Veterinary medicine is a growing field necessary in all communities. According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical College, veterinarians prevent disease and heal animals; promote the health and welfare of farm animals, exotic animals, working animals, and those that need a healthy environment in which to thrive; play an important role in food safety, where epidemiological research is crucial to forecasting the threat of food-borne diseases and outbreaks; and detects and treats the outbreak of diseases that have the potential to make the jump from animals to humans.
NOTE: Pre-veterinary medicine is not a major or a program, and The University of Tampa does not have a veterinary school. Pre-vet is an interest or path students choose that advisors help guide them on their journey towards applying to veterinary school.
Preparing for Veterinary School
Earn a bachelor’s degree
Veterinary school is a graduate program; to become eligible to apply to veterinary school students need to earn a bachelor's degree and take specific pre-requisites (classes that vet schools require). At UT, students can earn a bachelor's degree and take pre-requisite courses. They will need to choose a major, as pre-vet is not a major or a program at UT.
Students who are interested in going to veterinary school typically major in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. These majors include most of the required courses for entrance into veterinary programs. However, other degrees can also prepare students for health professions; thus students are encouraged to major in the field where they excel and should consult the pre-health professions advisor about course work.
Basic pre-requisite* (Each veterinary school has its own set of pre-requisites, and students need to research the admission requirements of each school to which they are intending to apply.) courses required for veterinary school:
- Biology I (1) and II (2) with labs
- General Chemistry I (1) and II (2) with labs
- Organic Chemistry I (1) and II (2) with labs
- Physics I (1) and II (2) with labs
*Each veterinary school has its own set of pre-requisites, and students need to research the admission requirements of each school to which they are intending to apply. Search pre-requisites for each veterinary school.
Build an extensive record of relevant experiences
- Animal experience – work or volunteer to gain experience with animals
- Veterinary experience – including clinical, lab, volunteer, paid, shadow/supervised by a veterinarian; gain knowledge of the veterinary field and confirm if this is your passion
- Community service – students should have a passion for helping others
- Leadership – roles on and off-campus
Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE)
- The GRE is required for a few U.S. veterinary schools. It is about four hours long and costs $205.
- Students who are on the traditional path of going to veterinary school directly following graduation from UT should be prepared to take the GRE in the late spring/early summer of their junior year.
- Take the GRE, if needed, before applying to veterinary schools.
Veterinary school applications
- Students can start to apply to veterinary school a full year before they intend to start (summer of junior year through fall of senior year).
- Applications open in January and you can submit applications in May. The deadline to submit is in September. Applicants are encouraged to apply early!
- Take a look now at what is expected of the application: VMCAS application
Veterinary School Information and Beyond
- A traditional veterinary school program is four years long. The first two years are spent in classroom instruction. The remaining two years usually include focused areas of concentration and clinical rotations/externships.
- There is only one veterinary school in Florida:
- After completion, the student earns a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).
- Internships, residency programs, and/or fellowships after graduation may be required to for specific fields of interest.
Pre-Health Professions Committee (PHPC)
Members of the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics and the Department of Biology offer guidance to students and write letters of recommendation, known as Committee Letters, through UT's Pre-Health Professional Committee (PHPC).
Pre-professional advising has a dedicated program specialist to help students prepare for professional school in the health sciences. The specialist would like to see all pre-health students early on to ensure they are on the path to success. Please email Jackie Mikulski to inquire about the next steps in the pre-health advising program.