Interested in Veterinary Medicine?

Whether they’re pets, livestock or working animals, animals matter to individuals and society. 

Every community needs veterinary professionals to provide animal health care, but veterinarians also do many other kinds of jobs. They make sure the nation’s food supply is safe. They work to control the spread of diseases. They conduct research that helps both animals and humans. Veterinarians are at the forefront of protecting the public’s health and welfare.

Besides medical skills, veterinarians often take a holistic approach to human well-being and animal welfare that, combined with communications and problem-solving skills, makes veterinarians uniquely qualified to fulfill a variety of roles. Many veterinarians, of course, provide care for companion animals through private medical practices, but veterinarians are also involved in promoting the health and welfare of farm animals, exotic animals, working animals (like those in the equine industry), and those that need a healthy environment in which to thrive, whether that environment is a rain forest, a desert, or even the ocean.


What will I study?

Professional program requirements vary widely, especially with regard to advanced biology courses and English requirements. Be sure to check all graduate programs you are considering applying to early during your undergraduate studies for specific prerequisites needed to apply to that school’s program.

Within Gardner-Webb’s pre-professional employment track, you will want to review the Biology major four-year plan if interested in Veterinary Medicine.

The most common prerequisite courses include:

  • BIOL 111: General Biology
  • BIOL 105: Microbiology for Health Sciences (or BIOL 206)
  • BIOL 202: Vertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 301: Genetics
  • BIOL 422: Biochemistry
  • CHEM 111: General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 112: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 201: Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 202: Organic Chemistry II
  • PHYS 203: General Physics I (or PHYS 111)
  • PHYS 204: General Physics II (or PHYS 112)
  • MATH 105: Statistics
  • ENGL 101: Composition I
  • ENGL 102: Composition II
  • EXSI 345: Healthcare Ethics
  • COMM 233: Public Speaking

Additional information, including descriptions of specific courses and their corresponding credit hours, is available in the Academic Catalog.

Next Steps

Veterinary Medicine School Admissions

  1. Review ADA pages regarding Veterinary School admissions guidelines. Requirements vary between Veterinary Schools, so be sure to check the specific requirements of the schools to which you plan to apply.
  2. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) by October 15 the year before you plan to enter Veterinary School.
  3. Register for a Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) account and submit a primary application (including transcripts and recommendation letters). GRE scores are sent directly to the schools to which you are applying.
  4. Submit additional materials requested by specific Veterinary Schools in the secondary application.


What can I do with this degree?

Outside of companion animal practice, the largest employer of veterinarians in the United States is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, but veterinarians are found throughout government in roles where they contribute to public health, the environment, and even Homeland Security, as well as working in research and public policy.

Many veterinarians are engaged in work at the intersection of both human and animal health. For example, veterinarians play an important role in food safety, where epidemiological research is crucial to forecasting the threat of food-borne diseases and outbreaks. They work to keep cattle and other food animals healthy by developing and testing various farm-control methods that help to detect, limit, and prevent the spread of food that might be contaminated by salmonella, E. coli or other pathogens. And they’re often on the front lines of surveillance where their extensive medical training can help them to detect and treat the outbreak of diseases that have the potential to make the jump from animals to humans.

Click here for more information about available careers in veterinary medicine.

Ready to take the next step?

Apply Now
The more I got to know the school, the more I found to like: Small classes with caring professors, new friends (including the man who is now my husband, Matthew Tremblay), exciting trips with the Honors Program and the Department of Natural Sciences, and a memorable month studying in Costa Rica."
— Anna Honea Tremblay, Biology '15


median annual wage for veterinarians


work in veterinary services such as clinics and hospitals


projected employment growth from 2018–2028