Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is pre-vet a major?
Answer: The program of study for pre-vet students is designed to meet the entrance requirements of veterinary schools in the U.S. and abroad, and provides opportunities for valuable “hands-on” experience with animals. A student can major in any discipline, and as long as the entrance requirements for veterinary school are met, the student could be admitted to veterinary school. However, without animal experience, acceptance into vet school is more difficult. To help students get this important animal experience, our program encourages students to participate in experiential learning opportunities in classes, labs, internships, research, and practicums. We have a solid record of success with our undergraduate students who persist in their goal of gaining admission into veterinary school.
Question: In addition to enrolling in an appropriate plan of study what else is necessary to gain admission to vet-school?
Answer: College students must perform well in coursework (get good grades in a rigorous program of study) and obtain practical experience with animals. This could be under the direction of a veterinarian, in an area research lab or working in one of our equestrian facilities. In addition, some schools require the GRE so individual vet schools need to be consulted.
Question: What classes should I take in high school to prepare myself for the pre-vet option?
Answer: Take as many science and math courses as your school allows, these can include biology, chemistry, physics, physiology, algebra, trigonometry and calculus. In addition, take courses that provide writing experience and also take at least three years of one foreign language. In general, the better the academic background a student has, the better prepared s/he is for success at St. Andrews and beyond.
Question: Do Advanced Placement (AP) classes help?
Answer : Yes, AP classes in almost any subject help. Taking AP classes in the kinds of classes listed above will provide you with an excellent background in those subjects. AP classes in other subjects, such as history, language, and English will also give you good background for general education classes at St. Andrews. Achieving a good score on AP tests can allow you to meet specific course credits at St. Andrews, and allow for greater flexibility in course scheduling. A word of caution…some veterinary programs do not accept AP credit in required courses. If you pass the AP exam, check with your pre-vet advisor to determine if accepting the AP credit is appropriate for you.
Question: What are my chances for getting into vet school?
Answer: The chance of successfully getting into a vet school depends on a number of
factors and the weight put on these factors varies from school to school.
- It is important to make sure you are a resident of a
state that has a vet school or a state that has a contract with another vet
school to accept students. Veterinary schools almost all limit enrollment
to students in one of these two situations.
- Most of the veterinary schools will give you the formula they use to
evaluate students. Some schools use a point system and by adding up the
points for experiences like military service, working in a veterinary
hospital, etc., you can figure out how your experience will affect your chances. The rest of the weight is usually on degrees obtained, grade point average, standardized testing, recommendations, and a personal statement.
- At many vet schools, persistence will work in your favor, too. Applying more than once or twice does show a strong desire to get in, especially if combined with some sort of coursework to improve grade point average or to get a degree in a related field.
- Contacting the college with a veterinary school that accepts students from
the state you are in is the first step. For a list of accredited veterinary schools go to the American Veterinary Medical Association website at www.aavmc.org.