Each year, the AAVMC publishes the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR) index, which details admissions requirements and data for every national and international veterinary school that are members of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). As the official guide to getting into vet school, it provides hundreds of pages of must-have information, essential to achieving your goal of becoming a veterinarian. You can purchase VMSAR here.
You can also review the list of the AAVMC affiliated veterinary schools for school specific requirements. The AAVMC created a Summary of Course Prerequisites chart for students to utilize as a quick overview of programs. However, you should always check each programs website for the most current information on prerequisite courses and application requirements.
Although requirements do vary from program to program, veterinary schools generally require the following courses:
- One year of biology with lab (BIOL 1107/L and 1108/L)
- One year of inorganic/general chemistry with lab (CHEM 1211/L and 1212/L)
- One year of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 2211/L and 2212/L)
- One year of physics with lab (PHYS 1111/L and 1112/L or PHYS 1211/L and 1212/L)
- Biochemistry (BCMB 3100 or BCMB 4020)
- One year of English (ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102)
- 8 hours minimum of advanced biology courses (300/3000-level or higher biology courses
(at the undergraduate level) that have general biology as a prerequisite. Behavior,
production and ecology courses do not count toward the advanced biological sciences
- Anatomy: CBIO 3000
- Microbiology: MIBO 3500 or 3000/L or 2500/L
- Cell Biology: CBIO 3400
- Physiology: VPHY 3100, PMCY 3000, CBIO 3710
- Genetics: GENE 3200
- Immunology: CBIO 4100
- 14 hours of humanities or social studies (examples of courses: psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, government, foreign languages, economics, or fine arts). Recommended:
- Psychology: PSYC 1101
***In preparation for the GRE’s quantitative reasoning section it is recommended you take STAT 2000 or BIOS 2010.
DISCLAIMER:This is not a definitive list of the classes you will need for every school. Always check with the individual schools to see their specific requirements. It is important to realize that schools may alter their requirements from cycle to cycle. Please be mindful of the requirements of the schools you are interested in applying.
If you wish to enter a veterinary program you need to have a strong science and overall GPA. Admissions committees also look for trends on your transcript—so all is not lost if you stumble your first semester or two, as long as you show substantial improvement each subsequent year. However, they will also notice negative trends such as consistently withdrawing from or performing poorly in hard sciences or completing them away from your home institution. While an instance or two is not a deal-breaker, a pattern of behavior will be. You must demonstrate the ability to handle difficult scientific content.
Most schools have policies regarding advanced placement (AP) credit. Some schools restrict the use of such credit in fulfillment of pre-requisite requirements. In these cases, schools will often allow you to take additional upper-level courses in the science areas where AP credit was received. Make sure to review the policies for each veterinary school to which you plan to apply by navigating their website and reviewing their admission requirements.
According to UGA’s DVM Application Process section, the will accept AP credit for both prerequisites and electives as long as it appears on your official college transcript and is the equivalent to the appropriate college level coursework.
Major does not matter for veterinary school. The required courses are very basic and are usually included in any major at an undergraduate school with the exception, perhaps, of liberal arts (and even there you may find ways to overlap pre-vet requirements with elective categories in their curricula). Many veterinary school applicants are in majors in the Agriculture (e.g. animal science, wildlife science, biochemistry, food science, etc.). Other students enroll in the biology major and occasionally someone will be enrolled in pharmacy or engineering, etc. Although a life-science major may offer the most practical route to completing the requirements for admission into veterinary school, you are not limited to only the life science majors. It is more important that you choose a major that best fits your interests. As long as you show proficiency in the sciences (via pre-requisites), do well on the GRE, and show a general pattern of challenging yourself, your major is largely unimportant to admission committees.
The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Animal Health Majors have the opportunity to apply to the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine after their third year of studies or continue on the traditional four-year track and earn a bachelor's degree in Animal Science, Avian Biology, Biological Science, Dairy Science, or Poultry Science and then apply to vet school or pursue other career opportunities.