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Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Printable Tip Sheet [pdf]

Is Pre-Veterinary Medicine Right for Me?

Students should also be motivated by a sincere concern for animal and human populations, a desire to serve the public, and a genuine interest in the medical field.

Preparation for Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Students contemplating careers in veterinary medicine should prepare in both high school and college with a solid foundation in the biological and physical sciences. They should have a general knowledge of the arts, social sciences, humanities, and communications.

Pre-veterinary students are strongly encouraged to complete a Bachelor’s degree before enrolling in the College of Veterinary Medicine, however, a Bachelor’s degree is not required for admissions. Applicants must only complete the specified prerequisite courses at a regionally accredited college or university to fulfill the academic requirements.

What Undergraduate Major Should I Choose?

“Pre-veterinary medicine” is not a major but a pre-professional track that can be chosen within a major. Pre-veterinary medical students may pursue any undergraduate major of their choosing. The College of Veterinary Medicine seeks students with diverse backgrounds and encourages them to enroll in a major which meets their interests and goals. Although science majors such as animal science, biology, zoology, animal ecology, biochemistry, and microbiology are most common, admitted veterinary medicine students have also had degrees in business, fine arts, music, English, engineering, and psychology. The required pre-professional courses can be obtained through the curricula of a variety of fields of study.

Required Undergraduate Coursework

Applicants to the College of Veterinary Medicine must have completed the following prerequisite coursework. Credit earned must be equivalent of the Iowa State University courses listed.

If a course is marked with an asterisk (*), both courses in the series must be taken at Hawkeye to transfer as the listed courses.

Hawkeye Courses Course Title ISU Equivalent

ENG-105

Composition I

ENGL 150

ENG-106 Composition II ENGL 250
SPC-101 Fund. of Oral Communication SPC 212
CHM-165* General Chemistry I CHEM 177/L
CHM-175* General Chemistry II CHEM 178/L
Not available at Hawkeye Organic Chemistry I CHEM 331/L
Not available at Hawkeye Organic Chemistry II CHEM 332/L
Not available at Hawkeye Biochemistry Several choices available at ISU
PHY-162 College Physics I PHYS 111
BIO-112* General Biology I BIOL 211/L
BIO-113* General Biology II BIOL 212/L
Not available at Hawkeye Genetics BIOL 303 or GEN 320
Not available at Hawkeye Mammalian Anatomy/Phys. Several choices available at ISU
8 credits Electives 8 credits
8 credits Arts, Humanities, and/or Soc. Sci. 8 credits

Selection Criteria for the College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine is highly competitive. Applicants for admissions to the College of Veterinary Medicine must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale and have completed 60 semester credits by the end of the spring term of the year in which the applicant seeks to be admitted to the College of Veterinary Medicine. If a course is repeated, both grades will be used in the GPA calculation. The second grade does not replace the first grade.

All science requirements should be fulfilled by the time of application or scheduled for completion by the end of the fall term in which the applicant applies. However, if necessary, the applicant may complete up to two required science courses after the fall term providing a transcript with the courses and grades listed is postmarked by July 1 of the year the applicant would enter. There is no maximum number of non-science required courses that may be completed but the transcript deadline of July 1 applies. The July 1 deadline for transcripts and grades is firm.

Breakdown of Selection Criteria Factors

  • 35% GPA: Science course GPA and last 45 credit GPA will both be taken into consideration. Although a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.50 is required, a GPA of 3.5 is strongly encouraged to remain competitive. Strong grades are especially important in science courses.

  • 10% GRE

  • 5% Course Load

  • 25% Admissions Committee Review: The committee reviews each applicant’s personal statement, recommendations, essays included in the supplemental application, extracurricular/community activities, animal and veterinary related work experience, personal development, diversity, and any special circumstances.

  • 25% Interview

These requirements are subject to change without notice. Students are advised to work closely with both their Hawkeye academic advisor, as well as with an advisor in their intended transfer major, and contacts at the College of Veterinary Medicine as needed.