College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Pre-Veterinary Science

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Wayne Centers

Director of Student Relations

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Program website

859-257-3469

Other programs from the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment:

If you have a strong interest in science and want to work in the animal industry, a career in veterinary medicine might be for you. There is a saying that veterinarians are medical doctors who are not limited to one species of animal. This is very true. In training to become a veterinarian, you will learn about cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, poultry, dogs, cats, and other animals, including wildlife. So what is involved in the long road to becoming a veterinarian?

The Path to Becoming a Veterinarian

One year prior to completing all of the required courses, you should apply for admission to veterinary schools. Approximately one in three students is accepted into veterinary schools as an in-state or contract student. Acceptance rates steeply drop and tuition fees steeply rise for out-of-state students. If you are accepted, you will have a rigorous four years of study ahead.

Veterinarians can plan careers in many areas:

  • practice veterinary medicine in private clinics
  • enter an internship or residency program to become a specialist in an area such as reproduction, surgery, or zoo animal medicine
  • become a teacher or researcher, usually with an additional degree of Masters or Ph.D.
  • work for private industry or public health departments or
  • join the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps or the U.S. Air Force as veterinary officers
The UK faculty in veterinary science are the best! They exemplify what all students want – a combination of teacher, advisor and mentor, with the heart of a family member.

Scott

Pre-Vet alum and practicing veterinarian from Nicholasville, KY

Veterinary Experience

In addition to the required courses, veterinary-related experience is required for a competitive application to veterinary school. Working with large and small animal veterinarians is ideal for the exposure to several animal species. How do you gain veterinary experience? While you’re still in high school, begin by volunteering with local veterinarians in private practice, at local dog shows or livestock exhibitions, and humane shelters. Many UK pre-vet students find employment in Lexington area veterinary clinics working with small animals and horses. They also work in research centers and diagnostic laboratories. Veterinary admissions committees also consider these to be important: extracurricular activities letters of recommendation community service leadership skills


The UK Pre-Vet Club

The Pre-Vet Club is run totally by students, so it is an opportunity to become involved within the College of Agriculture. Monthly meetings feature speakers from all areas of veterinary medicine, such as: private practitioners, current veterinary students, industry veterinarians, animal welfare/animal rights speakers and many others. Additionally, members have gone on field trips to several local veterinary hospitals, the Cincinnati Zoo and Keeneland Racetrack.

Opportunities exist to attend an annual national pre-veterinary student conference held at one of the 28 veterinary schools in the U.S. as well as state and national veterinary conferences which are held in Lexington.


Imagine Your Future

Veterinarians

Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to protect public health.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$93,830

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

84,500

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

15,600

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Most veterinarians work in private clinics and hospitals. Others travel to farms or work in settings such as laboratories, classrooms, or zoos.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Scientists
  • Animal Care and Service Workers
  • Dentists
  • Medical Scientists
  • Microbiologists
  • Optometrists
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
  • Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Imagine Your Future

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary

$63,420

per year in 2018

Number of Jobs

19,300

in 2018

10 Year Job Outlook

900

new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Zoologists and wildlife biologists work in offices, laboratories, or outdoors. Depending on their job, they may spend considerable time in the field gathering data and studying animals in their natural habitats.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Read More

Similar Occupations

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Agricultural and Food Scientists
  • Animal Care and Service Workers
  • Biochemists and Biophysicists
  • Biological Technicians
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Microbiologists
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • Veterinarians

Contact

Wayne Centers

Director of Student Relations

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

859-257-3469

Other programs from the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment: