Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-VET) Program

PATH•2•VET

PATHOBIOLOGY has eight Faculty members that are Veterinarians:

Dr. Sylvain DeGuise Dr. Neha Mishra
Dr. Antonio Garmendia Dr. Emily Reinhardt
Dr. Kirklyn Kerr Dr. Guillermo Risatti
Dr. Mazhar Khan Dr. Elsio Wunder
Dr. Emily Reinhardt is the Pre-VET advising coordinator.
Together, they will guide you on your PATH to becoming a VETERINARIAN.
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Veterinary School Requirements

Coursework:

Veterinary students are expected to have a strong foundation in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics). Veterinary Schools are not uniform in their requirements for admission, but most veterinary schools require the following:

One year of General Chemistry with lab:

  • CHEM 1127Q/1128Q series or
  • CHEM 1147Q/1148Q Honors series or
  • CHEM 1124Q/1125Q/1126Q series
    • CHEM 1121 does not fulfill this requirement

One year of Organic Chemistry with lab:

CHEM 2243/2244/2245 series

  • CHEM 2241/2242 series does not fulfill this requirement

One year of Mathematics (Calculus)/Statistics:

  • MATH 1131Q (Calculus I) and STAT 1100Q or
  • MATH 1151Q (Honors Calculus I) and STAT 1100Q
    • Calculus II (MATH 1132Q or MATH 1152Q) recommended but typically not required.

One year of Physics with lab:

  • PHYS 1201Q/1202Q series or
  • PHYS 1401Q/1402Q series

One year of English:

  • ENGL 1007 (or ENGL 1010 or ENGL 1011) and
  • An additional writing intensive/composition “ENGL” or equivalent course

General and Advanced Biology courses:

  • General Biology: BIOL 1107/1108 series
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Animals: PATH 2100
  • Medical Microbiology: PATH 2710/2720 series
  • Genetics: ANSC 3121 (or MCB 2400)
  • Biochemistry: MCB 2000 (or MCB 3010)
  • Medical Cell Biology: PATH 2800
  • Immunology: PATH 3401
  • Systems Pathophysiology: PATH 3810/3820 series

Additional required/highly recommended courses:

  • Speech/Public Speaking: COMM 1100
  • Animal Nutrition: ANSC 1111
  • Animal Science: ANSC 1001
  • Health and Disease Management of Animals: PATH 2301
  • Humanities/Social Sciences classes

Additional recommended courses:

  • Laboratory Animal Science: ANSC 3272
  • Public Health: PUBH 1001
  • Epidemiology: PUBH 3001
  • Business Management or Accounting: ACCT 2001 or BADM 2234, etc.

PATHOBIOLOGY majors fulfill these requirements by taking the courses above, and additional courses under the guidance of one of our faculty pre-MED academic advisors.  See the PATHOBIOLOGY Pre-Medical Sample Course Sequence for an example.

Consult the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) site within the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and look at the specific and detailed admission requirements for each Medical School that you may apply to.  The AAMC/MSAR 2024 Premed Course Requirements Report is summarizes the requirements.

Note that D.O. (Osteopathic Medical School) program information does not appear in MSAR (see D.O. Admissions Requirements instead).


Advanced Placement (AP) Test Credits and Early College Experience (ECE) Credits:

  • AP and ECE credits accepted by UConn (i.e., credits listed on your UConn transcript) can be generally used to fulfill pre-requisites of most Veterinary Schools (but not all).  You will need to check on policies at the specific schools to which you plan to apply to.
  • To be safe, if you plan to use AP credit for pre-requisite courses other than General Biology, it is advisable to take higher level courses in the same field to have a college course grade for that pre-requisite.  
  • If you use AP credit for General Biology, the advanced Biology courses you will take in the PATHOBIOLOGY major (Biochemistry, Genetics, Medical Microbiology, Medical Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology of Animals, Systems Pathophysiology, etc.) will fulfill the General Biology requirement.

Veterinary and Animal Experience:

  • Pre-VET students should get a broad exposure to veterinary medicine (e.g., shadowing with veterinarians, scientists, working on a farm, volunteering at an animal shelter, pursuing Independent Study at the CVMDL, etc.).
  • In addition, Veterinary Schools typically may require one summer equivalent (e.g., about 10-12 weeks or ≥400 hours) of full-time compensated employment (paid) in a veterinary clinic/practice (usually, but not necessarily, a small animal clinic), under direct supervision of a veterinarian.
    • Sometimes you may need to take an unpaid internship first to get experience and land a paid job in the following summer (you may be able to get academic credit for the internship via the PATHWAYS Program).
  • Related animal experiences such as a summer internship (paid or not) in large animal, veterinary/biomedical research, lab animal, food animal, production, exotic, aquatic, wildlife, zoo, etc. is highly desirable.
  • Potential places for wildlife/zoo/aquatic internships in New England include:
    • Beardsley Zoo (Bridgeport, CT)
    • Mystic Aquarium (Groton, CT)
    • New England Aquarium (Boston, MA)
    • Roger Williams Park Zoo (Providence, RI)
    • Southwick’s Zoo (Mendon, MA)
    • Wild Care of Cape Cod (Eastham, MA)
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (Cape Cod, MA)

Plan your time and summers accordingly

Freshman Year → Summer 1 → Sophomore Year → Summer 2 → Junior  Year → Summer 3 (Application Due mid September) → Senior Year


Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

The GRE was typically required for admission, but it is now optional or it has been dropped by most veterinary schools.  When needed, it is typically taken in the spring/summer before Senior Year (or earlier).


Letters of Recommendation:

You must request at least 3 (and may be allowed to request a maximum of 6) recommendation letters.  Some schools do not accept Committee or Composite recommendations.

Select your recommenders wisely and ask each to focus on a particular part of your academic and clinical experience. For example:

  • One referee MUST focus on your clinical experience (e.g., summer internship in a vet clinic, etc.)  --  this person should be a veterinarian.
  • One referee may focus on your overall academic achievements and extracurricular activities (e.g., volunteering) – this could be your PATHOBIOLOGY academic advisor (i.e., another veterinarian) or professor that knows you well and for a long time (referees have to answer the question of how long and in which capacity they know the applicant).
  • One referee may focus on your research experience (e.g., your independent study or research mentor, or thesis advisor).

Tips

  • Try to identify potential referees early on and keep them informed of your academic progress throughout your studies at UConn. That will help them to get to know you more at the individual/personal level and write engaging and effective letters of recommendation.
  • Allow plenty of time for each referee to write the letters, which are due in mid August or the busy first month of classes in the Fall semester (i.e., request them online by May or early summer at the latest).
  • In addition, provide each referee with your resume (or CV), transcripts, statement of purpose, and any other relevant information.
  • Some Veterinary Schools require that 2 of the 3 referees be a veterinarian (luckily all pre-VET academic advisors in PATHOBIOLOGY are Veterinarians).
  • ALWAYS waive your right to access the recommendations (recommenders will be aware of your choice).
  • Schools are basically looking for Red Flags since most letters will be complimentary.

Application Cycle:

  • Mid September (Senior Year)Deadline to apply
  • Around October/November – Applications are reviewed
  • Around November/December – Interview invitations are sent out
  • Around January/February – Interviews take place
  • Around February/March – Offer(s) of admissions sent out
  • Around Mid April – Deadline to accept offer(s) of admission
  • Early May – Graduate with a degree in PATHOBIOLOGY
  • Around August – Begin Veterinary School!

Note that while not all pre-requisite courses have to be completed before applying (they can be taken during your senior year), the PATHOBIOLOGY major allows you to complete all pre-requisites by the end of your Junior Year to give you a competitive advantage during the application process.


5 KEY Elements of Successful Vet School Applications:

#1) Academic Performance

You want your grades to be on the higher side of A- (3.7 – 4.0 points) and only occasionally on the lower side of B+ (3.0 – 3.3 points).

#2) Your Experiences

  • Clinical/Animal experience (Veterinary Experience - with a Veterinarian)
  • Veterinarian Shadowing
  • Research (Biomedical) Experience
  • Leadership Activities
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Community/Volunteer Service
  • Something special (in depth) that makes you stand out:  E.g., Additional degree in French, Study Abroad, Vets-in-the-Wild, Biomedical Research, etc.

You have to not only perform well academically in the relevant coursework (#1), but also build a portfolio of relevant experiences (#2)...

 

#3) Recommendation Letters

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#4) Statement of Purpose / Essay

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#5) Personal Interviews

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...that recommenders can corroborate (#3), that you can write about (#4), and then passionately talk about (#5).