Missouri State University
Skip search and site index a b c d e f g h i j k l m n
o p q r s t u v w x y z


Pre-Veterinary Medicine


For More Information

Pre-Veterinary Advisor
Department of Agriculture
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5638
Email: Agriculture@missouristate.edu

Pre-Veterinary Advisor

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5126
Email: Biology@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

There are more than 55,000 veterinarians in the United States. Their primary responsibility is protecting the health and welfare of animals and people. Veterinarians diagnose and control animal diseases, treat sick and injured animals, prevent transmission of animal diseases to people and advise owners on proper care of pets and livestock. They ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the health of food animals. Veterinarians also are involved in wildlife preservation and conservation.

Veterinarians provide a wide variety of services in clinical practice, teaching, public health, military service, private industry and other areas. In addition, veterinarians are becoming more involved in aquaculture, comparative medical research, international disease control and food production programs.

Academic Program

There are presently 28 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States, graduating about 2,500 persons a year. With few exceptions, residents of Missouri need only consider applying to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Students interested in a career in veterinary medicine should have a strong science, math and biology program in high school. To be considered for admission to a college of veterinary medicine, a student must first complete undergraduate pre-veterinary medical course work, which usually involves three to four years of college study. Completion of a Pre-Veterinary program does not guarantee admission to a college of veterinary medicine. Successful applicants usually have grades of "B" or better, especially in the sciences. The average acceptance rate varies from year to year but is approximately 45 percent nationally.


The pre-professional curriculum in veterinary medicine can be completed at Missouri State. The Pre-Veterinary program is easily compatible with programs in agriculture, biology and chemistry. Please consult the Missouri State‚ÄąCatalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course information.

To apply to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, students must take, at least, the following:

  • English (6 hours may include Writing and Public Speaking)
  • College Algebra or more advanced math
  • Fundamentals of Chemistry - 5 hours
  • Essentials of Organic Chemistry - 5 hours
  • Biochemistry - 5 hours
  • Physics I and II
  • Biological Sciences-10 hours
  • Social Sciences-10 hours

Students should carry full loads of 15 to 17 hours each semester, so other courses should be chosen to maintain that course load. Students should check with the veterinary college to which they plan to apply to be sure they take all required courses.


Numerous full-time faculty with specific areas of expertise are available for advisement and consultation. Primary academic advisors for Pre-Veterinary Medicine students are Dr. Dennis Schmitt in the Department of Agriculture and Dr. M Chris Barnhart in the Department of Biology.


The Department of Agriculture makes extensive use of area farms and businesses for animal science field trips. The William H. Darr Agricultural Center is used for classes with hands-on instruction in Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Equitation. Equipment available in the Department of Biology includes a DNA sequencer, gamma counter, UV/VIS and AA spectrophotometers, gas analyzers, affinity chromatography with monitor and fraction collectors, microplate readers, ultracentrifuges and microscopy equipment (electron, fluorescence, phase contrast and Nomarsky). 

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

Freshman Year

First Semester Courses Hours
MTH 138 Pre-Calculus Mathematics5
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
ENG 110 Writing I3
BIO 121 General Biology I4
CIS 101 or CSC 1012
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
CHM 107 Chemistry for the Citizen3
CHM 108 Chemistry for the Citizen Laboratory1
AGS 101 Animal Science4
COM 1053
BIO 122 General Biology II4
Total Hours 16