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Vet College

Is it better to go to a college that has a pre-vet/ vet program or go to a regular college for your undergraduate degree?

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Michael’s Answer

Thanks for the question. When I prepared for veterinary school (graduate school) during college, even though I majored in biology, I ran into the difficulty that the required prerequisite microbiology course was not part of the pre-med program that my college, a regular college, offered. The college was willing to work with me to tailor instruction with a veterinarian who was on the med school faculty in order for the requirement to be fulfilled to the satisfaction of the vet school I was applying to. It's something to keep in mind. I met other veterinarians over the years who had similar difficulty in regards to this microbiology course requirement (not required by med schools, to the best of my knowledge).
I think an advantage to pre-vet programs is that they can be offered at a college whose university also has a vet school. Hence, these pre-vet programs are integrated in such a way that an accelerated or fast track Bachelor's/DVM is an option. At least this was offered when I went to school back in the 90's. I don't know if this is still the case today. Such an option allows you to save tuition, but you should know what you are getting into because it is accelerated and requires you to do the same amount of coursework in less time, which only a few people will be successful in. I ended up getting into one of those universities for college (they had a vet school), but I opted not going there because I wasn't absolutely sure yet if I wanted to do only veterinary school. In other words, a regular college will allow you to change your mind if you find that your talents lie elsewhere.
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Erica’s Answer

Hi, Victoria,

Great question! The benefit of a pre-vet/vet program is that you can feel confident you are completing the classes required for veterinarian school. However, there are many things to think about when selecting a college. Do you like the campus? Can you afford to go there without taking out a lot of loans? Is as close to home (or as far from home) as you would like to be?

If the college that fits you best does not have a pre-vet program, that is okay! A biology degree will likely fulfill all of the requirements needed for a veterinarian graduate program. You may find it helpful to read what the American Veterinary Medical Association says about vet school admission:
https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/careers/veterinary-school-admission-101
(I cannot find a way to make this link hot, so you will need to copy and paste it into your browser).

Have fun exploring your options!
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Todd’s Answer

Either way is fine as long as you make sure the courses will be accepted by the Vet school(s) you are applying to for their prerequisites for admission. I completed most of my prerequisites as part of a Bachelors degree at a different university from the Vet school, and the remainder at another school. I had checked with the Vet School prior to registering for all these classes that they would qualify for admission.
One advantage of completing your prerequisites at the same college as the Vet school is that the pre-vet course can be very similar to the actual Vet school courses. Some of my classmates remarked that first year Vet School anatomy was the same course as the undergraduate prerequisite course.
I would chose based on your individual situation, what works best for you. Just be sure to check with the admissions office at the school(s) you intend to apply to that whatever you do will advance your chances for admission.

Todd recommends the following next steps:

Check to be sure any udergrad courses will be accepted as prerequisites by the Vet school.
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