Pre-vet graduating early - a good idea?

<p>I'm a second year pre-vet and came into undergrad with 25 AP credits (bio, physics, calc I, english lit and comp), meaning I currently have junior status. I had always planned on staying in college for 4 years so I could study abroad for a semester and take extra courses that interest me, but lately I've been thinking about graduating in 3 years, in May 2009 instead of 2008, thus moving up my vet school application to next fall.</p>

<p>I've already had time to take extra courses like Comparative Anatomy, Histology, and I'm taking Zoo and Aquarium Science and a graduate course in animal welfare next semester. I'm also planning a few more extra upper-level science courses for next year. I could get all of my zoology requirements, as well as the requirements for a minor in international development, by the end of next year. I'm studying abroad this summer in Kenya (a program about African mammals), and, instead of doing Semester at Sea the fall of my 4th year like I had planned, I'm considering doing my own circumnavigation of the globe between undergrad and vet school, which would still be much cheaper then doing Semester at Sea. In fact, by graduating early, I'd save about $30,000.</p>

<p>My overall GPA is a 3.8, most of which is composed of science courses (though I haven't tabulated my science GPA yet) and I'm in the Honors College. I have ~350 small animal hours, >400 research hours running my own equine biomechanics research project through our CVM, ~50 hours emergency, and hundreds of hours working in kennels and with horses.</p>

<p>So, what do you think? Will I miss out on opportunities in undergrad by rushing through? I absolutely love college, but would it ultimately be good to push through and go to vet school a year early? Thoughts and opinions appreciated.</p>

<p>if i knew what i was going to do, i would graduate asap and get my life moving.</p>

<p>honestly, i think the "college experience" is overrated. they say you'll never make friends like you did in college, but it's not true. if you're a friendly person, you can make friends anywhere you go, any job you take. college clubs are just a social outlet. the only thing that may be worth staying behind is just the fun courses you want to explore. but if that's not too important to you, i don't think anything else is worth it. and if you have enough internships, etc. to get you into grad school, then it's probably better to just go to grad school. wasting $30,000 just to make some friends is not worth it.</p>

<p>I don't think graduating early would be a bad thing. The biggest drawback for a pre-vet would be fitting in the animal experience hours, and you've done that.</p>

<p>I'd disagree with 4321234. I certainly don't think that the college experience is 'overrated' although yes some people enjoy it more than others. One year in your career is really nothing down the line. If you're enjoying the college experience then I wouldn't be in such a rush to leave. The opportunity to take more non-science courses could help make you a more rounded intellectual overall (if you want that sort of thing). If, however, you just want to get on with it and go to vet school then if you've met the requirements there's nothing stopping you. Money is also a factor too so I suppose that depends on your financial situation.</p>

<p>Money aside, I'd certainly want a 4 year undergrad, but it's a personal decision really.</p>

<p>No it's a HORRIBLE idea actually. If vet school is really your goal, doing this will put you at a disadvantage when you apply to vet school.</p>

<p>By graduating early, you have to apply during your 3rd year of school, and you'll be bringing a record of only 2 years of undergraduate work, compared to the 3 years that almost the entirety of your competition will have. That 50% decrease for schools to look at when evaluating you is a significant liability. You have less course work to look at, less time to get your animal experiences, less time to be involved on campus, less time to garner leadership positions, less time to do pretty much everything you need to be doing to make yourself a competitive candidate for veterinary school. </p>

<p>You absolutely most look at this decision as "how will this affect my chances of getting into vet school". All other things aside, if you can't get in, what did you gain?</p>

<p>^BRM makes a very good point. Vet school is a very tough admit, and almost impossible at some schools if you are an "at large" applicant (i.e., not a resident of the state in which the vet school is located or not a resident of a state that contracts for seats with the vet school that you're applying to). As such, it's critical that your undergraduate preparation, extracurriculars, animal related work experience, etc. be as strong as possible. In this context, more time to put together a very strong resume is the way you want to go.</p>

<p>I agree with the above two. I considered doing post-bac pre-med for vet schools and after reading a lot of vet schools' admissions pages and hearing from several vets first hand, it can take a while to get in the first round. So you're going to want to do everything that you can do to be at a real advantage. Have you taken Stats and English Lit/Comp courses? You mght as well (A) apply anyway but DO plan to stay on for your fourth year because chances are very good that they won't admit you or (B) Don't apply until your fourth year. It's not unusual to hear of vets who have applied at least 3 times! (Usually they work as a vet tech or animal-related jobs in the meantime-perhaps that's something you can look into doing for your "fourth year"?)</p>

<p>Here's a summary of admission statistics for out-of-state students at each of the 28 U.S. vet schools during the last admissions cycle (please forgive the occasional misspelling on the chart, it's not mine): <a href=""&gt;;/a> As the previous poster noted, it's not at all unusual to be rejected for admission to a DVM program on the first try, even with stellar credentials.</p>