Nov 17, 2013
32
24
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hey! I'm new around here because I'm trying to figure my life out. I am currently in a MS program for geology, supported by a research grant, and I do not like it at all. In my undergrad, I was a chem major for a while, but I ended up a geology major who went to OSU for geology. Turns out, I really liked geology for the people in my department and I really don't like my research group/research environment/my research itself.

One thing I've always loved was animals, biology, and chemistry. I've ridden horses for years and had animals/a farm for years. I haven't done an internship/shadowed at a vet, but I'm currently exploring that option. With my own animals, I've given shots and medications to my cats/dogs/horses. With my poultry, I've done basically all vet care including minor surgery for bumblefoot. We've been through fox attacks several times, which I took care of them after. The only thing I haven't done for them was amputated my chicken's leg, which I did the aftercare for. I love taking care of animals, and I think I could be very passionate about being a vet.

My current plan is shadow a vet, confirm I like it, and then start taking classes at OSU to complete my requirements, while finishing my geology degree (because they're paying me to do it, and I committed). I've taken physics, orgo 1 and 2, and biochem. I know that helps, but I have a lot to catch up on. I have some questions on that front.

I had a REALLY bad freshman year in college because of medical issues, so I have a C in intro chem and B- in biology. However, subsequent classes I did well in, such as biochemsitry and orgo1/2. Should I retake intro chem and bio?

How interested are vet schools in non-traditional students, anyways? I'd be finishing up my coursework at OSU, which I know has a good vet school. Would that help my chances at all?

Any advice would be appreciated. I thought about pre-vet a pretty long time ago, and I've been thinking about it for a while now and it sounds right. I've LOVED animals all my life and have always been interested in being a vet.
 
May 9, 2013
279
117
New York, NY
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hi! First of all good luck and welcome :)

Personally, I don't think you need to retake intro chem and bio. I heard vet schools like to see a curve upwards when it comes to grades and it sounds like you had that. If you had good grades in all else and have a good gpa, (above or around 3.5 maybe?) I wouldn't worry too much about it. (Omg u did well in orgo? Congrats! Lol, currently struggling through orgo) Even a gpa below 3.5 does not mean you won't get in. But above 3.5 helps.

It sounds like you have all the prereqs? What prereqs you have left? I would just make sure getting A's in all the prereqs left that you have to take. I think that should be enough to show that your freshman year was not the norm when it comes to your academics. Also, with a good GRE score you can balance out those classes, or your gpa.

As far as I know, a masters degree might help because it will differentiate you from other candidates. That being said, I think vet schools do not necessarily see being a non-traditional student as good, or bad. But I am not sure, perhaps you will get better answers from people who have first hand experience :)
 

jmo1012

SGU (NCSU) c/o 2015!
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2011
3,453
1,330
Under the Sea
Status
Veterinarian
i have nothing useful to add but i've been stalking watching Nautilus explore volcanoes and the ocean with ROVs wishing that i had a job that would put me on a boat doing amazing stuff like that (lots of geoscientists aboard).

also for what its worth, there are several vet schools that would require you to finish that masters before matriculating anyway so just tell yourself that you have to complete the program to go to vet school :) more motivating perhaps?
 
OP
geologist
Nov 17, 2013
32
24
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Regarding prereqs, I need another semester of intro bio, microbio, and other random things. Not a lot, definitely. I went to a pretty tough school and was in a department with no curve, so my GPA is only okay (3.0) but it does have the upward trend. I don't know if my GRE's are strong or not, I got a 89% for verbal and 74% for math - a 162 and a 158, respectively.

Also, I'm definitely not dropping out of my program - everyone needs a backup plan! :) A masters is only 2 years, which is about the time I'd need to get everything in order to apply, I think. Geology is VERY cool and I used to love it, but the environment I'm in now is not very fun.
 
Nov 6, 2013
81
35
Hey! I'm new around here because I'm trying to figure my life out. I am currently in a MS program for geology, supported by a research grant, and I do not like it at all. In my undergrad, I was a chem major for a while, but I ended up a geology major who went to OSU for geology. Turns out, I really liked geology for the people in my department and I really don't like my research group/research environment/my research itself.

One thing I've always loved was animals, biology, and chemistry. I've ridden horses for years and had animals/a farm for years. I haven't done an internship/shadowed at a vet, but I'm currently exploring that option. With my own animals, I've given shots and medications to my cats/dogs/horses. With my poultry, I've done basically all vet care including minor surgery for bumblefoot. We've been through fox attacks several times, which I took care of them after. The only thing I haven't done for them was amputated my chicken's leg, which I did the aftercare for. I love taking care of animals, and I think I could be very passionate about being a vet.

My current plan is shadow a vet, confirm I like it, and then start taking classes at OSU to complete my requirements, while finishing my geology degree (because they're paying me to do it, and I committed). I've taken physics, orgo 1 and 2, and biochem. I know that helps, but I have a lot to catch up on. I have some questions on that front.

I had a REALLY bad freshman year in college because of medical issues, so I have a C in intro chem and B- in biology. However, subsequent classes I did well in, such as biochemsitry and orgo1/2. Should I retake intro chem and bio?

How interested are vet schools in non-traditional students, anyways? I'd be finishing up my coursework at OSU, which I know has a good vet school. Would that help my chances at all?

Any advice would be appreciated. I thought about pre-vet a pretty long time ago, and I've been thinking about it for a while now and it sounds right. I've LOVED animals all my life and have always been interested in being a vet.
One thing I'm going to add only because you seem quite new to the field: be careful that you don't confuse the face of the field with what people are actually doing behind the scenes. A very common statement in the profession is that you don't go into it because you love animals. You become a vet because you love animal science and animal medicine. The truth is that most veterinarians aren't doing a whole lot directly with animals. In a clinical setting (which seems to be what you're interested in) the assistants are handling the animals 10 times as much as the veterinarian, and as a veterinarian your time is going to involve a lot of paperwork/typing, talking to people, creating treatment plans, doing call-backs, etc. Obviously your position requires that you have some amount of contact with each animal you see, but it should be very telling that most (if not all) vet schools have somewhere in their application instructions ask that you state why you want to be a vet other than because you love animals.

I know it was only a small part of what you wrote. But it caught my eye and I just want to make sure you've been presented with this at least once.
 
Nov 6, 2013
81
35
Regarding prereqs, I need another semester of intro bio, microbio, and other random things. Not a lot, definitely. I went to a pretty tough school and was in a department with no curve, so my GPA is only okay (3.0) but it does have the upward trend. I don't know if my GRE's are strong or not, I got a 89% for verbal and 74% for math - a 162 and a 158, respectively.

Also, I'm definitely not dropping out of my program - everyone needs a backup plan! :) A masters is only 2 years, which is about the time I'd need to get everything in order to apply, I think. Geology is VERY cool and I used to love it, but the environment I'm in now is not very fun.
The GPA might become a problem. Some even have hard cutoffs at 3.2, and there are others that won't consider out of state applicants with less than a 3.5. If your school is one that is recognizably difficult it might help to apply to the private schools since they tend to give you a benefit for where you came from. Your GRE is pretty good, but it wouldn't hurt to try to get higher. Overall it would be best to apply to a school that puts a lot of weight on GRE (such as Florida, Michigan I think?) and avoid ones that basically don't care about it (Missouri, where it's like 4% of the application).
 
OP
geologist
Nov 17, 2013
32
24
Status
Pre-Veterinary
The GPA might become a problem. Some even have hard cutoffs at 3.2, and there are others that won't consider out of state applicants with less than a 3.5. If your school is one that is recognizably difficult it might help to apply to the private schools since they tend to give you a benefit for where you came from. Your GRE is pretty good, but it wouldn't hurt to try to get higher. Overall it would be best to apply to a school that puts a lot of weight on GRE (such as Florida, Michigan I think?) and avoid ones that basically don't care about it (Missouri, where it's like 4% of the application).
I totally understand the GPA thing. Would they count my MS coursework into that, and my future coursework? Because I'm looking at a 4.0 in my first semester of masters, and guessing that trend continues, that could greatly improve my GPA. I would also be very open to taking the GRE again, as that was my first time taking it with only about 5 days of studying.

And yes, I definitely get your point from your previous post regarding why I want to be a vet. That's why I really want to make sure immediately by starting to shadow/get some more experience, but I really think a being a vet could be a good path for me. I've always been a scientist - I love working in the lab, solving problems, etc. But, I need to be passionate about what I'm working on to really enjoy it. That's why I'm interested in becoming a vet - I love animals and that will never change, but I also like and am truly interested in the science/medicine side. And I'm very good at working with people, so that's an added bonus. :)

Thank you for the advice!
 
May 9, 2013
279
117
New York, NY
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I am not sure how they count the MS gpa really but I have read somewhere (im sorry i keep giving info without a real source but...) that some ppl who have low grades in undergrad go to a masters program, get a 4.0 or so, and get into vet school then. I know a person who got into medical school like that, so idk, it might work for vet school too maybe.
 
OP
geologist
Nov 17, 2013
32
24
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I am not sure how they count the MS gpa really but I have read somewhere (im sorry i keep giving info without a real source but...) that some ppl who have low grades in undergrad go to a masters program, get a 4.0 or so, and get into vet school then. I know a person who got into medical school like that, so idk, it might work for vet school too maybe.
Totally fine, any info helps! Obviously, going to my master's program wasn't to get into vet school, but it may help me out I guess.
 

DVMDream

DVMNightmare
10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
38,607
26,063
The Dragon School
Status
Veterinarian
I agree with the get experience in a vet setting first, which you seem to already know. It is a different ball game when dealing with a sad/upset/angry/or otherwise emotional client that might be scared, confused, grieving or just generally pissed off at you for whatever reason. It is different when you have someone else's fractious cat that you have to take care of trying to kill you. It is hard when a client has a pet that has a treatable condition but no money so you have to euthanize. So, get yourself into a vet clinic. I also want to say that I love animals, I love vet med/vet science/science in general, it is fascinating, but I kind of hate vet school. So, similar to like what you are experiencing with your current MS. You love geology but hate the MS; the same can happen with vet school. You just have to remind yourself it is only x number of years and keep pushing through. Anyway, get some experience first and then decide from there what you want/need to do. Good Luck! :)
 

that redhead

7+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2010
10,412
8,512
I had a REALLY bad freshman year in college because of medical issues, so I have a C in intro chem and B- in biology. However, subsequent classes I did well in, such as biochemsitry and orgo1/2. Should I retake intro chem and bio?
The common advice about re-takes is to only re-take a C or less, but if that's the only C you have in a pre-requisite class, I wouldn't bother and would instead focus on getting As in your remaining pre-requisites. Rigor of program isn't as big a deal in vet school admissions as it seems to be in medical schools, so unfortunately your low GPA will likely need a better explanation than that (fair or unfair as that may be). A strong upward trend is definitely good, and strong Masters work will help, although not all schools will count that, or may factor it in differently. Moral of the story: if/when you formulate a list of schools to apply to, ask them what their policies are so that you give yourself the best possible chance.

How interested are vet schools in non-traditional students, anyways? I'd be finishing up my coursework at OSU, which I know has a good vet school. Would that help my chances at all?
@LetItSnow said it really well in another similar thread, so I'll repeat it here: being a non-trad doesn't necessarily help you in the admission process itself, but the fact that you have other life experiences under your belt that many traditional students do not have can be an indirect aid in how you go through the interview process - you may have different/more unique experiences to talk about versus a "typical" applicant.

Any advice would be appreciated. I thought about pre-vet a pretty long time ago, and I've been thinking about it for a while now and it sounds right. I've LOVED animals all my life and have always been interested in being a vet.
I imagine you will have to address the drastic change in your interests; be prepared to clearly explain why you wanted to make that change. And yes, it's been said, but loving animals should probably be the last thing on that list of reasons. I'd be careful with saying caring for animals as well, since the actual work of providing the care is almost exclusively done by technicians, assistants and owners (as an aside, maybe you would prefer the technician side of the field for that reason). I think that working with vets in various scenarios (including outside of just small animal practice) will help you develop your reasoning if it ends up being something that you can see yourself doing.

Good luck :luck:
 
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OP
geologist
Nov 17, 2013
32
24
Status
Pre-Veterinary
The common advice about re-takes is to only re-take a C or less, but if that's the only C you have in a pre-requisite class, I wouldn't bother and would instead focus on getting As in your remaining pre-requisites. Rigor of program isn't as big a deal in vet school admissions as it seems to be in medical schools, so unfortunately your low GPA will likely need a better explanation than that (fair or unfair as that may be). A strong upward trend is definitely good, and strong Masters work will help, although not all schools will count that, or may factor it in differently. Moral of the story: if/when you formulate a list of schools to apply to, ask them what their policies are so that you give yourself the best possible chance.



@LetItSnow said it really well in another similar thread, so I'll repeat it here: being a non-trad doesn't necessarily help you in the admission process itself, but the fact that you have other life experiences under your belt that many traditional students do not have can be an indirect aid in how you go through the interview process - you may have different/more unique experiences to talk about versus a "typical" applicant.


I imagine you will have to address the drastic change in your interests; be prepared to clearly explain why you wanted to make that change. And yes, it's been said, but loving animals should probably be the last thing on that list of reasons. I'd be careful with saying caring for animals as well, since the actual work of providing the care is almost exclusively done by technicians, assistants and owners (as an aside, maybe you would prefer the technician side of the field for that reason). I think that working with vets in various scenarios (including outside of just small animal practice) will help you develop your reasoning if it ends up being something that you can see yourself doing.

Good luck :luck:

Thanks for all the help! This was extremely valuable advice. I definitely think that my initial drive to do veterinary medicine is there (possibly equine, as I've ridden horses all my life and I've seen/highly respect the role vets play in a horse's/trainer's/owner's life), I just need to experience more to solidify the why - or the why not. I did consider vet tech, but I'm going to feel around the being a veterinarian first.

Also, @twelvetigers - I'm at Oregon State! I forget all those OSU's exist because I'm from the East Coast and we rarely think about them. Whoops.
 
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