Preparing for Veterinary School in High School

Veterinary Schools do not take High School coursework into consideration for eligibility.  It is recommended that prospective students take college preparation courses necessary for the freshman admission into an undergraduate institution.  For detailed information on undergraduate admission at NC State University, please visit

AP courses can help in fulfilling prerequisites.  However, AP courses are not considered when calculating grade point averages.  The applicant’s undergraduate institution must list the AP course by name on its transcript indicating the number of credits granted.

Applicants should focus on acquiring veterinary and animal experience in four major areas: small animal, large animal, exotic animal, and research. Applicants should try to gain at least 400 hours of experience in each of these four areas. On the veterinary application, VMCAS has many different categories under which experience may be categorized (for example, categories will include food animal; mixed animal; species specific categories such as swine, equine, bovine; and many others). It is not expected that an applicant gain significant experience in every area.

Hours can be documented both electronically or manually recorded in a notebook or binder. The VetPAC Portfolio Builder is a great resource to electronically save and categorize hours. Please use this link to view the VetPAC Porfolio Builder

According to the NCSU-CVM website, “Veterinary Experience”  includes clinical, medical, agribusiness, health science, or medical-related scientific research completed under the supervision of a veterinarian (or PhD if scientific research). The experience can be either paid or voluntary, and supervised experiences in three or more different areas are highly recommended for a competitive application. Applicants’ experiences are evaluated on duration, level of duties, and diversity.

According to the NCSU-CVM website, “Animal Experience” includes all other animal-related experiences. This includes working with livestock, breeding or showing dogs, employment at a zoo, aquarium or pet shop, equestrian activities, and volunteering at an animal shelter/rescue. This does not include experience gained from owning pet. These experiences are evaluated much the same as Veterinary Experience with a duration of at least 400 hours being highly recommended, and there is preference for having experience in 3 different areas (i.e. small animal, large animal, equine, research, exotics). For more information, please visit NCSU-CVM’s website via this link

High school and transfer visitors can schedule a meeting by registering via the Spend-A-Day-At-State website: SADAS.