Where To Go
Is it imperative to attend a large state school that offers a Veterinary Medicine program to get your undergraduate degree? No, certainly not. It may be favorable to do so, but it is not the only deciding factor for acceptance into an accredited Veterinary Medicine program. The admissions board is going to look more at what was studied than where. They want to see a complete package. A strong undergraduate institution will have the capability of assisting in finding internships during the school year or throughout the summers to ensure plenty of hands-on experience to add to a resume. Admission into any Veterinary Medicine program is very competitive, so you want experience and a strong academic undergraduate program under your belt.
It is best to look at top colleges in your state or region, both small private colleges and the larger state institutions. Admission boards for Veterinary Medicine programs will look at students from their state or region first. If a state does not have an institution that offers Veterinary Medicine, they typically have contracted seats with a nearby institution in another state. For example, the state of New Jersey does not have a university that offers a Veterinary Medicine program. Nearby Cornell University will have seats reserved for New Jersey students interested in the program.
Below you will find top colleges and universities by region including the pre-veterinary medicine programs they offer, tuition, and admission requirements.
Northeast Region - The #1 Best Public College in the Northeast region according to US News and World Report is The College of New Jersey. Here students who want to become veterinarians would major in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry. They have an early deadline for applications set in January. Since this is a public college, tuition differs for in-state and out-of-state students. In-state students will pay $6,774.50 in tuition and fees. Out-of-state students will pay $11,467.50 in tuition and fees. Room and board will vary depending upon the meal plan you choose and where you choose to live.
Midwest Region - Creighton University tops the charts in the Midwest region. Creighton has a strong biology/chemistry program that students take in order to pursue further education in the Veterinary Medicine area. They have an early application deadline set in January. They do not have a set GPA for admission, but they look for students to be strong both in and out of the classroom. Tuition for the 2010-2011 school year is right at $29,226 and standard room and board costs $9,164.
Southern Region - In the Southern region, Tuskegee University takes first place. Tuskegee does offer a Veterinary Science program at the undergraduate level. This program is set up to meet the application requirements for any accredited school of Veterinary Medicine. Students can also study Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry. Tuskegee does have an accredited Veterinary Medicine program that students could apply for once they have completed their undergraduate education. Each applicant is reviewed individually, but most students must have a high school GPA of at least a 3.0 and a composite SAT score of 1000 or ACT score of 21. Tuition for the 2010-2011 school year is $8,050 per semester. Room and board charges will vary depending upon which residence hall students live in.
Western Region - In the Western Region, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California ranked #1. Students would need to study Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry at Santa Clara in order to meet the requirements for a Veterinary Medicine graduate program. They have an early decision deadline for applications in November and a regular decision deadline in January. Tuition at Santa Clara University for the 2010-2011 school year is $37,368 with room and board costing an additional $11,742.
Other Options - There are other schools that offer strong programs. Large state schools such as Iowa State University, University of Missouri, and Colorado State University offer a degree in Animal Science or Zoology as an option in addition to Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry. Colorado State University also offers Equine Science as a major that will meet the requirements to gain entrance into future Veterinary Medicine graduate programs (including theirs). For undergraduate admission, Colorado State University requires a 3.25 GPA for acceptance and applications are due in February. They continue to review applications as long as there are still spaces available.