Veterinary Medicine

Whether working in private practice, research facilities, wildlfe conservation organizations or government agencies, veterinarians promote the health and well-being of animals while serving as advocates for animal welfare.

As a veterinarian, your responsibilities will include diagnosing and treating illnesses, performing surgical procedures, prescribing medication and providing preventive care through routine examinations and vaccinations.

In addition, veterinarians play crucial roles in areas such as public health, food safety, biomedical research and environmental conservation.

Contact Health Professions Advising

Pre-Veterinary Advising Guide

While there is no "pre-veterinary major" at the College of Charleston, the following guide and consultation with your advisor can help prepare you for your application and potential admission to veterinary school.
  • Undergraduate Preparation/Prerequisites

    Each veterinary school establishes its own set of prerequisites. The following lists common prerequisite courses for admission into veterinary school. Make sure to check the websites of the veterinary programs that you are most interested in applying to for complete undergraduate requirements.

    • General Biology or Zoology with labs (8 semester hours)
    • General Chemistry with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Organic Chemistry with labs (8 semester hours)
    • General Physics with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Biochemistry with lab (4 semester hours)
    • Math (6 semester hours)
    • Statistics (3 seseter hours)
    • English (6 semester hours)
    • Behavioral Science (Psychology, Sociology) (6 semester hours) 
    View Catalog Course Descriptions
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

    The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized examination that may required by some veterinary schools.

    The test covers basic mathematics and reading comprehension skills and is designed measure your general academic ability including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, quantitative reasoning and communication skills.

    The GRE consists of five sections.

    • Analytical Writing (One section)
    • Verbal Reasoning (Two sections)
    • Quantitative Reasoning (Two sections)
    Learn More on the GRE
  • Timeline

    First Year

    • Declare your major. Identify yourself as a pre-health profession student on the major declaration form.
    • Make an appointment/get to know your advisors. Discuss your academic game plan. Check in regularly to discuss your academic progress.
    • Begin taking your basic science courses.
    • Join student organizations (Pre-Veterinary Society).
    • Get involved with volunteer and service opportunities (campus and community).
    • Explore shadowing a veterinarian.

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue with your sequence of courses.
    • Stay involved in extracurricular activities (shadowing, service, volunteer). Consider leadership positions in these groups.
    • Visit your professors during office hours (You will need letters of recommendation).
    • Visit Health Professions Advising to begin assessing competitiveness.
    • Identify the veterinary programs that you want to apply to. Develop your application plan.

    Junior Year

    • Talk to Health Professions Advising Office about competitiveness.
    • Register for the GRE (Fall). Don't miss the deadlines!
    • Study and take the GRE (Spring/Summer).
    • Identify three to four individuals to write letters of recommendation (Spring).
    • Complete and submit your application VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Service) (Spring/Summer).
    • Continue engaging in activities.

    Senior Year

    • Meet with your advisor.
    • Get a degree audit and apply for graduation.
    • Ensure your application materials are organized and submitted within the deadlines (earlier is always better).
    • Prepare for interviews (if applicable).
    • Interview and wait.
    • Explore sources for financial aid.
    • Send updated transcripts directly to the schools to which you applied (Spring).
    • Discuss alternative plans with your advisor if necessary.
    • Finish your degree requirements and graduate.