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Your Guide To Veterinary-Medicine

Considering a career as a veterinarian? if you are, here is all the information you may need to study this subject...

There is No Age Limit to Go or Consider Going to Vet School

In 2013, from a total of 6,766 vet school applicants in the U.S, approximately 73% were in the 20 to 24 age group. In addition, 16% were among the 25 to 30 year old age group along with 4% who were in the 31 years-old-and-older age group.[1]

Prerequisites and Other Requirements

You will need to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree in a veterinary medicine accredited college/university to be able to become a veterinarian.[2]

To apply to vet schools with an IB diploma, you will generally need HL Biology, HL Chemistry, and in some cases HL Physics/Maths.

Generally, many universities accept applicants who have not received a Bachelor’s degree. However, it could raise your chances of being accepted into a vet school. Most accepted applicants in the United States have completed a Bachelor’s or a higher degree (Master’s/Ph.D). 1 to 2% of applicants who have completed pre-veterinary requirements are accepted to some schools.[3]

Note: The requirements will vary depending on the university/college. Please make sure to go to their website to see their proper requirements.

Preferred Undergraduate Majors?

As long as applicants have completed the required courses of their selected university, the major and degree does not matter. Although, most pre-veterinary students tend to major in Animal Sciences, Wildlife Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Zoology, etc.[3]

Work Experience

It is recommended that you have experience in large animal, small animal, wildlife/conservation, or laboratory research prior to your application to university. Each experience should equal at least 200 hours in total. It is also recommended that you record all of your experiences, their location, dates, with the number of hours written down. The experience can be in the form of an internship or volunteer; paid or free.

Veterinary Schools

Generally, you will do 4 to 5 years in a veterinary school to complete your DVM degree. If you choose to specialize in a particular field, you will do a one year internship followed by 3 years of residency. Unlike human medicine where you practise in only one area, veterinary medicine will require you to know how to practise surgery, dentistry, X-rays, internal medicine, and more.[4]

Top UK Vet Schools + Requirements:

1. University of Edinburgh (The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies)

Location: Scotland

Degree (Undergraduate) Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Length:5 years

IB Requirements: Min. of 38 points

Min. of 666 in HL Chemistry, Biology, and one other subject.

Note: Physics should preferably be taken at SL or HL. If not, competency in the subject must be demonstrated at a lower level (GCSE or equivalent).

2. University of Glasgow (School of Veterinary Medicine)

Location: Scotland

Degree (Undergraduate) Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Length: 5 years

IB Requirements: Overall: Min. of 38 points

HL Chemistry: 6

HL Biology: 6

SL Mathematics/Physics: 6

SL English: Min. 6

Work experience

3. University of Cambridge (Cambridge Veterinary School)

Location: England

Degree (Undergraduate) Veterinary Science BVSC

Length: 6 years

IB Requirements: Overall: Min. of 40 - 42

776 in HL subjects

4. University of Surrey (School of Veterinary Medicine)

Location: England

Degree (Undergraduate) Veterinary Medicine

Length: 5 years

IB Requirements: Overall: Min. of 34

HL6/SL7 in Biology and Chemistry

GCSE or Equivalent: Five subjects at 7 including Chemistry, Biology, and Physics (or double science). English Language and Mathematics at 5.

5. University of London (Royal Veterinary College)

Location: England

Degree (Undergraduate) Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine

Length: 5 years

IB Requirements: 766 at HL: Biology, Chemistry, a third subject of your choice.

SL English A Lang-Lit: Min. 5

SL Mathematics: Min. 5

Must demonstrate competency in Physics.

Mathematical Studies and English A Literature/English B cannot be accepted.

To see more, click here.

Student Loan Debt and Salary

The student loan debts for veterinarians are very high. In addition, veterinarians earn salaries much lower salary than medical doctors. An veterinarian graduates with an average debt of $13 thousand and has an median salary of $85 thousand.[4]

Is Veterinary Medicine the Right Career for Me?

Getting into a vet school is very competitive and demanding. You will need more than a love of animals to become a veterinarian. You will not only need high academic grades but also various skills such as critical thinking to find treating methods for your patient; interpersonal skills to communicate with your colleagues, animal owners, and others; dexterity; and problem solving skills.[2]

Not only this, vet school applicants must also understand the veterinary profession. You could do internships or volunteer at a local veterinary clinic to realistically understand what kind of work is involved in the profession.


[1] The Balance. (2018). Are You Too Old to Go to Vet School?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

[2] The Balance. (2018). What You Need to Know About Being a Veterinarian. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

[3] (2018). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

[4] Cosmopolitan. (2018). 13 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Veterinarian. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

Other Helpful Resources:

Andrew Woods (Vet student at the University of Georgia):

BellaVet (Vet student at the University of Missouri):

The Thinking Challenge (Vet student at the University of Surrey):

Advice On Getting into Vet School:

The Bow Tie Vet Guy:

Vet Ranch (An insight to the veterinary profession; graphic surgery):

Dr. Jasmine Shanelle:


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