Pre-veterinary Path

Veterinarians (D.V.M.) care for pets, livestock, zoo, sporting, and laboratory animals and advise people about the proper care of animals. Some veterinarians also conduct clinical research. For more information on becoming a veterinarian, see the Veterinary Medicine section at this link.

Starting with your first semester of college, you are accumulating the credentials to apply to veterinary schools. Applicants are expected to have:

  • Completed a bachelor's degree in any major
  • Completed medical school course requirements (see below)
  • Earn excellent grades; overall and science GPAs should be at least a 3.5
  • Earn a good score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Obtain individual letter of recommendation
  • Obtain clinical experiences working with animals, some programs require a minimum number of hours (varies between program, ave. of 1,000 hours)

Course Requirements

These are the courses at SUNY Oswego that are recommended you complete to prepare for veterinary school requirements (note, there is some variation in course requirements between veterinary programs, so be sure to check the requirements of the programs you plan on applying to):

Course Requirements SUNY Oswego Course Notes
One Year of Biology Bio 120 and either Bio 340 or Bio 370
  • All courses offered every semester
  • Bio 120 is the prerequisite to Bio 340 and 370
  • If not a Biology or Zoology major, you will need permission to register from the Biological Sciences Chair
One year of General (Inorganic) Chemistry Che 111 (113 lab) and Che 212 (214 lab)
  • All courses offered every semester
One year of Organic Chemistry Che 331 (333 lab) and Che 332 (334 lab)
  • Che 331 is Fall only
  • Che 332 is Spring only
One year of Physics Phy 111 and 212 or Phy 112 and 213
  • Phy 111/212 is algebra-based
  • Phy 112/213 is calculus-based
  • All courses are offered every semester
One semester of Biochemistry Che 360 or 461
  • Labs are not required unless they are required for your major
  • Che 360 is Spring only
  • Che 461 is Fall only
  • Che 360 is recommended for students who wish to learn basic biochemistry. Che 461 & 462 are recommended for those seeking an in depth understanding of biochemistry
One to three semesters of upper-level Biology

Bio 309, 310, 315/316, 381

Zoo 360

  • Some programs give you a choice, others require specific courses
  • Some of these courses have multiple prerequisites
  • Bio 309, 310 and 315/316 are offered every semester, Zoo 360 is Fall only, Bio 381 is offered irregularly
One Year of English Eng 102 and either Eng 203, 204, 302, or 304
  • Eng 102 offered every semester, others vary
One semester of Math Mat 158 or Mat 179 and/or Mat 104/120/210
  • Not required by all veterinary schools, some require statistics and/or algebra/pre-calc/calc

Most state-run veterinary colleges, including Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine, have policies limiting the number of out-of-state students they will admit. You should contact Admissions officials directly to determine how many non-residents each school will admit and use that information when choosing which schools to apply to.