Skip navigation

Preprofessional Office

Pre-Veterinary

Pre-Veterinary Curriculum

The pre-veterinary 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. The list of courses we describe here meet the course requirements for many veterinary schools; however, students should consult the admissions policies of prospective veterinary schools.

Veterinary schools do not require a particular major. Although most pre-veterinary students choose an academic major in one of the sciences, such as Biological Sciences or the Biochemistry emphasis of Chemistry, 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 veterinary school.

Some students already have a B.A. or B.S. or above and decide to pursue becoming a veterinarian. It is recommended that such students visit the pre-professional office for additional advisement. It is common for these students to take their missing prerequisite courses for veterinary school here at USM as post-baccalaureate students, work on the other non-course requirements, prepare for and take the GRE, and then apply to veterinary school(s). 

Some students may choose to pursue a second major, while others enroll in prerequisite courses as a non-degree-seeking student. In either case, students must go through the University's Undergraduate Admissions office to be either admitted (new students) or re-admitted (former students) prior to enrollment.

 

Veterinary School Possibilities

The only Mississippi College of Veterinary Medicine is located at Mississippi State University in Mississippi State, MS (near Starkville, MS). MSU enrolls about 95 incoming students each year in their DVM program and does not require Mississippi residency for application.

Veterinary Schools By State

Other DVM programs can be found listed by state at the American Veterinary Medical Association website.

 


Requirements for Applicants 

Admission to veterinary schools is not solely determined by prerequisites. Gaining entrance into veterinary school is highly competitive, and students who are accepted usually surpass the minimum requirements.

Veterinary schools have relatively similar minimum requirements for admission, typically:

  • Completion of a series of specified courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (BCPM) and English with no grade lower than a C
  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree (although consideration is occasionally given to exceptional students with 79+ credit hours)
  • A competitive GPA (typically around 3.6, but a minimum 2.8) in BCPM courses and overall
  • Multiple positive character traits, such as honesty, integrity, ethics, compassion, leadership ability, and motivation
  • Competitive scores from the nationally administered Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) 
  • Three letters of evaluation from professors and/or veterinary professionals
  • Experience working in a veterinary office as well as experience in animal handling (outside of a veterinary office)
  • Active participation in community service

The following list of courses meets only the minimum requirements for admission to the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine near Starkville, MS. Students must consult the specific admission requirements and application deadlines for the school(s) to which they plan to apply, including MSU.

  • English Composition - ENG 101 & 102
  • Speech OR Technical Writing
  • Two Mathematics courses at or above MAT 101
  • General Biology - BSC 110/L & 111/L
  • Microbiology - BSC 282/L
  • General Chemistry - CHE 106/L & 107/L
  • Organic Chemistry - CHE 255/L & 256/L
  • Biochemistry - CHE 420/L
  • General Physics - PHY 111/L & 112/L OR 201/L & 202/L
  • Three to four advanced science electives (12 hours total)
  • Electives in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts (15 hours total)

 

Suggested Course Sequence & Strategies for Success 

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

Students must consult the USM Undergraduate Bulletin, the USM Class Schedule, and their primary academic advisor to confirm course offerings. During the last semester of the Sophomore year, students should develop a more detailed plan for the Junior and Senior years, as many upper-level courses are offered only in specific semesters and/or on a rotating two year cycle. 

Fall

  • BSC 110/L or 111/L (4h) a
  • CHE 106/L (4h)
  • MAT 101 (3h) b
  • ENG 101 (3h)
  • One additional course (3-4h) c

Spring

  • BSC 110/L or BSC 111/L (4h) a
  • CHE 107/L (4h)
  • MAT 103 (3h) b
  • ENG 102 (3h)
  • One additional course (3-4h) c

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

b   Placement in mathematics (MAT) courses depends on the student’s ACT subtest score. Consult the prerequisites for the math course you plan to take. Calculus is required for some majors in the USM College of Arts and Sciences but is not required by most veterinary schools. 

c    Additional courses include courses required or recommended for the veterinary application, supplemental courses for the application, and/or courses to fulfill the student's chosen academic major or minor.

Strategies for Success

  • Students should visit the pre-professional office for advisement and/or to answer any pertinent questions.
  • Students should focus on doing well in their academic studies, particularly the required science, behavioral science, and math courses. Students should study for long-term retention of knowledge in preparation for their GRE exam and use in veterinary school.
  • 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 maintain a record of these events, including supervisor contact information and event details, for use in the VMCAS application.
  • Students should start getting some hands on exposure to veterinary medicine (sights, sounds, smells, feel). It is important to maintain a record of these experiences, including supervisor contact information and event details, which generally relate to working in veterinary offices or animal shelters. 
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete the prerequisites for the Hatten Externship (BSC 392) during the first year. The focus of the course is shadowing medical professionals (physicians, dentists, and veterinarians) in practice. The externship is offered in the Fall semester, so students must fulfill the prerequisites for enrolling in the course by the end of the preceding Summer semester. Students may participate in the externship twice. Externship prerequisites are ENG 101, 102; BSC 110/L, 111/L; CHE 106/L, 107/L; [MAT 101, 103 OR one Calculus course]. A minimum GPA of 3.2 (overall and BCPM) is required.
  • Students may join AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta), the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society, as associate members at any time even if they do not fulfill the requirements for full membership (must be enrolled at a university for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements). Full members are inducted during the Spring semester. Applications and instructions for membership are available at the preprofessional office.

Fall

  • CHE 255/L (4h)
  • PHY 111/L or 201/L (4-5h)
  • BSC 282/L (4h)
  • Additional courses (4-6h) d

Spring

  • CHE 256/L (4h)
  • PHY 112/L or 202/L (4-5h)
  • CMS 111 or ENG 333 (3h)
  • Additional courses (3-7h) d

d    Additional courses include courses required or recommended for the veterinary application, supplemental courses for the application, and/or courses to fulfill the student's chosen academic major or minor.

Strategies for Success

  • Students should continue to follow previous success strategies.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship (BSC 392), which is offered each Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to veterinary school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Students are typically inducted into AED, the national Health Preprofessional Honor Society, in the Spring semester of the Sophomore year, but may be inducted in Junior or Senior year (must be enrolled at Southern Miss for a minimum of three semesters and meet specific course and GPA requirements).
  • Students should visit the pre-professional office for advisement and/or to answer any pertinent questions.

Fall

  • CHE 420 (3h)
  • Advanced science elective (4h) e
  • Courses to fulfill major, minor (8-11h)

Spring

  • Advanced science elective (4h) e
  • Courses to fulfill major, minor (11-14h)

e    Advanced science electives include courses in Animal Physiology, Biochemistry, Calculus, Cellular, Physiology, Chemistry, Comparative anatomy, Comparative Zoology, Differential Equations, Embryology, Genetics, Histology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Nutrition, Parasitology, Physics, Quantitative Analysis, Statistics, and Zoology. Courses should be taken at the 300-level or above, with the exception of some mathematics courses.

Strategies for Success 

  • Students continue to follow previous success strategies.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate again in the Hatten Externship, which is offered each Fall. Students may participate in the Externship twice. Since students typically apply to veterinary school at the end of the Junior year, participation in the Externship as Sophomores and Juniors is recommended.
  • Students should visit the pre-professional office for advisement and/or to answer any pertinent questions.
  • Students should begin the veterinary school application process during Junior year after completing or developing a plan to complete the required courses for entrance (see below for application process). Most competitive applicants will receive their BS or BA before entering veterinary school.

Fall

  • Classes to fulfill major, minor (15-18h)

Spring

  • Classes to fulfill major, minor (15-18h)

Strategies for Success

  • Students should be continuing with the application process and previous success strategies. If the application was not begun in Junior year, applications should begin early senior year for delayed entry.
  • Students should visit the pre-professional office for advisement and/or to answer any pertinent questions.

 

The Application Process

Students apply through the Veterinary Medicine Colleges Application Service (VMCAS), which typically opens in June with a September 15 deadline. Most veterinary schools utilize VMCAS, but it is important that students verify each prospective school's application requirements. Official transcripts are to be submitted to VMCAS by September 15.

 

Mississippi State University no longer requires the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) be taken for application to their veterinary medicine school. Many other veterinary schools still require GRE scores to be submitted as part of their application process.

Students should take the GRE a minimum of several months before their application date. Students may take the GRE earlier if they feel prepared, though the GRE should never be taken as a practice attempt. 

There are many study materials available for the GRE, both free and paid. While the pre-professional office does not endorse any product over another, it is recommended that students take multiple practice tests to ensure they are prepared and understand what to expect.

Students are advised to practice their interview skills BEFORE attending their first interview. For interview preparation at USM you may use the online Big Interview resource. You can also sign up for mock interviews through Career Services or the pre-professional office (contact information below). 

 

 

Pre-Professional Office Contact Information

Dr. Jeffrey Evans

Destiny DeLancey

Contact Us

Preprofessional Office
Liberal Arts Building 210
118 College Dr. #5004 Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Map

Email
CoASFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4315

Have a question?