With a thorough understanding of animal anatomy, physiology, disease, and treatment, veterinarians help restore and maintain the health of the animal population. Like physicians, veterinarians study, diagnose, and treat injury and disease, as well as provide preventive care for their patients. Good communication skills are essential, since vets must work closely with the owners of their patients for the best outcome.
Vets can specialize in a broad range of fields and animal types, including internal medicine, research, public health, domestic animals, wildlife, and livestock. To become a veterinarian, one must complete graduate medical education, a residency, and pass licensing exams.
In order to be admitted to vet school, prospective students without undergraduate science degrees can take advantage of the Pre-Veterinarian path in UVM’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.
A Note from Your Advisor:
Veterinary schools usually require more foundation courses than do medical schools. They also vary significantly, so interested students should research veterinary schools of interest to determine a list of courses needed. Animal care experience with a variety of animals is important. There is a shortage of large animal veterinarians across the US. Note below the “hard to find” courses that UVM offers.
Commonly Required Courses:
2 semesters English (including composition), 6 credits
2 semesters Physics with labs, 10 credits
2 semesters General Chemistry with labs, 8 credits
2 semester Organic Chemistry with labs, 8 credits
2 semester Biology with labs, 8 credits
1 semester Genetics, 3 credits
2 semesters Mathematics, 8 credits
1 semester Biochemistry, 3 credits
2 semesters Social & Behavioral Sciences, 6 credits
2 semesters Humanities & Fine Arts, 6 credits
Animal Science Major/Courses
Pre-vet students have the “hard to find” course options available through UVM’s Animal Science Department. Prior students have told us that these courses gave them a nice advantage as veterinary school applicants. Here are some commonly chosen courses:
ASCI 043 – Fundamentals of Nutrition
ASCI 117 – Horse Health and Disease
ASCI 118 – Applied Animal Health
ASCI 141 – Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals
ASCI 168 – Animal Genetics and Breeding
ASCI 171 – Zoos, Exotics, and Endangered Species
Featured Summer Course for Pre-Vet Students
CREAM: Integrated Large-Animal and Agricultural Operation Management: On-Farm Dairy Intensive
Offered each summer is a program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Vermont. During the summer 8 to 15 students manage a herd of 60 registered Holstein and Jersey cattle. This on-farm experience also includes special projects and field trips and offers students an uncommon experiential learning experience that will help distinguish them as future agriculture leaders. For more information>>
Planning Your Curriculum–One-on-One
Given differing veterinary school requirements and the fact that many of our students come with some of the required courses already completed, we invite you to schedule a personal or telephone appointment with our Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Pre-Health Advisor in order to line out a possible curriculum plan. You can schedule an appointment by calling 800-639-3210.
Post-Baccalaureate Veterinarian Program at UVM
NOTE: Many Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Vet students have completed some of the required courses in the recent past. Your advisor will discuss adapting the curriculum plan below accordingly.
Two-Year Plan Starting with Summer Term
2 General Chemistry courses intensively over eight weeks
CHEM 31 and CHEM 32, 4 credits each
(Assumes current with precalculus – algebra with trigonometry)
1 Principles of Biology, BIOL 001, 4 credits
1 Organic Chemistry, CHEM 141, 4 credits
1 Calculus I (MATH 19, 3 credits, or MATH 21, 4 credits)
Between terms, prepare for GRE here or the second winter
1 Principles of Biology, BIOL 002, 4 credits
1 Organic Chemistry, CHEM 142, 4 credits
1 Calculus II (MATH 20, 3 credits, or MATH 22, 4 credits)
2 Physics with labs over 10 weeks (algebra-based)
PHYS 11 with lab PHYS 21, 5 credits
PHYS 12 with lab PHYS 22, 5 credits
1 Animal Physiology with lab, ASCI 141, 4 credits
1 Biochemistry (CHEM 205, 3 credits, or grad-level BIOC 301, 3 credits)
Elective Animal Sciences or English, Humanities, Social Sciences, as needed
1 Genetics: Animal Genetics & Breeding, ASCI 168, or Genetics, BCOR 101, 3 credits
1 Nutrition: Fundamentals of Nutrition, NFS 43, 3 credits
Any remaining Animal Science, English, Humanities, or Social Science courses
Two-Year Plan Starting With Fall Term
The biggest change to a fall start would be that the two General Chemistry courses would be taken Fall and Spring terms instead of the two Organic Chemistry courses, which would move to the following summer as a pair. The two Physics courses would then move to the second year, Fall and Spring terms, perhaps leaving less room for other required courses or pushing them to the second summer.