Preparing for Admission


Student holding a pigHigh School Preparation

High school students considering a career in veterinary medicine should pursue a strong background in high school science courses, especially in biology and chemistry. A foundation in mathematics and physics is also helpful as students enter their pre-professional studies in college. High school students are also encouraged to become familiar with the veterinary profession by seeking experiences with practicing veterinarians and broadening their experiences with a variety of animal species. These experiences might include volunteering at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter. The College of Veterinary Medicine offers a great career exploration program for high school students called VetCamp.

Learn more about career opportunities and get recommendations for gaining experience in high school.

College Pre-Veterinary Preparation

Strong academics standing is an important factor in admission to the D.V.M. program. Applicants can assess their personal academic standing by comparing their prerequisite course GPA, last 45-semester credit GPA, and GRE scores with those who were recently admitted to the D.V.M. program. The D.V.M. Class of 2020 profile lists the academic averages of students who were recently admitted as part of the Class of 2020.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants must complete specific prerequisite courses prior to enrollment in the D.V.M. program. This includes courses in chemistry, biology, physics, math, English composition and liberal education. A list of prerequisite courses for admission starting fall 2018 can be found in our 2018 planning guide.

Students may pursue their pre-veterinary studies at any accredited college or university and pursue any undergraduate major. Many community and junior colleges offer the majority of courses required with the possible exception of some of the more advanced science courses such as genetics and biochemistry. Please view our area college prerequisite guides for a list of approved prerequisites courses available by college or university.

Although a Bachelor's degree is not required for admission to the D.V.M. program, approximately 90% of the students entering the program each year have completed their Bachelor's degree. The most common majors of students entering the D.V.M. program are biology and animal science, but include a variety of majors such as engineering, business administration, history and music.


D.V.M. students must pass both state and national board licensing exams in order to practice. The national exam is called the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination and is offered in the fall and the spring. Those wishing to practice in Minnesota must also take the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine licensing exam. Information regarding licensure in other states can be found National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Additional licensing requirements may vary from state to state. The Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine requires criminal background checks as part of it's licensing process for both new and existing veterinarians. Please check with any state you are considering practicing in for specific details. 

DVM Student Life

Check out our Student Life section to find more information about life as a DVM student. You will find information about our student organizations, a catalog of courses, and more!