Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
Not quite right, anebel! I'm currently a third year vet student and the undergrad college I went to doesn't even OFFER pre-vet! I have a BA in Asian Studies. Some of my classmates have PhDs, other BA's in just about everything you can think of. Well over half my class DID NOT go to undergrad right out of high school, and most took a few years off between undergrad and vet school. This is a second career for some of my classmates and the average age for incoming first-year vet students is usually 27 or 28, not 22 like I was. Vet schools do not care how old you are when you apply. They care that you'll be able to survive the training process and have the passion to be a good vet.
To get into vet school you need to attend undergrad and do a three or four year degree program including lots of prerequisites in Math, Chemistry, Biology. It does NOT matter what you get your BA/BS in, but it's a lot easier to get your degree in one of the sciences than the humanities because you've got to take a ton of science classes anyway. You DO NOT need to get a 4.0!!!! You DO NEED to do well, usually 3.5 or better in your sciences, but major in whatever makes you happy. Most of us vet students actually recommend against doing pre-vet in undergrad...I mean, you're going to be a vet for your entire LIFE, being pre-vet doesn't actually improve your chances of getting into vet school, so why not major in something else that might be useful if you change your mind?
You also have to get your feet wet. The vet schools want to see that you know what you're in for, so they want to see lot of hours of experience doing something relating to animals. Working for a vet, volunteering with 4H and/or FFA, rescues, animal shelters, working or volunteering in a lab, and training animals are all good activities to start out with. I worked in a vet clinic as kennel help and then an assistant and worked with rescue dogs every summer in undergrad.
Then you have to apply, including your essay, wait forever and hope you got an interview, then interview and wait and hope you got in. If not, you try again the next fall to get in. Most vet schools have websites where they tell you exactly what you need to be considered. Most vet students do have preferences about what school they go to, but wind up going to whoever will accept them as a student. There are students in my class from way across the country and even two other nations.
Vet school itself is another 4 years, then, if you want to do equine work you'll probably have to do a year or two of internships or residency because it's a very competitive field to get a good job in. Vet school is also very, very expensive. I could buy a house with what I'm paying for school.