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Pre-Veterinary

About the Profession

Veterinarians are medical professionals that licensed to care for pets, livestock, zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals by treating sick and injured animals as well as control animal diseases.  Veterinarians work with people in advising proper care of animals.  Some veterinarians use their skills and knowledge to conduct clinical research.

Preparation Starts Now

From the time you begin college, you are assembling a complete dossier with which to apply to veterinary schools.  Veterinary Medicine is a very competitive program; applicants pursuing a veterinary program are expected to have:

  • Completed a bachelor's degree in any major
  • Completed veterinary school course requirements
  • Achieve excellent grades; overall and science GPAs should, at a minimum, be at a 3.5
  • Admissions Examination; there are variances in required exams.  Some schools require the Graduate Record Exam whereas others require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
  • Letters of Recommendation: academic and clinical
  • Extensive experience working with animals is essential; some schools require a varied experience with a set number of hours (i.e. over 1000 hours including both large and small animals in a veterinary setting)
Course Requirements

Start planning as a first year student to meet the following course requirements for Veterinary Medicine.  Below are the courses at SUNY Geneseo that are recommended you complete based on the requirements for College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University:

Course Requirements
SUNY Geneseo
Notes
One year of Biology BIOL 117, 119, and 116 (lab)

Pay attention to course offering schedule (i.e. Fall/Spring)

One lecture with the lab can count as an N/ General Education requirement

One year of General Chemistry CHEM 116, 118, and 119 (lab)

Pay attention to course offering schedule (i.e. Fall/Spring)

One lecture with the lab can count as an N/ General Education requirement

One semester to one year of Organic Chemistry CHEM 211, 213, and 216 (lab) Pay attention to course offering schedule (i.e. Fall/Spring)
One year of Physics

General Physics:

PHYS 113, 114 (lab), 115, and 116 (lab)

 

Analytical Physics:

PHYS 123, 124 (lab), 125, and 126 (lab)

Pay attention to course offering schedule (i.e. Fall/Spring)

One lecture with the lab can count as an N/ General Education requirement

One semester of Biochemistry BIOL 335 or CHEM 300

If not a BIOL major, you will need special permission.

Offered in the fall.

Prereq: BIOL 300, which also has a prereq of BIOL 222, so plan accordingly.

One semester of Advanced Life Science course:

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Genetics
BIOL 300 - 400 level Be mindful of course offering schedule as well as prerequisite courses
One year of English INTD 105 and one ENGL course INTD 105 is the Basic Communication General Education requirement

*Check with schools for specific course requirements.  Schools may require additional coursework not listed above.

It is recommended that course requirements are completed at SUNY Geneseo, but there are instances where a student would need to complete one or two courses elsewhere.  If that is the case, it is suggested that coursework be completed at a four-year higher education institution.  All course requirements must be taken for a grade and demonstrate mastery, no lower than a C, for most professional schools.

State Residency

Most veterinary colleges, as publicly supported institutions, have policies regarding the number of out-of-state students they will admit.  Keep this in mind as you research schools; consider determining how many non-residents each perspective school will admit.  As a New York resident, Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine is a public veterinary college in the state, and may be your best prospect for admission.

For more information on veterinary colleges in the US, visit The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC).