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.
You may apply for the Pre-Veterinary Scholarship.
Veterinarian school is a post-baccalaureate program requiring an undergraduate degree for admission. The mission of the St. Andrews Pre-Veterinarian program is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to gain acceptance in a veterinary school of their choice and to later excel in this field as a professional. This begins with a strong foundation in the sciences, which emphasizes the theoretical, conceptual, and experimental basis of these fields. This knowledge is the cornerstone for future success in every veterinary school. In addition St. Andrews cultivates the less challenging field of veterinary science. Through a distinctive, well-rounded liberal education, and the numerous opportunities beyond the classroom such as internships and study abroad, St. Andrews students develop invaluable characteristics such as community awareness, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
Possible Program of Study
Pre-Vet is not defined as a separate field of study, nor is it restricted to a single, specific major at St. Andrews. The majority of students in the pre-vet program usually major in Biology, but the completion of other majors does not exclude a student from successfully applying to a veterinary program. Students interested in becoming a veterinarian first discuss this career choice with the pre-vet advisor. They learn what the minimal and recommended requirements are for admission in a veterinary program, from course work to national exams. In consultation with the advisor, they choose a major and plan out their course work each semester to meet the goals of preparing for the specific veterinary schools of their choice, in addition to completing the major and general education requirements. Throughout their first four years at St. Andrews, the student will also discuss various opportunities with their advisor, such as internships, and important deadlines for national exams and applications.
Basic Science courses that meet the minimal requirements for most veterinary programs:
BIO 201 Concepts in Biology I
BIO 204 Concepts in Biology II
BIO 327 Genetics
Total: 11 credits
CHE 210 & 210L Essential Concepts of Chemistry
CHE 220 Intro to Organic Chemistry
CHE 350 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 215 & 215L Introduction to Structural Inorganic Chemistry with lab
Total: 14 credits
MAT 225 Introductory Statistics
MAT 221 Calculus I
Total: 8 credits
PHY 201 University Physics I
PHY 202 University Physics II
PHY 211 General Physics I
PHY 212 General Physics II
Total: 8 credits
Social and Behavioral Science:
Vet School requires at least two courses. Suggested courses include:
ACC 201 Accounting I
BUS 301 Business Law
Total: 6 credits
Recommended Courses (May be required for certain Schools):
BIO 221 Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 366 Animal Physiology
BIO 353 Zoology
BIO 365 Microbiology
Total: 12 credits
CHE 365 Biochemistry I: Biomolecules
Total: 3 credits
Vet Schools may require Animal Nutrition ( a course required for admission to Vet School that is commonly taken online) and a Animal Science course.
Veterinary Question and Answer
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.