NotAngie

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Dec 11, 2008
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So, I decided earlier this year that I'd really like to go to vet school. After doing my research and volunteering at a clinic I'm even more convinced it's what I want.

At first I felt like I need to do everything RIGHT NOW. Take the GRE, register for classes, start volunteering. It has to be done YESTERDAY!

But the more I've been thinking about it the more I'm doubting that choice.

I've been considering maybe taking a slower path to vet school and wondered what you all thought.

I have a well paying full time job. I am set to take my first class through the Science in the Evening program this fall. I have a volunteer position at a clinic.

If I continue taking one class a semester and volunteering only a few hours a week it will take me 4-5 years at least to get all my pre-reqs in. But while I'm doing that, I could also be saving money like a fiend. The idea of having a bunch of money in the bank when I start vet school is very appealing to me.

But will vet schools look down on this? Is it not rigorous enough?

I could continue this schedule for several years and then the year to year and a half before I apply I could start working only part time and taking more classes and working more in vet situations to show that I can handle the intense schedule.

I just wonder if doing it slowly would be a detriment to me at all.
 

shortnsweet

Just Keep Swimming
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So, I decided earlier this year that I'd really like to go to vet school. After doing my research and volunteering at a clinic I'm even more convinced it's what I want.

At first I felt like I need to do everything RIGHT NOW. Take the GRE, register for classes, start volunteering. It has to be done YESTERDAY!

But the more I've been thinking about it the more I'm doubting that choice.

I've been considering maybe taking a slower path to vet school and wondered what you all thought.

I have a well paying full time job. I am set to take my first class through the Science in the Evening program this fall. I have a volunteer position at a clinic.

If I continue taking one class a semester and volunteering only a few hours a week it will take me 4-5 years at least to get all my pre-reqs in. But while I'm doing that, I could also be saving money like a fiend. The idea of having a bunch of money in the bank when I start vet school is very appealing to me.

But will vet schools look down on this? Is it not rigorous enough?

I could continue this schedule for several years and then the year to year and a half before I apply I could start working only part time and taking more classes and working more in vet situations to show that I can handle the intense schedule.

I just wonder if doing it slowly would be a detriment to me at all.
There is nothing wrong with saving money and getting more experience before you apply!! Taking the time to fully understand the profession and making sure it is what you want to do is exactly what vet schools want to see. They want to see that after years and lots of experience, this is still what you want to do! And people take all sorts of paths to get to vet school...just look at all of the amazing stories on this forum!!!!

As for the taking classes part, I would say at some point you'll need to show them that you can handle a more rigorous course load. Maybe for now while you're getting your feet wet in the sciences, and still working full time, that nightly class works perfectly for you! But at some point, like you mentioned above, most vet schools do want to make sure you can handle taking on that more intensive workload every semester.

Best of luck to you!!!!!!!
 

sumstorm

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I don't think a slow process is bad or wrong, but here are some caveats.

1) will your prereqs expire?

2) will you be able to, at some point, prove you can handle a heavy academic course load?

3) do you make enough at your current position to justify the delay vs the income you will make after entering vet med?

4) if you are considering specialties/etc thing about internships/residencies, and the time that will tack on

5) also consider thta delays in starting = delays in practicing.

Other than that, I am returning almost a decade after undergrad. It is possible, but it does involve different stressors. I understand the challenging balance in saving money/having money/returning to school. Best wishes.
 

luplodw

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Jun 13, 2009
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A lot of vet schools will not take prerequisites older than 5 years. If you do plan on doing it this way, make SURE you make A's in the hardest of classes to show that you can do well in academics (It's the least you can do to show you can handle it if your schedule is not very hard). Also I would try to make my work/school schedule more rigorous earlier rather than later because the classes get harder as time goes on! Work more and take more classes sooner and then ease off the work when the classes get harder. GPA is probably the most important aspect of your application, and it's extremely hard to bring back up. Plan ahead and make sure you don't make a mistake overloading yourself! Oh and most vet schools look at your GPA of your last 45 hours of classes so you want that to be really good. It's better to do worse at the beginning and then improve!
 

calioutlaw1a

UC Davis Class of 2013
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As others have stated, showing the application committee that you can handle a challenging workload and still do well is very important. Just make sure that you do very well in those courses that you are taking one at a time.

But I think the bigger concern here should not be to impress your vet school, but rather if you can in fact handle a large workload. You won't really know until you are taking several intense courses at once.
 

nyanko

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A lot of vet schools will not take prerequisites older than 5 years.
I don't know about "a lot" and some are like 8 years instead of 5 years, but the point is the same - be sure to research the schools you're considering and see if the prerequisites will expire after a certain time.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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I hope those pre-reqs aren't the general education courses. I am currently in community college getting both my higher and lower GED courses so by the time I transfer to 4-year university (Cal Poly Pomona), I will just have animal science based courses and be able to focus on getting experience in the field.

I won't be done for another 1-2 years, should I be worried about not being quick enough to transfer or are the pre-reqs mainly focused on the animal science courses? I definitely don't see myself applying to vet school for at least another 4-5 years.
 

twelvetigers

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Pre-requisite courses are listed specifically for each school. These usually include biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, biochem, physics, some sort of math, a base level english or two...

These will not include history, government... although there's at least one school that looks for a humanities course and stuff like that.

Long story short, look at what the required courses are for each school you're considering. While you're there, look at when these courses expire. Both will vary from school to school.
 

Caninerepro

Minnesota CVM 2013
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As far as pre-req's expiring, my basic biology and chemistry classes were as much as 15 years old when I applied, but I did have 2 1/2 years of upper-division and graduate level science courses that I had just taken right before applying. I did not have any schools call my older classes out, so there may be some leway on time if you do have a more recent history as well.
 
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NotAngie

NotAngie

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Dec 11, 2008
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The schools that I plan on applying to, and more importantly, my first choice and in state school doesn't have a policy on prerequisites expiring.

Thanks for the responses.