3 answers

What classes do I have to take in a Community College that can help for veterinary medicine?

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3 answers

Courtney’s Answer


If you want to be a vet you're looking at 4 years to get your Bachelor's degree and another 4 years in vet school getting your DVM (Doctorate of Veterinary MEdicine), plus you'll do internships and you'll have to taking a licensing exam before you can start practicing.

If you want to go to a community college first, I'd actually work backwards.

1st - decide what college you might want to go to for your Bachelor's degree and DVM degree. Colorado State has a good DVM program so you could go there for both. http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/Pages/default.aspx

2nd - meet with a counselor at the college you'll go to for your Bachelors & DVM to find out what community college they'll accept transfer credits from because the last thing you want to do is spend time and money taking classes that won't give you credit towards your Bachelor's degree. Pick your community college based on this information.

3rd - get an idea of what you want to major in for your Bachelor's Degree (biology is always a good one for future vet med majors)

4th - get a printout of the classes needed in order to obtain your bachelor's degree and take as many of those classes as you can at the community college.

While you're earning your Bachelor's degree, you'll want to take opportunities to do internships or volunteer at: zoos, animal shelters, vet clinics, etc. I would definitely suggest volunteering/interning at a vet clinic to make sure being a vet is really what you want to do because 8-9 years of college is a major commitment of time and money. I thought I wanted to be a Vet until I volunteered at a vet clinic.

On the other hand, if you want to be a Vet Tech, just find a community college that has a vet tech program and take their list of classes. Bel-Rea and Community College of Denver both have Vet Tech programs. Just keep in mind that an associates degree in Vet Tech is NOT the right path to becoming a vet. Vet Tech is a technical certificate degree and only the core classes will transfer for credit to a Bachelor's degree. The actual Vet Tech classes will not transfer for credit for your Bachelor's degree.

I hope this helps.


Sheila’s Answer


Hello Angela: Our four legged furry friends need aspiring Veterinarians such as yourself.  I researched your question and found some info you may find helpful on the type of classes required for becoming a veterinarian:


Undergraduate Courses

The average Veterinarian completes 4 1/2 years of undergraduate education, taking classes such as biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, math, animal science, and more...and that's just to prepare for veterinary school. Some veterinarians already have a Master's degree or PhD before they enter veterinary school. Others may enter a dual DVM/MS or DVM/PhD program, and some go on after veterinary school to get additional degrees and/or specialty training.

Veterinary School Courses

In veterinary school, the 4-year education is equal to what medical school students receive – but for a number of animal species instead of just one. Course subjects include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology, immunology, pathology, toxicology, biochemistry, surgical techniques, and many more, as well as in-depth courses on specific animal species and body systems. The early years are mostly spent in the classroom and laboratory to prepare the students for client-owned animal patients. Veterinary students get additional education and experience during clinical rotations, seeing animal patients under the close supervision of experienced mentors.

FYI, last November my daughter adopted a four (4) month old shepherd mix "brindle" dog, which we think she has some greyhound in her. She's a very obedient and compliant dog that keeps us laughing with her silly playful poses.

It's awesome that you want to care for our furry friends. They need you. :)

Good Luck to You!

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

  • Research AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Foundation) site https://www.avma.org/public/YourVet/Pages/training.aspx
  • Research Occupational Outlook Handbook site https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinarians.htm
  • Bookmark all the sites that I've provided
  • Interesting facts on "Brindle" dogs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brindle https://www.k9ofmine.com/brindle-dog-breeds/

James’s Answer



Thanks for the great question and as a community college academic advisor, I’m glad to provide guidance to you about relevant coursework for veterinary medicine in the same way if you were a student in my office. So, have a seat (so to speak) and let’s begin.

First, it is important to discern a Veterinary Medicine program that you would consider applying to because in doing so, you are able to identify the necessary prerequisites to enter this graduate program. In Oregon, Oregon State University has an accredited Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program with a good reputation. See their website:


As a student seeking admission to a DVM program, your educational path from a community college would involve completing the relevant pre vet courses, with an emphasis on the science and math courses) at the two year college and potentially earning an associate’s transfer degree, transferring to four year university in a major related to Veterinary Medicine, like zoology, and then applying to a DVM program as a potential graduate student as you complete your undergraduate bachelor's degree.

At the community college, I advise you to complete the math requirements, often including college algebra and statistics, English composition: two terms, Speech, Humanities courses like English literature, and Social Science courses like psychology, and science courses like General Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy.

Angela, this list is a broad stroke.  The key step for you is to identify and work with a pre-vet academic advisor who understands these requirements and/or can communicate with a four year university academic advisor who has a direct understanding of both the course requirements and the admission process for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine schools.

Keep in mind, when starting at a community college, the sooner you identify an informed pre vet academic advisor the better. This pre vet advisor can guide you to begin in the appropriate courses you need to take in the right sequence. The sequence is important because many science courses require competency in math and science that you may well need to work your way through. Taking the right sequence of courses allows you, in an efficient way, to finish the precise academic plan, an extensive list for a pre vet major.

With the helpful guidance of a pre vet advisor, you can accomplish this goal, Angela!

Hope this answer helps and I wish you great success!

James recommends the following next steps:

  • Seek a DVM or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program to learn the required courses for this program
  • Identify and work with a pre vet academic advisor at the community college and university
  • Create a road map of courses which allow you to transfer to a four year college and eventually apply to a DVM program