Preparing for Admission to Veterinary School
Prerequisite Courses Required by Veterinary Schools
Most veterinary schools require a minimum of
- 8 credits of biology courses with accompanying laboratory courses
- 4 credits of microbiology with a lab
- 8 credits of inorganic/general chemistry with accompanying labs
- 8 credits of organic chemistry with accompanying labs
- 4 credits of biochemistry
- 8 credits of physics with accompanying labs
- 3 credits of calculus
- 3 credits of statistics
- 6 credits of English composition and/or literature courses
- Various humanities and social science courses.
Out of the five pre-health areas that are under the PreMedical and PreDental Advising Office’s umbrella, there seems to be more variability amongst the veterinary schools’ prerequisite course requirements than any other pre-professional area. Admission requirements vary per school and it is a student’s responsibility to be knowledgeable about the nuances of each veterinary school to which they plan on applying. Please refer to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) website which provides links to all of the veterinary schools and their admission requirements.
All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the Spring semester that precedes a student’s expected August matriculation into veterinary school.
A list of the UMBC equivalents of the prerequisite courses required by The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is linked below. This list provides the general minimum requirements for most, but not all, veterinary schools in the United States.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit for Science Prerequisites
Students frequently ask if they can use AP credit in lieu of taking the prerequisite courses for a grade and credit at UMBC. Pre-veterinary students should not rely on AP credits to fulfill veterinary school prerequisites. Not all veterinary schools accept AP credit, particularly for the science prerequisite courses, even if UMBC accepts AP course credits for those same courses. Each veterinary school has the final say if a student meets their admission requirements and every veterinary school has different policies regarding AP credit. In order to prepare students to meet the requirements of as many institutions as possible, it is advisable that UMBC students complete the science prerequisite courses at the university-level for a grade and credit and not rely on AP credits to fulfill prerequisite coursework. This is particularly true for the chemistry and physics sequences. First-year students with AP credit in chemistry and physics are urged to begin science coursework at UMBC at the introductory level (with CHEM 101 and PHYS 111 or 121).
Slightly more flexibility exists if a situation arises where a student decides to use AP credit for BIOL 100 and BIOL 100 Lab. In such a circumstance, sometimes veterinary schools will accept advanced biological sciences coursework at the intermediate level. In this instance, the student would then be required to complete either a 300 or 400 level biological science lecture course that has an accompanying laboratory, such as Cell Biology with lab or Comparative Animal Physiology with Lab. The student could then use BIOL 302 with Lab and either Cell Biology with Lab or Comparative Animal Physiology with Lab towards fulfillment of the minimal 8.0 credits of biological sciences, required by veterinary schools. Again, UMBC cannot promise that all veterinary schools will function in exactly the same manner and therefore, students are advised to proceed with caution when using AP credits towards fulfillment of the dental school requirements.
Also, CLEP (College Level Examination Program) course credit, long-distance or online courses are generally not accepted by veterinary schools toward fulfillment of the prerequisite courses.
Advanced Placement (AP) Credit for Non-science Prerequisites
Each veterinary school sets its own unique standards and admission requirements. There are some veterinary schools that do NOT accept AP credit for non-science prerequisites such as English. Because not all veterinary schools function in exactly the same manner, UMBC pre-veterinary students are urged to complete all veterinary school prerequisite courses at the university-level for a grade and credit and not rely on AP credits to fulfill any veterinary school requirements, regardless of whether the course is a science or non-science prerequisite.
At UMBC, there are many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research. Please visit the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Undergraduate Research website and UMBC’s Research and Scholarship website for instructions on how to get started with research not only at UMBC, but also at locations across the country.
The Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor also offers a plethora of research opportunities at medical schools and government organizations.
Some off-campus locations where students have completed undergraduate research include:
Extracurricular Involvement and Leadership
With over 200 campus organizations at UMBC, there is a club or organization for almost any interest area. Please visit the UMBC Office of Student Life website for more information.
Current UMBC students can get connected to the Pre-Veterinary Society by accessing the Office of Student Life’s Student Organizations List. Students are strongly encouraged to get connected to the Pre-Veterinary Society listserv, even if they cannot attend the meetings. To get onto the Society listserv, please email one of the officers of the Society from your UMBC email account and request that they add you to the listserv. The listserv provides weekly information about workshops, professional school visits, internship postings, walkin advising hours, advising appointment schedules, and much more.