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How long was school to become a veterinarian?

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2 answers

Akhileshwar’s Answer

Updated

Hello Brianna,

Students who graduate with a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science go one of a few ways. They become veterinary technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or zoologists and wildlife biologists.

It is generally a 5-year course, or sometimes 4 if a previous appropriate degree is held. (Cambridge Veterinary School's course lasts 6 years and awards a BA after 3 years, followed by the VetMB after 6 years). Some universities will award the students a BSc after the first 3 years, and the BVSc after the final 2 years.

Veterinary medicine is the field that covers diagnosis and therapy of illnesses, diseases and injuries that may appear at animals.

Veterinary medicine studies begin with a Bachelor’s degree in life sciences, zoology, biology and others and should continue with a Master’s degree in veterinary medicine or a PhD. Students usually specialize in certain fields such as physiotherapy or dentistry or in groups of species. 

To become a veterinarian, one must first complete a veterinary degree (DVM, VMD, BVS, BVSc, BVMS, BVM, cand.med.vet).

You need to start preparing in high school

Take all the mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics courses which are available to you in middle and high school; they will open up many career opportunities in college including veterinary medicine

Undergraduate Degree Program :- Choose a degree program which will provide you a strong grounding in the biological and physical sciences. Make a list of degree programs at various universities and colleges and visit them individually. Find a program that will suit your needs the best. There are various undergraduate pathways to study prior to be admitted to vet schools.

Criteria that you should accomplish during your undergraduate degree before your application to Veterinary Colleges

1. Grade Point Average (GPA): Maintain a competitive GPA, preferably 3.5 or higher. Most veterinary schools examine courses taken in the last 3-4 semesters closely.

2. Animal and Clinical Experience: Volunteer with a veterinarian to gain wide variety of animal and clinical experience, and appreciation for the veterinary medical field.

3. Graduate Record Examinations: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is widely accepted by most veterinary colleges while MCAT is another standardized test that is accepted by some in addition to by Medical Schools

4. Leadership and communication skills; and co-curricular activities: It is highly recommended that you get involved in student club activities, such as, Pre-Vet club which will provide you numerous opportunities to serve in your community which will provide you to interact with people from all walks of life.

 

Tania’s Answer

Updated

In the United States, becoming a veterinarian requires 4 years of veterinary medical school often after 4-5 years of college or university to earn a bachelor's degree. There are some veterinary schools that will admit an application after only 2-3 years of undergraduate, though. All applicants must complete all of the vet school prerequisite classes--get very good grade and GRE test scores-- and have good hands-on experience working with animals in a clinical or research setting. When you graduate from an American veterinary school you earn a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Veterinary Medical Doctorate (VMD).

Veterinary schools in other parts of the world are a little differnt. In other countries (Canada, UK Australia etc), veterinary school training starts right after secondary school/high school. Student there attend veterinary school for 5 year and graduate with a BVetSci (Bachelors in Veterinary Science). While Americans can (and do) attend these schools, Americans do often after obtaining a Bachelor's in Science at a state-side 4 yr college or university before attending these international schools.

Tania recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out this student story for more inspiration about going to vet school: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/how-i-got-vet-school-without-undergraduate-degree
  • More web research: https://www.avma.org/public/Careers/Pages/vet-school-admission-101.aspx