best major to become a vet?
what major is best to become a vet? i was looking at biology or maybe zoology but i'm not really sure which i should pick. any advice for major choices or different options would be appreciated.
While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a Veterinary career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. If your high school offers an Animal or Wildlife course, it will be in your best interest to take this class. For math, algebra, calculus and statistics will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.
Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration amongst team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a Veterinarian, communication is essential and critical when dealing with clients and patients. A college course in Public Speaking, Communication and English will help with one's communication and writing skills.
While in college, here are some undergraduate degrees to major in order to become a Veterinarian:
- Organic Chemistry
- Animal or Wildlife Science
It will be best to seek advice from your high school guidance counselor as well as teachers to help you focus your interests for a specific major in college. Another recommendation is to visit your local animal hospital and speak with the Veterinarian for additional advice. The Veterinarian can provide you with his or her educational background, experience, insights, etc. on how he or she became a Veterinarian.
A Veterinarian will need to complete a Bachelor of Science degree (four year undergraduate course work). Afterwards, one's education is continued until a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M. or V.M.D) is earned which will be another four years of study. Then, both the national and state exams are required for one to earn the licenses to practice Veterinary medicine.
According to U.S. News & World Report, here is a link to the Best Veterinary Colleges and Universities in the United States:
- University of California - Davis
- Cornell University
- Colorado State University
- North Carolina State University
- Ohio State University
- Texas A&M University - College Station
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin - Madison
- University of Florida
- University of Georgia
- University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:
- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral
Best wishes for your education and career path as a Veterinarian!
As a medical technologist, my degree in clinical lab science was much more beneficial than the biology degree. Same prerequisite were offered in both degree plans if i continued on to pursue medical school.
Some people double majored in Biology and CLS. The choice is yours.
The long path is necessarily the wrong path
Veterinary medical colleges typically require applicants to have taken many science classes, including biology, chemistry, and animal science. Most programs also require math, humanities, and social science courses.
Some veterinary medical colleges prefer candidates who have studied agriculture or have experience working with animals on a farm, at a stable, or in an animal shelter. Best of luck to you on your journey to become a Veterinarian! 🐶 🐱
Sheila recommends the following next steps:
Veterinary science is a postgraduate degree, meaning you must have a Bachelors of science (a 4 year degree) before applying for a veterinary graduate school. Most graduate programs require the following prerequisite courses before you can start their coursework:
-English Composition/Writing Intensive Courses
-Biological Science with lab component
-General (Inorganic) Chemistry with lab component
-Advanced Life Science Course such as Microbiology (e.g. general or bacteriology); Immunology (e.g. basic immunology); Physiology (animal/comparative physiology, bacterial physiology, neurophysiology, cell Physiology/histology, cell biology, endocrinology, developmental biology); Genetics (genetics, molecular genetics, developmental genetics, bacterial genetics, or genomics).
-Physics with lab component
With this in mind, you should pick an undergraduate major that helps you meet these prerequisites. Zoology may be preferred if you intend to work with animals, but other majors such as biology and chemistry would also likely cover these requirements. Id suggest to look at which major offers you the classes you are most interested in outside of these prerequisites.
It should be noted, however, that veterinary science graduate programs can be very competitive and take a while to be accepted into, if you DO get accepted. It is one of the most competitive degrees (more so than medical schools in many cases). With that in mind, a zoology degree may not be as versatile as a biology or chemistry degree if you have trouble getting into veterinary school and need to find employment in a related field. Keep that in mind and focus on having a high GPA in whatever major you choose.