Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Why Study Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Pre-veterinary medicine is a curricular focus for students who plan to enter a veterinary medical school program. To be a Competitive pre‑vet student, you should:

  • Communicate frequently with your pre‑vet advisor
  • Maintain a QPA of 3.4 or better
  • Perform above average on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Complete internships in veterinary settings
  • Demonstrate leadership and community or human service
  • Show a willingness to volunteer
  • Plan a strategy early in your college career to take the right course sequences
  • Prepare for and take the GRE

Why Study Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Ship 

Shippensburg has a consistent record of placing qualified students into veterinary school programs. Pre‑vet faculty attend conferences for health professions advisors where they meet colleagues from other universities and share ideas. This ensures you receive accurate, current and comprehensive information. We give our students “mock interviews” prior to the time they apply to veterinary schools. This experience provides students with interview practice and gives the Health Professions Committee information to write a committee letter of reference in support of a student’s application.

Pre‑vet advisors maintain close relations with admissions personnel at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine through visits to Penn’s campus along with visits by Penn’s Director of Admissions to Shippensburg University. Shippensburg students have been very successful in their admissions to the University of Pennsylvania over the last 20 years. In general, veterinary schools tend to be somewhat regional in their acceptance of students. Approximately 50 percent of the students in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine are Pennsylvania residents. Programs that place emphasis on large animal husbandry tend to be more open in their residency requirements. Students with exceptional credentials can be competitive applicants for many out‑of‑state programs.

Faculty-directed undergraduate research is highly encouraged at Shippensburg. Each year, between 6 and 12 under-graduate science students present the results of their research at regional, state, or national conferences.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

Pre-vet students are encouraged to participate in internship experiences within veterinary environments and attend on-campus presentations by veterinarians and veterinary medical school personnel. A number of veterinarians in the Shippensburg area are willing to accept students as interns and provide the students with direct, first‑hand exposure of the veterinary practice. Small animal, large animal, and mixed practices are available to students desiring internship experience.

The salary range for veterinarians in PA is $51,000 - $66,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

The course requirements for admission to veterinary programs vary; however, certain common prerequisites include at least:

  • 9 credits of biology
  • 8 credits of physics
  • 16 credits of chemistry
  • 3 credits of calculus
  • 6 credits of English

Exact requirements for a specific program are listed in the guide, Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements. You can find this resource in the Health Sciences Office library in Franklin Science Center. Pre‑vet students are urged to work closely with their advisor, using this reference as a guide, as they make their undergraduate course selections. The biology-health professions curriculum enables you to schedule your required veterinary course work along with other courses in your major.

A broad selection of courses is available within the biology and chemistry disciplines, and pre-vet students are encouraged to include some of the following courses among their electives:

  • Biochemistry
  • Comparative anatomy
  • Animal physiology
  • Cell biology
  • Histology
  • Pathogenic microbiology
  • Animal behavior
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Immunology

Non‑science electives often selected by Ship pre-veterinary students include:

  • Psychology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Physiological psychology
  • Medical anthropology

Pre‑vets have also taken courses such as animal disease and nutrition at Wilson College in Chambersburg via an agreement between the two institutions.

Qualified students have done extremely well over the last decade in being accepted into a variety of veterinary programs. Some of the schools that Shippensburg pre-vets have entered recently are:

  • Colorado State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Pennsylvania  

Student Groups

Practicing professionals and veterinary school admissions personnel are routinely invited to speak to the Health Sciences Club. The diverse health professional interests of Shippensburg University students enables pre-vet students to consider alternatives to veterinary medicine in the event they lose interest in the field or find they are not in a competitive position to make application to veterinary schools.

142 Franklin Science Center, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1401
Department Website