Looking for a pre-vet school with less farm focus

I am currently a junior looking at colleges to study pre-vet. Most of the schools I’ve looked at have animal science but the classes are more farm management focused such as “dairy management” or “urban agriculture”. I do love horses and cows but I also would like to look at schools with class focus on other animals as well. Are there any schools with animal science degrees with less farm focused? Thanks

You do not need to get an animal science degree to go to vet school. Your degree can be in anything you want, as long as you complete the vet school prerequisites. I believe animal science in general is somewhat farm focused, so I’m not sure if there are any programs with other animals. Depending on what kinds of animals you have in mind, you may want to look at schools with animal behavior programs. UNE (Maine) has some marine biology opportunities. Bucknell and Franklin and Marshall (PA) have colonies of monkeys. I’m not sure how much the classes interact with those animals, but you can definitely sign on to help with feeding, care, or research. Also keep in mind that most undergraduate classes don’t deal with animals directly, and you can learn a lot by volunteering with whatever kinds of animals interest you. Volunteer at a rescue for dogs, cats, or wildlife, shadow different kinds of vets, etc.

NCSU has one of the top vet schools. Their pre-reqs are VERY specific. So attending NCSU for undergrad really helps. Their animal science degree programs offer different focus like pre-vet, farm management, etc. Cal Poly SLO has an animal science program that is heavy on the farm industry rather than pre-vet (one of the reasons my daughter transferred from SLO to NCSU.) To get an idea of what vet schools (there aren’t many vs. med schools) require visit their respective websites and they will list very specific pre-reqs, like classes, board sores, LORs, animal exposure hours (not including pets) and shadowing.

NCSU has hands-on labs that include living on the various farms., ie dairy, small ruminant, equine (which is great!), swine, fowl… many choices. All close to campus which provide invaluable exposure and experience of animal science. NCA&T also offer an animal science degree (HBCU) which lead many of the grads to NCSU’s vet school.

At both schools many of the animal science classes interact with animals of study. An equine science concentration have students participating in the breeding program at NCSU. Many hours are spent in the stalls during foaling season. The director is truly a horse whisperer with many of the horses for training and rehabilatation.

Pre-vet is not for the faint of heart. Some states do not have vet schools so you would need to look to what ones offer seats to those without. Some schools accept no OOS students while others have a majority of students from OOS. Look again at each website for the specifics. It will really help.


I’d reverse your search and see what you will need to get INTO a vet school. If you need the farming and ag stuff, you’ll want a school that at least offers it, and I think most vet schools will give a preference to those who have experience.

Colo State is the school for Colorado but also a number of surrounding states that don’t have their own vet schools. There are more medical schools than vet schools. It’s a tough admit.

Carroll College in MT has a pre-vet program, which can be done in conjunction with a minor in anthrozoology. It sounds like something you might enjoy:


University of New Hampshire - very high acceptance rate into vet school
University of Delaware

I just want to re-emphasize that while both animal experience and vet supervised experience will be required for vet school, it is absolutely not required to get that experience in your classes. Also, I have no idea where you are from, but be careful before getting your heart set on a particular school. The description of the undergrad program at NC state sounds wonderful, but if you are not a nc resident, that is likely the single hardest vet school to get into. They get a huge number of applications because of their good reputation combined with cheap price. And they take a very high percentage of their applicants (maybe 85%?) From NC.

Most vet school prerequisites you can get at any school, or take online if they don’t offer it. Some of the harder requirements to fill (not required by all vet schools) include animal nutrition, physiology, public speaking.

Below is a copy of an answer that I posted to another question. You have a number of options available and as others have posted, it is not necessary to major in animal science to be accepted into vet school. You almost have to walk the process backwards from the state where you live and what that vet school requires for admission because that will be your best choice for admission unless you apply to a combined BS/DVM program. The idea is also to attend the undergraduate institution where the cost will be the lowest as vet school will be very expensive. This could be your local state university, or a private LAC that awards merit aid. You must also take into consideration the undergrad. school where you will be able to receive the highest GPA, offers a solid pre-professional program with high rate of acceptance to med and vet schools and offers or is located in an area where you can get the direct, hands on animal experience, and develop leadership skills.

My post as an answer to another question in the forum:
Unless your student is interested in applying to direct admit/early admission type programs, (Perdue, Tufts, Kansas State, U-Mass Amherst, etc.-each have their own requirements regarding GPA, grades in particular courses, some bypass the need to take the GRE and bypass application into the Vet program), then they most likely have the best chance for admission to Vet school in their home state. Most Vet schools have similar admission requirements regarding courses. Check to see what those requirements are at your local state veterinary school and if they are available at the LAC’s your daughter is interested in.
A distinct advantage to the early admit schools besides an accelerated program and the possibility of not having to take the GRE or apply to the vet school is that the program builds in the opportunities for direct animal care, (large, small, avian and exotic), under the guidance of veterinarians as well as research opportunities. Vet schools require specific number of hours in each of those areas. They also want a student to have leadership skills on campus, research experience and good communication skills.
Make certain that the LAC’s offer a strong pre-professional program. Ask what is the percentage of students who apply to vet school and are accepted. The school doesn’t necessarily need to have a designated animal science program but must offer the required courses, opportunity for research, and aid the student in finding internship and job shadow opportunities with veterinarians.