Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

We highly recommend speaking with a pre-veterinary or pre-health advisor at your institution and sharing this page with them to determine which courses at your institution will fulfill our prerequisites.  You can also compare the WSU course description (see below) with the description of the course you have completed (or intend to take) and confirm that a majority of the required topics are covered. If the course description from your institution is too vague, review the course syllabus for a more detailed list of topics. If you are unsure if the course is equivalent please contact your academic advisor, course instructor, or the department offering the course. Online courses are accepted, provided they meet the same criteria as courses taken in a classroom. Please visit our course equivalencies page for examples of courses that have been evaluated by our admissions team.

The following are the DVM program science and math prerequisite courses, equivalencies of which must be met at other institutions:

Biology: (8 semester hours w/lab) Two semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Topics that should be covered include: biology of organisms and plants, animal ecology, evolution, cell biology, and genetics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. (WSU Biol 106 & 107)

Inorganic Chemistry: (8 semester hours, w/lab) Two semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Topics that should be covered include: stoichiometry, structure, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, volumetric and gravimetric analysis, acid-base, ionic, molecular, solubility, oxidation/reduction equilibriums, kinetics, electrochemistry, systematic chemistry of the elements, and coordination compounds. (WSU Chem 105 & 106)

Organic Chemistry: (4 semester hours w/lab) Survey of organic chemistry, providing an overview of the chemistry of the functional groups. Topics that should be covered include: structure and function in organic chemistry; reaction mechanisms, molecular orbital theory, alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and radicals; biological applications. (WSU Chem 345)

Biochemistry: (3 semester hours) Modern biochemistry for undergraduates in the biological sciences. Topics that should be covered include: proteins (amino acids, protein structure, enzyme kinetics and mechanisms), metabolism (carbohydrate structure, glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, glycogen metabolism, and metabolic integration), molecular genetics (central dogma, DNA structure, packaging, replication, repair, RNA transcription, translation, genetic code, protein targeting, gene expression, DNA technology). (WSU MBioS 303)

Mathematics: (3 semester hours) Topics that should be covered include: graphs, properties and applications of polynomial, rational, exponential and logarithmic functions. (WSU Math 106)

Physics: (4 semester hours w/lab) Algebra/trigonometry-based physics. Topics that should be covered include: topics in mechanics, wave phenomena, temperature, and heat. (WSU Phys 101)

Genetics: (3 or 4 semester hours) Principles of modern and classical genetics. Topics that should be covered include: basic Mendelian genetics, meiosis, mitosis, chromosome rearrangement, DNA structure and replication, mutations, bacterial and phage genetics, gene regulation, transcription, translation, plasmids, transposons, cloning, population genetics, and evolution. (WSU MBioS 301)

Statistics: (3 semester hours) Topics that should be covered include: introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics: t-tests, chi-square tests, one-way ANOVA, simple linear regression and correlation. (WSU Stat 212, 412 or Psych 311)

Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate / Running Start Credits

Please use the WSU AP credit chart or IB Credit Chart to determine if your score will transfer in as the equivalent WSU course number listed in our prerequisite course descriptions. Scores that will transfer in as the appropriate WSU course will be accepted. While Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Running Start credits might be acceptable for some prerequisites, applicants are encouraged to view such credits as an opportunity to qualify for and enroll in upper division physical and biological science courses, rather than simply as a means for "testing out" of prerequisites. The goal of the applicant should be to prepare as best they can for our rigorous, science based, veterinary curriculum. Upper division science courses are deemed to be highly preparatory for the DVM program.


Students spending more than two years in pre-professional programs have time to take a number of elective courses. Highly recommended, but not required, electives include mammalian or comparative anatomy, physiology, embryology, microbiology, immunology, computer science, physics II, and animal science courses, including nutrition.