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limited undergrad program

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by majestysnowbird, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. majestysnowbird

    majestysnowbird /yo/

    Sep 17, 2014
    New England
    Hi everyone! This is my first post and forums intimidate me so I will try to do this as best as I can.

    I am currently a senior in high school and I am planning on majoring in biology while also fulfilling pre-vet requirements in college. One of my top choices for an undergrad school right now is Emmanuel College, a very small private school in Boston. I am worried that the small size with no animal science or zoology classes--and also little to no pre-vet advising--will hinder my pre-vet education and possibly my chances into vet school? My other top choice (though much farther away) is Ohio State University. That, of course, has so much to offer in regards to animal sciences because of its size and the fact that it is a vet school.

    Will this really be a problem? Or does undergrad not matter as long as you have a great GPA, lots of hours with animal experience, etc. If I went to EC, would I basically have to find volunteering/shadowing through veterinarians around the city for experience?

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. Shepherd Lover

    Shepherd Lover Purdue c/o 2019 2+ Year Member

    Jun 30, 2014
    Bloomington, IN
    As long as you complete all your pre-reqs, vet experience, ect while keeping good grades it doesn't matter where you go. I actually specifically chose not to complete my undergraduate degree at the college I want to attend for veterinary school both to save money and to diversify my life experiences by living in two different areas and attending two different institutions. That just appealed to me much more than spending 8 years in the same place.
    equineconstant likes this.
  4. that redhead

    that redhead Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2010
    Welcome to SDN :)

    You will have to create your own opportunities with vets (because hours with a vet are much more important than just animal experience) outside of school no matter which school you choose to attend, so I wouldn't let that alone be the deciding factor. As for pre-vet advising, it can be really hit or miss. I would count on your own research to guide your path to vet school; too many people listen to their advisor who often doesn't understand the process and end up lacking the knowledge and confidence to apply.
  5. majestysnowbird

    majestysnowbird /yo/

    Sep 17, 2014
    New England
    Thank you so much for your responses! This will help out a lot.

    The only reason I was considering OSU was because it was from my home state and it could be cheap for me, not necessarily because it had a vet school. I see what you mean about diversifying college experience and that is what I want to do as well!

    And thanks for the info about advising. That was something I really had no clue how important or not it was.
  6. LetItSnow

    LetItSnow Skipping the light fandango Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    Plymouth, MN, USA
    The problem with pre-vet advising is what TRH said - it can be super hit or miss. And as a pre-vet, you don't really know whether you've got an informed PRE-VET advisor or whether it's someone who was just asked to handle it because they handle all the pre-med advising and gee, it must all be the same, right? The bottom line is that to come out a strong candidate you need to do your own research, which you're doing.

    I'm with the others - there's nothing wrong with either of those choices (the smaller school vs OSU). OSU may have volunteer opportunities at its teaching hospital (I don't know!), which might give it an edge if I were debating between the two. But as long as you find ways to build experience that's a minor point, yanno?
    that redhead and Shepherd Lover like this.
  7. majestysnowbird

    majestysnowbird /yo/

    Sep 17, 2014
    New England
    Thank you LetItSnow. I think I will just have to see what school ends up giving me more money and just go from there.
    LetItSnow likes this.
  8. Karabiner13

    Karabiner13 Ohio State c/o 2018 Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    I went to a small Christian college in the middle of no where western, NY. While they have a very strong biology program there isn't much for animal science zoology (it's pre-med oriented). I also had an advisor who was supposed to be pre-vet but was more just there as someone I needed a signature from to sign up for classes. I say all this so you know it is possible to get into vet school going to a school like that. I had to look at what classes I would need to take for the pre-reqs and I had to find someplace to get experience hours. Now I am a first year and loving it.

    Go wherever it feels right to go and as long as you get the grades, experience, and pre-reqs you'll have a chance.
    equineconstant likes this.
  9. Fly Racing

    Fly Racing 2+ Year Member

    Jan 22, 2012
    My school was like that too. They also only offer biochem every 4 semesters, which led me to take it online. I also took Animal nutrition and animal genetics online through Oklahoma State. In my experience, the vet schools understand many students must take animal nutrition and/or biochem online in order to complete the requirement. I did take one year at my state school and took micro, physiology and physics with 240-300 other students. I actually feel like I did better at a small school. Class sizes of 10-20 is where I really thrived. I'm a audio learner, so a small class with regular dialog between the students and professor allowed me to learn the material significantly better than simply listening to lecture. I was far more prepared for my vet courses related to the courses I took at the smaller school. While not everyone will have the same experience, for me the benefits of the small school far out weighed anything I might have been missing at the larger school.

    Another thing I think future pre-vet students should really consider when selecting an undergrad institution is the schools proximity to many vet offices. Veterinary experience and subsequent letters of recommendation are more important than the size of the school, since the later is not even included in the application ;). Additionally, financials is obvious consideration, but also consider which school is better overall fit for you. Most people perform better some school more than others and I think it comes down to knowing what one needs in life to be content and stay motivated. For me personally those factors included, warm weather, close proximity to good barns, vets and farriers for my horse (or I'll occupy on my time with my horse), living in a bigger city and not feeling over isolated in a "college town" type place. Being academically successful is easier when other things aren't on your mind and some things are more important than others. These will be things that only you can determine, but your gut feeling about a school will help you find a place you'll feel content.
  10. equineconstant

    equineconstant Purple & Gold 2017 5+ Year Member

    May 16, 2012
    On the other hand, there's no reason you have to get vet experience during the school year. I got all my vet experience when I was home for summers and winter break (and even a summer abroad), since I didn't have a car in undergrad.

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