What are the Academic Requirements to Become a Veterinarian?


If animal welfare and well-being are a priority for you, a veterinary science profession may be the perfect career path to pursue. Getting into a veterinary school requires you to gain certain academic qualifications. The veterinary school application process is often aligned with the academic curriculum for the ease of students and teachers alike.

The academic requirements may vary in different schools, while certain criteria will be standard for all. Veterinary school requirements include completion of pre-med coursework, English proficiency, and letters of recommendation among others.


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Requirements to Become a Veterinarian

Understanding the essential requirements before applying increases your chances of selection. So, what are some of the academic requirements to become a veterinarian?


#1 Prerequisite courses

Completion of prerequisite coursework is a mandatory requirement in every medical school regardless of the specialization. The prerequisite courses are usually college-level science and math subjects and their subdivisions. The general requirements in academics are listed below:

  • One year of general biology (six credit hours)
  • Six months of biochemistry (three credit hours)
  • Six months of organic chemistry (three credit hours)
  • One year of general chemistry (six credit hours)
  • Six months of computer science or math (three credit hours)
  • Six months of language arts (three credit hours).

Students must attend laboratory sessions and gain the required amount of practical experience in general biology and organic chemistry. For the language arts requirement, you can opt for English or substitute it with a course that has a writing component in it.  

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#2. English language requirement

English is the language of instruction in most veterinary schools of medicine. Therefore, a basic knowledge of the language and essential communication skills are necessary to follow the curriculum. Applicants who are non-native to English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to prove their proficiency.

#3. Graduate Record Examination

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not a mandatory academic requirement in veterinary schools. However, a good GRE score will increase the chances of your application getting shortlisted for the interview procedure. GRE is recommended by veterinary medical schools as it tests the analytical, reasoning, and verbal aptitude of the candidates. 

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#4. Letter of recommendation and other important documents

Valid letters of recommendation that back up your character are necessary to get admitted to any veterinary medical school. Two letters of recommendation from suitable people stating your experience working with animals and your ability to become a successful professional in the future are required for admission to veterinary schools.

As well as the letter of recommendation, here are a few other documents that you are required to submit along with the application.

  • Official transcript from the university you previously attended
  • A personal statement explaining why you want to study veterinary science, reasons for choosing a particular university, your accomplishments, and any pre-veterinary preparation
  • Your current resume
  • TOEFL test scorecard.

These are some of the general requirements to keep in mind when applying to any veterinary school of medicine. If you think you meet all the above criteria, take the first step to becoming a veterinarian and apply today!

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