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Best route to complete prerequisites for vet school if I have already graduated

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by LilMac, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. LilMac

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    If I am several years out of college and have already graduated with a bachelors in mechanical engineering but decided to follow my passion of becoming a vet, what is the best way to complete the prerequisite courses? Would I just be able to take courses at any university or enroll as a master's student? And if I enroll in a masters program, can i take the necessary undergrad courses during this program and how will my GPA be affected? Also, many schools require the prereq's to be within the last 8 years so how do i retake the ones I've already completed? Do I have to fully re-enroll as an undergrad? Similar to the first part of my question.
     
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  3. SkiOtter

    SkiOtter c/o 2022
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    Have you shadowed a vet before deciding this is for sure the path for you? If you haven’t, please do before you jump in and start taking prereqs.
     
  4. LilMac

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    I have not but am planning to. I just want to do my research into the academic side first to ensure it is even feasible for me so I do not waste a vet's time when qualifying for admission to vet school was never even in the cards for me.
     
  5. genny

    genny Cat not wolf
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    You probably won't be able to get vet school prereqs in a master's program, since they're undergraduate courses. The best way to take them depends on what you need to take and how fast you feel you can accomplish that. Different schools will have different requirements, so check with your in-state school for what they require first. They should also have class statistics published somewhere, so you know what GPA and GRE scores you should be trying to achieve. If I were you, I'd start with the "future students" section of your instate schools website to see if what they require and what they want in an applicant is something that you think you can do.
     
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  6. SkiOtter

    SkiOtter c/o 2022
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    A lot of the intro prereqs can be taken at a community college. Some have to be taken at a 4 year university for some schools and some community colleges won’t even have all the ones you’d need to take. Generally you’d enroll as a non-degree seeking student and wouldn’t be enrolling in a masters program. Check with some schools (especially your in state) you would be interested in and see their policies on course work times. Some don’t care how long it’s been, some do, some say they have a limit but can be flexible with it if you email and ask.
    Please make sure to shadow a vet before starting any prerequisites and dropping money into this field without knowing if you actually love it. You won’t be wasting a vets time as long as you are actually trying to see what the field is about versus just sitting there on your phone the whole day and not asking questions (at appropriate times) or showing any interest. Even if you decide this field isn’t for you, you won’t have wasted the vet’s time.
    Also make sure to look up the debt to income ratio in vet med and the average starting salary. The debt is terrifying especially for what you’ll make.
     
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  7. LilMac

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    That's very good to hear about the shadowing aspect, I'll definitely be looking into that in the near future. As to completing the courses i need however, I'll be looking to apply to vet school when I leave the military a few years down the road, so I'm just trying to figure out what type of program to enroll in for the prerequisites if I choose this path, whether that be a masters (unfortunately that does not sound like an option), enrolling as a non-degree student, or having to re-enroll somewhere to gain a second bachelors. Some of my previous coursework will be over 10 years past from my application date so I would most likely need to retake all 60 credits. I appreciate the responses and help.
     
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  8. SkiOtter

    SkiOtter c/o 2022
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    Assuming you do determine that this is the field for you,
    Even though it'd be over 10 years at that point, I’d still recommend contacting your IS and other schools you’re interested in closer to when you’d be applying and starting the classes. Yeah, they may say you need to retake all prereqs you’ve taken already, but they may not have a time limit or they may allow lower level prereqs to not be retaken.
    Also, as military some schools will offer you in state tuition, so when you get to starting the process, check with schools and see which still do because lower tuition costs are exciting and you’d want to make sure you take all the necessary prereqs so you had more opportunities for IS tuition.
     
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  9. StayingPositive2017

    StayingPositive2017 Michigan State CVM c/o 2022

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    You may not need to retake all. Many of mine were over ten years old and they were still accepted, it depends on the school, and you will need to ask each school.

    All of my science prereqs were taken after my bachelor's. Some where taken as a "graduate student - non degree seeking" and were very expensive but I could get federal loans. Then I took others at several community colleges but because I already had a BA, could not get fed loans but the classes were much cheaper. This meant I had to spread them out while working to pay for them. I recommend the community college way. PM me if you want to discuss further.
     
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  10. LilMac

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    Yeah definitely going to look into using the GI bill and in-state possibility for tuition costs. And thanks so much for the responses. I think I’ll probably look into the community college and “non-degree seeking student” possibilities to get these pre-req’s done. Sounds like those are about my only two options.
     
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  11. love2hunt

    love2hunt VMCVM c/o 2021
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    I was in your shoes 2 years ago. I took my classes through a community college and 2 online universities.
     
  12. britzen

    britzen The Miracle Noob VMCVM C/O 2022

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    You can do a structured post-baccalaureate certificate program also. Lots of them exist for career changers looking to apply to schools in the health professions. Most are geared toward people looking to apply to medical school, but the pre-reqs are largely the same for veterinary school; just make sure you double check for any differences.

    The 5-6 schools I was thinking about applying said they would accept some of my pre-reqs that were 15 years old, so don't worry about that too much unless there is a specific school you are intending to apply to that says they won't accept them. Generally if you've taken a higher level course more recently they seem to be ok with taking older prereqs. For example, I assume you had basic chemistry as a mechanical engineer, so if you take organic chemistry and do well in it they may not care that your general chemistry class is older.

    The cheapest route is definitely community college for most things and then take a few upper level classes as a non-degree student. I did a post-bacc because I was able to get scholarship money to do so, so that was ultimately cheaper for me.

    Also, if the military still does tuition assistance for active duty members you should look into that. Assuming you have time to take a class while working full time, you could start taking any missing pre-reqs now and have the military pay for them before you get out and then save your GI Bill for later.

    Many of the pre-reqs can be done online, again through a community college of your choice or through an online program. I know several people on this forum (love2hunt included, I think) took them through UNE online because they have a specific program for medical pre-requisites. I'm sure there are others, and its worth asking the education office on your base if it's a possibility.

    That said, not all vet schools will accept online classes or may only accept some types or only a certain number per semester, so double check with programs you are interested in. You may have to retake a few if you pursue online classes now, but if you've taken them once already it should be a piece of cake after you ETS.
     
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  13. EngrSC

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    I also originally studied engineering and am just about done with my pre-reqs. How you take your pre-reqs is going to depend on where you live. When I started I was living in Southern California and it was hard to get classes. I took my gen bios and gen chems at a community college but because I already had a degree I had the lowest priority registration. This meant I had to crash a class every single semester and it royally sucked because there were semesters I didn’t get in. If I had taken them at one of two state schools near me I could do that as a non-degree seeking student BUT that also meant I registered last and had to crash (and it was more expensive that way). I looked into enrolling at the state school as a post-bacc student and both required I go through the application process and have approval from a faculty member within the department of my “major”. I didn’t bother looking at private schools in my area because I wanted to pay cash for my classes so I didn’t rack up student loans.

    Fast forward a couple years ... my husband is active duty and we PCS’d to the east coast. I was able to enroll at a local 4-year university as a post-bacc student relatively easily. They classify me as a senior due to the number of credits I have so I register first. It has no longer been a struggle to get classes, though I have no intention of finishing the bachelors program I’m technically enrolled in (it would require me to take classes that I don’t think would benefit me like ecology, as an example). Anyway, because we’re here on military orders I was able to get a military waiver for tuition purposes so I pay the resident rate rather than non-resident. I do qualify for financial aid because I’m enrolled in a degree program but unfortunately don’t qualify because both my husband and I work. There are a couple schools in this area I could attend but ultimately I chose the least expensive since I’m paying out of pocket (though I do qualify for student loans).

    Also, my husband rolled his GI bill to me but we’re saving it for if I get into vet school, as that is infinitely more expensive than the post-bacc coursework I’m doing now. I’ve only been taking science classes and have not retaken gen eds because that is not required for the schools I intend on applying to.

    You can PM me if you have specific questions about what I’ve done. It’s been a LONG A$$ road for me because I’ve continued to work full time in engineering and had such a difficult time getting classes in California but I’m FINALLY applying next year! But like others have said above, get in with a vet before you waste money on classes so you are certain this is what you want!
     
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  14. mht2k3

    mht2k3 PennVet c/o 2021
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    dont do a structured post-bac program, there is no point. Just take the classes that you need to apply at a community college / local college. whatever is cheapest/easiest with your schedule. most colleges will let you take courses as a non degree seeking student.
     
  15. Keri

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    I just completed my military contract as well and can share some stories if you'd like to message me. I got my BS in 2010 and faced a lot of the same hurdles you're currently up against-- specifically getting veterinary experience, making up prerequisites, and finding schools that will honor chemistry and physics credits from 06 and 07...
     
  16. wannabeDVM123

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    I just went through this - my undergrad degrees were in finance and economics, so zero science pre-reqs. I took the lower levels at a local, reputable community college. The upper levels I took at a few different schools - try looking for 4 years near you that have extension programs. For instance, the University of Texas has an extension program so you can take courses from UT without having to enroll as a student, and you get a bona fide UT transcript. Another school I used was Colorado State - they have for-credit online courses that you also don't have to enroll as a student for.
     
  17. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers no wake up time. sleepy time.
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    You say you don't want to waste a vet's time volunteering/shadowing before you know if it's possible for you to (academically) get in to vet school.

    Well, we think that you should not waste YOUR time (and money) on a career that you aren't extremely familiar with, first. So... we're worried about you here. Having a shadow doesn't take that much time. Try your best to make it happen.
     
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  18. britzen

    britzen The Miracle Noob VMCVM C/O 2022

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    I finished my prereqs faster, cheaper. And with a better schedule by doing a post bacc than I would have at the local community college near me. That may not be true for you but saying there is "no point" is not universally true. It an option for OP to look into.

    Possible advantages to structured post-baccs:

    1. Ability to get more credits for your money - if you are a non degree seeking student you will pay by the credit hour. Full time students who are in structured programs pay the equivalent of 12 credit hours but can take up to 16 credits

    2. Ability to apply for some types of grant money or scholarships and the possibility of using the GI Bill for military service members.

    3. Priority registration for classes because you will have senior standing. Non degree students register last. Even freshman get to register before them.

    4. Access to campus resources like pre-health advising offices. I never used mine but could have met with counselors or done practice interviews through them.



    Sent from my SM-G892U using SDN mobile
     
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  19. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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    Not to mention it will always be possible to get the academic requirements. Many many people go back to school and get them, it will always be possible, you won't be blocked from going to school to get the courses you need. It may not be possible in the exact way the OP is hoping, but there will always be a way to get those courses.

    You need to see this field first. I'd shadow before worrying about exactly how you'll go about getting the courses because there will be a way to do so. However, you may find after shadowing that you don't actually want to move forward.
     
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