Special information for Veterinary Students
Veterinary schools have different requirements than do medical schools, and these requirements can differ—sometimes greatly—from one veterinary school to another. The core prehealth courses are just the beginning for pre-vet students. Indeed, unlike pre-med students—who may major in any subject—pre-vets are advised to consider majoring in Biology at NYU because many veterinary schools require extra coursework in this subject beyond Principles of Biology I and II. At NYU, the upper level Biology courses require you to have two semesters of Molecular and Cellular Biology as a prerequisite. This means that you will not be able to complete the required courses for veterinary school if you have not taken Molecular and Cellular Biology first.
Start researching schools that interest you as early as you can. The definitive guide for students planning to apply to veterinary medical school is Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements in the United States and Canada (VMSAR). Although this is published annually, the requirements change exceptionally little from year to year. We suggest that you purchase your own copy immediately from Purdue University Press. Don't forget to visit individual schools' websites as well. Another important point is that veterinary medical schools place great emphasis on experience with the profession. It is essential that an aspiring veterinarian gain experience with both large and small animals for as many years as possible, six years appearing to be the norm. For working with large animals, you should make inquiries at your local zoo, racetrack, farm, or stable.
When you are ready to apply to vet schools, the on-line application agency is the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) at http://www.aavmc.org/. (This is the website of the Association of American Veterinary Colleges; the whole site is worth a look, as is the home of the American Veterinary Medical Association, http://www.avma.org/). Almost every vet school uses VMCAS (one nearby exception is Tufts), but New York State residents may apply directly to Cornell.
Students applying to veterinary schools of medicine via VMCAS should elect to use electronic letters of recommendation because some vet schools no longer accept paper letters of recommendation. VMCAS requires three letters of recommendation and the committee letter only counts as one letter. In addition, due to VMCAS e-letter word limits, we cannot send the full committee letter with attached letters of recommendation from professors. So students must have letters of recommendation from professors, veterinary doctors, research supervisors, etc., sent directly to VMCAS. Students may also ask any professors or other recommendation writers to forward their letters to our office so we may reference the letter in ours, as we do for medical and dental applicants, without attaching the full letter.
Prevet: See A AVMC webpage for updates. Veterinary students vary widely in the courses they require for admission. Most schools require several courses beyond the standard premed requirements prerequisites, including Genetics, Biochemistry, Physiology, and Microbiology with laboratory. Therefore, prevets must take Molecular and Cellular Biology in order to complete the additional upper level courses they will need to apply to most veterinary schools. Currently, we do not offer Microbiology with a lab, but Bio majors (only bio majors) can usually arrange an independent student with the department; It is important to note that Veterinary Schools generally will not accept biology courses that are designed only for students applying to the allied health professions (such as RN, PA, and PT). They want to see courses that would ordinarily count toward the major or are at a level higher than the introductory Biology course.