CSU offers all the courses you need to prepare for veterinary school. While we do not offer a specific pre-veterinary major, you can complete all veterinary course requirements from a variety of undergraduate majors.
Many majors offer excellent preparation for veterinary school and eventual work as a doctor of veterinary medicine. There are many things to consider when choosing a major such as servicing animals, research, income, career possibilities, or maybe a specialty area.
Choosing a Major
There are no preferred nor recommended majors for someone who wants to go to veterinary school. It is recommended that a student select a major because they are interested in the course of study and because it can provide them a good "Plan B" career in case they change their mind about veterinary school. CSU offers over 60 majors and a wealth of strong science courses which fulfill the required coursework for CSU's veterinary school and help to provide excellent content to prepare students for the courses in the veterinary program.
A student having difficulty deciding which college major to choose might consider obtaining career counseling at the CSU Career Center, 26 Lory Student Center. A combination of testing and personal counseling often suggests ideas about places to start gathering more academic or career information.
When the problem is one of choosing between different majors of interest, visit the key adviser for any department you are considering. Discuss with the key adviser the departmental programs various options and what employment is found by graduates in that major.
High School Preparation for a Career in Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary medicine holds great appeal to many students today. It offers both an opportunity to earn a good income and to be of service to animals and people.
Becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine involves a program of academic preparation, usually 8 years after high school. Most applicants to a veterinary medical professional school have completed 3 to 4 years of college and the majority have earned a baccalaureate degree. The professional school is 4 years of education in basic sciences and clinical procedures. If you are seriously considering a future career as a veterinarian, you should prepare now for admission to college. Although it is important to take as many math and science classes in high school that you can, courses which will provide the best foundation for our college preveterinary curriculum are:
4 years of English
3 or 4 years of mathematics
2 or 3 years of laboratory science (chemistry, physics, and biology)
These courses usually form the basic requirements of many life science baccalaureate programs such as animal sciences, zoology, biology, environmental health and microbiology.
Colorado State University has created a web-based tool to assist students who wish to transfer credits (USelect computer program). If your starting school is available in the state drop-down menu, you will be able to enter the classes you are taking or wish to take at your starting school and see if they will transfer to CSU and if those courses have an equivalent course at CSU.
Future veterinarians need to be good students with strong interest and ability in the biological sciences. Typical graduates are people who like to work both indoors and outdoors and jobs that require both physical and mental exertion. All graduates of the professional veterinary medical program are able to find jobs in their field. Veterinary medicine provides career opportunities equally good for women as for men.
The majority of our graduates work in private practice positions. The 2012 mean starting salary for CSU graduating veterinarians in private practice positions was approximately $62,167 (median=$65,000).
More people apply for admission to the professional school of veterinary medicine than can be admitted. In choosing the most qualified applicants, the Admissions Committee looks for those who have shown high scholastic ability and who have gained an understanding of animals and of the profession through such activities as 4-H, Medical Explorer Scouts, hobbies, extracurricular programs at school, and paid or volunteer work on farms or ranches, in pet stores, kennels, animal shelters, research laboratories, and veterinary clinics.
Employment opportunities for veterinarians are almost endless and include private or corporate clinical practice, teaching and research, regulatory medicine, public health, and military service.