Prevet is not a major; however, preprofessional course requirements prepare students for the veterinary medical program, in addition to a variety of educational and vocational alternatives. Students are encouraged to pursue a formal degree program. Choice of a degree-oriented major depends on interest and alternate career plans. It is possible to fulfill preveterinary requirements and at the same time complete departmental requirements for almost any science major. An applicant must meet all of the preprofessional requirements regardless of undergraduate or graduate degrees held.
At least 60 semester credits (multiply quarter credits by 0.67 to convert to semester credits) of acceptable college work are required for admission to the professional program. Courses taken fall and spring 2009-10 may be counted as part of the required minimum credits for admission. Required course work scheduled to be completed after fall 2009 must be completed so that final grades are received in the Office of the Dean by July 15, 2010.
Any grade below C- in a required course is considered unsatisfactory and the course cannot be accepted to fulfill a requirement. Applicants can fulfill the requirement by repeating the same course or by substituting a higher-level course in the same field as that of the required course.
Required preprofessional courses may be taken at Colorado State University or at any nationally accredited community college, college or university. For information about admission to Colorado State as an undergraduate, contact the CSU Office of Admissions. Courses taken at other institutions must be equivalent in content and level to those recommended at Colorado State. Consult the preveterinary adviser at Pre-Veterinary Adviser, Ann Bowen for guidance in selecting appropriate courses to meet these requirements. Grades are important in the evaluation of applications; therefore, students should avoid taking courses on a pass/fail or credit/noncredit basis. Students may earn credit for some courses by examination, but they should be certain that official recognition of these credits appears on their transcripts.
There is no specific time limit regarding acceptance of required courses. However, if the majority of course work is 10 years or older, some indication as to the current proficiency of the applicant in the basic sciences (genetics and biochemistry) may be required, as demonstrated by more recent course work in a related field, employment, or professional activities. Adequate documentation of current knowledge should be included with the application. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to require that applicants deemed insufficiently prepared for the professional program successfully pass more recent courses in the required sciences. Questions or requests for special consideration must be submitted well in advance of the application deadline to allow ample time for consideration of requests.
Many majors offer excellent preparation for veterinary school and eventual work as a doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M.). For example, majoring in wildlife biology may further a veterinary medical career treating wild or exotic animals. Majoring in microbiology can be an excellent basis for a veterinarian's future career in public health or in biomedical research. The environmental health major combined with a D.V.M. degree leads to many different career possibilities in toxicology, epidemiology and public health. Animal science is an excellent undergraduate preparation for later veterinary medical practice with livestock. Biochemistry, chemistry, zoology, general biological sciences, and many other subjects have much to recommend them as preparation for both professional school education and for future careers in veterinary medicine. A major in the arts and humanities or social sciences provides depth of character and improves social perspectives. The list of possible majors is limited only by the imagination of the future veterinarian.
For the student having difficulty deciding which college major to choose, some general suggestions may be helpful. If you have never thought about anything but majoring in "Prevet," and do not know how to begin thinking about other majors, you might consider obtaining career counseling available at the Career Center, Room 105 Ammons Hall. A combination of testing and personal counseling often suggests ideas about places to start gathering more academic or career information.
When the problem is one of choosing between different majors of interest, here are some general suggestions that may help in making the choice:
Veterinary medicine holds great appeal to many students today. It offers both an opportunity to earn a good income and to be of service to animals and people.
Becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine involves a program of academic preparation, usually 8 years after high school. Most applicants to veterinary medical professional school have completed 3 to 4 years of college and the majority have earned a baccalaureate degree. The professional school is 4 years of education in basic sciences and clinical procedures. If you are seriously considering a future career as a veterinarian, you should prepare now for admission to college. Preveterinary preparation at the college level requires 2 years of chemistry and 1 semester of biology, physics, biochemistry, genetics, mathematics, and statistics. High school courses which will provide the best foundation for the college preveterinary curriculum are: 4 years of English, 3 or 4 years of mathematics, and 2 or 3 years of laboratory science (chemistry, physics, and biology). These courses usually form the basic requirements of many life science baccalaureate programs such as animal sciences, zoology, biology, environmental health and microbiology.
Future veterinarians need to be good students with strong interest and ability in the biological sciences. Typical graduates are people who like work that is both indoors and outdoors and jobs that require both physical and mental exertion. All graduates of the professional veterinary medical program are able to find jobs in their field. Veterinary medicine provides career opportunities equally good for women as for men. Female enrollment in the Colorado State professional veterinary medical program has risen steadily over the past few years, as more women are entering the profession.
The majority of our graduates work in private practice positions. The 2009 mean starting salary for CSU graduating veterinarians in private practice positions was approximately $56,500 (median=$60,000).
More people apply for admission to the professional school of veterinary medicine than can be admitted. In choosing the most qualified applicants, the Admissions Committee looks for those who have shown high scholastic ability and who have gained an understanding of animals and of the profession through such activities as 4-H, Medical Explorer Scouts, hobbies, extracurricular programs at school, and paid or volunteer work on farms or ranches, in pet stores, kennels, animal shelters, research laboratories, and/or veterinary clinics.
Employment opportunities for veterinarians are almost endless and include private or corporate clinical practice, teaching and research, regulatory medicine, public health, and military service.
If you are within one year of application to PVM or have specific admissions questions not answered on the web site, email questions to: DVMAdmissions@colostate.edu
If you have general or preveterinary questions not answered on the web site, email questions to: Pre-Veterinary Adviser, Ann Bowen
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