all the prerequisites for a veterinary science degree.
These professionals will help students pick a major, polish their resumes, and get ready for the competitive veterinary school admissions process.
Clubs like the WSU Pre-Vet Club provide a social outlet for students interested in veterinary medicine, as well as tours of veterinary schools, opportunities to build professional connections, insight into the job market, and a group of like-minded animal advocates to learn from and grow with.
Despite the difficulty of a program like pre-vet, WSU finds a way to make it available to a diverse group of students with different academic goals.
WSU is a great option for those looking for a college experience that will give them room to express their individual passion for helping animals.
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (Eau Claire, WI)
Even though it is categorized as a pre-professional program, the pre-vet program at UW–Eau Claire has everything a pre-vet program needs and more.
Students are able to pursue multiple areas of interest while still fulfilling degree requirements because the university recognizes that it is not so much about the name of the degree you have as it is about the content and quality.
This diversity of pursuits not only encourages students to think outside the box when deciding on a pre-vet major, but also allows them to apply to more scholarship opportunities, both pre-vet and otherwise.
In addition to the two pre-vet scholarships listed on the university’s scholarship information page, UW-Eau Claire offers a wide variety of other scholarship and grant opportunities.
Pre-vet students at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire can take advantage of the university’s cutting-edge Health Careers Center. Pre-vet students can take advantage of the center’s dedicated advising staff. The Veterinary Medicine Centralized Application Service (VMCAS) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are two of the most important stepping stones on the road to veterinary school, and these advisors help students map out a path to get there.
There is no veterinary medicine program at UW–Eau Claire, but there is at UW–Madison! If a student decides to transfer to UW-Madison after completing their undergraduate degree, they will benefit from the close relationship between the two institutions.
Hollins University (Roanoke, VA)
Hollins University, founded in 1819, is the nation’s first and oldest college or university exclusively for women.
There is a dedicated outdoor program at the university, and the school also has one of the top riding school programs in the United States.
Students in the pre-vet program at Hollins have opportunities to ride and care for horses both locally and internationally. Students interested in horses will be thrilled to learn that the University of Limerick in Ireland offers a study abroad program focused on equestrian studies.
However, interest in horses is not required to enroll in the pre-vet program at Hollins; rather, the school’s emphasis is on preparing students to work with a wide variety of animals, a requirement of many Veterinary Medicine programs.
Many Hollins graduates have gone on to veterinary medicine doctoral programs at prestigious institutions like Texas A&M and Western University of Health Sciences. When it comes to the pre-vet program, Hollins does not play around. Women who are interested in studying veterinary medicine at Hollins can find more information about the program on the program’s webpage.
What is Pre-Veterinary Studies?
It is common for students to begin their journey toward becoming veterinarians by enrolling in pre-veterinary medicine programs. This track educates students in the basics of animal and plant biology. With this foundation, prospective students have a better chance of fulfilling the prerequisites for entry to veterinary school. While some pre-vet students do go on to become veterinarians, others use the skills they learned to pursue other animal-related careers or advanced degrees in the sciences.
How long is pre-vet school?
To enter veterinary school, most people first complete a four-year undergraduate degree. However, you can tailor your education by taking only the courses required by the veterinary schools you’re interested in.
What are the best vet schools?
In terms of veterinary colleges, you can pick from a wide variety of institutions. But there aren’t as many veterinary colleges as you might think, which contributes to the perception that getting into vet school is difficult. You can find a more detailed list of vet schools and their rankings here, but UC Davis and Cornell University still hold the top spots.
The meaning of “pre-vet” can change from institution to institution. For those interested in pursuing a specialized field of study, some schools may provide access to courses they hadn’t previously considered. By following this path, you can gain valuable work experience and lay the groundwork for veterinary school.
If becoming a veterinarian is your goal, you can get there with any degree you want. Simply remember to take pleasure in the trip.