The Best Pre-Vet Schools 

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a veterinarian carrying a dog and a cat

Becoming a veterinarian is a dream shared by many animal lovers around the world. However, pursuing a career in veterinary medicine is challenging and requires a great deal of education and training. Choosing the best pre-vet schools is essential to achieving this goal. Pre-vet programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in veterinary school and to prepare them for a rewarding career in animal care.

There are numerous pre-veterinary programs available in the United States, each with its strengths and weaknesses. As a prospective veterinary student, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the options and make an informed decision.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best pre-vet schools in the country based on factors such as academic rigor, research opportunities, and clinical experience. Whether you’re a high school student just starting to think about your future or a college student looking to switch majors, this guide will help you find the pre-veterinary program that is right for you.

What is pre-veterinary medicine?

What is pre-veterinary medicine? Pre-veterinary medicine refers to the academic program and coursework required for students who aspire to become veterinarians. Pre-vet is not a separate major or degree program but a set of prerequisite courses that students must complete before applying to veterinary school. These courses typically include biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and animal science.

The pre-veterinary curriculum is designed to give students a strong foundation in the basic sciences and an understanding of animal behavior, nutrition, and health. This education is essential for success in veterinary school, as it prepares students for the rigorous coursework and hands-on clinical experience they will encounter in their professional training.

an unidentified veterinarian holding a dog

In addition to coursework, pre-veterinary students may also be required to gain experience working with animals in a clinical or research setting. This experience can include volunteering at animal shelters, interning with veterinarians, or researching animal health issues. These experiences provide valuable hands-on learning opportunities and demonstrate a student’s commitment to veterinary medicine.

Overall, pre-veterinary medicine is the first step in a long and rewarding journey toward becoming a veterinarian. It provides students with the knowledge and experience needed to succeed in veterinary school and prepares them for a fulfilling career caring for animals.

What are the pre-veterinary course requirements?

What are the pre-veterinary course requirements? The pre-veterinary course requirements vary slightly between colleges and universities but generally include core courses in the basic sciences and animal health. Students must research the specific requirements of the best pre-vet schools they plan to apply to, as some may have additional or specific requirements. Here is a typical list of pre-veterinary course requirements:

  • General Biology (with lab)
  • General Chemistry (with lab)
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab)
  • Physics (with lab)
  • Calculus or Statistics
  • Biochemistry (recommended)
  • Microbiology (with lab)
  • Genetics (recommended)
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Behavior
  • Anatomy and Physiology (with lab)

In addition to these courses, students may also be required to gain practical experience working with animals in a clinical or research setting and participate in extracurricular activities related to animal care, such as volunteering at animal shelters or working on animal-related research projects.

It’s worth noting that the requirements for pre-veterinary courses are quite rigorous, and students must have a strong foundation in the basic sciences to succeed. However, completing these courses successfully will help prepare students for the even more challenging coursework they will encounter in veterinary school.

What are the best pre-vet schools?

What are the best pre-vet schools? There are many great pre-veterinary programs in the United States, and the best one for you will depend on your individual needs and goals. However, here are some of the top pre-vet schools in the US based on various rankings and factors:

University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Amherst, MA)

UMass Amherst is noted for its academic prowess and culture of social stewardship. UMass’s pre-vet program is well equipped to satisfy UMass’s educational goal and to prepare pre-vet students with everything they need to become veterinarians, with over $12 million in research awards.

The facilities and the university’s relationships with other schools are two of the many excellent opportunities that UMass’s pre-vet program provides students.

French Bulldog in a veterinary clinic. Two doctors are examining him.

First-year students in the Animal Science degree will begin their pre-vet journey at UMass. Students begin their studies at Hadley Farm as part of their first-year requirements; on the farm, they will have access to 130 acres of farmland, 24 horses, and approximately 60 goats and lambs.

The Department of Veterinary and Animal Science at UMass features some of the best resources for anyone interested in learning what it takes to be in a pre-vet program and eventually become a veterinarian.

Washington State University (Pullman, WA)

Washington State University understands that degree programs must be as diverse as those who pursue them. Thus, it is one of the best pre-vet schools in the country.

The university’s Health Professions Student Center advises pre-veterinary students to pursue a specified set of prerequisites but encourages them to obtain them through various degrees. The ability to pursue something that a student is passionate about is the most significant aspect of their education.

Students who complete the pre-vet program can major in various fields, including neuroscience, zoology, genetics and cell biology, and bioengineering. Flexibility in the curriculum means flexibility in how long it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree and a DVM. Students at WSU can pursue the Honors Pre-Admit Program, which allows them to complete both their bachelor’s degree and their DVM in 7 years. What makes this arrangement even better is that students can earn their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at WSU.

University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)

The University of Connecticut offers a pre-vet program that includes learning from award-winning instructors, access to a diverse range of farm animals, and a long history of award-winning undergraduate assistance.

Smiling doctor in white coat and nurse with tablet pc computer at hospital

Students will acquire research experience, hands-on training with numerous animals, and a curriculum that will prepare them to be successful candidates for vet school.

Students from UConn’s pre-vet program have gone on to study at some of the most outstanding veterinary schools in the United States and worldwide.

Tufts University (Medford, MA)

Tufts University is one of the best pre-vet schools in the United States, with a long-standing reputation for excellence in animal health and research. Tufts University offers a pre-vet program that provides students with a rigorous academic curriculum and hands-on experience in animal care and research.

Tufts’ pre-vet program differs from many others on this list in that it is more of a society than a program that helps students further their education.

aerial view of Tufts University

Tufts pre-vet society offers many of the same benefits and is open to students actively seeking a DVM education and those simply curious. Members benefit from tools that connect them to work and research possibilities, visits and information sessions from Veterinary Medicine schools, and expert advice on designing a degree plan that meets all of the requirements for a DVM.

Tufts understands that to develop future vets, they must have access to the academic resources vets require. Tufts University has several excellent pre-college admissions programs for high school students who want to learn more about a pre-vet program.

University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (Eau Claire, WI)

Even though the UW-Eau Claire pre-vet program is designated as a pre-professional degree, it includes everything a pre-vet program should cover. UW-Eau Claire is widely known as one of the best pre-vet schools in the country.

Students can acquire all the required courses while pursuing various interests in a variety of different subjects.

University of Wisconsin Madison aerial view

This diversity of interests allows students to be more creative in their pre-vet route and apply for a broader choice of scholarships with pre-vet and non-vet focuses.

UW-Eau Claire offers two pre-vet scholarships, but the school also provides a variety of financial aid alternatives, which students can find on its scholarship information website.

The state-of-the-art Health Careers Center at UW-Eau Claire is a unique feature for pre-vet students. The facility features advisers who are dedicated to pre-vet students. These advisors assist students in developing a plan for required courses, where to gain job experience, and a timeframe for completing essential milestones on the path to veterinary school, such as the GRE and the Veterinary Medicine Centralized Application Service.

University of California – Davis (Davis, CA)

The Veterinary Medicine department at UC Davis fosters diversity and makes the path to a DVM degree accessible to persons of all backgrounds.

UC Davis signage propped to a red brick wall while a school building is at the back

UC Davis is so committed to providing people with accessible experiences that they even offer students Barn Residence. Students who apply for and are selected for a barn residency will be offered free lodging and board at one of several barns in exchange for 10 hours of work each week.

Attending UC Davis gives you access to one of the best programs for future vets. Students interested in learning more should visit the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine webpage.

Clemson University (Clemson, SC)

Clemson University is one of the best pre-vet schools in the country and offers various unique possibilities to enter a DVM program. Students should begin by researching their pre-professional approach to the pre-vet path, the FEEPASS program, and WAVS. Clemson is committed to providing students with the prerequisites for admission to a DVM school.

Tillman Hall at Clemson University.

Those interested in pursuing a pre-vet pre-professional path at Clemson must complete at least three years of undergraduate study before applying to a DVM program.

Students will be awarded a preprofessional studies degree in veterinary medicine after being admitted and completing a year of coursework.

If you’ve set your sights on a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college admissions expert with over a decade of experience helping students like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to grab the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.





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