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University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program

PreVet Students

Thinking about the Pre-Vetrinary program at UH Mānoa?

Whether you're in High School, attending UH, or already looking to apply to veterinary schools, let us help you! You'll find helpful guides, information, and other aides throughout the page.

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Veterinary Medicine is an amazing profession that is responsible for the health and well-being of all animals ranging from companion animals, farm animals and wildlife to marine mammals, exotics and laboratory animals. 

The pre-veterinary medicine program is not a degree granting major, it is an advising program to better prepare University of Hawaii at Manoa students for applying to veterinary school. Dr. Ashley Stokes is the dedicated pre-veterinary advisor to help you prepare for application to veterinary school admission. The advisor’s responsibility is to provide you with information and resources to improve your knowledge regarding the admissions process, including admission requirements, application steps and other requirements.

Each veterinary school has its own specific admission requirements, but a strong foundation in the sciences, effective communication skills, and a passion for lifelong learning are keys to success. Advising from the Pre-Veterinary program is beneficial to you but ultimately it is up to you to take your academics seriously and put forth the considerable effort required to ensure your admittance to veterinary school. The day that you receive your veterinary diploma and can call yourself a member of the veterinary profession, you’ll look back at all the hard work and sacrifice and know that it was all worth it.

Hawaii does not have a veterinary school but is part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) that allows for a limited number of students to attend veterinary schools that are part of WICHE and pay in-state tuition. The veterinary schools that actively participate in the WICHE program are Washington State University, Oregon State University, and Colorado State University.  Students that attend veterinary schools in non-WICHE states will pay out-of-state tuition. Currently, there are 28 US veterinary schools and each has unique admission standards and requirements; therefore students must consult information from each school they are planning to apply for admission.  The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has on-line resources for all of the US veterinary schools and provides information regarding the application process.

Applying for Veterinary School Admission

Since 1995, the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has provided centralized distribution, collection and processing for applications for veterinary medical colleges. The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) provides this service. VMCAS provides a common application for all 28 US veterinary medical schools and 14 international veterinary medical schools. Links to each of the VMCAS-affiliated veterinary schools are available.

While the VMCAS program provides a common application service, each veterinary school has unique requirements for admission. It is important that pre-veterinary students review the specific course and application requirements for ALL of the veterinary schools, they anticipate submitting applications. The VMCAS has links to specific requirements for each of participating veterinary medical college. VMCAS also provides a summary of course prerequisites and specific details of required courses for each affiliated institution. VMCAS provides a “Frequently Asked Questions” for application to veterinary school.

All VMCAS application materials (web application and evaluations) are due on October 1, 2010 by 12:00 noon Eastern Time.

FIeld trip

Standardized Testing

Colleges of Veterinary Medicine require standardized testing as part of the application process. Depending on the college, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required. Some colleges accept scores from either exam, however, some scores older than two or three years, may not be accepted.  International applicants may also be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language and/or other English proficiency tests.   It is important that all applicants read all application instructions and contact selected institutions directly for more information about all standardized test requirements.  The Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) is no longer administered and available. Contact your schools to see if past VCAT test scores will be accepted.

Supplemental Applications

Most of the participating VMCAS colleges require a supplemental application and supplemental fee to process your application. Supplemental applications and fees are submitted directly to the college. Information about specific supplemental applications is provided here.

Letters of Recommendation

VMCAS provides an “Electronic Letter of Recommendation” service as part of the common application. Referees can submit letters of recommendation electronically through the eLOR system. Carefully read all instructions in the VMCAS Web application about submission of letters of recommendation. All evaluations are due to VMCAS on October 1, 2010 by 12:00 noon Eastern Time. Evaluation requirements vary by institution; consult the College Specifications page and the schools’ website prior to sending the VMCAS evaluation form to your evaluators for specific requirements.

Transcripts

Read the application materials specific to the schools you are applying. Submit official transcripts to the schools directly as instructed by the specific college instructions.

Selecting Coursework

A bachelor’s degree is NOT required for admission into veterinary school.  However, only the most exceptional students are accepted these days without a bachelor of sciences degree. Course selection requires a balance between fulfilling veterinary college requirements and completing the requirements for a degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Course requirements differ among veterinary colleges. There are common requirements but some schools may require courses that are not required for your degree program. For example, some veterinary schools require a full year of physics with labs, whereas others may require only a single semester of physics. The same is true for chemistry, while all veterinary schools require a year of inorganic chemistry (with labs); some schools only require a semester of organic chemistry, whereas others require a full year.  It is important that the student take all the required courses for the veterinary schools he/she is applying to, while also meeting the course requirements for their degree program.  

The pre-veterinary advisor can provide guidance on the appropriate courses to take to fulfill the specific requirements for veterinary school and the degree requirements for the student’s course of study.

Field Trip

Animal Experience

Experience working with animals is also required. Experience working and/or volunteering in a veterinary hospital or clinic provides the applicant with a clear understanding about the practice of veterinary medicine and an opportunity to observe and participate in clinical procedures and case studies. It also provides for an opportunity for the student to meet, get to know and obtain through satisfactory work experience, a letter of recommendation from a practicing veterinarian. 

Experience with animals is not limited to experience in a veterinary hospital or clinic; applicants can obtain a wide variety of animal experience through working or volunteering in organizations that work with animals. Organizations such as the Honolulu Zoo, Hawaiian Humane Society or neighbor island humane shelters, Waikiki Aquarium, Sea Life Park, or at any of the University of Hawaii animal facilities, such as Laboratory Animal Service can provide meaningful animal experience. Research with animals as part of directed study with faculty at the University of Hawaii can also be applied to animal experience. Youth experience with animals such as the 4-H or FFA livestock programs can also provide experience.

The Pre-Vet Club

PreVet Club Logo

Sponsored by the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, the Pre-Vet Club is open to all students with interests in veterinary medicine. The mission of the Pre-Vet club is to provide a forum for promoting the introduction of students to opportunities and information related to animals and veterinary medicine. In addition, they strive to support our community and encourage student involvement on campus. Contact the Pre-Vet club at prevet@hawaii.edu

Scholarships

For a listing of scholarships see the scholarship page on the HNFAS web site.  In particular, the Charles H. Reid DVM Memorial Scholarship is available for Pre-Vet Students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa only. Applications are usually available on November 15 of each year and are due on March 15. There is also a Charles H. Reid Freshman Scholarship for incoming (to the University of Hawaii at Manoa) pre-vet students, due February 1.

Career Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians should love animals but also be able to get along with their owners.  Veterinarians diagnose and treat diseases and dysfunctions of animals.  Specifically, they care for the health of pets, livestock and animals in zoos, racetracks and laboratories. Some veterinarians use their skills to protect humans against zoonotic diseases (those diseases carried by animals and transmitted to humans). Other veterinarians conduct clinical and basic research on human and animal health problems. The majority of veterinarians that work in private medical practice treat pets; not only dogs and cats but birds, reptiles, rabbits, ferrets and other animals that can be kept at pets. Smaller proportions of veterinarians work in a food animal or equine practice where they diagnose and treat farm animals and horses, respectively. Veterinarians also contribute to human and animal health, conducting clinical and basic research or working in food safety and inspection. Veterinarians also work in food security through border inspection, or foreign animal disease prevention.