I am a senior in high school and hoping to become a veterinarian. I want to get my bachelors degree in Animal Science with a concentration in pre-vet, but there are no nearby colleges where I live that offer that major. The nearest college is about 1 and 45 minutes away, which is way too far for my parents. My parents are forcing me to live at home and drive me to a small, Catholic college that doesn’t even have my major I want, but a biology major. I know biology is still an excellent major to get into vet school, but I am more interested in Animal Science. My backup plans correlate around an Animal Science degree but know I have no clue what to do if I don’t get into vet school. As well, the school’s pre-health advisor has no data about students getting to vet school, because pre-vet students that go to that college are very few and far between. I have looked at admitted class profiles of vet schools that offer it, and the college my parents are forcing me to go to isn’t on any of the lists. I am so passionate about Animal Science, and I don’t know what to do know that I’m forced to go to a college that I hate. I haven’t been able to visit any other colleges besides this college because “this college will prepare you for the future” although it has a mediocre program. Trust me when I can’t just tell my parents off, it’s hard to explain but I just can’t, and I’m too nervous too. Sorry if this is hard to understand ask any questions below.
Here’s a start; read the following for what’s required for vet school(from Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges) . Does your school offer these courses? If it helps any, I know several recent vet school graduates, and none majored in Animal Science. And if you look at the requirements for most US vet schools, the courses are general science, not animal specific; basically, it looks very similar to pre-med requirements.
Does the college you’re in participate in domestic exchanges such as NSE or ACM?
Are you a rising senior or did you graduate in 2019?
What are your stats?
Have you taken AP biology and AP chemistry?
Any reason why your parents want you to attend this specific college?
Do you volunteer on a farm, at a vet practice, at an equestrian center or a zoo?
What is it about Animal Science that you are most “passionate” about? It’s pretty clear that you can take the vet school required courses at almost any college; basically follow the pre-med track(and see list, above, for any variations).
And what is your “backup plan” that requires a major in Animal Science?
And have you explained that your goals in college revolve entirely(at this point, anyway) around Animal Science?
They do offer those courses need to get into vet school, which is good. However, My sibling who currently attends there says that the Biology program and the pre-med in the school aren’t the greatest. I fell in love with all of the classes I would be taking as an Animal Science major as well as the careers I could do with it. My backup plans include research (the program I like combines animal science and biotechnology, which is what I like) or becoming a zoologist. I have explained, but they just want me to major in biology because I will be able to find jobs.
No, they don’t offer those programs. I am an incoming senior graduating in 2020. I am going to take AP Bio this year, but my school is so small it doesn’t offer that many AP classes. However, I take some online courses through a local community college. I have a 4.0, and I got a 1380 on the SAT. I have taken a few AP courses (AP Lang and APUSH) and have passed them. I take all honors courses. All of my classes for senior year are college credit classes (some AP, CHS, etc.). It’s because my dad went there and it is local. They want me to live at home so they can drive me every day (they won’t allow me to get a car). It’s also a catholic college, which is something they want in a school although I could instead care less (I would have to take theology classes every year). I currently work at a vet practice and have been for over a year. I have as well shadowed an equine vet a couple of times, and I’m hoping to volunteer on a farm this school year.
Keep doing that as it’ll be the most important thing along with excellent grades. Contact with many different animals is a requirement for vet school.
Can you switch to biochemistry? Biostatistics? (Biostatistics in particular has superb ROI).
Biology is a major with one of the lowest ROIs (lower than English, for instance). A reason is that actual work in biology requires an advanced degree, so that with a BA/BS in biology you can only get very few biology-related jobs typically poorly paid. Then, adding to the problem is that everybody and their brother thinks they want to be a doctor; while there’s no requirement to do so, many major in biology, and very few get into med school. As a result, there’s an oversupply of Biology majors out there which the market can’t absorb.
Biochemistry or chemistry majors are fewer so even though there aren’t many jobs either there are fewer applicants. Biostatistics and bioinformatics are two growing fields. You can also see whether your small college offers a minor in nonfiction writing - being able to write good science articles can be a distinguishing quality.
Most of all try very hard to get high grades in everything.
I doubt your parents will be able to drive you back and forth - this isn’t high school, work goes on till 10pm and there’s a reason why the library’s open till midnight. You will have study groups in the evenings, you could have evening class… (Make SURE to schedule those, don’t ask them or tell them - the concept of a college student being picked up on campus after class is quite crazy so I’m guessing they’d try to bar you from attending evening study groups and they are really important. ) Also important : office hours, tutoring (that’s how you go from B to A), professional clubs, activities where you can demonstrate leadership - those will matter as much as classes, if not more, for your life after college.
Email the office of international study and ask them whether they’re part of NSE or ant domestic exchanges with Catholic colleges.
Another option is Catholic colleges with big scholarships. Retake the SAT and try to score 1400+ as this is often the threshold for the biggest scholarships and pure really close. Apply widely, to your state flagship + Catholic universities. Common App allows you to apply to 20 with many Catholic colleges free to apply. Your goal would be to snatch a scholarship. Talk to your priest and see whether he’d be able to help you in justifying attending a Catholic college that’s different from your dad’s Alma Mater. It may be good for your Catholic school/parish if they can claim one of their students got into a famous Catholic university.
What’s the cost difference between these two?
Another link from aavmc
It’s very competitive to get into vet school and more than a specific major in animal sci.
With your grades and SAT scores, you clearly have the skills to succeed in college. As noted above, take as many challenging courses as possible senior year to prepare yourself for college-but don’t worry if there are a limited number of AP courses. Plenty of students do well in college having taken few or no AP courses. College coursework is a whole different world than high school, especially in the sciences.
It appears, however, that your parents have told you they are willing to pay for college at exactly one school. This isn’t that unusual-I know plenty of families which have told their kids the family will pay for State U only, or for a specific religious school, which appears to be the case for you.
That, unfortunately, leaves you with few options:
- don’t go, get a job, and see if you can persuade your parents during a gap year or
- go and excel, and get accepted to vet school from that college. Many graduate schools like to highlight how many different colleges they have accepted students from
UC Davis Vet(heavy on in-state, but lots of colleges)
As noted above, if you are worried about the bio department, majoring chemistry/biochem would be a good option; just make sure to take the bio prerequisites.
3. Engage in some heavy-duty negotiating with your parents now, as described above.
Those really appear to be your options; in any case, your HS academic achievements show you are ready and able to succeed in college.