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Preparing to Study Veterinary Medicine

Careers in veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, or veterinary research are highly desirable. But these days, competition for admission to veterinary school is stiff. While the number of accredited veterinary colleges has remained at 28 since 1983, the number of applicants has risen, and in 1999 only one-third of those who applied were accepted (in 2007, 46% were accepted). That's why an excellent undergraduate preparation is essential.

Randolph College's pre-veterinary program offers you the well-rounded foundation you'll need for this demanding career. It will also thoroughly prepare you for admission to veterinary school or other graduate programs in the field.

Preparing for your future

  • You can major in anything. The choice of major is not a factor in veterinary school admissions decisions. However, most pre-vets major in biology because of the extensive biology requirements as well as the preparation it provides for the biology subject test of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), a prerequisite to admission to many veterinary colleges.
  • Good grades in science are important. Vet school applications are extremely competitive. You need As and Bs in most of your science courses and a 3.0 or better to apply to most schools. The Ethyl Science and Mathematics Resource Center can help you meet this challenge.
  • Excellent preparation makes the difference. You will interview with vet schools as part of the application process. Randolph's liberal arts education provides you with a strong foundation in communication skills, and the Experiential Learning Center offers you practice in "mock" interviews. We also recommend that you take a course in public speaking.
  • A health professions advisor will assist you with any additional academic or co-curricular requirements and application procedures, and will act as a resource.

Required course work

  • General and organic chemistry
  • Mathematics (as preparation for physics)
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Physics (calculus-based or noncalculus-based physics)
  • Physiology
  • Public speaking courses
  • Writing and rhetoric courses
  • Zoology

Recommended course work

  • Advanced biology courses such as genetics and developmental biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioethics
  • Other advanced biology courses (varies by school)

Practical experience

An internship is essential to students interested in veterinary medicine, and most schools require experience in handling a variety of animals outside a classroom setting. You should gain experience with large and small animals and, if possible, with research animals. Randolph College offers you options for internships both on- and off-campus:

  • On-campus
    • Most of our students engage in advanced level research projects with their faculty mentors, such as those offered as part of the Summer Research Program.
  • Off-campus
    • Amherst Veterinary Hospital
    • Animal Emergency Medical Center
    • Tampa Zoo
    • Windhaven Equine Clinic

In addition, many veterinarians are willing to work with pre-vet students—check with the Experiential Learning Center and local vets for summer job opportunities.

Network with alumnae

The College has a long tradition of alumnae networking. The alumnae contact database gives you access to Randolph graduates in the field from all over the country.

Ann Fabirkiewicz, associate professor of chemistry and pre-med, health services advisor More Information

For more information on preparing for a career in medicine, veterinary sciences, or health professions at Randolph College, please contact the Office of Admissions or Health Professions Advisor Ann Fabirkiewicz, professor of chemistry, 434-947-8495.