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Pre-Professional Programs: Pre-Veterinary

General Information

The course requirements and other requirements (non-course) for those students attending Central Washington Univeristy who plan on applying to veterinary school are listed below. CWU does not offer a degree in veterinary medicine or veterinary technician programs but does offer the prerequisite courses necessary for successful admission to those programs.

IMPORTANT: This list is based on the requirements for Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Each of the 28 veterinary schools in the United States has its own requirements. You must check to be sure that these courses will meet the admission requirements for each veterinary school to which you apply.

Course Requirements: 

BIOL 181, 183, and 183 (General Biology)
CHEM 181, 182, and 183 (General Chemistry)
MATH 153 and 154 (Precalculus I and II)
BIOL 213 (Quantitative Methods)
PHYS 111, 111Lab, 112, 112Lab (Introductory Physics)
BIOL 321 (Genetics)
CHEM 361, 361Lab, 362 (Organic Chemistry)
CHEM 431, 431Lab, 432 (Biochemistry)

Other Recommended Courses: 

BIOL 320 (Cellular Biology)
BIOL 323 (Microbiology)
BIOL 352 (Parasitology)
BIOL 353 (Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy)
BIOL 354 (General Vertebrate Embryology)
BIOL 421 (General Virology)
BIOL 422 (Immunology)
BIOL 426 (Medical Microbiology)
BIOL 454 (Histology)
BIOL 455 (Zoophysiology)


  • Take the BIOL 181, 182, and 183 and CHEM 181, 182, and 183 in your first year.
  • You should also take MATH 153 and BIOL 213 in your first year as BIOL 213 is a pre-requisite for most 300-level biology courses.
  • PHYS 111, 111Lab, 112 and 112Lab can be taken in your second (or later) years.

Other Requirements:

  • Experience is necessary! Volunteer and/or work experience in the field is necessary to get into veterinary school. A breadth of experience (e.g. small animal and large animal, research and animal care) is an asset. WSU (and other schools) require that a veterinarian write one of the letters of recommendation that will accompany your application.
  • You will need to take the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) before you apply to veterinary school. This is an international standardized exam. Preparation for the exam is highly recommended.
  • Most pre-veterinary students use the courses above to complete a B.S. degree. Some veterinary schools do not require a Bachelor's degree to be completed first but may have additional general education requirements for those without a Bachelor's degree. For example, WSU requires 6 semester-hours of English composition/Communication and 21 semester-hours of Arts and Humanities/Social Science/History.

Additional Notes:

  • Acceptance into veterinary schools is very competitive. For example, for the 2008 class at WSU, 98 of 1,070 applicants were accepted. Those accepted had a average GPA 3.57, an average science GPA of 3.47, and average GRE scores above the 57th percentile.
  • Applications for veterinary programs are typically early in the fall for admission in the fall of the following year - check the deadline for each school to which you will apply.
  • Because most CWU preveterinary students apply to WSU's excellent program in veterinary medicine, here is the link to their admissions page: College of Veterinary Medicine, Prospective Students (
  • There is an active pre-veterinary club at CWU that organizes activities, including educational and training opportunities in the field of veterinary medicine. Please contact the pre-veterinary advisor if you are interested in joining the club.

The Pre-Veterinary advisor at CWU is:

Dr. Jason Irwin 
Department of Biological Sciences 
Science 338D
(509) 963-2884