Veterinarians care for the health and wellbeing of animals. In addition to treating illness in cats and dogs, pursuing a career in veterinary medicine can involve working with exotic pets, wildlife, livestock, horses, and even animals in zoos, shelters, and laboratories. The professional possibilities are countless with specialties ranging from neurology and ophthalmology to large animal internal medicine and equine dentistry. Often employed by the federal government, veterinarians also ensure the safety of the national food supply and are at the forefront of protecting public health from zoonotic diseases.

There’s no right way to be pre-veterinary. Some students enter Carleton knowing they will go straight to veterinary school after graduation, but many don’t discover their passion for veterinary medicine until they are upperclassmen or even graduates. It is common for students to take at least one gap year between Carleton and vet school. Compared to other pre-health fields, being pre-veterinary arguably requires the most prerequisite coursework and consequently, the most planning. Each veterinary school has their own unique set of entry requirements, so pre-vets often take the maximum number of courses in order to be eligible applicants for as many schools as possible. 

In the United States, there are 32 AVMA-accredited veterinary schools. With class sizes averaging at around 120 seats, the national acceptance rate ranges from 10-15%. Competition is strong, but no matter where you are on your pre-veterinary path, Carleton has the resources to help you to navigate your way to becoming a veterinarian. You can find a list of veterinary schools that Carleton students/alumni have attended below.