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At least three years of pre-veterinary medicine coursework are required for application to veterinary colleges. Individual schools select students on different criteria, but students need to maintain a high grade point average, score well on the national examinations (eg, the Graduate Record Exam), and have extensive animal and veterinary experience. Students may apply in their junior year of college if they can complete the required coursework in that year. If accepted in their junior year, students may transfer course credits back to the University of Wyoming to receive their B.S. degree.
Requirements for entrance to veterinary schools vary and change from year to year. The Veterinary Sciences Pre-Veterinary Option adjusts the curriculum as needed to satisfy the requirements of Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), an exchange program that allows Wyoming residents accepted into participating school to pay in-state tuition rates at that school. Currently, the participating WICHE veterinary colleges are Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University. Students interested in veterinary colleges outside the WICHE program, or who are not Wyoming residents, will be advised in coursework for their programs of interest. Requirements for various colleges can be located at the website of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
Veterinary colleges want to be sure that prospective students have a clear picture
of the career they are envisioning. Admission committees look for evidence that candidates
had good exposure to the discipline before they apply to veterinary colleges. As
a general rule, applicants to veterinary school should have more than 1,000 hours
of experience working with animals in a veterinary environment. This experience can
be acquired in four main ways: through spending time in a private veterinary practice,
by working with public health veterinarians, by working with a veterinary researcher,
and by familiarity with handling animals in various settings. Of these four, the
most important one is spending time in a veterinary practice.
Faculty members at the University of Wyoming advise students on appropriate experience to achieve their career goals. Students looking to apply to a veterinary college can work with faculty to identify veterinary practices in the state or region able to mentor students in their areas of interest. Similarly, faculty can recommend appropriate research opportunities found across the University of Wyoming campus. Although academic excellence is important for students interested in becoming a veterinarian, strong letters of recommendation from established veterinarians or veterinary researchers are crucial for acceptance to a veterinary college.