Information for Junior High and High School Students
Becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine involves a program of academic preparation, usually eight years after high school. Applicants typically complete three to four years of undergraduate coursework and the majority earn a bachelor's degree. Veterinary school consists of four more years of education in basic sciences and clinical procedures. It is important to know that the foundation for veterinary medicine is science. Make sure you take as many science courses as you can, though we also look for students who are well-rounded, with various interests.
As a junior high or high school student, you have a chance to start preparing early and strengthen your application for veterinary school. So what do you need to do?
- Take and successfully complete as many science and math courses as you can. The foundation for veterinary medicine is science, so make sure you are prepared!
- Shadow a local veterinarian or volunteer at a local clinic. Be sure to keep track of the hours you spend at this, as well as the contact information of the veterinarian(s) you work with, as you can enter this information on your veterinary school application.
- Keep a log or portfolio that lists all of your extracurricular activities, (including the dates of membership, any offices held, special projects you accomplished), any honors and/or awards you receive (including scholarships) and any community service you participate in. All of these things can be included on your veterinary school application…Yes, high school counts!
- Work on developing your interpersonal and communication skills. While veterinary medicine is rooted in science, it is very much a people profession. The best veterinarians are skilled doctors as well as good communicators!