Academic Requirements

Academic Requirements

Although most Washington College students who plan to attend veterinary school major in Biology or another natural science, you may choose any major offered by the College. 

In addition to the courses required for the chosen major and for graduation from Washington College, students will need to take those courses that are commonly required for admission to veterinary schools. Many of these courses also satisfy some of the requirements of various majors, especially majors in the Natural Sciences, and some satisfy college distribution requirements.

Because some of the courses needed for admission to veterinary school have one or more prerequisites—and because students who want to attend veterinary school in the academic year after graduation from Washington College will normally need to complete the courses necessary for professional school admission by the end of the junior year—students should begin to map their future coursework during their first academic advising meeting. The timing of the chemistry courses (a five-course, five-semester sequence) is especially important.

The courses required for veterinary school admission vary from school to school, but these courses are required for 50% or more of all veterinary schools:

  • General Biology I and II w/lab (BIO 111, 112)
  • Chemical Principles of Organic Molecules (CHE 120)
  • Reactions of Organic Molecules (CHE 140)
  • Quantitative Chemical Analysis (CHE 220)
  • Chemistry of the Elements (CHE 240)
  • Biochemistry w/lab (BIO 409/CHE 309)
  • College Physics I and II w/lab (PHY 101, 102) or General Physics I and II w/lab (PHY 111,112)
  • Two Math courses (Typically MAT 109 and MAT 111)
  • Two English courses (ENG 101 is recommended)
  • Social Science courses 
  • Humanities courses

In addition, 35-45% of veterinary schools require:

  • Microbiology w/ Lab (BIO 203) 
  • Genetics w/ Lab (BIO 209)

Sample course planning worksheet

Given the variation in required courses from program to program and school to school (some schools have additional requirements; some have fewer requirements; some recommend certain courses), students should consult the web sites of individual schools and the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements

Those students who plan to attend a veterinary school in the academic year following graduation from Washington College (without one or more gap years) must be aware that the hierarchical nature of the chemistry courses needed for admission to veterinary school requires them to take CHE 120/140 in the first year, CHE 220/240 in the second year, and Biochemistry (BIO 409/CHE 309) in the fall of the third year. Students who elect not to take Chemistry in the first year will normally not be able to apply to veterinary school without taking a gap year.

The chemistry courses CHE 120/140/220/240 are the equivalent of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Students may fulfill the physics requirement for veterinary schools by taking either the algebra­-based physics course [College Physics I and II (PHY 101, 102)] or the calculus­-based physics course [General Physics I and II (PHY 111, 112)]. Those students planning a major in Physics or in Chemistry with ACS­ certification need to take the calculus-­based physics sequence (PHY 111, 112), as PHY 101/102 will not satisfy the requirements for their major.