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Preparing for Vet School

Howdy! Another great day in Aggieland: the weather is starting to get colder, meaning it’s time to pull out the winter clothes, make some hot chocolate, and study while listening to holiday music.  This past month has been very busy, with many tests, assignments, meetings, and the most important: the due date for veterinary school applications!  Applications for the Texas A&M vet school open up at the end of spring semester and are available all the way up until October 1, the due date.  That sounds like a lot of time, but between logging hours, getting recommendation letters ready, taking the GRE, and sending in transcripts, the time goes by way too quickly!  I suggest getting things done before the fall semester starts so that you don’t have too much on your plate.  Some of the most common questions I get during tours in regards to the application process are:

  • How many shadowing hours should I have?
  • What major should I study in undergrad?
  • What is a way to stick out?

These are all really great questions, and depending on who you ask, you may get different answers!  My personal answer:  I would suggest having at LEAST 300 hours of straight veterinary shadowing.  When I was younger, I was told to try and have 100 hours with a small animal vet, 100 with a large, and 100 “extra” hours that covered anything else, including marine life, exotics, and my personal favorite: different specialties.   A specialist is a veterinarian who focuses on a particular part of the body, much like a human doctor.  There are many different specialties, ranging from feline internal medicine to equine orthopedics.  It requires extra schooling, but if it is something you are passionate about, it is a great thing to look into!

As far as what one should major in to get into vet school, the answer is anything.  As long as you have completed the pre-requisites for vet school that can be found on our website ( then you can apply!  The two most common majors that are accepted are Biomedical Sciences and Animal Sciences, but do not let that deter you from studying something else that you are passionate about!

The last question I wanted to cover was how an applicant can stick out.  There are plenty of answers to that, but I believe the most important one is to be well rounded!  There are plenty of people that have a 4.0 GPA and there are plenty of people that are super-involved in different organizations and activities, but being able to balance an academic, professional, and social life is what will not only make you more well-rounded, but also will give you the ultimate college experience!  Stressing over grades is going to happen regardless, and trust me: everyone finds their niche in college, so learn now how to balance it all out.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and BTHO UTEP!