Pre-Veterinary Medicine Curriculum

To print a copy of this information, click on this link: Preveterinary Curriculum

The Major

The “preveterinary medicine curriculum” is just a list of courses that are required for admission to veterinary school. It is NOT an academic major, a minor, or an emphasis area.


Even if you plan to apply to vet school after taking only the courses required for admission (minimum of 79 hours for the program at Mississippi State University), you need to declare an academic major at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Many students choose a major in one of the sciences (Biological Sciences, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Physics) but other majors are acceptable including those in the humanities, social sciences, or business. Students should select the major in which they feel the most comfortable and in which they would like to work if they are not accepted into vet school.


Students wishing to study veterinary medicine typically take three or more years to complete a preprofessional curriculum, for example at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Some vet schools prefer that students have a baccalaureate degree; other schools require the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation.


Progress toward a Baccalaureate Degree

Course work toward a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss must be planned so the student meets all the requirements for the preprofessional curriculum, a major, a minor if appropriate, the University General Education Curriculum, and the College core. At Southern Miss, a minimum of 124 hours is needed for most baccalaureate degrees, with 45 of these hours from courses at the 300-level or above.


Visit the following web pages for more information about schools of veterinary medicine:

American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMA):

American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA):

Link to accredited colleges and programs:

In Mississippi the veterinary school is at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. In Alabama there are veterinary schools at Auburn University in Auburn, AL and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. In Louisiana the veterinary school is at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA

Requirements for Applicants

Admission to a veterinary medicine program is very competitive. The overall GPA of accepted applicants is often 3.6 or higher.


Students must gain experience working in a veterinary clinic before applying to a vet school and they must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply.


The following list of Required Courses meets only the minimal requirements for admission for students seeking admission to the four-year professional program at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University.

Link to MSU-CVM:


Students may apply for admission to the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine in their third year of preprofessional work (must have 79 semester hours of required courses in order to apply).

However, students are strongly advised to work toward completing the baccalaureate degree in a science field.

  • writing; English Composition is suggested (6 hours)
  • speech or technical writing (3 hours)
  • math; college algebra is minimum level (6 hours)
  • biological science courses with laboratories for science majors (8 hours)
  • microbiology with laboratory for majors (4 hours)
  • advanced science electives (12 hours), which may include junior, senior, graduate level courses in biochemistry, nutrition, comparative zoology, cellular physiology, embryology, histology, microbiology, quantitative analysis, calculus, statistics, immunology, zoology, comparative anatomy, animal physiology, genetics, parasitology, molecular biology, physical chemistry, differential equations, physics
  • 25 hours of physical science courses [inorganic chemistry{general chemistry} & lab (8 hours), organic chemistry & lab (8 hours), biochemistry (3 hours), physics & lab (6 hours, may be trig based)]
  • humanities, social/behavioral sciences, fine arts (15 hours); for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree at Southern Miss, must take humanities (6 hours), social/behavioral sciences (6 hours), fine arts (3 hours)

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success

The suggested course sequence below is merely a guideline courses required for the MSU program in a timely manner. Courses to fulfill the major must be worked into the student’s schedule.

Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule Guide for each semester, and their academic advisor. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years because many upper level courses in all majors are offered in specific semesters (Fall or Spring only) and/or on a rotating two-year cycle.



Fall                                                                  Spring

BSC 110&L OR BSC 111&L a  4 h                   BSC 111&L OR BSC 110&L a  4 h

CHE 106&L                          4 h                   CHE 107&L                           4 h

MAT 101 b                           3 h                   MAT 103 b                            3 h

ENG 101 c                           3 h                    ENG 102                              3 h

Required elective d              3 h                    Required elective d                3 h


a, The order that students take the introductory Biological Sciences (BSC) courses does not matter; BSC 110/L covers molecular and cellular topics whereas BSC 111/L covers ecology and organisms.


b, Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT mathematics subtest score.

Calculus is required for most majors in the College of Science and Technology (CoST), but is not required for veterinary school or for majors outside of CoST.


c, Placement in English Composition courses depends on the student’s ACT English subtest score.

  • ACT English subtest score 16 or below:  ENG 99E (Expanded Composition Studio) and ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 17-19:  ENG 100E (Composition I expanded)
  • ACT English subtest score 20 or above:  ENG 101 (Composition 1)


d, Students must take 15 hours of any combination of Humanities, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts courses. However, to fulfill the requirements for a baccalaureate degree from Southern Miss (or from MSU), students should select:

  • one Fine Arts course (ART 130, DAN 130, MUS 365, THE 100)
  • two Humanities courses; take ENG 203 and select two courses from (HIS 101, HIS 102, PHI 151, REL 131), at least one must be a history course
  • two Social and Behavioral Sciences courses; select one course from (ANT 101, SOC 101) and one course from (ECO 101, PS 101, PSY 110)


Strategy for Success

  • Students should focus on doing well in their academic studies, particularly the required science and math courses.
  • Students should become involved with extracurricular activities, including meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions that will demonstrate effective interactions with diverse people and effective time management skills.
  • Students should start getting some hands-on exposure to veterinary medicine.



Fall                                                                  Spring

BSC 380/L                              4 h                   Advanced Science elective e        4 h


CHE 255&L                             4 h                   CHE 256&L                                4 h

PHY 111&L                             4 h                   PHY 112&L                                4 h

Two required electives d           6 h                   Speech or Technical Writing f     3 h

                                                                        One required elective d           3 h


e, Advanced science electives include junior, senior, and graduate level courses in Biochemistry [CHE 420 (1 semester survey) or CHE 421/L, CHE 422/L, CHE 424/L (majors/minors sequence)]; nutrition (NFS 362); Cell Biology (BSC 360); Comparative Anatomy (BSC 361/L); Genetics (BSC 370); Vertebrate Biology (BSC 407);  Comparative Animal Physiology (BSC 450); Histology (BSC 461/L; Embryology (BSC 465/L); Molecular Biology (BSC 476, BSC 478L); Pathogenic Microbiology (BSC 481/L); Immunology (BSC 486/L); parasitology; Analytical Chemistry (CHE 311/L); Calculus [MAT 114 (1 semester survey); MAT 167, MAT 168, MAT 169 (majors/minors sequence); statistics (PSY 360); Physical Chemistry (CHE 461/L, CHE 462/L); differential equations; advanced physics. These advanced science courses can not be used to meet both the basic requirements (8 hours of biological science, 25 hours of physical sciences, 4 hours of microbiology, 6 hours of math) and the 12 hour advanced science requirements.


f, CMS 111 or ENG 333


Strategy for Success

•          Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.

•          Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.

•          Students continue to participate in hands-on exposure to veterinary medicine.

•          The Application Process may begin this year. (See below for application process)

Applicants must have completed a total of 79 semester hours of required courses. To do so by the end of the second year, students would have to take some courses in during the summer semesters of the first and/or second years. Otherwise, most students continue into the third year to complete the prerequisites.



Fall                                                                  Spring

CHE 420                                  3 h                   Advanced Science elective e      4 h

Advanced Science elective e      4 h                   Classes to fulfill major, etc.       12-14 h

Classes to fulfill major, etc.       8-11 h


Strategy for Success

•          Students continue to focus on doing well in their studies.

•          Students remain involved with meaningful community service learning, volunteer activities, and leadership positions.

•          Students continue to participate in hands-on experiences related to any aspect of veterinary medicine.

•          Apply to vet school when you have completed the required courses (see below for application process).


YEAR 4 (If pursuing a baccalaureate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi)

Fall                                                                  Spring

Classes to fulfill major, minor   15-18 h             Classes to fulfill major, minor   15-18 h


The application process must begin this year, if not done previously.

The Application Process

The application process may begin after the second year, but typically begins in the Junior year.

  • Students apply through the Veterinary Medicine Colleges Application Service (VMCAS), which opens in June; deadline is September 15. Transcripts are to be submitted to VMCAS by September 15.

Link to VMCAS:

  • Three evaluation letters are required; at least one must be from a veterinarian.  These must be submitted to VMCAS by September 15.
  • Scores from the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are required (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing sections). Scores must be submitted by September 15 of the application year; typically students must take the GRE no later than August 15 of the application year and preferably earlier.
  • ·         Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within the past three years (requirements vary with the school). Link:
  • Average GRE scores, and required GRE scores, vary with each vet school. GRE scores of students admitted to MSU-CVM are typically:

–    GRE:  ~152  Verbal, 151 Quantitative sections and 3.9 Analytical Writing

  • Students should study on their own to prepare for the GRE or they may take one or more of the USM GRE one credit hour each, review classes:

            MLS 480 (Conquering the GRE Computer Adaptive Test)

            MLS 481 (GRE Preparation: Quantitative)

            MLS 482 (GRE Preparation: Verbal)

            MLS 483 (GRE Preparation: Analytical Writing

      Check the Class Schedule Guide to determine when these courses are offered.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to take an online practice GRE before taking the GRE that they will use on their application. There are a number of websites that have practice questions or practice tests; use Google to search for “practice GRE questions”.
  • Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale, both in the overall GPA and in the required sciences and mathematics courses; at no time may these GPA calculations fall below the minimum level. NOTE: successful applicants typically have GPAs of about 3.6 or higher.
  • No grade lower than “C” is acceptable in any required course.

The Interview

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview.

  • Dress professionally and act professionally at your interview.

For More Information about a Career in Healthcare, Contact the Preprofessional Office

The Healthcare Preprofessional Office is located in Bobby Chain Technology Building (TEC) Room 103.



Phone number:   601.266.4741

Mailing address:

Healthcare Preprofessional Office
College of Science and Technology
118 College Dr., #5165
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001


Preprofessional Advisor:       Ms. Michelle Templeton