Pre-Veterinary Medicine

BGSU offers courses for students interested in a pre-veterinary medicine program. Many alumni are practicing veterinary medicine in Ohio and elsewhere. Nearly all alumni who entered veterinary medicine school immediately after graduation earned D.V.M. degrees at the Ohio State University.


BGSU offers a number of different programs to prepare students for veterinary school.

A student in pre-veterinary medicine normally takes a two-semester sequence of science majors’ biology, general chemistry and physics, courses in English, mathematics, social sciences and humanities. The classes selected after the first year depend on how interests develop.

Students seeking admission to a competitive enrollment professional program like veterinary medicine should develop an alternate plan in case they are not accepted or interests change. If secondary interests include fields such as animal science and wildlife management, students might consider transferring to an institution with those majors during their sophomore or junior years. Students who remain at BGSU past their freshman year will take a combination of chemistry, biology, physics, social sciences and humanities courses.

Most students who remain at BGSU and plan to apply to veterinary medical school major in applied health science, biochemistry, biology, chemistry or microbiology. Other majors are possible with careful planning. Beyond the chemistry and biology core courses, students will take a year of organic chemistry and physics as well as courses in biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, social sciences and humanities.

Students who are interested in veterinary medicine should identify a local veterinarian to observe. This can sometimes lead to part-time employment. Such experience is a required criterion for admission for many Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, including Ohio State University. Frequently this experience is better gained in the student’s home community. It is best to obtain experience in practices with different concentrations (i.e., small animal, large animal, exotic animal).

Admission to Veterinary School

Colleges of veterinary medicine require that candidates take one of the following standardized tests: Veterinary College Admission Test, Graduate Record Examination or Medical College Admission Test. Veterinary schools specify which test results are accepted. Each of these tests is given at least twice a year and is normally taken in the year students are applying for admission.

Nearly all of the 27 colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States are state supported or state assisted giving first preference to in-state residents. Therefore Ohio residents have a better chance of attending the Ohio State University.

Students can obtain a free brochure, Veterinary Medicine: Admission Criteria and Career Opportunities, by writing to: College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1935 Coffey Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1089. Veterinary School Admission Requirements contains information regarding all colleges of veterinary medicine and can be obtained by calling the Lippincott-Williams-Wilkins Publishing Company at 1-800-486-5643.

Information can also be obtained from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges website:

Students who are not legal residents of Ohio should explore admission requirements for whichever veterinary school they choose to attend. In addition details regarding undergraduate pre-veterinary programs should be examined.

Career Opportunities

Students who decide not to attend veterinary school have a number of options. Some have become interested in the field in which they majored and have earned advanced degrees to perform research. Others have decided to work at the bachelor’s level as a chemist or microbiologist. Still others have obtained teaching certificates or pursued other health care fields. Applicants who are not initially successful in obtaining admission to veterinary medical school are often able to strengthen their credentials and reapply successfully.


The chemistry and biology departments have a faculty member who advises students interested in veterinary medicine and other health care fields. These departments have sizable faculties, with most of their members active in research. Juniors and seniors are actively encouraged to participate in this research, working on an individual basis with a faculty member on a problem of interest to both. There are also active undergraduate societies in biology, chemistry and pre-health professions which offer excellent opportunities to become acquainted with other students having similar interests.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Pre-Veterinary Medicine, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: