The competition to get into vet school is tough because there are a limited number of accredited veterinary programs in the United States. Therefore, begin developing your competitive advantage during high school. Get good grades, complete the prerequisites, and gain experience working with animals. Math and science are important for getting into veterinary school, so join high school and college math and science clubs, as well as taking advanced classes in these areas. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to most all four-year veterinary school programs.
Study hard and get excellent grades in high school. A 4.0 will give you an advantage over other students applying to the same school, but you need to show your math and science abilities, as well. Join math and science clubs. If your school doesn't have one or both of these, ask a teacher to help you create one.
Prepare for and take the SAT and ACT tests while in high school. You need high scores on these tests to get into a good college and, in turn, a good veterinary school. There are practice tests for both the SAT and the ACT, so take advantage of them.
Volunteer at a local animal shelter, humane society or veterinarian's office. This will show your dedication to becoming a veterinarian and give you valuable experience. Volunteer at least an hour a week while you are in school, and more often during summers. You must be at least 16 to volunteer for the Animal Humane Society or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Apply to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. Choose a major that is recommended by veterinary schools, usually one in the science or pre-med fields. Veterinary schools' requirements for admission vary, but they will expect you to have had classes in biology, chemistry, microbiology, physiology, algebra, calculus, trigonometry, zoology, genetics, animal nutrition and biochemistry as part of your bachelor's degree.
Take any available pre-vet classes during your undergraduate college years. Also, seek out classes in public speaking and communications to learn how to interact well with others. While you will be caring for animals, it is important to develop the skills needed to effectively communicate with their owners.
Join your college's pre-vet club. If the college you are attending does not have a pre-vet club, start one. This will put you in contact with other students who are preparing to become veterinarians, giving you support, advice and perspective.
Apply to veterinary school during the year leading up to your college graduation. Contact a veterinary school you are interested in attending and request an application. You will need your high school and college transcripts to accompany your application. Read the directions on the application thoroughly, and follow them to the letter. Boast about your experience with animals, your volunteer work, your science and math classes and your good grades. Include letters of recommendation from your teachers, as well as letters from veterinarians or animal groups you have worked with.
Nicole LaMarco is a copywriter and content marketing strategist with more than 15 years of experience. See her website at www.NickyLamarco.com