Veterinary Medicine 

Veterinarians are responsible for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of disease in animals. They can work in private practice, zoos, wildlife parks, and the government (FDA, NIH, CDC). Education is 4 years.

EXPLORE Veterinary Medicine

Discover whether a veterinary career matches your interests, skills and abilities and meets your lifestyle expectations:



PREPARE for Veterinary School

Confirm your interest in veterinary medicine, prepare academically and develop the necessary skills and experience:

Academic Pre-Requisites

Identify pre-requisite courses, and the classes at UC San Diego or elsewhere to meet them. 
This is a general guideline. Please check individual schools for their specific pre-requisites:
  • Biology + 4 unit lab (BILD 1, 2, 3)
  • General Chemistry + lab (Chem 6ABC, 7L)
  • Organic Chemistry (40ABC) 
  • Biochemistry (BIBC 100 or 102)
  • Physiology + lab (BILD 26, BIPN 100, or BIPN 102) *take human physio lab at a community college
  • Genetics (BICD 100)
  • Statistics (Math 11, Psych 60,etc.)

As an example, view UC Davis Admissions Criteria and Profile of Accepted Applicants

Read about individual vet schools’ Admission Requirements 



Click to learn more about gaining experience - clinical, service, leadership, and research.

APPLY to Veterinary School

You apply to veterinary medical school in the summer a year before you want to start the program. Identify programs that match your interests and complete an application. Some steps take more time to complete than others, so plan ahead!

Schools & Programs

Consider curriculum, clinical training options, location and cost.


Requirements vary. Check with your schools for which tests to take. 


  • VMCAS: the application service that compiles your transcripts, letters, essay and activities; read the VMCAS Fact Sheet
  • Supplemental applications for schools which require them 

Personal Essay

  • Discuss briefly the development of your interest in veterinary medicine. Discuss those activities and unique experiences that have contributed to your preparation for a professional program. Discuss your understanding of the veterinary medical profession, and discuss your career goals and objectives.
  • 5000 characters


Click here for more info and resources on your personal essay, interview tips, letters of evaluation and taking a gap year.

Student Organizations