About the Profession

Training in Veterinary Medicine requires four years at a veterinary college and subsequent licensing. While a bachelor’s degree is not required for admission at all schools, most strongly prefer it. In addition to the prerequisites indicated below, individual schools may require additional courses. All schools require an admissions test, but it varies whether it is the Graduate Record Exam or the  Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Grades and test scores requirements vary among the colleges. Average GPAs for admitted students remain 3.6+. It is important to confirm the courses and test requirements of any school to which you are applying. Volunteer/animal contact hours are very important and some schools specify a precise minimum number required for application. Furthermore, competition is very strong, and many schools have strict residency requirements.

There are 28 colleges of veterinary medicine in the US. The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) provides information and a central application service, the VMCAS. Not all the schools utilize the central application service so be sure to obtain up to date information. The authoritative guide is the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements in the United States and Canada. There is one college of veterinary medicine in New York at Cornell University. It is publicly assisted. In recent years, students admitted to Cornell had an average GPA of 3.8+, and approximately 1500 hours of animal care experience. The closest vet school to the Buffalo Metropolitan area is the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph.

State Residency

Most veterinary colleges are publicly supported institutions. As such they can have rather restrictive policies regarding how many out of state students they will admit. Research carefully the schools that interest you. If you will be applying as a non-resident, be sure to determine how many non-residents are admitted. Cornell is the public veterinary college in New York and can be your best prospect for admission.

Course Requirements

Start planning as a freshman to meet the following course requirements: A minimum of one year each of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, all with a year of lab; one year of English; and one year of Math recommended. Most require biochemistry. Below are the UB courses we recommended to meet these requirements:

Chemistry (Required) CHE 101-102 or 105-106 or 107-108 10 credits
Organic Chemistry (Required) CHE 201-202 or 251-252 10 credits
Biology (Required) BIO 200-201 9 credits
Physics (Required) PHY 101-102 w/labs 151-152, or
PHY 107-108 or 117-118 w/lab 158*
10 credits
English (Required) Communication Literacy 1 and 2 or ENG 101-201
(If any waived take 3 or 6 credits of writing intensive, literature-based courses – check with prehealth advisor if unsure)
6 credits
Biochemistry (Required) BCH 403 4 credits
Mathematics (Highly Recommended) MTH 121-122 OR 141-142 8 credits

*Consult with a prehealth advisor regarding additional lab requirements if taking a Physics sequence which includes only one lab.

  • Most veterinary colleges have additional required courses like genetics, biomedical microbiology, math and/or nutrition. Review the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements Guide in a prehealth advisor’s office or purchase your own.
  • All required courses must be taken for a grade.  AP credit in any of these areas should be followed with additional upper level courses in the discipline including labs. AP credit in math is the only subject where more advanced work is not necessarily required.
  • In the rare case a veterinary college accepts the MCAT in place of the GRE, please note the MCAT Changes for 2015: “The additional content for MCAT questions is taught at most colleges and universities in one-semester introductory psychology and one- semester introductory sociology courses. Again, test questions will ask examinees to use knowledge of introductory psychology and sociology concepts to demonstrate their scientific inquiry and reasoning, research methods, and statistics skills.” *See courses on the “Medicine” page on this website.