University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food & Environment


Gluck Center > Education > Undergraduate Students

Welcome to the Department of Veterinary Science Undergraduate Program

The pre-veterinary medicine advising program prepares students to meet requirements for veterinary schools across the US.

Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky does not have a veterinary school, it does have contracts with Auburn University and Tuskegee University in Alabama. Thirty-eight seats are available at Auburn and three at Tuskegee for legal Kentucky residents. These seats are not reserved for any specific Kentucky college or university, but are for legal Kentucky residents. However, pre-vet students can apply to any US veterinary school if they have all prerequisites.

Pre-Vet Listserv
Undergraduate courses
Pre-Veterinary Advising
Frequently Asked Questions
Pre-Vet Notes for UK Students
Auburn Required Course List
Tuskegee Requirements
Other Veterinary Schools
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
GPA Calculation Form
Pre-Vet Club Constitution (pdf)
Contact us

››››› Instructions for applying to veterinary school in Fall 2015‹‹‹‹‹

News from Auburn and Tuskegee Veterinary Schools
- as of June 28, 2013

Suggested courses beyond Auburn/Tuskegee requirements
(March 2015)

Sample timeline for Pre-Vet Students

UK Biology Laboratories UPDATE
October 2015

photo of horseUndergraduate courses

Three undergraduate courses are offered in the Department of Veterinary Science:

  • VS 350 Introductory anatomy, physiology and animal hygiene

  • VS 351 Principles of animal hygiene and disease control

  • VS 395 Special problems in veterinary science, where students can work with a Veterinary Science faculty member in hands-on research projects for credit. 

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Pre-Veterinary Advising

  • UK has the largest pre-veterinary program in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • UK students have been accepted not only to Auburn and Tuskegee, but also in the highly competitive world of out-of-state applicants to veterinary schools across the U.S.

  • Any legal Kentucky resident has the opportunity to apply for contract seats at the veterinary schools at Auburn and Tuskegee Schools of Veterinary Medicine. Kentucky does not have a veterinary school. 

  • Central Kentucky offers students opportunities to work with world class equine veterinarians in hospitals, at horse shows, racetracks and on farm calls.  Volunteer and paid positions exist working with equine and small animal veterinarians, as well as large animal veterinarians.

  • The Director of the Pre-Veterinary advising program, Dr. Roberta Dwyer, has 20+ years' experience in advising and has spoken at national college advising conventions on trends in veterinary admissions.  She is a veterinary graduate of Iowa State University and has visited 14 North American veterinary schools, and programs in the Caribbean, Finland, and Ireland.

  • UK pre-vet students have been successful in obtaining semester-long internships at Disney, Orlando, FL and at the Cincinnati Zoo.  Opportunities exist for international study tours through the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

  • The UK Pre-Vet Club is one of the largest clubs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and can provide the leadership and community service activities that are desired by veterinary schools.

  • The UK Pre-Vet program holds Mock Interviews to prepare applicants for the “real” veterinary school interview.  The mock interviewers are Veterinary Science faculty and local veterinarians who have actually served on veterinary school selection committees.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What courses are required for pre-veterinary medicine? A curriculum based on chemistry, biology, physics and liberal arts is required. Pre-veterinary advisors should be contacted for specifics, as they vary from college to college.
What courses should a student take in high school in preparation for studying veterinary medicine? A good background in biological and physical sciences, mathematics, and English is of utmost importance since both pre-veterinary and veterinary medicine programs are based on these subject matters. Furthermore, these subjects should allow students to score well on comprehensive college entrance examinations so they have a better chance of attending their college of choice.
How many years of study are required to complete the pre-veterinary program?

Most successful applicants attain a BS or BA degree prior to entrance to veterinary school. However, most veterinary schools require 75+ credit hours in specific courses.

Once accepted into veterinary school, four years of course work are required to complete DVM degree requirements.

Is an undergraduate degree necessary for admission into veterinary school?

No, although the majority of people accepted have completed four or more years of college.

In any professional program where the number of applicants exceeds the quota, it is advisable to choose a degree program to complete concurrently with the pre-veterinary program. It is strongly recommended that a person in pre-veterinary studies select a degree goal early in their college career. .

Does the undergraduate degree have to be in agriculture?

No. It may be in any college so long as the required courses are completed; however, many fine programs and careers are available in agriculture.

Each student chooses his/her own degree program. This area of study should be selected based on future career interests in case the student does not become a veterinarian.

Where can a degree in veterinary medicine be obtained?

Under the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Plan, the Commonwealth of Kentucky cooperates with schools of veterinary medicine at Auburn University where Kentucky's quota is 38 entering students each fall and Tuskegee where the quota is three. Both veterinary schools are in Alabama. Legal Kentucky residents pay in-state tuition at Auburn, and a discounted tuition at Tuskegee.

There are presently over 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States and five in Canada. Other American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited schools are across the globe.

Can a person apply to more than one school? Yes, providing that the student has met course requirements for each school. The average GPA for accepted students is 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. A person applying to Auburn must have a minimum GPA of 2.50; Tuskegee, a GPA of 2.70, at the time of application. Kentucky residents applying to other veterinary schools are considered as non-residents and have extremely stiff competition for acceptance.
If a person has the minimum required grade point average, is there assurance that the student will be admitted? No. In fact, because of the keen competition for the available positions, it is recommended that applicants have at least a 3.0 grade point average on all work attempted. Also the GPA on required science courses is considered as well as the grades in Organic Chemistry and Physics (should be 3.2 or higher).
Who is eligible to apply?

Only legal residents of Kentucky who meet the academic requirements may apply under the contractual plans to Auburn and Tuskegee. Legal residency is determined by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Residency forms for admission to each of the veterinary schools and instructions for completing them are available from the pre-veterinary advisor in June. Students attending a school without a Kentucky Pre-veterinary advisor should contact Dr. Roberta Dwyer at the University of Kentucky for advice.

Pre-vet students from other states are advised to meet requirements of their preferred vet schools.

Who makes the selection for admission to the various schools? Selection is made by an admission committee at each of the schools. The vast majority of US vet schools utilize the VMCAS application (
What are the criteria for selection?

A comprehensive study of an applicant is carried out by the selection committee in determining those who will be accepted. In order for a student to be competitive in gaining admission to a veterinary school it is necessary that a grade point average of 3.0 or higher be maintained on all college work. Courses in physical sciences, biology and mathematics are closely scrutinized by selection committees. A high grade point average is important but not the sole criterion. The student must be mature and able to work with people, as demonstrated by community and leadership activities. Animal and veterinary experience is necessary; large and small animal veterinary experience is highly desirable. Students must have one letter of recommendation from a veterinarian, one from an academic person, and one from a person of the student's choice.

With a specific number of seats available to the state, all positions must be filled with candidates who will remain for the entire program, e.g., four years after a class of 90 students begins, it is expected that 90 veterinarians will be graduated.

Are reapplications considered? Yes. Reapplication exhibits a continuing determination to be a veterinarian. Reapplication does not ensure acceptance, but students have been accepted after applying three consecutive years.
Is financial aid available for students in veterinary medicine? Yes. All financial aid is administered by the Office of Financial Aid at each of the schools, with many students attending veterinary school obtaining graduate student loans.
Does Kentucky have a school of veterinary medicine? No. There are no current plans for the establishment of a veterinary school in Kentucky.
Is there an age limitation for applicants? The veterinary schools do not discriminate on the basis of an applicant's age, gender or race.
What is the competition for admission to veterinary school?

In general, there are 90-100 Kentucky resident applicants for the 38 seats at Auburn each year.

For further information on degrees in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment:

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment,

(Pre-Vet studies is NOT a degree program.)

AVMA accredited schools:
American Veterinary Medical Association


Please do not write the schools of veterinary medicine at Auburn or Tuskegee for applications.

The book Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements in the United States and Canada is updated annually. Students are strongly encouraged to visit veterinary schools' direct websites for the most up-to-date information on requirements and statistics.

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Photo of horse skeletonPre-Vet Notes for UK students -

The pre-vet bulletin board is found down the hall from N-6, Ag. North. Here you will find information on pre-vet club meetings, help wanted, etc.

ALL pre-vet students being advised through UK must sign up for the pre-vet listserv:
Mail; the text of the message is subscribe ukprevet-L yourfirstname yourlastname. You must use your UK e-mail address.

Grade Point Averages:

  • A MINIMUM 2.5 GPA overall is required for your application to be considered for Auburn. A student with a GPA of 2.49999 will NOT be evaluated by the Auburn Veterinary Admissions Committee. Minimum GPA requirements vary among other vet schools. Average Overall GPA’s for admitted students is 3.45 - 3.65.

  • Advanced Placement credit should be cleared through Dr. Dwyer for applicability to Auburn & Tuskegee requirements. Students must check with all other veterinary schools on their acceptance of this type of credit.

  • All required courses must have a letter grade of a C or higher.

Veterinary experience is very important in your application. Having worked with a veterinarian and being able to obtain a letter of evaluation is practically mandatory. Ideally, students should have experience with small and large animals. The time to start is in high school, and continue through college.

Applications to veterinary school take place a year before anticipated starting of vet school. The majority of US vet schools participates in the Veterinary Medical School Application Service (VMCAS). Further information is available at:

Students interested in applying to veterinary schools other than Auburn and Tuskegee are responsible for obtaining application information directly from the school. The book Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements in the United States and Canada is highly recommended and provides general admission information. New yearly editions are available.

The following are additional courses which will be beneficial in vet school (not to be considered as Electives necessarily). Consult your undergraduate degree advisor to determine if these courses are applicable to University degree requirements.

BIO 542 Histology
BIO 563 Parasitology
BIO 573 Mycology
ASC 364 Repro Phys of Farm Animals
BIO 350 or ASC 325 Animal Physiology

BIO 494G Immunobiology
CLA 131 Medical Terminology
VS 350 Animal Anatomy and Physiology
VS 351 Diseases of Domestic Animals

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News from Auburn and Tuskegee Veterinary Schools
-as of June 28, 2013


As of June 28, 2013, Auburn no longer requires that organic chemistry and physics be taken within six years of the date of veterinary school application. 

Auburn still does require those courses to be taken, but the time limit has been dropped. Auburn does require 6 credits of selective science courses be taken within 6 years of application. See pre-vet advisor.

Please note that this is for Auburn’s veterinary school only.  For further information about this veterinary school, go to


Beginning with 2013 Fall applicants, Tuskegee has slightly changed their requirements.

For more information about Tuskegee’s veterinary school, go to

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Auburn Required Course List

Auburn Required Course List as of January 2016 (pdf).

This is subject to change. Always consult with a pre-vet advisor for complete information.

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Tuskegee Requirements

I English or Written Composition
II Humanities/Social Science
III Liberal Arts
IV Mathematics
V Biological & Physical Sciences
-Advanced Biology Classes (300 level and above)
-Bio-Chemistry with Lab
-Organic Chemistry with Lab
-Physics I and Physics II with Labs
-Science Electives (Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology, and others)
VI Animal Science
-Animal Nutrition
-Introduction to Animal Science


This is subject to change. Always consult with a pre-vet advisor for complete information.

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Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All applicants to Auburn University and Tuskegee University are required to complete the GRE revised General Test (verbal, quantitative and analytical).

It is highly recommended to study for the GRE by using study guide materials readily available at campus bookstores. 

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For more information contact:

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Maxwell H.Gluck Equine Research Center
Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0099

Main Office (859) 257-4757
Fax (859) 257-8542