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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Questions From A Prospective Vet Student, Part 4

New readers may be a bit confused at the title of this post.  About four years ago I answered a series of questions from someone wanting to enter vet school (Here, here, and here).  I recently received some questions from a different person, but thought it could actually fit with the previous discussions.
 
I am allergic to cats and am very interested in veterinary school and working with dogs. I am open to allergy shots, but do most veterinary schools mind this?
 
A vet school isn't going to care that you're taking allergy shots as long as it doesn't interfere with your studies and clinical duties. This is something that should be discussed with your own physician or allergist, as it may be a big issue of your allergy is severe.
 
I went to a very good University for undergraduate studies, however my GPA was around a 3.0. It is difficult to gauge which schools, if any, I should consider applying to. If I do not get in the first time, is it easier to get in if I receive a masters or vet technician certification first? What about working in a clinic for a year?
 
To be perfectly honest, a 3.0 isn't competitive. Most vet schools accept 80-100 students per year, and there are typically 300-500 applicants for those positions. Competition is pretty fierce, and GPA is a quick and easy way for the admissions department to weed people out. I'm not saying to avoid applying, but be aware that there is a good chance of getting denied. Working for a vet won't overcome a comparatively low GPA. A Master's might! However, I absolutely would not recommend getting another degree unless you really wanted it and would consider using it instead. Getting a Master's Degree simply to get into vet school will possibly be a waste of time and money.
 
I do not have all of the required courses needed for most veterinary schools, as I am missing a biotechnology course. Can I take this course during the DVM program or do I need to complete it before, and where can I take those courses once I have already graduated undergrad?
 
You're going to have to get all required courses before applying.  I can't rule out the possibility that a school might make an exception, but you'll have to check with each individual admissions department to see if this is the case.  I really would expect that a school simply would pass you by, especially with a 3.0 GPA.  There are much more competitive students who would have completed their requirements and it is simpler for them to consider those candidates rather than make an exception.
 
I actually had a similar situation!  While my undergraduate GPA was 3.495 and therefore very competitive, I wasn't able to get my last organic chemistry course before the registration deadline.  I was faced with either taking a year out of school and working, or getting a Master's Degree.  At the time I was strongly interested in animal behavior (and still am), so I decided to pursue a MS in Ethology with the thought that I might actually go on to a PhD.  While in the program I decided that I didn't want to do research and ended up going to vet school.  But I was considering not being a vet so the Master's program wasn't a place-holder decision for me.  I also took my last organic chemistry class while getting the MS and was able to qualify for vet school.
 
Best of luck!

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