Skip to main content

Veterinary Medicine

What is Veterinary Medicine?

Veterinary medicine provides healthcare to pets, livestock, and zoo, sporting and laboratory animals.  Veterinarians (DVM or VMD) treat the injuries and illness of animals with a variety of medical equipment, providing care for animals as doctors due for humans.  While the majority of veterinarians work in private clinics treating pets, there are specialties in veterinary medicine including equine, food animal, food safety and inspection and research veterinarians who travel to farms, work outdoors or in laboratories. Many veterinarians also work with the intersection of human and animal health.

 Veterinarians typically do the following:

  • Examine animals to diagnose their health problems
  • Treat and dress wounds
  • Perform surgery on animals
  • Test for and vaccinate against diseases
  • Operate medical equipment (e.g. x-ray)
  • Advise animal owners about general care, medical conditions and treatments
  • Prescribe medication
  • Euthanize animals

Source: United States Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook.  26 April 2012. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 11 July 2013 <>.

 Explore these resources and organizations:


  • The requirements for admission into a veterinary medicine program vary by school.  Review the list of AAVMC affiliated veterinary schools  and the Prerequisite Chart . You should always verify the most current prerequisites.
  • Below is a list of possible courses that could meet admission requirements.
  • Please check with the schools you plan to apply to regarding their policy on AP Credits. Some schools may or may not accept AP Credit.  If they do accept credits, an additional upper level course with a lab may be required.
  • Please see a PHMO advisor to create an academic plan that meets your timeline and goals.

Below are the most common pre-med pre-requisites; remember that this list is of the CORE classes, and some schools may require or recommend additional courses. 

  • Biology 141* and 142 with labs 
  • If you began Chemistry coursework at Emory prior to Fall 2017: Chemistry 141, 142, 221, and 222 with labs**
  • If you began Chemistry coursework at Emory Fall 2017 or later: Chemistry 150, 202, 203, and 204 with labs
  • Physics 141 and 142 with labs 
  • Biology 205 with lab
  • Biochemistry (Biol 301 or Chem 301)
  • QTM 100
  • 6-8 semester hours of college English/writing (CWRT classes in the English language may fulfill this requirement)
  • Some exposure to social sciences

*If you use AP credit for Biol 141, you must still take the Biol 141 Lab.

**If you began Chemistry coursework at Emory prior to Fall 2017 and have questions about how to proceed, please contact your PHMO advisor.

If you transferred to Emory and have questions about coursework taken at your previous institution, please contact your PHMO advisor.

Application Process

Admissions Exam: Most require the GRE (some accept the MCAT)

Application Service: Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)

Application timeline/deadline: Review important dates for VMCAS

Letters of Recommendation: VMCAS requires a minimum of three electronic evaluations. Some schools WILL NOT accept a composite letter.  Requirements for letters of recommendation vary from school to school, and many require letters specifically from veterinarians. Be sure to check each school's requirements.

Emory’s Career Center offers a Credentials File to collect letters of recommendation that will be sent to the appropriate professional schools. 

Personal Statement: The PHMO offers personal statement workshops on particular dates during the semester. Check the PHMO newsletter for upcoming events. Once you complete a draft of your personal statement, you may submit your draft to the Career Center Document Critique Service for feedback.