Pre-Veterinary Program

Prepare for Veterinary school with our Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program.

Admission into veterinary school is extremely competitive and favors students who are highly motivated, self-starting, and committed to achieving their professional objectives early in their college studies. No matter which major you choose, our Pre-Veterinary Program will ensure you are prepared to enter veterinary school.

Why study Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Bellarmine?

The Pre-Vet advisor works with Bellarmine students from their first year onward to help prepare them for applying to veterinary school. All science faculty at Bellarmine are committed to working closely with students in small classroom and laboratory settings. Most are actively engaged in research and offer many opportunities for students to learn about scientific discovery through first-hand experience. The collegial nature of faculty-student interactions is one of the hallmarks of learning at Bellarmine, regardless of the student’s chosen major.

Program Highlights

Students wishing to enter veterinary school may major in a variety of fields, though most select the sciences. For those students who do not major in a science, it is recommended that certain science and math courses be completed by the end of the junior year at Bellarmine:

  • BIOL 130 Principles of Biology (with lab)
  • BIOL 140 Animal Diversity (with lab)
  • BIOL 231 Cell Biology (with lab)
  • BIOL 240 Genetics (with lab)
  • BIOL 314 Vertebrate Physiology (with lab)
  • BMB. 301 Biochemistry I
  • CHEM 103 General College Chemistry I (with lab)
  • CHEM 104 General College Chemistry II (with lab)
  • CHEM 205 Organic Chemistry I (with lab)
  • CHEM 206 Organic Chemistry II (with lab)
  • MATH 116 Pre-Calculus (or MATH 117 – Calculus I)
  • PHYS 201 College Physics I (with lab)
  • PHYS 202 College Physics II (with lab)

Courses in other subjects are also required by veterinary schools and students are encouraged to examine all requirements at their schools of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is Pre-Veterinary Medicine a major?
A. No. Our Pre-Vet program is a carefully crafted program to ensure you get the credits you need to be ready for vet school.

Q. What is the best major if I want to be a veterinarian?
A. Many students choose to major in biology or chemistry, but there is no rule here. You can major in art or business and so long as you complete the Pre-Veterinary Medicine program and the required courses for admission to vet school, you will prepared.

Q. If I complete the Pre-Vet program, am I guaranteed entry into vet school?
A. No. Vet school admissions are highly competitive. However, our faculty are top professionals in their fields, who know very well the skills and expertise you’ll need to enter into vet school. It is up to you to do the hard work to ensure your own success but we will help you every step of the way.

Q. Is financial aid available?
A. Yes. When you complete your application to Bellarmine, you’ll receive a comprehensive financial aid award, based on your experiences and need.

Career Prospects

Bellarmine’s Pre-Veterinary Program provides students with the support they need in and out of the classroom to pursue their veterinary careers. Along with faculty, the Career Development Center works with students to help them pursue their future studies and career aspirations.

On-Campus Experiences

Students interested in veterinary medicine are encouraged to join and participate in departmental student clubs in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. The Biology Club, in particular, occasionally sponsors programs dedicated to veterinary careers, admission processes, and other activities of related interest.

For those who are interested, Bellarmine students have the opportunity to perform research with a faculty mentor either in the field of in laboratories housed in the Norton Health Science Center or Pasteur Hall. Each spring, students present posters of their research projects to the Bellarmine community during our annual Undergraduate Research Week.

Admission to Veterinary School

Students admitted to veterinary school typically have a GPA of 3.6 or above and average GRE scores (combined verbal and quantitative) of 309. Most Kentucky students apply to Auburn University, which has an agreement with the state to admit 38 Kentucky residents per year. Bellarmine students from outside of Kentucky typically apply to veterinary schools in or near their home state.

It is critical for students to gain at least 500 hours of work or volunteer experience in a veterinary area prior to seeking admission to veterinary school. Students are strongly encouraged to become involved in campus activities and perform community service to strengthen their application.

Contact Information

For more information, contact our Pre-Vet Advisor Roberta C. Challener, Ph.D. (email). Students who are interested in veterinary medicine should also talk with one or more veterinarians about the nature of their work.

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