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Hope College Pre-Veterinary Program...

how do I get into Veterinary school?

Here's the basics! A lot of text, but that is necessary here....


1. Take the courses! In veterinary school, you will take a very rigorous set of science courses...all science courses! After all, you have to learn the medical requirements for all animal species!!! Check out MSU CVM's web page for the Hope College courses that fulfill their prerequisites....

2. Shadowing! You need to have experience. Not just experience with animals--although that is an excellent idea, too--but you need to experience the life of a veterinarian. You need to know what a veterinarian does every day...what makes a good day? What makes a bad day? What is the business of veterinary medicine really like??? You should plan to have at least 240 documentable hours--I recommend at least 300 from a variety of different types of veterinary medicine.

3. Those dreaded standardized exams. You should plan to take the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE) during the spring semester of your junior year.

4. Choose the best major for you. You can major in ANYTHING!! There are no prescribed majors that will guarantee acceptance into or success in veterinary school. Although majoring in one of the sciences will give you the best background, many of our Hope almuni who have entered veterinary school have majored in english, languages, as well as biology and chemistry. You should choose a major that most excites you so that you will do well, and have a back-up plan in case you do not get accepted to veterinary school on your first try.

5. Go above and beyond!! Think about it, most veterinary schools accept about 100 new students each year. Each school also receives over 1000 applications for those 100 available positions. Most of these people who are applying have met the minimum GPA requirements, the GRE scores, the shadowing requirements, and taken all the necessary prerequisites. It is never too soon for you to think about things that you can do to make your application stand out above all of the others. How do you do that?

  • Study Abroad Programs at Hope College. Hope College has many study abroad programs around the world. Choose one that excites you and if possible, shadow a veterinarian in that country. Most veterinary schools now require some multicultural experiences...this is a great way to obtain these experiences.
  • Mission trips. Again, Hope College has many opportunities to travel abroad to assist those who are underprivileged and in need. This is another excellent opportunity for you to gain multicultural experiences.
  • Arts and Athletics. At Hope College, you not only major in a field that excites you, but you also have the oportunity to join one of our many programs in athletics and the arts (music, voice, poetry, dance, etc). This is an excelelnt way to demosntrate to veterinary admissions your ability to multitask and commitment to a broader education.
  • Scientific Research!! Veterinary schools love to see applicants with experience doing research. The skills for critical thinking to generate and test scientific hypotheses are very similar those skills necessary to formulate a differential diagnosis in veterinary medicine. Hope College is recognized around the world as a leader in undergraduate research programs. Most of our alumni who went to veterinary school participated in research programs in the sciences. You can do any research that you find interesting and exciting! Check out the research being done in Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry, Geological and Environmental Sciences, and other departments in the Division of Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College.

6. APPLY!! You should plan on taking the GRE spring semester of your junior year and applying to veterinary schools the summer of your junior year. The process begins with web-based VMCAS application. You should apply to as many schools as are financially feasible. My wife and I are here to help you with this application, in particular the personal statement!!! Take advantage of us!!!