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Academic and Career Information


Veterinarians help animals and people live longer, healthier lives and serve society by preventing and treating animal diseases, improving the quality of the environment ensuring the safety of food, controlling diseases transmitted from animals, and advancing medical knowledge. Prospective veterinarians must have good manual dexterity, an affinity for animals and the ability to get along with animal owners. Additionally, they should be able to quickly make decisions in emergencies. In 2013, there were approximately 99,720 veterinarians practicing in the United States. The majority of veterinarians are in private practice, although significant numbers are involved in preventive medicine, regulatory veterinary medicine, military veterinary medicine, laboratory animal medicine, research and development in industry, and teaching and research in a variety of basic science and clinical disciplines (American Veterinary Medicine Association, AVMA, 2015).
U.S. veterinary colleges/schools graduate an average of 2,900 students annually. Employment of veterinarians is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average occupation. In May 2012, the median annual earnings of veterinarians in practice were $84,460 (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-2015). There is a geographic shortage of veterinarians in some mostly rural areas that varies by state (Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, AAVMC, 2015).

There are 30 medical colleges/schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association in the U.S., 5 in Canada and 13 in other countries. Prospective veterinarians must graduate from a 4-year program at an accredited college of veterinary medicine and obtain a license to practice, which is controlled by each state and province.
Veterinary graduates who plan to work with specific types of animals or specialize in a clinical area, such as pathology, surgery, radiology, or laboratory animal medicine, usually complete a 1-year internship. Interns receive a small salary but usually find that their internship experience leads to a higher beginning salary, relative to other starting veterinarians. Veterinarians who seek board certification in a specialty must also complete a 2- to 3-year residency program that provides intensive training in specialties, such as Internal Medicine, Oncology, Radiology, Surgery, Dermatology, Anesthesiology, Neurology, Cardiology, Ophthalmology, and Exotic Small Animal Medicine.

Most veterinary medical colleges will only consider applicants who have a minimum grade point average (GPA). The required GPA varies by school, from a low of 2.5 to a high of 3.5. Those who receive offers of admission usually have a GPA of 3.59 or better (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions AAVMC Update). Any major is appropriate as long as applicants take the required pre-requisite courses. The prerequisites for admission vary by veterinary medical college. Many of these colleges do not require a bachelor’s degree for admission. However, most of the students admitted have completed an undergraduate program. It is not necessary that a student complete a program specifically labeled "pre-veterinary" or "pre-vet." It is, however, necessary for applicants to complete all prerequisite requirements before enrolling in one of the 30 U.S. or 5 Canadian veterinary medical colleges/schools (AAVMC).

Veterinary medical colleges heavily weigh a candidate’s veterinary and animal experience in admissions decisions. Formal experience, such as work with veterinarians or scientists in clinics, agribusiness, research, or in some area of health science, is particularly advantageous. Less formal experience, such as working with animals on a farm or ranch or at a stable or animal shelter, is also helpful. Students must demonstrate ambition and an eagerness to work with animals. Many schools require experience in more than one type of animal setting.

Prerequisite requirements vary significantly from one institution to another. For a complete list of specific veterinary school/college prerequisites, please refer to the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements in the United States (VMSAR), available at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) website:

Standardized test requirements also vary at each school. Applicants must submit test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-general and/or subject tests) or the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), depending on the preference of each college.

Students should ideally plan to apply between July and September of the year proceeding the academic year they wish to enter. The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) allows students to submit an application to participating colleges. The VMCAS application deadline is October 2nd. Non-participating schools’ deadlines range from October 1 – March 1. It is wise to apply as early as possible.
For more information, please refer to the VMCAS section in the AAVMC web site:
If you are applying to a non-VMCAS school, you need to contact that school directly and complete their application.
The information above is reprinted with permission from CSULB’s Health Professions Advising Office:
This is NOT a comprehensive list of prerequisites for all programs. Students maintain responsibility for verifying course selection with individual programs.
Listed below are the prerequisite admission requirements for two Veterinary programs in California:

The following prerequisites are for candidates with a bachelor’s degree:

​UC Davis Pre-Veterinary Coursework
IVC Courses​
​Two semesters of General Biology with lab ​BIO 2, 5 and 16, or BIO 93/93L and BIO 94
​Two semesters of General Chemistry with lab ​CHEM 1A and 1B
​Two semesters of Organic Chemistry with lab ​CHEM 12A and 12B
​Two semesters of Physics ​PHYS 2A and 2B
​One semester of Statistics ​MATH 10 or PSYC 10 or 10H or MGT 10 or 10H or ECON 10 or 10H
​One course in Biochemistry1–Upper Division ​Not Available at IVC
​One course in Physiology–Upper Division ​Not Available at IVC
​One course in Genetics–Upper Division ​Not Available at IVC


​Western University Pre-Veterinary Coursework IVC Courses
​One semester of Organic Chemistry with lab ​CHEM 12A
​One semester of Biochemistry – preferably with lab ​BIO 99 or CHEM 4 or BIO 10
​Three courses in Biological & Life Sciences with lab–Upper Division ​Not Available at IVC
​One semester of Statistics ​MATH 10 or PSYC 10 or 10H
​One semester of Microbiology ​BIO 15
​One semester of Genetics or Molecular Biology ​BIO 97/BIO 97L or BIO 72 or BIO 99/BIO 99L 
​One course in Physiology ​BIO 12
​Two semesters of General Physics w/lab    ​PHYS 2A and 2B or PHYS 4A and 4B
​Two semesters of English Composition ​WR 1 or 1H and WR 2 or 2H
​Three courses in Humanities/Social Sciences ​Three Non-Science courses from: Anthropology, Art, Drama, Ethnic Studies, Foreign Language, History, Humanities, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Theatre, etc.


Tiffany Tran
Articulation Officer
T: 949-451-5324

Jacky Rangel
Articulation Specialist
T: 949-451-5647

F: 949-451-5307
O: SSC 210 

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