Hey I'm not sure how many vets are on this site. Maybe there are some people who are currently studying to become veterinarians. That is what I plan to do. I have always wanted to be a vet. Now that it's almost time for me to choose a college for my undergrad education, I don't want to make the wrong decision. I want the best possible education to prepare me for vet school.
Here's my dilemma:
1) Is it better for me to go to the college in which I will graduate with the least amount of debt.(considering vet school is very expensive.)
2) Is it better for me to go the Ivy League root - Penn. Penn has a vet school. They have the Ryan Veterinary Hospital right on campus. Easy access for me to volunteer or even get an internship while I'm an undergrad student.
Should I go the extra mile and challenge myself at a school like Penn for undergrad? Is it worth it? Or would I be better off going to a smaller liberal arts college that offers me a pretty scholarship?
Also, if there are any vets out there, can you please give me some advice about how you got started. I currently work at a kennel on weekends. I just need some advice on how to get my foot in the door in the field of veterinary medicine.
You are probably better served by posting this on the 'Pre Vet" section of CC. Also, there's another chatboard dedicated to Med Schools & it has a pre-vet section with much more traffic than the CC section.
D1s wants to be a vet and here's what we learned (& route she's taking). It is probably best to major in Animal Science in a large state school that provides lots of hands-on animal experience, as you need a minimum of 500 hours to apply. In reality, you probably need 1000+ hours across all sorts of animals: companion, farm & exotic. You will need a minimum college GPA of 3.5.
Also, are you a resident of a state with a Vet School? If so, congrats, as that will help you quite a bit.
Regarding Penn. While they have a top 5 Vet School, they do not have an animal science undergrad, so you would have no ability to interact w animals. Cornell is the top vet school in the country. While D1 originally thought that's where she would apply undergrad, she changed her mind after spending 3 weeks there at a summer pre-vet program when she realized undergrads are far down the list to get animal time (behind the vet & grads students). The conventional thinking is also that vet schools aren't terribly impressed with an Ivy name - they want to see animal experience.
Hope this helps.
Not a vet -- although I wanted to be and currently work in the animal industry.
Vet school admissions is similar to med school --except you need hand on experience with both large and small animals, and there are fewer vet school spaces available.
Best place to post this question is in the pre-vet forum on this site.
I don't believe it's necessary to go to undergrad to a university with a vet school, although I do know several Cornell grads currently at Cornell vet. One is a former employee of mine. You should consider flagship land grant universities with a top of the line animal science program.
When I read the title it sounded like an ad, but it is so true. The Government Accountability Office did a study a few years back that discussed the critical shortages of vets in various places in the U.S. Government. It's a problem with so few vet schools and vets that can make more in a practice than working for the feds.
I know vet grads from Iowa State in Ames Iowa and Mizzou in Columbia Missouri. Both have onsite animal facilites and offer an Animal Science major.
From what my veterinarian has told me, it's harder to get to a good vet school than to medical school....
There are 28 vet schools in North America with approx 3000 openings/year and over 50% of those are for reserved for residents of that state or the local consortium. Tough love. When looking at undergrad programs, ask what their vet school admission rate has been the past 1, 5 & 10 years.
I'm a senior undergrad at Cornell and I definitely feel that I've gotten plenty of animal exposure during my time here. Although I originally came from LA, my Animal Science classes gave me hands-on experience with livestock from the first semester of my freshman year. I am also an officer in our Block and Bridle livestock club, volunteer with the research dogs and cats down at the vet school and I'm employed by the lab of ornithology. The majority of my animal science friends who applied to vet school this cycle already have acceptance offers. There are many routes to vet school. Good grades, research hours, animal experience hours, time spent in a vet office and more all contribute to your application. Vet school is incredibly expensive, particularly those out of state and the veterinary profession is not exactly lucrative so if you already have concerns about affording vet school and have an affordable yet quality undergrad option, that might be your best bet.
Some vet schools require that you have experience working with or shadowing a vet and most require a recommendation letter from one, so it is essential to align yourself with a vet before applying. It's even better if you can work with several different types of vet (large animal, exotics, small animal, etc.) so you can get a feel for the variety that's out there.
My niece is a vet. She attended University of Delaware undergrad and UPenn for Vet school. She did interships with vets, worked at the zoo, travelled to Central America to work with animals, did research while at college. She also worked with a vet for several years, since she was in HS all through college. She is a very driven young lady. She had a very impressive resume, and good grades as an undergrad. She was accepted to at least 3 vet schools right out of undergrad. When she received her acceptance to Penn, she withdrew all other applications, since it was her #1 choice.
My sister is a vet. She majored in animal science at Rutgers and attended Cornell Vet School. She has often said that Vet School is about as expensive as med school, but vets don't make nearly the kind of money MDs do, so you should watch your debt level very carefully. Using the strategy cnp55 suggested worked for her. Get lots of hands-on experience.
Because admission to veterinary school is at least as competitive as admission to medical school, it's important to give some serious thought to alternative careers if becoming a veterinarian does not work out for you.
I realize that this is difficult. Probably the best major for a pre-vet is animal science, and many pre-vets are not interested in the other careers that this major would prepare them for. And prospective veterinarians need to spend a lot of their extracurricular and summer time in veterinary-related jobs, volunteer work, or other veterinary-related activities.
But please do give some thought to a plan B. It might be possible to at least minor in a field that would help you to prepare for a backup career and to spend at least one summer in a job or internship related to that career.
You mentioned UPenn. That is the Pennsylvania state vet school, so if you are in-state you would get a tuition discount and preferential admission. Of course, it is still an Ivy League school and still expensive.
For undergraduate prep within Pennsylvania, Penn State is better due to lower cost, and because they have undergraduate animal science majors. If you live in any other state, the public flagship school is likely the best choice because they have a mission of supporting agriculture in the state.
There are a couple of fairly cheap books on Amazon that you should look at. One called "Vetting" and another series "Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements". The latter book goes through all the state-by-state options and statistics. Some have an in-state vet school, and others have contract arrangements with neighboring states. For example, VA Tech is the Virginia vet school and also contracted with Maryland.
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