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Which colleges should I apply to if I am wanting to be a veterinarian?

Which colleges have good schooling for future veterinarians? My uncle went to Utah State University and then went to a vet school in Colorado. He is a veterinarian now and that is what I want to be. Which colleges should I apply to in order to get a good education to become a veterinarian? veterinarian animal-health veterinary-medicine school animal-health

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Elizabeth’s Answer

Hello Ashlynn!

Your undergraduate degree is an important step in getting a veterinary education, but WHERE you go isn't necessarily the most important thing to consider.

To make your college decisions, you might start with thinking about where you would want to go to veterinary school, and work backwards from there. Each of the vet schools has a list of required courses that you will need to successfully complete before applying. There is significant overlap in those requirements, but some of the schools may have slightly different needs than others. (you'll almost certainly need organic chemistry and other upper division science classes - some schools require courses like physiology/biochemistry/genetics etc, and some leave it more open, and some require math classes, public speaking, etc) If you can identify veterinary schools that you might be interested in, check out their websites - they will all have information on prerequisite courses. If you can't find it, you should be able to contact their admissions office for that information. For states like Utah that don't have their own veterinary school, there are programs like WICHE that provide for slots in other schools in the region if you are looking for an in-state type of option.

Once you have the list of prerequisites, then you can think about which college might best suit your needs. In general, a state college/university will tend to cost less than a private one, or less than a state school in another state. Most all of the colleges and universities have their course catalog online, so you can check their course catalog against the list of prereqs. Here's where it can get a little bit tricky and where the vet school admissions offices might be helpful: courses with similar names from different schools are not necessarily equivalent, and do not necessarily all count as prereqs - it depends on the actual course content. Vet school admissions offices should have an idea of which undergraduate institutions/which courses will fit.

An important consideration is not just where you do your undergraduate coursework, but how well you do and how well you demonstrate that you can succeed with a fairly heavy courseload. (this doesn't mean overload yourself) Keep in mind that many people find that getting their lower division coursework done at a community college may be a good way to go, and then they transfer to a university to finish the upper division coursework. Just keep in mind that you'll need to be sure that those courses will count to transfer and and count as prereqs. Some people get some of their prereqs done online at other schools - just make sure they will count.

One more suggestion: while you're in undergrad, take the opportunity to explore a little! This may be your last opportunity to take "fun" classes - check out other subjects and take the time to learn about things that you may not have a chance to learn later. (ie philosophy, music, another language, literature, etc) There is no rule that you can ONLY take your prereqs. Take advantage of all that your college offers! If you want to try living somewhere else, try applying to schools there!

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

Check out websites of various vet schools, and check the prerequisite course list.
Look for those courses in the catalogs of undergrad schools you would consider.
Check with the admissions advisors at the vet schools that you are considering - they likely have information that helps in your choice
DOn't forget to consider what else you want to get out of college.
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Thomas’s Answer

Here is a list of the top 5 universities in the US from US News:

1) University of California--Davis
2) Cornell University
3) Colorado State University
4) North Carolina State University
5) Ohio State University