Recommended Curriculum for College Students

Courses listed are required by the UC Davis School Veterinary Medicine (UCD) and Western University of Health Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine (WU). Contact schools directly for the most recent admissions requirements. As a college student, it is important to be certain that the courses you take are transferable and/or recognized by the veterinary school you are hoping to attend!

Required Science Courses

  • General Biology with lab – one year for UCD
  • General Chemistry with lab – one year for UCD
  • Upper Division Biology with lab – three courses for WU
    • Classes may include zoology, endocrinology, cell biology, molecular biology, reproduction, parasitology, histology, toxicology, nutrition and pharmacology.
  • Organic Chemistry with lab – two courses for UCD, one course for WU
  • Physics – two courses for UCD, two courses with lab for WU
  • Genetics – one course upper division for UCD, one course for WU
  • Biochemistry – one course upper division for UCD, one course preferably with lab for WU
  • Physiology – one course upper division for UCD and WU
  • Microbiology – one course for WU

Additional Required Courses

  • Statistics – one course for UCD and WU
  • English Composition – two courses for WU
  • Humanities/Social Studies – three courses for WU

“One year” is approximately equivalent to eight (8) semester units or 12 quarter units, assuming a standard 4-unit class. UC Davis and Western U have specific requirements for which classes you have to have completed by application submission. See their websites for details.

Other vet schools require additional prerequisites. Here is a list of some classes you may consider taking if you are planning on applying to vet schools outside of California:

  • Animal Nutrition – Auburn, UF, Michigan, Minnesota, NC State, Oklahoma, Purdue, TAMU, Tuskegee, Virginia Tech
  • Public Speaking – Illinois, Iowa, KSU, LSU, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Purdue, TAMU
  • Cellular Biology – Auburn, UGA*, Michigan, UT, Wisconsin
  • Additional Electives – CSU, Cornell, UF, KSU, LMU, LSU, Missouri, Penn

*Recommended, but not required.

UC Davis’ Health Professions Advising has a great chart that lists all of the prerequisite courses for each vet school. As always, double check requirements with the vet school’s official website since information may have changed.

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