If you want a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, your journey begins long before you enroll in veterinary school. Like any advanced degree, you must first obtain the right undergraduate degree, take the necessary tests and acquire some real world experience. A veterinary degree requires true dedication and hard work, but as long as you have a plan, you can make it happen.
Get a bachelor's degree. Most veterinary schools require that you have obtained a bachelor's degree in pre-veterinary studies, biology or a related subject. You can apply to any major accredited university to get your bachelor's degree. If you cannot gain entry into a university, you can begin at a community college and transfer after two years of study.
Gain work experience with animals. Most veterinary schools require previous experience in an animal environment, according to Education Portal. You can volunteer or intern at a zoo, veterinary office or shelter devoted to conservation or animal health.
Take the appropriate tests. Different veterinary schools require that you pass different tests before applying. You need to do a bit of research by deciding which specific veterinary schools you would like to attend, then checking the requirements of those schools to find out which tests you need to take. Depending on the school, you may need to take the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT), the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or some combination of the three. Visit the official website of each test to find a test center and schedule your test date.
Apply to an accredited veterinary school. Typically, you must fill out a detailed application and submit a personal statement or essay outlining your experience with animals, along with the reasons you want to become a veterinarian. You also need to include letters of recommendation from any zoos, shelters or other animal-related environments where you have worked, volunteered or interned.
Complete all of the required courses. After you obtain admission into the veterinary college of your choice, you need to complete all of the mandatory coursework in order to obtain your veterinary medicine degree.