Veterinary Medicine

Advisor: Clark Cotton 

Graduate programs in veterinary medicine consider majors in any discipline to be acceptable for admission. However, significant coursework in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are prerequisites for entry. Entrance requirements for schools of veterinary medicine vary; students should inform themselves of the courses required by the school which they plan to attend. A pre-requisite chart for entrance into all veterinary schools can be found at Admission to veterinary medicine programs is competitive and the admission process considers courses, grades, performance on Graduate Record Exam, animal experience, veterinary medicine exposure, personal interviews at the veterinary schools during the senior year, and letters of evaluation. General information can be found at the Veterinary Application site ( or at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (

There are a limited number of veterinary programs in the country and some specialize in different areas of veterinary medicine (i.e. exotic animals, large production animals, equine, etc..). Therefore, it is highly recommended that students look at the various programs and identify their own potential schools of interest. In addition, the pre-requisites do vary from program to program. The following courses are recommended as generally fulfilling prerequisites for schools of veterinary medicine:

Coursework in Biology:

  • BIOL 101 (Foundations of Biology)
  • BIOL 201 (Intermediate Cell and Molecular Biology)
  • BIOL 307 (Microbiology; while we offer a 200 level Microbiology course, graduate schools prefer students complete the upper level microbiology coursework)
  • BIOL 316 (Genetics)
  • BIOL 317 (Biochemistry)
  • Some veterinary programs require courses in anatomy and physiology. It is recommended that students take BIOL 323 (Animal Physiology) and BIOL 330 (Comparative Anatomy) at CSB/SJU.

Coursework in Chemistry:

  • CHEM 125 (Organic)
  • CHEM 250 (Reactivity I)
  • CHEM 255 (Inorganic and quantitative)
  • CHEM 251 (Reactivity II: only required if a full year of organic is required)

Labs (for credit):

  • CHEM 201 (Purification I)
  • CHEM 202 (Purification II)
  • CHEM 205 (Quantitative)
  • CHEM 203 (if 2 semesters of organic is required)

Coursework in Mathematics:

  • MATH 124 (Statistics)
  • MATH 119 (Calculus)

Coursework in Physics:

  • PHYS 104 (Physics for the Life Sciences I)
  • PHYS 105 (Physics for the Life Sciences II)
  • Some veterinary programs also require a course in writing, a public speaking course, and some general coursework in the Humanities.

In addition, it is recommended that you obtain some significant experience working with animals and shadowing veterinarians. In fact, some schools specifically ask for a letter of recommendation from a veterinarian.