As a pre-vet student, Carthage has numerous faculty and staff members to support your journey to professional school. Make sure you are working closely with your assigned faculty advisor to address any questions relating to your major or minor requirements.

For questions regarding veterinary school requirements and preparation, please contact the science and pre-health career specialist in The Aspire Center. They can help you with general questions relating to the application process and prerequisites to help you meet your career goals.

See the pre-veterinary timeline

Preparing for professional school starts year one at Carthage and we are here to help you each step of the way! We recommend that you reach out to your advising team as soon as possible regarding your plans so they can help you start preparing.

Join the Pre-Health Club at Carthage which could help you foster connections with other pre-health students, understand what your next steps will look like, and deepen your experience with healthcare.

Start building connections with professors now by getting involved and seeking out opportunities. Actively participating in class and being a positive role model will help them craft your letters of recommendation.

It is highly recommended you start looking for experiential learning opportunities and get involved. It is never too early to volunteer, shadow, or secure an internship/research opportunity.

While different schools will have different expectations on what classes you should take, the following are often required.

  • 2 semesters of introductory biology (BIO 1110 and 1120)
  • 2 semesters of general chemistry (CHM 1010 and 1020)
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry (CHM 2070 and 2080)
  • 1-2 semesters of physics (PHY 2100 and 2110 or PHY 2200 and 2210)
  • Advanced Cell Biology (BIO 3500)
  • 1-2 semesters of calculus (MTH 1120 and 1220)
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • Human Anatomical Systems and Systemic Physiology (BIO 3300 and 3310)
  • 2 semesters of English o Public Speaking (CDM 1200)
  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 1000)
  • Genetics (BIO 2400)

While Carthage students usually apply to somewhere between 5 and 8 schools, you can apply to as many schools as you would like. However, you should be aware that there is a financial commitment associated with application fees and the cost of submitting materials for review. As such, you should only apply to schools you would genuinely consider attending.

Application Process Timeline

Applications will be submitted through the VMCAS platform. This opens in January and if you are planning on attending right after your undergraduate degree you should apply in the spring of your junior year. It is recommended that you have all materials ready when the platform opens.

Personal Statement

You will need to submit a personal statement with your application. To help craft your personal statement, attend our Personal Statement Workshop, typically held in the fall semester.

You will need several letters of recommendation for your application. Most veterinary schools require at least three letters; however, some may require more. You will typically need two from a science-course faculty member and at least one from a veterinarian you have shadowed with or worked under.

Letter of Recommendation Timeframe

Ideally, you should ask for letters of recommendation at least 2-3 months in advance of your application deadline, although give as much time as possible. This way they have adequate time to reflect upon their experience and write the best possible letter they can. If you are participating in an experiential role, it is suggested that you ask for a letter a month or two prior to the close of that experience.

The amount of hours needed varies by school. Some require no hours, while others require hundreds. Either way, to make yourself competitive you will need to have accumulated shadowing and volunteering experience before you apply. Some schools want a specific number of hours in a setting. If they do not, or if you aren’t sure where you will be applying yet, we recommend splitting amongst various specialties. Try to diversify your experience in the following areas of veterinary medicine: large animals, small animals, conservation, and research. If you have a distinct specialty you hope to be working in, try to gain experience there. While volunteering is often not explicitly required, you should absolutely do so as it can show your interest in animals based on where you are volunteering.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) The GRE will require less or more time studying based on how extensive your knowledge is on tested material and you should pace out those hours around your own current and anticipated schedules. has free resources and practice tests available to assist you. We recommend that you take the GRE at least one full year before you submit your application. This would align with the summer of your sophomore year or the fall of your junior year, allowing adequate time to prepare if you need to retake it and ensures you have your results before your application deadline.