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Thinking About Veterinary School?
Definition from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
KU students can take classes and get health care experience to meet entry requirements to graduate-level Veterinary programs at other colleges and universities.
The closest Veterinary program in Kansas is at Kansas State University. Before applying to Veterinary programs, always check for differing requirements.
Veterinary School at a Glance
Track or Major?
Pre-Veterinary is a track made up of pre-requisite courses you complete along with a major of your choice. This prepares you for admission into a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.
- track hours to complete: 64 for K-State College of Veterinary Medicine
- time to compete: At least 2 years of pre-veterinary requirements (most complete 4-year Bachelor’s Degree with major), plus 4 years in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine School.
Level of degree - Doctoral
Does KU have a program?
No. Students can complete all of their pre-veterinary track requirements and accompanying major at KU. However, KU does not offer the Doctoral degree program. The closest Veterinary School is located at K-State. KU can help prepare you for the DVM program of your choice.
Quick Tip: If you have specific questions related to courses, contact your academic advisor. Exploring students and pre-professional students may meet with an advising in the Undergraduate Advising Center.
Application due dates differ by program. The below deadlines are based on the K-State admission process.
Students should submit your application via the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) by August 1st. September 15th is the deadline.
For K-State, complete the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine Supplemental Application by September 1st. Be certain they recieve your GRE scores, VMCAS application and letters, and supplemental application by September 15th.
- Register for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). This test is the largest single factor for admission to K-State; it is 40% of an applicants total score. Be sure to review and practice!
- Recommendation letters and transcripts should be sent through VMCAS.
- Most applications require a personal comments essay.
- Most schools begin interviews in December and January.
- Having experience observing and working with veterinarians is important.
- Strong candidates also must demonstrate a committment to social service. Volunteering is always great! Check out local animal shelters.
- Keep a log about your hours, activities and thoughts about the veterinary profession for your application, resume, and interview.
Gain Experience Before You Apply!
It's important to gain experience working with veterinarians, animal owners and a wide range of large, small, food, and exotic animals. Most candidates gain additional experience by working as an assistant in a veterinary practice, pet boarding facility, stables, etc. Search for local vet clinics, introduce yourself, and leave a resume they can keep on file. Check back every month or two to let offices know you are still interested. Also, let your friends and family know you're looking for a job as a vet assistant.
Explore jobs & internships
Connect with alumni
Also, consider the following:
Is your decision to enter the profession well-informed? Interviewing, shadowing and working with physicians will help you decide whether or not you truly want to join the profession. Ask professionals how they started, what they do, what they like about their jobs, what they dislike about their jobs, and what advice they have for someone interested in pursuing this career. It's good to talk with optometrists you plan to shadow to figure out the best way to sample and understand what they do. You can learn a lot in 10-20 hours. Occasionally, shadowing grows into a longer-term mentoring connection.
Most people begin by interviewing their pet's veterinarian or using friend and family networks to arrange informational interviews and shadowing experiences. Some people try cold calling/e-mailing a list of veterinarians. People with last names later in the alphabet and in less well-known specialties won’t get asked as often and might be more open to shadowing. Similarly, veternarians in smaller towns outside of Lawrence may not get asked as often, and those in smaller practices in which they're more in charge may be more willing to allow you to shadow. It’s normal to ask a lot of veterinarians to find a few who will let you shadow.
Quick tip: Be sure to send personal thank you cards to the veterinarians you shadow!
Consider volunteering with organizations such as:
Part of veterinary medicine is applied science, and it's helpful to know how this knowledge is developed. Working on a research project is also a good way to earn a substantial recommendation letter from a faculty member who knows you well. Most students volunteer their help, some earn directed study credit, and a very few are paid for their assistance. To get involved, you can start at the Center for Undergraduate Research.