Cal Poly Pomona or UCLA for Veterinary Route

Hello people of the forum,

I’m looking for some advice on where I should transfer. I have done 2 years at my local community college and am trying to choose where to do my last 2 years of my Bachelors.

A little background: I have a 4.0 GPA. I’ve been accepted to Cal Poly Pomona/SLO, UCLA, UCSD, and UC Berkeley. I live about 1 hr from Cal Poly Pomona and 2 hours from UCLA

So I’m torn between CPP and UCLA as my top picks. CPP has an excellent pre-veterinary program, which is what I want to be (a veterinarian). However, UCLA has a great biology program and I could still get into Veterinary school with a Biology bachelors degree. If I go to UCLA, I’ll get a bachelors in Biology so if I don’t decide to be a veterinarian my options are open.

Basically, I’m scared that if I go to CPP for pre-vet and realise that I don’t want to be a vet, then I’d have wasted my time. The plan to become a veterinarian sounds amazing, but you just never know if you’ll love something until you’ve tried it. And I have no experience in animal care so I’m unsure. Its too late for me to get experience before I have to choose. I have to choose a school by next week.

On the other hand, if I go to UCLA I can get a bio Bachelors, but I’d probably dorm because its far. However, I just moved to California and I’d miss my significant other and the life I’ve just created here. UCLA is a great university though, and I feel like if I let it go I’d be missing out.

Money is not a problem, I’ve received a very good financial aid package from both universities. I’ve been pondering on what I should do for a while now and its stressing me out trying to decide on my own. Any thoughts?

If you end of pursuing a Veterinarian career and plan on applying to the UC Davis Vet school, this might help you make a decision on which school to attend:

If you pursue a Biology degree at UCLA, besides Vet school, what career options would you consider that the Biology degree?

Vet school like Medical school/Pharmacy School/Law School admissions is mainly about GPA so where do you think you would excel academically to make you a competitive applicant?

I got into UC Davis but don’t want to go there for personal reasons.

As for careers: wildlife biologist, biologist or maybe something in research.

I’d probably excel academically more at CPP honestly.

I would suggest that you carefully review the link that @Gumbymom provided in the first post. Your home state vet school, in your case, this will be UC Davis, will give you the highest chance of admission-this is usually true for any state vet school-see admission rates for CA students and admission scores. This is true regardless of where any student completes their undergrad training. It is very important that you review the prerequisites of UC Davis or any other vet school you would like to attend. They will indicate what courses are required, what grades are required in those courses and whether or not they can be taken in a community college setting. Vet schools look for students with high GPA’s, high GRE scores, a specific number of direct/hands on vet care hours under the direction of a DVM, leadership roles in community service, and proof of ability to be a critical thinker. If you can achieve all of this while attending UCLA, then that is a viable option. In many schools you will be taking the same courses as pre-med students, be sure you do not attend a school with a big “weed out” or “cut throat” reputation. Do your undergrad choices have strong pre-professional mentor program? What is their rate of students who apply and are accepted into vet school? Are letters of recommendation by committee? Best of luck to you.

If you like CPP then you should consider Cal Poly SLO since the linked UC Davis Vet school stats shows more admitted from SLO vs. CPP. You will get the same “hands on learn by doing” experience at either Cal Poly but when it comes to any competitive major along with Medical or Vet school post grad, any little advantage will help.

“I got into UC Davis”

UC Davis has 40,000 students. If there is someone there you do not like, there is a very real possibility that you could get through 4 full years at UC Davis without ever seeing them.

UC Davis has a superb veterinary school. I would look carefully at the admissions stats there.

Also the people I know who are intending to apply to veterinary school have a LOT of experience working with veterinarians, working with animals, and working with people. They have experience reaching inside cows multiple ways, bandaging wounded horses, dealing with dying animals and distraught humans, cleaning up afterward, and so on. Getting a lot of experience in a veterinary situation is important.

Vet schools can be more competitive than med school, so…

  1. Davis is the no brainer here.

  2. SLO is a good second

No other school comes close for pre-Vet. Bio majors are a dime a dozen, so a Bio degree from UCLA won’t be of any more value than a Bio degree from Davis.

Agreed, UC Davis is probably the best choice, if you know that you want to be a veterinarian. However, I know of many people that wanted to be a vet and changed that decision within their first year of undergrad. Therefore, if I were in your shoes, I would go to the school that is the best fit for you and also keeps the door open to vet school. Based on your academic track record, you will probably succeed in whichever school that you pick. Make sure that you visit/work at vet hospitals to further improve your extracurriculars and convince yourself that veterinary medicine is the path for you.