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A student planning to enter a veterinary school should select a major department in the field of greatest interest to the student. This is usually in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences but may be in other departments such as Biology or in other biological sciences. The field of concentration should be determined by the student’s secondary interest; i.e., that area most likely to lead to a satisfying alternative career. All veterinary schools have quite specific pre-professional course requirements which usually require some additions to departmental requirements. Students should consult their advisers as well as veterinary school catalogs in regard to specific requirements of a particular school. Basic science requirements of most schools include one year of biology (zoology), one year of inorganic chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, and one year of mathematics including one semester of calculus. Most schools require additional science courses, such as biochemistry and microbiology. Careful planning of course sequence allows the student to complete departmental and veterinary school requirements during the usual four-year bachelor’s program.

Practical experience with a variety of animals, preferably some on a commercial farm, as well as at least the equivalent of one summer working with a veterinarian, is essential to be in a competitive position for admission to a veterinary school.

Course requirements for veterinary schools satisfy all the requirements for entrance to any of the fields of human medicine and provide an excellent foundation for graduate work in most areas of the biological sciences.

Students who wish to pursue the pre-veterinary requirements should contact Professor Joseph Jerry (Veterinary and Animal Sciences), tel. (413) 577-1193. A library of catalogs from veterinary and other medical-allied health schools is maintained with Professor W. Brian O’Connor (Biology) at the Shade Tree Lab.