One of the keys to success in working toward your goal of becoming a veterinarian is to be well-prepared early on -- that includes knowing and completing the required classes for admission. Instead of just fulfilling the minimal college math course requirements, opt to be overly prepared. With this competitive course of study, every little bit counts.
Algebra and Trigonometry
Algebra and trigonometry are the bare minimum requirements to be considered for a veterinary program. Usually you would take these in high school, but if you didn’t, sign up as soon as you can. These are also the basic stepping stones that are required before you take other college math courses.
If you have a veterinary program in your sights, you'll need calculus on your transcript. Since this is a requirement for most veterinary schools, take it early on in your college career and work hard at getting the best grade you can in this course. The knowledge that you'll obtain in calculus will also help you when you take your Veterinary College of Admission Test, the Graduate Record Examination or the Medical College Admission Test.
You should include a college-level statistics class while you’re preparing for a veterinary program. A background in statistics not only adds to your understanding of how to collect, analyze and interpret data, it strengthens your math skills. This knowledge will also come in handy when you take your placement exams. If you have an idea of which schools you want to apply to for that program, look at their websites to see if they have any specific stats classes that they require or suggest.
Other Math Courses
You will need to examine the prerequisites for the advanced math courses you plan on taking at your current college. For example, your university may require precalculus before taking calculus or other math courses to get into a specific statistics class. Check these prerequisites early on so that you can plan your courses accordingly. You don’t want to have to extend your college career because you didn’t notice the prerequisites until last semester.
- Vet School Admission 101; American Veterinary Medical Association
- Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges: Pre-Veterinary Resources
- Summary of Course Prerequisites; Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
- Penn State: Steps to Becoming a Veterinarian
- Aardvarks to Zebras: Becoming a Veterinarian FAQs
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