The Dr. Dennis J. Patterson
Center for the Health Professions



Patterson Center

» Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Do you love animals and enjoy science? Then veterinary medicine might be just right for you. It’s a hot career that encompasses a great variety and number of job options. Many veterinarians work in private practice, diagnosing and treating illnesses in dogs, cats, birds, and other household pets. Other vets work in the field, traveling to treat horses, cows, and other farm or ranch animals. Still others work in the lab, conducting research on diseases and their cures. Veterinarians also work in public health, investigating animal and human disease outbreaks or helping ensure the safety of food processing plants and water supplies. As a vet, your career opportunities will be limitless—and your impact on society will be great.

Will I need further study?
What should I major in?
What are the course requirements?
What about advising?
Where can I find additional information?

Will I need further study?
Yes, you will need to complete a doctor of veterinary medicine degree at an accredited veterinary program. The degree program typically takes four years to complete. For students interested in the Elmhurst College affiliation with the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine 3 year + 4 year option, please visit our academic affiliations page to learn more.

What should I major in?
As a pre-vet student, you may choose any major, but you must complete the course requirements when applying to any veterinary school.

What are the course requirements?
The admission requirements vary from one school to another. Admission typically requires a minimum number of hours of relevant animal experiences in activities that give applicants an appreciation and understanding of the profession of veterinary medicine. Students take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) at least one full year before the intended entrance date. Recommended courses include:

  • BIO 200, 201, 315, 321, 330, 442, 443
  • CHM 211, 212, 311, 312, 315, 316
  • ENG 105, 106
  • MTH 151, 345 (or PSY 355)
  • PHY 111, 112 or 121, 122
  • Humanities electives and a speech course

What about advising?
Expert advising is an important part of the Center for the Health Professions. You will meet with one of our expert advisors to discuss your specific academic and professional interests. Your advisor will work with you throughout your Elmhurst career, clearing obstacles and giving expert guidance. Want to know more? See Advisors.

Where can I find additional information?
You can start by contacting us at Elmhurst’s Center for the Health Professions or check out these useful websites:

American Veterinary Medical Association
The American Veterinary Medical Association is a not-for-profit association representing more than 67,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services.

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges represents all veterinary medical colleges and departments in the United States, as well as international schools. The association’s website provides links to each school, information on the admission process, and more.


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