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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Veterinary Medicine

Majors Overview March 20, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in veterinary medicine and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Veterinary Medicine

Those interested in careers in veterinary medicine typically complete doctoral-level degrees. While schools don’t offer bachelor’s degrees specific to veterinary medicine, those who aspire to attend veterinary school can seek admission to a pre-veterinary science program.

With a heavy concentration in the natural sciences, a bachelor’s degree program in pre-veterinary medicine may be used by students to provide themselves with the foundation necessary for seeking admission to a four-year graduate-level veterinary school. Veterinary professionals are adept at diagnosing and treating injured and diseased animals, in addition to caring for healthy animals.

Educational Requirements

Schools don’t insist on completion of direct prerequisites by applicants to a pre-veterinary bachelor’s degree program, but incoming students would benefit from a solid science background in high school. They would also benefit from having some experience, even as a volunteer working with animals, before they begin the program.

Coursework

As a mode of preparation for veterinary school, the program has extremely science-intensive coursework. Apart from basic undergraduate degree courses, core coursework may include the following areas of study:

•Vertebrate zoology
•Advanced physics
•Microbiology and immunology
•Animal parasitology
•Genetics
•Anatomy and physiology
•Biology/cell biology
•Organic chemistry
•Mammalian physiology

Career Choices

Licensure and a graduate degree will help the students become a veterinarian. Those seeking career paths in the field without holding a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science may choose from popular options such as:

•Animal research technician
•Meat or poultry inspector
•Veterinary pharmaceutical industry researcher
•Veterinary hospital manager
•Animal care technician

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 12% have been predicted for vets over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $84,460 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Most of those who complete the bachelor’s program are likely to opt for continuing education through admission to veterinary school in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree programs. The majority of DVM graduates are likely to opt for private practice as veterinarians.

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