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Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Interested in a career in veterinary medicine?

At the School of Science at IUPUI, students seeking professional careers in veterinary medicine are exposed to opportunities that no other school in the state of Indiana can offer.

Through comprehensive coursework, hands-on experience in the classroom and labs, one-on-one guidance from professors, and research and leadership opportunities in the School, five surrounding hospitals, the IU School of Medicine and the IU School of Dentistry, graduates of the School of Science are well prepared for veterinary school and beyond!

See all Pre-Professional Pathways

What will you learn?

While some veterinary programs do not require an undergraduate degree for admission, students are urged to elect a degree program rather than fulfilling the minimum requirements for entry into professional programs. There are many benefits to selecting a science major, including: 

  • Pre-requisites for most professional programs often favor and lean heavily toward science majors.
  • By studying science at IUPUI, students have opportunities to work, learn and participate in research in both IU Medical and IU Dental School right on campus. Access to both schools located on campus is a benefit that no other college in Indiana can offer students. 

Many science undergraduate degrees are marketable to future employers even if the student chooses not to pursue professional schooling.

What will you do?

The School of Science at IUPUI offers students interested in studying animal health the opportunity to participate in the pre-veterinary medicine program. A veterinarian is a vital part in our society as they are knowledgeable and trained in any of the following fields: 

  • Private veterinary practice
  • Public veterinary practice
  • Environmental issues
  • Community health
  • Food resource management
  • Wildlife preservation
  • Space exploration
  • Marine biology

Like most universities, IUPUI does not offer a pre-veterinary medicine major. Few colleges in the United States offer this major because veterinary schools do not require students to complete specific majors. However, many majors in the School of Science at IUPUI provide students with excellent undergraduate preparation for veterinary school.

Prepare for Veterinary School

The School of Science office for Pre-Professional & Career Preparation (PREPs) will support you throughout the process of preparing for veterinary school. From advising you on pre-requisite courses and professional development activities to helping you through the application process, PREPs can assist you in every step.

Admission to veterinary school is very competitive. You need to plan thoroughly from the start to be successful. The links below include detailed information on everything from the courses to the application process. If you are an IUPUI School of Science student, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment to meet with a pre-professional advisor.

Schedule an advising appointment


All veterinary schools have different requirements for admission, but most schools require the completion of the GRE, and multiple courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. 

Although there are many professional programs from which to choose and we encourage students to apply to multiple programs, our pre-professional advising is aligned with the program with which we are most closely affiliated-the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine at West Lafayette.

Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine Pre-Requisites

Students interested in a veterinary medical education at Purdue must complete 2-3 years of required course work in order to be eligible to apply to the program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is  NOT required for admission at Purdue beginning in 2017. Other vet schools may still require it. 

  • BIOL-K101 Concepts of Biology I (5 cr.)
  • BIOL-K103 Concepts of Biology II (5 cr.)
  • BIOL-K322 / BIOL-K323 Genetics and Molecular Biology/Lab(3 cr./2cr.)
  • BIOL-K356 / BIOL-K357 Microbiology/Lab or MICR-J210 Microbiology and Immunology (4 cr. to 5 cr.)
  • BIOL-K384 Biological Chemistry or CHEM-C384 (3 cr.)
  • CHEM-C105 / CHEM-C125 Principles of Chemistry I/Lab  (3 cr./2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C106 / CHEM-C126 Principles of Chemistry II/Lab (3 cr./2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C341 / CHEM-C343 Organic Chemistry I/Lab (3 cr./2 cr.)
  • CHEM-C342 Organic Chemistry II(3 cr.)
  • PHYS-P201 General Physics I  (5 cr.)
  • PHYS-P202 General Physics II  (5 cr.)
  • STAT 30100 Elementary Statistical Methods I or STAT-N501 or SPEA-K300 (3 cr.)
  • ANSC 22300 Animal Nutrition (may be taken at Purdue WL or online) (3 cr.)
  • ENG-W131 English Composition I (3 cr.)
  • COMM-R110 Fundamentals of Speech Communication (3 cr.)
  • Arts and Humanities electives (9 cr.)

Download a Pre-Vet Timeline to help you stay on track for veterinary school!

Become a Science student

Entrance Exams

Beginning in 2017, Purdue will no longer require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general exam. Other schools may still require it for admission. Please check with schools you are interested in to find out if they require the GRE.

For further information on the GRE, as well as information on when and where to take this exam, and registering, please visit: http://www.ets.org/gre.

Gaining Relevant Experience

To become a qualified applicant, it is necessary to have veterinary experience. Effort should be made to include experience with large animals and exotics.  It can be paid or unpaid (volunteer) experience.

  •  Veterinary animal experience is a non-academic factor taken into consideration by the Admissions Committee.

Professional Shadowing

Professional shadowing, or job shadowing, is another means of career exploration in which you observe a professional at work. With a professional shadow, you can learn more about a profession before you invest too much time preparing for a career that may not be right for you.

Research, Internship and Leadership Opportunities

One of the biggest benefits to studying science at IUPUI is the accessibility of our world-class professors, and the ability to participate in research and internships.

The School of Science at IUPUI offers various programs for students to become involved with both research and other leadership opportunities throughout their undergraduate experience.

One of those programs is the Life Health Sciences Internship. This one-year program provides students the opportunity to participate in both clinical and scientific research opportunities throughout IUPUI's campus and the surrounding hospitals and labs.

  • Internship Opportunities 
  • Research Opportunities
  • Involvement Opportunities
  • SCI-I-390: Health Professions Shadowing course is a 0 or 1 credit hour Satisfactory/Fail class that exposes students to the healthcare field through shadowing and being mentored by a healthcare professionals. Students gain hands on experience, basic knowledge and insights into the career of healthcare professionals.

Application Process

  • A minimum grade of is required for each pre-requisite course.
  • The state of residence is an important factor as students are considered for admission to schools of veterinary medicine. Indiana residents will want to apply to Purdue University but may also wish to consider additional schools. Nonresident students are welcome to apply to Purdue, but must have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  
  • Apply online through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).  The online application is available in mid-June at (http://www.aavmc.org/vmcas/vmcas.htm). Purdue does not require a secondary application.
  • Students should also be aware that the admission committee will consider the total number of hours carried each semester. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum, which is a four-year program, includes a minimum of 18 credit hours and a maximum of 22 credit hours each semester. It is extremely important that a student demonstrate the capability of handling this rigorous program.
  • International students are eligible to apply to Purdue's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

Letters of Recommendation

A total of three letters of recommendation is required. At least one must be written by a practicing veterinarian. All letters of recommendation must be submitted via "eLOR" with VMCAS .

Admission Interview

An interview is required. Applicants in consideration will be invited in mid-December for an interview held on either one of the last Fridays in January.

Credit Hours

Purdue requires that all prerequisite coursework be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning the professional program in the fall (courses, not credit hours are considered). This means that prerequisite courses may not be taken during the summer prior to beginning the veterinary program.

Personal Statement

Beginning in the 2017-2018 cycle, VMCAS now requires students to complete three short personal essays. These essays should include specific examples of what you've learned from your experiences, about the character traits that are helpful in the field of veterinary medicine, and how you demonstrate them. It should also include the reasons why you want to be a veterinarian. What would you bring to your studies and the profession?

Selection Criteria

1)    Academic Performance (55%)

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Prerequisite GPA ("core subjects")
  • GRE scores (eliminated after 2017 for Purdue ONLY)
  • Overall academic performance (includes honors courses and study abroad programs)

 2)   Non-academic Activities (45%)

  •  Experience (veterinary, research, non-veterinary animal)
  •  Extracurricular activities
  •  Honors and awards
  •  Interview
  •  Paid employment
  •  References

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