Employment of veterinarians is expected to grow 20 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job opportunities will exist across all types of industries: government, farm animal care, research, agriculture, wildlife management, and small animal care. Veterinary education and training takes four to eight years after the completion of four years of college.

UWM offers all of the prerequisite coursework necessary for competitive application to schools of veterinary medicine. There are only 32 veterinary schools in the United States. The application process is extremely competitive so it is important that students interested in this career path begin careful planning of their academic career during the freshman year. Requirements vary significantly from one veterinary school to another, making early planning in consultation with a Pre-Veterinarian advisor all the more vital.

Pre-Veterinary Medicine is not a major at UWM, and students must still choose a major. Since most of the prerequisites necessary for application to veterinary school are in the sciences, many students choose biology, biochemistry, or chemistry as their major. Our Pre-Veterinary advisor works with students to ensure they understand all of the milestones that must be met in college in order to be a competitive applicant to veterinary school. A significant number of volunteer or work hours is often a requirement for application to veterinary school so it is important to work with this advisor beginning in freshman year in order to plan all needed activities into your college career. Many students will work or volunteer part-time at a vet clinic, humane society, rescue organization or in another animal care setting to obtain the hands-on experience necessary to be a competitive applicant to veterinary school.


The vast majority of students admitted to American schools of veterinary medicine hold a bachelor's degree. An especially well-prepared student occasionally is admitted at the end of the junior year, but pre-veterinary students should plan to complete the full bachelor's degree.

All American schools of veterinary medicine require that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Pre-veterinary students normally should arrange to take this test at the end of their junior year. The Pre-Veterinary advisor can provide information regarding the administration of this test.

Some schools of veterinary medicine specify additional courses as part of the minimal preparation for admission. Calculus frequently is required or recommended. Therefore, pre-veterinary students should ascertain the specific requirements of the schools to which they intend to apply and plan their undergraduate programs accordingly.

Required Coursework for Admission to Schools of Veterinary Medicine

BIO SCI 150Foundations of Biological Sciences I4
BIO SCI 152Foundations of Biological Sciences II4
BIO SCI 325Genetics4
CHEM 102General Chemistry5
CHEM 104General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis5
CHEM 343Organic Chemistry 13
CHEM 344Organic Chemistry Laboratory 12
CHEM 345Organic Chemistry 13
CHEM 501Introduction to Biochemistry3
PHYSICS 120General Physics I (Non-Calculus Treatment) 24
PHYSICS 122General Physics II (Non-Calculus Treatment) 24
MTHSTAT 215Elementary Statistical Analysis (or any Statistics course)3
Select one of the following:0-3
Introduction to College Writing
College Writing and Research
Or appropriate score on placement exam 3
Total Credits44-47

Some veterinary schools will accept CHEM 341/CHEM 342 instead of CHEM 343/CHEM 344/CHEM 345.


Some veterinary schools may require a physics lab, e.g., PHYSICS 121 or PHYSICS 123.


Even if a student tests out of English, some veterinary schools require an additional writing course.

Although the courses listed above are mandatory for admission to almost all American schools of veterinary medicine, the rest of the program can be whatever the student wishes. Students are not required to major in biology in order to gain admission to vet school, although many choose to do so because the major aligns with their interests.