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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Is Community College Bad?

Bendrick wrote with this question:

I have some questions for becoming a vet. I just graduated from High school and I am now attending a community college in northern California. I got into a four year college but then I don't see the point of paying so much more for the exact same thing. So I chose the 2 year community college transfer program to save myself some money. But here are questions, do vet schools look down upon people who transferred from a community college to a four year institution? I am planning to major in animal science/biology once I transfer but I've heard that it isn't necessary, is it true? Are there any requirements I must meet in order to 'shadow' a vet? Thanks for reading this email! 

I don't see any problems with starting at a community college.  In fact, I see more and more people doing it for the same reason you did...saving money.  In my experience veterinary schools only look at whether or not you have met your course requirements, not where you did it.  If it's an accredited school it should be no problem and starting at a community college shouldn't hurt you.

Your major is usually irrelevant.  Yes, biology and animal science degrees are most common, but just because of people's initial interest.  As long as you have the required courses you could be an English major, engineering student, teacher, and so on.  In fact, I've seen all of those degrees and more represented in veterinary classes.

Shadowing or working for a vet has no standard.  Vet schools are certainly going to look at your veterinary experience, so this is a "must".  But you'll have to check with individual vets to see what they may require.  You should also check with your vet school of choice (most likely Western University or UC Davis if you're in California) to see if they require a certain number of hours with a vet before being accepted.

In fact, your best bet is to check with the admissions office of the vet school and ask them the same questions.  They will be much better positioned to help you than I am, as I've never been on a university admissions board.

Good luck!