The Educational Path to Becoming a Veterinarian

It can be very confusing for high school students and their parents to figure out how to begin the process of preparing for a veterinary medical career. Many students decide early on that they want to be a veterinarian. But just how do you become a veterinarian?

Step 1

Gain admission into a pre-veterinary program at a university/college of your choice. Preparation begins in high school. You have high school courses that you must complete to meet the admissions requirements of any college/university. You also must sit for the SAT or ACT and obtain scores that meet admissions requirements. During your senior year in high school, you submit applications for admissions to the colleges/universities you are considering with all the necessary supporting documentation. Some institutions require you to declare a major immediately while others may offer a general studies program without requiring you to declare a major until a year or two down the road.

While you wish to become a veterinarian, not everyone will. You need to choose your college major based upon career options in which you would be happy if veterinary medicine does not work out for you. In other words, what is your back-up plan? Everyone need to have a back-up plan.

Most students on the Purdue campus enter either the College of Science in a biology major or the College of Agriculture in an animal science, wildlife science, or biochemistry major to name a few. Advisors in these colleges can talk with you about your career interests and provide information, guidance and direction to assist you with your choices during your undergraduate years. Your academic advisor will assist you in enrolling in courses that will be required by both your undergraduate major but also to meet the course requirements necessary for entry into veterinary school. It will take 2-3 years to complete these courses. 

Step 2

Once you have met the course requirements for veterinary medicine, you will engage in another lengthier and more involved application process to be considered for admission into the professional Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. This application is web-based and is handled by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). Academic transcripts from all of the institution at which you may have completed college courses will be required. You will need to write a personal statement regarding your interest in becoming a veterinarian. Three evaluation will be required. One must be from a veterinarian who will rate your skills, abilities, and aptitude for this profession.

If you are a successful applicant in the initial stages of the admission process, then you will be invited to interview with our admissions committee. The committee will make final decisions on an applicant's admissibility once all interviews are completed.

If you are successful in gaining admission, this 4-year program prepares you for a life-long exciting career which you will find very rewarding.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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