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