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