Pre-Veterinary Medicine (4 years)

Overview of Veterinary Medicine as a Career

Veterinary schools are extremely difficult to get into because there are very few schools in the country and the competition for these limited seats is fierce. There are a few out-of-state schools that accept, up to six, West Virginia residents with in-state tuition and fees. Requirements are very similar to those for medical school. It may be futile to apply to Vet school if you have a GPA of less than 3.5 and if you do not have good professional exam scores.

See the >Occupational Outlook Handbook: Veterinary Medicine. Also, see the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Prerequisite Courses

The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • Principles of Microbiology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304) or General Bacteriology (BSC 250) Note: BSC 250 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Principles of Genetics (BSC 324)
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • Introductory Biochemistry (BSC 365 for Biology majors or CHM 365 for Chemistry majors)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above (MTH 122, Trigonometry; MTH 127/130, College Algebra; MTH 140, Applied Calculus, or MTH 229, Calculus I). COS requires Calculus (MTH 140 or 229) to meet graduation requirements.

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Introductory Sociology(SOC 200)
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Vertebrate Embryology (BSC 301)
  • Animal Physiology (BSC 422)
  • Principles of Cell Biology (BSC 322)
  • Building English Vocabulary through Latin and Greek (CL 200)

Other Requirements

60 hours of clinical volunteer or work experience in a physical therapy setting is required for admission.

Professional Exams

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the GRE Biology Subject Test

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is taken preferably in the fall of your junior year of undergraduate school. However, in some cases the student, after discussions with the Pre-Professional advisor, may choose to take the MCAT during the spring semester of his/her sophomore year.

The MCAT is a five and one-half hour self-paced computerized exam. Optional breaks are including during the exam. The exam is divided into four parts: verbal reasoning (40 questions lasting 60 minutes), biological sciences (52 questions lasting 70 minutes), physical sciences (52 questions lasting approximately 70 minutes), and writing sample (approximately 2 questions lasting 60 minutes).

The approximate cost is $210.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

There is no penalty for guessing; which means that if you are unsure of your answer, you should guess rather than leave the question unanswered. Unanswered items are incorrect, but there are no additional score reductions for answers that you guess incorrectly. The scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 15 for each of the three multiple-choice sections of the test. Writing Sample essays are rated by a group of trained readers. Your raw score on the Writing Sample is the sum of four individual raw scores ranging from 1 to 6.  Your total raw score is converted to an alphabetic scale ranging from J (lowest) to T (highest).

For the most current information on cost, review the MCAT web site.

MCAT 2015

In 2015, the MCAT's changes. The writing sample will be eliminated and replaced with a reading/critical thinking exam. The MCAT will include more social/behavioral science specifically Psychology, Sociology with some Philosophy and Ethics. The science portion will not change.

Click here for more information on the upcoming MCAT 2015.

MCAT 2015

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a three hour computer-based general test is composed of verbal reasoning (30 minutes consisting of 30 questions), quantitative reasoning (45 minutes consisting of 28 questions), and analytical writing sections. The analytical writing section is always first and is split between an issue task and argument task. For the issue task, two topics will be presented and you will choose one. The argument task does not present a choice of topics; instead, one topic will be presented. In addition, one unidentified un-scored section may be included, and this section can appear in any position in the test after the analytical writing section. Questions in the un-scored section are being tested for possible use in future tests, and answers will not count toward your scores. The verbal and quantitative sections may appear in any order. Treat each section presented during your test as if it counts.

Three scores are reported on the General Test:

  1. Verbal Reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments.
  2. Quantitative Reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increment.
  3. Analytical Writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments. 

Official scores will be sent to you and the professional schools you designated within 10 to 15 days after you take the test. Any section in which you answer no questions at all will be reported as a no score (NS).

The approximate cost is $140.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

GRE Biology Subject Test consists of approximately 200 five-choice questions organized into three major areas: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution. Approximately equal weight is given to each of the three areas. In addition to the total score, a subscore in each of these subfield areas is reported.

The approximate cost for the GRE Biology Subject Test is $130.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

For the most current information, review the GRE web site.

Academic Common Market

Since there are no veterinary schools in West Virginia the Higher Education Policy Commission has established contracts with institutions to accept West Virginia students. For the most current information on which institutions, contact the Southern Regional Education Board or the West Virginia's Higher Education Policy Commission Academic Common Market Coordinator for details.

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372