The USC Upstate Pre-Veterinary Medicine program is an advisement track within the biology degree program. Students already having a degree and aiming for veterinary school should take courses that are required or recommended and that will best prepare them for taking the VCAT (Veterinary College Admission Test). Veterinary school admission is on a competitive basis. Important factors considered by Admission Committees are grade point averages (GPA), VCAT scores and letters of recommendation.
• Biology Major-Pre-Veterinary Medicine Suggested Plan of Study
VCAT (Veterinary College Admission Test) exam:
Pre-Vet students must start their math and chemistry sequences as soon as possible in order to take the VCAT exam at the appropriate time. Students must have organic chemistry and physics completed by the end of the junior year, as the VCAT exam should be taken the spring semester of the junior year or the fall semester of the senior year. Developmental math students may need an additional year of preparation.
The minimum core of courses that are needed before the VCAT is taken is:
Mathematics 126+127 (Precalculus) with Mathematics 141 (Calculus) recommended
Chemistry 111+112 (General Chemistry)
Chemistry 331+332 (Organic Chemistry)
Physics 201+202 OR Physics 211+212
As South Carolina has no in-state veterinary program, "South Carolina quotas" are available at the University of Georgia and Tuskegee University. The largest quota for South Carolina residents is at the University of Georgia. In addition to the VCAT, applicants to the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine program must also take the GRE, including the Analytical Writing portion. Recently accepted students from South Carolina had average GPA’s of 3.5-3.8, and averaged around 1200 on the V+Q portions of the GRE.
Pre-Vet students should complete their applications no later than October of the year before they expect to enter veterinary school.
In addition to the VCAT minimum core listed above, other courses that are recommended are: Comparative Anatomy (Biology 315), Microbiology (Biology 330), Cell Biology (Biology 302), Genetics (Biology 350), and Biochemistry (Biology 581+583L). Applicants must complete an additional eight hours of advanced biology courses from the above list.
S.C. residents interested in the University of Georgia Veterinary School need to contact the S.C. Pre-Veterinary Advisory Committee, which coordinates S.C. applicants. The address is:
Department of Animal Science
College of Agricultural Sciences
Clemson, SC 29631
S.C. applicants interested in Tuskegee University can apply directly to that school. Other universities with veterinary programs (e.g., North Carolina State University) may accept South Carolina residents but do not reserve any places for South Carolina residents.
For more information on veterinarians see the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.