for Healthcare Education
at Miami University
Preparing for a Career in Veterinary Medicine
Once you have decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, you should:
- Familiarize yourself with general advice for students considering healthcare careers (general advising page).
- Familiarize yourself with the information on this page.
- Visit websites such as:
- Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
- Learn more about the organization that represents all veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada. This website provides links to all of these vet schools.
- Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Try to attend the meetings of and consider joining the Miami Pre-Vet Club. This student-run organization is there to help you attain your goal of becoming a vet.
- If you have any questions about pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, please feel free to contact the pre-vet advisors. Students interested in veterinary medicine should make an appointment during their first year at Miami with one of these advisors:
- Dr. Susan M.G. Hoffman
- Department of Zoology
246 Pearson Hall
- Dr. Nancy Solomon
- Department of Zoology
170 Pearson Hall
Below are the Miami equivalents of the courses required by Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Other vet schools have similar but not identical requirements; consult their specific websites.
- General Chemistry (1 year with lab)
- CHM 141, 142 and CHM 144, 145
- Organic Chemistry (1 year with lab)
- CHM 241, 242 and CHM 244, 245
CHM 251, 252 and CHM 254, 255
- Biochemistry (1 semester)
- CHM 332 (has lab) or CHM 432 (more difficult, no lab)
- Physics (1 year with lab)
- PHY 171, 172 and PHY 183, 184
- General Biology (1 year with lab)
- BMZ* 115, 116
ZOO 113, 114
- Zoology (Genetics) (1 semester)
- BOT/ZOO 342
- Math (Precalc or Calc) (1 semester)
- MTH 104 or MTH 123 or MTH 125 or MTH 141 or MTH 151 or MTH 153
- Microbiology (General) (1 semester with lab)
- MBI 161
MBI 121, 123
- English Composition (1 semester)
- ENG 111
- Humanities/Social Sciences (14 semester hours)
- Electives (7 semester hours)
* BMZ is a cross-listed course offered by the Departments of Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology.
Pre-vet students usually apply for admission to the school in their state of residence, if one is available. The acceptance rate for in-state applicants is generally far higher than the rate for out-of-state applicants. The Miami pre-vet advisors can help students from states without vet schools to decide where best to apply. Information about admission requirements, acceptance statistics, and other pertinent information for every vet school in North America is available through the AAVMC website.
Chemistry 141/142 and BMZ 115/116 are prerequisites for other courses on this list, so it is strongly recommended that you take them during your first year in college. Do not use AP credit for these courses — take them at the college level.
All required courses must be completed with a grade of C or better — if you receive a C- or lower you must retake the course to have it count for vet school admissions. Some vet schools, including OSUVMC, require that you complete all the specifically required courses (except one) by the end of the first semester of the year in which you intend to apply. For Miami students, the one remaining specifically required course ordinarily would be biochemistry or second-semester physics.
Vet schools look favorably on students taking rigorous courses, full course loads each term, and basic science courses that are pertinent to veterinary school as electives. These include courses in:
- cell biology
- computer science
Two highly recommended electives are:
- basic physiology (ZOO 305)
- basic statistics (STA 261)
Suggested Coursework Timetable
- First year
- BMZ 115,116 and CHM 141, 142, 144, 145
- Second year
- CHM 241, 242 and MTH
- Third year
- MBI 121 or MBI 161 or MBI 201
CHM 332 or CHM 432
- Fourth year
- PHY 171, 172, 183, 184
Admission to vet schools is highly competitive and vet schools choose among many talented and qualified students. A high overall GPA and high GPA in science classes are critical. Other important factors are:
- veterinary work experience (paid or volunteer) and other animal-oriented experience
- competitive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores
- at least 2 strong letters of recommendation from veterinarians
- evidence of work ethic and leadership potential
- performance at a personal interview
- strong interpersonal skills