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I’m thinking about applying to USC as either a pre-health biology major or a pre-health marine biology major. I want to attend vet school in the near future and wanted to know which one would be best to do or if I should major in something else that would set me up for success in vet school.

I also wanted to know what the job options would be if I didn’t get accepted into vet school if I did major in one of these.

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Kayla’s Answer

Hello! It's fantastic that you're considering a career in veterinary medicine. The beauty of this field is that you can choose any major, as long as you fulfill the prerequisite requirements of the veterinary schools. My suggestion would be to identify a few veterinary schools that pique your interest and familiarize yourself with their specific prerequisites, as they may vary slightly. It might also be beneficial to consider an undergraduate school that also has a veterinary school, like UC Davis, Colorado State University, or Texas A&M, since they often reserve spots for their own students. The key to success is gaining ample experience and distinguishing yourself from the rest!
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Ivett’s Answer

Hi,
Both a pre-health biology major and a pre-health marine biology major can provide a solid foundation for applying to veterinary school. However, when considering which major to choose, keep the following points in mind:

1. Prerequisites: Ensure that your chosen major covers the prerequisite courses required by the veterinary schools you plan to apply to. These typically include biology, chemistry, physics, math, and various electives.

2. Animal-related coursework: While not always mandatory, having some animal-related coursework on your transcript can demonstrate your interest and commitment to the field. A marine biology major might offer more specialized courses related to aquatic animals, which could be beneficial if you're interested in working with marine life as a veterinarian.

3. Research opportunities: Engaging in research can strengthen your vet school application. Consider which major offers more research opportunities aligned with your interests and career goals.

3. Flexibility: A general biology major may provide more flexibility in terms of course selection, allowing you to take a broader range of classes that might be relevant to your veterinary career.

4. Other relevant majors: In addition to biology and marine biology, other majors that can prepare you well for vet school include animal science, zoology, biochemistry, or microbiology.

Ultimately, both a pre-health biology major and a pre-health marine biology major can set you up for success in veterinary school, as long as you fulfill the necessary prerequisites and gain relevant experience. It's essential to research the specific requirements of the veterinary schools you're interested in and consult with academic advisors at USC to determine which major aligns best with your goals and interests.

Remember that your undergraduate major is just one aspect of your application; your overall academic performance, extracurricular activities, animal-related experience, and letters of recommendation will also play a significant role in your success as a veterinary school applicant.

Good Luck!
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Mary Jane’s Answer

You should select the major you find most interesting because you will do better in classes that you enjoy. Vet schools do not care about your major, just that you have the necessary prerequisite courses and animal/vet experiences. In your first year of college, you really only need to start on the basic science courses, which are probably quite similar for both majors, so there's no rush to decide.

When you get on campus, find out if there is a pre-vet or pre-health advisor. Make an appointment with that person to discuss your career goals and how each of the majors aligns with the prereqs for vet school. At that point, you might feel like one path is going to be more challenging in terms of the number of extra courses needed to complete both the major and the vet school prerequisites, which may help you decide.

If they seem equivalent to you, research the career paths offered by each and think about which one you can see yourself doing if you never get admitted to vet school. Marine biology is more focused and biology is more general. The specialization gives you access to jobs that need specific skills and knowledge but the general education allows you to pivot to lots of different roles within the life sciences. Both have their pros and cons, so there's no one right answer here!

Good luck!
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Rafael’s Answer

If your goal is to attend vet school in the future, both a pre-health biology major and a pre-health marine biology major can be good options. The choice depends on your specific interests. The pre-health biology major provides a broader foundation in biology, while the pre-health marine biology major focuses more on marine life and ecosystems. If you don't get accepted into vet school, both majors can still lead to various career opportunities. With a pre-health biology major, you could work in research, healthcare administration, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, or environmental conservation. With a pre-health marine biology major, you could explore careers in marine research, conservation organizations, aquariums, environmental consulting, or marine policy. Remember, it's important to consider your interests and goals when making a decision.
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