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Old 01-30-2018, 12:28 PM
Location: La Jolla
217 posts, read 104,744 times
Reputation: 356


I will advise as others have that your daughter have a backup plan. My daughters were competitive hunter/jumper horseback riders for many years and when they were young every little girl at the barn wanted to be an equine vet. Neither of my daughters pursued vet school, but several of their friends did. Only two girls we knew were actually accepted. One went to vet school at UC Davis and did an equine radiology specialty. The other went to Kansas State for large animals. Both girls were top of their classes and majored in some type of science.
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Old 02-02-2018, 12:16 PM
5 posts, read 3,741 times
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I am a faculty member in an Animal Science department at a university with a very well respected and competitive vet school. I’d like to chime in here to provide some insight for you.

1) Have a serious talk with your daughter about why she wants to be a vet. “I love animals” is just not enough, unfortunately. You and she both need to fully investigate the reality of a career in veterinary medicine: Long hours, crippling debt, low pay, and a suicide rate that is nearly equal to the military. I say this not to discourage you or her but to emphasize that this is a career path for only the MOST dedicated and determined. If your daughter simply wants a career related to animals, there are MANY options outside of veterinary medicine.

2) As others have mentioned, admission to vet school is more competitive than any other professional program, including medical school. The AVERAGE student accepted to a quality program has a gpa of 3.6+ and at least 1000 PAID veterinary experience hours.

3) Shadowing and volunteering are good starts, but it is actual, paid experience hours that count the most towards getting accepted to vet school. The ideal candidate will have both small and large animal experience, plus some kind of “specialty” (emergency, oncology, etc.) experience, along with undergraduate research credentials and significant extracurricular and leadership involvement.

4) While, technically, her undergraduate major doesn’t matter, statistically, students with a B.S. in Animal Science are more likely to be accepted than those with other majors. This is mostly due to those programs providing students with ample opportunities to gain actual hands-on experience (vs., for example, a Biology major who has only ever worked with preserved specimens). To support that point: At my university, 28 students were accepted to our vet school last year who attended obtained their undergraduate degrees here. Only 3 of those students did NOT have an Animal Science degree.

5) RESIDENCY MATTERS for vet school. Vet schools reserve the majority of their seats for residents of the state in which they are located. Regardless of where your daughter gets her undergraduate school, her best chance of vet school acceptance will be in the state in which she can claim residency. Not every state has a vet school; those states have agreements with other vet schools to reserve a specific number of seats for their residents, separate from the seats reserved for “out of state” applicants.

I hope that helps!
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