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Pre-Med & Pre-Health

Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program


About the Program

A veterinarian treats diseases, disorders, and injuries in non-human animals. Veterinarians are at the forefront of research and developments to enhance overall well-being of their animal patients. A veterinarian must be comfortable working in close proximity with all animals, including small animals, livestock, avian and zoo and laboratory animals.

Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. The program generally takes 4-years to complete and admission is competitive. But the strong foundation built as an undergraduate student at Westminster College includes demonstrating the knowledge, skills and personal growth attributes that contribute to a strong veterinary school application and future success in veterinary medicine.

Most often, a student on a pre-veterinary medicine track will choose a science major such as Biology, Biochemistry or Neuroscience since the curricula include most, if not all, required and recommended courses. Many veterinary medical schools also consider students' scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as an admission factor, in addition to undergraduate GPA and veterinary experience. It is imperative for all students to work closely with both academic and health professions advisors to ensure completion of all requirements for professional schools and for their undergraduate degree. Students will typically apply to a college of veterinary medicine between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation, but some wait until after they graduate to apply in order to further their education and gain more relevant experience.



Typical Admission Requirements for Veterinary Medicine School (and GRE Preparation

  • General Biology or Zoology with labs, three courses (inlcudes Physiology)
  • Microbiology with lab
  • Genetics
  • General or Inorganic Chemistry with labs, two courses
  • Organic Chemistry with labs, two courses
  • Biochemistry
  • Physics with labs, two courses
  • Calculus
  • Statistics or Biostatistics
  • English or Writing, two courses
  • Communication/Public Speaking
  • Broad range of Social Science, Arts, and Humanities courses

Course requirements vary from one program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the highly competitive veterinary school application environment.


Sample Pre-Vet Student Schedule

This is a sample schedule for a Biology major preparing to take the GRE between their junior and senior year and matriculating to veterinary medicine school following graduation. Please note that an individual student's schedule will vary based on the major selected and the schedule of course offerings. First-Year Program (FYP) courses, Intellectual Perspectives (IP) courses, the Cluster Course (CC), which are Westminster graduation requirements, are indicated in italics.

First Year (Fall)
First Year (Spring)
Cell Biology and Genetics (BIO 201; SD IP)
Principles of Chemistry (CHE 117)
Inquiry (INQ 101; FYP)
Speech or Writing (SPE 111 or WRI 111; FYP)
Westminster 101 (WST 101; FYP)
Organismal Biology and Ecology (BIO 202)
Calculus I (MTH 150; QR IP)
Speech or Writing (SPE 111 or WRI 111; FYP)
Foreign Language at 201-level (FL IP)

Sophomore Year (Fall)
Sophomore Year (Spring)
Biostatistics (BIO 206)
Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 302)
Organic Chemistry I (CHE 261)
Visual or Performing Arts Elective (VP IP)
Microbiology (BIO 301)
Organic Chemistry II (CHE 262)
English Literature Elective (HC IP)
Religion or Philosophy Elective (RP IP)

Junior Year (Fall)
Junior Year (Spring)
Physiology (BIO 334)
Foundations of Physics I (PHY 141)
Biochemistry (CHE 381)
Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101; ST IP)
Ecology (BIO 360)
Foundations of Physics II (PHY 142)
Biology Capstone I (BIO 601)
Principles of Sociology (SOC 101)

Senior Year (Fall)
Senior Year (Spring)
Biology Elective (BIO ---)
Biology Capstone II (BIO 602)
Cluster Course Elective (CC)
Cluster Course Elective (CC)
Biology Elective (BIO ---)
Chemistry Elective (CHE ---)
Elective Course
Elective Course

With the exception of the core requirements and courses strongly recommended ahead of the GRE exam, there is curricular flexibility within any chosen major and among the elective courses that are part of the liberal arts curriculum at Westminster College. It is, however, strongly suggested that students take both courses in Anatomy & Physiology (BIO 335/336) in order to be prepared for the veterinary school curriculum. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must also plan accordingly to meet all requirements and timelines. It is also advisable for students to budget time during the spring semester of their junior year to prepare for the GRE exam that will test knowledge in Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry as well as Reading Comprehension, Perceptual Ability and Quantitative Reasoning.


Extracurricular and Off-Campus Experiences

  • Shadow a veterinarian (small and large animal) or animal scientist
  • Work on a farm
  • Volunteer with a humane society or animal shelter
  • Work at your local zoo in a position with direct animal contact
  • Join Westminster's Pre-Vet Society


Where have Westminster students matriculated recently?

  • Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine


Web Resources


For More Information

Please contact the Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett.

Joshua C. Corrette-Bennett

Associate Professor of Biology/MedPAC Coordinator
Joshua C. Corrette-Bennett