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Friday, January 28, 2011

Questions From A Prospective Vet Student, Part 2

Continuing the answers to Jasmine's questions, here are the next ones....

Also, I am undeclared in regards to what my major and minor are at the moment, and I was wondering what would be the preferred major in order to benefit me most if I did pursue becoming a vet? I have a strong love for English as well, I might take English as my minor, but I'm not sure if that is recommended for this type of career... Are there many areas where a minor in English would be useful? 

I can only really speak from experience with US veterinary schools, but I would imagine that in other countries it would be the same or similar.  Honestly, your major doesn't completely matter.  In the US the admissions office looks at whether or not you have taken and passed specific courses, and don't look at your overall major.  Each veterinary school will have slightly different entry requirements, so you should check with each one you plan to apply to.  Since most of the required courses are in the fields of biology, chemistry, and mathematics,certain majors definitely make it easier to take these courses.  The most common majors are Biology and Animal Science, as the requirements for these majors will already have you taking most or all of the courses you need for entry into vet school.  However, I've known vets who majored in non-science disciplines in college, and even some who didn't receive a final undergraduate degree.  Even if you had an English major, as long as you took the required courses it wouldn't negatively affect your application to vet school, though it would take longer to make it through college since you would be taking so many courses outside of your major.

If you have a strong interest in English, you could consider trying to drive your career towards the veterinary publishing industry.  There are dozens of veterinary journals on the market, some strictly research-based and others intended more for general practice and as veterinary-specific news magazines.  Many of the editors are also veterinarians, as are the reporters and especially the consultants.  Moving in this direction would potentially take you out of daily practice, especially if you ended up as an editor, but would rely heavily on your English skills and may be something you would enjoy.  Even if you don't end up in publishing, good written and oral communication skills will benefit you greatly in daily practice and should never be underestimated.  If you really love English, I would encourage you to pursue at least a minor, simply for your personal satisfaction and enjoyment.

Tomorrow we finish Jasmine's questions.