Top 10+ Pre-Veterinary Medicine Programs in 2024

May 28, 2024
6 min read
Contents

”Luke

Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/27/24

Interested in studying pre-vet medicine? We cover everything you need to know about it in this guide. 

The idea of vet school is enough to strike fear in the hearts of aspiring veterinarians. The pre-vet journey determines your success or failure in the field of veterinary medicine. 

You want to give yourself the best chance at achieving your dreams, so you’ve considered majoring in veterinary studies. But what is this field of study? Will this degree increase your chances of acceptance to vet school? Is it right for you?

We answer these questions and more as we delve into this guide to prepare you for your vet school expedition. 

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10+ Best Schools Offering Pre-Vet Medicine Programs

As with any specialty, pre-vet programs aren’t available at every college. Keep in mind that you don’t have to pursue a pre-vet track in order to apply for vet school, but we understand the appeal of a program that gives you a peek into the world of veterinary medicine. 

We’ve listed ten colleges with some of the best pre-veterinary bachelor's programs in the United States to help you decide where you want to pursue your undergraduate studies

1. Clemson University

Clemson University provides a program that gives you first-hand experience with different species of animals to prepare you for the veterinary field. You’ll learn the foundation for the math and science subjects you need to succeed in vet school. Clemson offers varying livestock for students to work with, and this university also developed a fowl cholera vaccine. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Clemson, SC 43% $15,554 $39,498

2. Michigan State University

Michigan State University offers a pre-veterinary medicine track to incoming freshmen and sophomores. This program gives you the information and resources you need to apply to vet school, but this track does not give you a degree. You must choose a major that gives you a degree, like biology or animal science, and stay in touch with pre-vet advisors as you proceed to vet school.

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
East Lansing, MI 88% $16,051 $43,435

3. University of Maryland–College Park

The University of Maryland-College Park offers an Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine program that prepares you with the prerequisites recommended for most vet schools and allows you to begin applying for vet school during your junior year. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
College Park, MD 45% $11,505 $40,306

4. University of Massachusetts–Amherst

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers a pre-veterinary science major that you need to qualify for in order to obtain. You will begin as an animal science major and must retain a B- or higher in select subjects to gain entry into the pre-vet program. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Amherst, MA 64% $5,752.50 $20,153.00

5. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides a pre-veterinary concentration that allows you to prepare for veterinary school. This concentration consists of the necessary prerequisites to apply to vet school. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Champaign, IL 43.7% $17,704-$22,968 $36,824-$44,728

6. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a Bachelor of Science with a pre-veterinary track. This program helps you learn basic scientific and medical knowledge before you venture into vet school as an aspiring vet.

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Tucson, AZ 87% $13,600 $41,000

7. University of Southern Maine

The University of Southern Maine offers a post-baccalaureate pre-veterinary studies certificate once you graduate from college. You have to meet specific requirements before you can earn the certificate. 

You must earn 14 credit hours in biology, 22 credit hours in chemistry, 10 credit hours in physics, and four credit hours in math. Six of these credits must be earned from the University of Southern Maine as well, and you must finish with at least a C-.

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Portland, ME 87% $8,910 $26,250

8. Tarleton State University

Tarleton State University offers a pre-veterinary program that gives students experience in the field of veterinary medicine while also intertwining classes on genetics and anatomy. 

This university partners with the Texas A&M University vet school through a memorandum of agreement (MOA). They share an agreement in which five students from Tarleton will be accepted into the Texas A&M vet school as long as they meet the MOA requirements.

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Stephenville, TX 57% $26,516.00 $38,629.00

9. Pennsylvania State University–Main Campus

Pennsylvania State University provides a pre-veterinary program that prepares students for vet school and provides unique opportunities for these students. The university offers many clubs, from pre-vet to small and exotic animal clubs. The university also connects its students with internships and externships so they can gain more experience. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
University Park, PA 55% $32,656 $52,610

10. Ball State University

Like Michigan State, Ball State University offers a pre-veterinary medicine program that does not lead to a degree, so you must declare a major before joining. This program helps prepare aspiring students for the requirements of Purdue University’s vet school.

You don’t have to attend Purdue, but your advisor needs to know which vet schools you want to apply to so they can make sure you meet the requirements of those schools. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Muncie, IN 68% $22,318 $40,326

11. Ohio State University

Ohio State University in Columbus is one of the best veterinary schools that offers a pre-professional program for veterinary medicine. To succeed at Ohio State, you’ll need to have a strong science foundation and participate in several non-academic extracurriculars, among other prerequisites. 

If you choose to attend Ohio State, you’ll be able to join the pre-vet medicine club, which allows students to participate in activities that help them learn about the veterinary profession.

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Columbus, OH 53% $12,859 $38,365

12. University of Delaware

You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from the University of Delaware! You’ll be able to get lots of hands-on experience with domestic animals. You will also have opportunities to study abroad and learn about wildlife conservation and sustainable agriculture in countries like New Zealand and Tanzania. 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Newark, DE 72% $14,040 $37,680

13. Boise State University

Boise State also offers a Pre-Veterinary Pathway, a non-degree program designed to prepare students for veterinary school. You can choose a major in any discipline as long as you fulfill the requirements. Boise State offers guidelines on choosing a major, encouraging you to consider your passions, skills, and secondary plans (if not veterinary school). 

Location Acceptance Rate Residents Annual Tuition Cost Non-Residents Annual Tuition Cost
Boise, ID 84% $2,970.48 $12,067.48

While these are some of the best colleges for veterinarians, there are plenty of other options for schools when it comes to a pre-veterinary track. Check the universities in your area to see if they offer this program or something similar. Keep in mind that you can earn a degree in any field to apply for vet school, so long as you meet that school’s prerequisites. 

Preparing for Pre-Vet Program

The best way to prepare for graduate school is to decide your career path early. Use your high school career to gain basic knowledge in classes like biology and chemistry. These courses follow you throughout vet school and through your career as a veterinarian. The best way to become proficient in these subjects is through consistent practice.

If you find yourself struggling in math or science, you could always enlist the help of a tutor. You can find a tutor for any subject you’ll need, like calculus or biology, here. You want to make sure you excel in math and science because they persist throughout veterinary medicine. 

Devote some of your free time to either volunteering at your local animal shelter or shadowing a veterinarian. These extracurriculars will give you first-hand experience with animals. Shelters provide experience working with animals from all walks of life and teach you different ways to handle potentially contentious animals. Shadowing a vet shows you the day-to-day operations of a veterinarian and will help determine if you’re cut out for the field. 

We understand the difficulty of choosing a career path early. There are so many options, and it’s hard to pick just one. However, vet school is competitive for a reason, so you want to make sure you participate in opportunities that will set you apart from other candidates. 

If you’re uncertain about your chances of getting into veterinary school, take our free quiz down below! We consider a number of factors to help you determine your vet school admission odds. 


We can also help you choose the right courses, prepare for the GRE, engage in meaningful extracurriculars, and gain essential clinical experience. 

This comprehensive preparation helps differentiate your profile, enhancing your chances of getting into your dream veterinary school. Start your journey with us and take a significant step towards your career in veterinary medicine. 

Take a look at this video to learn more about Catarina, one of our experts who provides invaluable guidance for aspiring veterinarians:

What Are Prerequisites Required for Veterinary School?

The prerequisites required for veterinary school are:

  • Biology/Zoology
  • Cellular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics/Statistics
  • English Composition
  • Humanities/Social Sciences
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Electives and science electives

Pre-vet medicine programs boost vet school admission prospects through tailored coursework, clinical experience, and networking. Professors become key recommenders and research opportunities add depth to applications. Pre-vet programs are essential stepping stones to successful vet school admissions.

What Are Prerequisites Required for Veterinary School?

The prerequisites required for veterinary school are:

  • Biology/Zoology
  • Cellular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics/Statistics
  • English Composition
  • Humanities/Social Sciences
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Electives and science electives

Pre-veterinary programs boost vet school admission prospects through tailored coursework, clinical experience, and networking. Professors become key recommenders, and research opportunities add depth to applications. Pre-vet programs are essential stepping stones to successful vet school admissions.

Majors for Pre-Vet Medicine

Pre-vet is more of a track you pursue, not an actual major. When it comes to choosing a major, there are so many options. So, which is the best major? There is no right or wrong answer when choosing a major for vet school. 

Most vet schools are concerned with the prerequisites, so if you meet these requirements, you stand a chance at getting accepted into vet school, even if you are an art major. Of course, a few majors lend a little weight to your chances, and we’ve listed these options below. 

Biology

Majoring in biology prepares you for the science behind all forms of life. Throughout this program, you’ll take classes that cover the basics of biology as well as how to handle diseases in microbiology.

You’ll earn most, if not all, of the prerequisites you need to apply for vet school. By choosing a science major, you’ll also gain useful study habits that you can use throughout your vet school journey.

Chemistry

A chemistry major allows students to blend mathematics and science and proves to be a difficult subject. Choosing to major in chemistry allows you to fulfill any chemistry prerequisites for vet school and builds a strong foundation for your veterinary career.

Chemistry is prevalent in medicine, and you need a solid understanding of the subject if you want to succeed as a veterinarian. 

Animal Science

An animal science degree prepares students to handle animals from varying species. This major gives you great experience working with animals, and you can even choose specializations within the major, like animal medicine. 

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a major. Pre-veterinary medicine consists of the prerequisites required to apply to vet school. You could choose to major in English so long as you meet the prerequisites for the school you apply to. 

The most important aspect to remember is your grades. Don’t major in chemistry if it’s not your best subject. Your grades matter more than your major. 

Career Opportunities For Pre-Vet Students

As with any degree, you want to know that you have options when it comes to employment. Most students participate in a pre-vet medicine program to become a veterinarian. But what if you don’t get accepted to vet school? There are plenty of job opportunities for pre-vet graduates, they include:

Veterinarian

Veterinarians care for the well-being of animals, working in clinics or animal hospitals. You must have a DVM to be a veterinarian. Though graduate school is hard work, the average salary of a veterinarian is $126,258. This career comes with a lot of responsibility as you’ll be the one in charge of making split-second decisions for your patients. 

Veterinary Technologist or Technician

Veterinary Technologists or Technicians help perform routine and emergency care for animals under the guidance of a veterinarian. Some of their duties include performing x-rays, administering medication, and preparing animals for surgery. 

The difference between a technologist and a technician lies solely in whether you earn a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. Both technologists and technicians have to undergo certification before they can practice. The median annual salary for this position is around $40,299.

Veterinary Assistant

You can achieve a career as a veterinary assistant with little to no training. Many clinics offer entry-level jobs where people learn as they go. It wouldn’t hurt to have some prior experience or a certificate in vet assisting, but it’s not always necessary. The average annual salary of a vet assistant is $43,441

When it comes to putting your pre-vet experience to use, there are plenty of career paths you can choose from. Take all factors into consideration when making your decision, from the cost of varying degrees to the salary you can earn. You can still follow your passion of helping animals even if you don’t end up going to vet school.

FAQs

If you still have questions, here are frequently asked questions. 

1. What Is Pre-Veterinary Medicine?

In some colleges, students interested in becoming veterinarians choose a major like biology or animal science and add a series of courses designed to meet veterinary school requirements. This allows them to apply to vet schools with the right background.

Pre-veterinary education gives you a sneak peek into the world of veterinary medicine and shows just how demanding the career can be. 

2. How Long Is Pre-Vet School?

Pre-vet school typically consists of earning a four-year undergraduate degree before applying to vet school. However, you can choose to take just the prerequisites recommended for the vet schools you wish to attend. 

3. How Long Is Vet School?

If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree before vet school, the endeavor will take about eight years to complete. You can read more about the process here.

4. What Are the Best Vet Schools?

There are quite a few options when it comes to vet schools. However, there aren’t as many vet schools as you think, and that’s why people say vet school is so competitive. UC Davis and Cornell University remain the highest-ranked vet schools in the U.S., but you can find a more informative list of vet schools and their rankings here.

5. How Much Is Vet School?

The cost of vet school depends on the college you wish to attend. More prestigious schools have a steeper price tag, and out-of-state tuition always costs more than attending in-state. You can find a more comprehensive list of vet school costs here.

6. Do I Have to Be Pre-Vet to Apply to Vet School?

Absolutely not! You can apply to vet school with any degree so long as you meet that school’s prerequisites. Your grades carry more weight when determining your acceptance to vet school. You don’t have to have a biology or chemistry degree in order to be a veterinarian. 

7. Should I Shadow a Vet Before Vet School?

If you can shadow a veterinarian or volunteer at your local shelter, you should. You can gain first-hand experience with animals, which could set you apart from other vet school candidates. You can also use the opportunity to shadow to see if veterinary medicine is the right choice for you. You might have a passion for helping animals but a weak stomach. 

Final Thoughts

Pre-vet medicine holds varying meanings from school to school. Some universities offer classes that you’ve never even considered, opening up pathways to specializations. This track helps you gain experience and build a strong foundation for vet school. 

No matter what degree you choose, you can achieve your dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Just make sure you take time to enjoy your journey. 



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