Pre-Vet Preparation

Veterinarians provide healthcare to animals in a variety of settings and also play an essential role in maintaining public health.  

Veterinary medicine is a challenging and rewarding pathway that will provide you with the opportunity to combine your love of animals with a strong aptitude for science.  


As an aspiring veterinarian, you should strive to reach a high level of academic achievement in challenging courses. Prerequisites needed for acceptance at veterinary medical programs are variable and you are encouraged to carefully check with specific programs of interest to ensure you will meet admissions requirements.  The prerequisite checklist provided below can be used as a guideline:

Pre-Vet Prereq Sheet

Beyond Academics

Other Important Elements of Pre-Vet Preparation

If you are interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, you should combine a strong academic record with outside-the-classroom experiences that allow you to explore your interests in veterinary medicine.  

Research Opportunities 
  • There are a wealth of research opportunities here at Merrimack College throughout the academic year and in the summer. Consult departmental pages and talk with your professors about how to get involved in research on campus.  
  • The National Science Foundation funds a variety of summer research programs for undergraduates. 
  • Speak with your career advisor at Merrimack’s O’Brien Center to learn about internship opportunities.
Volunteer Opportunities
Veterinarian Shadowing

Before making the commitment to a career as a veterinarian, it is essential to spend some time “in the shoes” of a vet (ideally, several days or weeks). Contact your health professions advisor for ideas on how to set up shadowing experiences.

Applying to Veterinary Schools

Most U.S. veterinary schools handle applications through VMCAS. VMCAS applications are due in September one year prior to the desired matriculation date (i.e. students wishing to begin their veterinary training in Fall 2022 should submit their application by September 2021).  Veterinary schools generally require the GRE for all applicants, and the GRE should be completed by the summer prior to application.