Before you dismiss this post and say, “Well, that’s obvious!” take a moment to read on and question your judgment. Believe it or not, getting in to vet school is not just about proving that you are competent enough to handle the course material. Rather, it is about demonstrating that you are a unique individual that would bring some sort of diversity to the profession.
When admissions committees go through stacks of hundreds, if not thousands, of applications, the last thing that is going to make you stand out is being a pre-vet major (same goes for animal sciences, biology, etc). I am sure that if you want to go to vet school then science probably interesting to you and you may really enjoy taking science courses. However, you may want to consider how majoring in something atypical may help you stand out amongst thousands of applicants!
As a psychology major, I was confident that I would have an edge when it came to applications because I was not the typical applicant. I demonstrated in my application how my major (and work experience in the field) would make me uniquely equipped to handle the various personalities of the clients I would encounter as a veterinarian.
Also, don’t worry about whether you’ll be able to complete all of the science courses and major courses in time! A friend of mine used this approach when he applied to medical school. He decided he would take all of the science courses required for admission to med school, but major in religious studies instead of pre-med or biology. He was easily able to complete his major and of the pre-requisite science courses without a problem in 4 years, and he got into medical school.
- Stand out by choosing an atypical major…but choose something that is both interesting to you and something that you can relate to veterinary medicine. And believe me, it is not hard to relate other majors to vet med! Religious Studies, Economics, Politics, Philosophy – these are all majors that are so relatable! You will stand out with these majors!
- Demonstrate your desirable qualities by explaining your decisions. Address why you chose that major and what it will do for you in vet med in your application. This might be best suited to the personal statement or to the explanation section, but nonetheless, it should be included so as to demonstrate your thoughtfulness as well as to eradicate any thoughts in the admissions committee’s minds that you are unfocused or uncertain about your career path. Just remember – they only know what you tell them. If you don’t explain a decision, you are leaving that up to interpretation!