University of Missouri



Undergraduate Preparation

Selection of Colleges

The Admissions Committee accepts credit and grades from any U.S. accredited institution of higher learning. To ensure proper counseling and support, it is advised that undergraduate work be acquired at an institution with an active pre-veterinary medical club.

Students enrolled in the University of Missouri-Columbia are not given preference when applying for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine unless they qualify for the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Scholars or AgScholars Programs.

Undergraduate Majors

Since some students interested in becoming veterinarians are not accepted into veterinary medical college, students should emphasize a bachelor’s degree program rather than pre-veterinary medical studies. A student should enroll in the school/college offering the degree major selected as a career alternative to veterinary medicine. Most pre-veterinary medical students enroll in animal science, biology, or biochemistry.

Type and Sequence of Undergraduate Courses

Students should be guided by the requirements of their degree majors and our pre-veterinary requirements. Catalogs and bulletins usually provide good direction, particularly with regard to required courses in the major. Students should consult their advisors about supporting courses and electives which will strengthen their majors.

The following courses and credit hours must be taken in residence at an accredited institution of higher learning to qualify for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Course Semester* Credit Hours
Composition or Courses in
Communication Skills such as Speech or Technical Writing
College Algebra or
More Advanced Mathematics
(Requires Organic Chemistry Prerequisite)
(Comprehensive Courses**)
Biological Science 10
Social Science and/or Humanistic Studies 10
Electives open
Minimum Total Semester Credit Hours 60

* Multiply quarter credits by 0.67 to convert to semester credits.
** 5 hr. in only the first of a companion series in physics will not suffice.

Students should take in-depth courses in these areas

A- Inorganic Chemistry courses which prepare them for Organic Chemistry and, finally, Biochemistry;

B- Biology Department courses which may be selected from zoology and botany or as required in foundation courses for a biology major.

NOTE: Courses taken on campuses other than MU in Columbia may not meet the content or degree of subject depth required to apply to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. Whenever there is doubt as to whether a course will fulfill the requirements to apply, the applicant should contact the Admissions Advisor, MU College of Veterinary Medicine, as soon as possible. If the course is acceptable, the applicant is advised to include a copy of the Associate Dean’s response letter with the completed application forms.

Elective Courses

The following courses may prove to be useful to the veterinary student or veterinary practitioner:

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Reproduction
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Physiology
  • Business or Accounting
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Cell Biology
  • Any Biomed 1000-3000 level course at MU.

Courses Which Are Not Accepted as Meeting Intended Requirements

Actual course selection should be rigorous and demanding. The student who has difficulty in the professional curriculum is usually one who has never been previously challenged academically. Rudimentary courses in science, usually described as “not for science majors” are unacceptable for the required courses to apply for admission. Animal Science courses do not qualify toward the 10 credit hours necessary in biological sciences except for those which are cross listed in both departments or an equivalent arrangement as determined by the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Problems, correspondence, topics, research, seminars, readings, or independent study courses are not accepted for admission purposes. Distance learning courses are not accepted for admission purposes, except for those which are accepted for partial fulfillment of the requirements toward a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or animal science at the University of Missouri.

College course credits acquired outside the United States are accepted for admission purposes only if they are credited with grades and semester credit hours on a transcript from a college or university in the United States.

Courses taken on the P/F or S/U grading system are not counted for admission to the College of Veterinary Medicine. If the grade below a D is made in a required course, the course must be repeated.

Students may use credit by examination to substitute for pre-veterinary requirements only if their institution accepts those credits in lieu of a specific required course.

Courses taken to meet requirements for a 2-year technical degree such as veterinary technology or practical nursing are included in the cumulative GPA calculations. However, restricted enrollment 2-year technical degree courses are not accepted to meet minimum course requirements nor included in the last 3 semesters’ GPA or average course load.

Time Required in Undergraduate Preparation

Students accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine have usually completed an average of 120 semester hours - 60 hours more than the minimum number required for admission.

Requirement for Observation of the Profession

Applicants are required to spend a minimum of 40 hours observing one or more veterinarians actively engaged in their normal work environment. Observation must be as a third person, not as a client. (i.e., small or large animal practice, public health, laboratory animal medicine, or research). The veterinarians observed by the applicant should be among the 4 invited external reviewers.

Selection Process

Selection is based on meeting the academic eligibility requirements and attaining a satisfactory score from the interview. Eligibility is not limited to Missouri residents; however, the number of non-resident students who can be accepted may be limited. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required.

The Admissions Committee feels that applicants should:
a. have experience working with a variety of animal species;
b. be familiar with the veterinary medical profession;
c. be community minded and have demonstrated leadership abilities;
d. be an effective communicator;
e. have developed time and stress management skills;
f. be sincerely motivated; and
g. have realistically evaluated their plans for financing their education since demands of the professional curriculum usually preclude part-time employment during school sessions.

Shortages of veterinarians are not evenly distributed within the profession. However, the Committee does not select students by the type of work they say they wish to do as veterinarians. Interests of students frequently change during their four years of professional studies.

Approximately 50% of accepted students have completed degrees. No preference is shown for applicants with undergraduate or graduate degrees.
2008 Incoming Class Characteristics

2007-2008 Applicant Statistics
Applicant Demographics Qualified Missouri Residents Qualified Non-Missouri Residents
Total 108 523
Men 21 84
Women 87 439
Overall GPA 3.49 3.40

Total applicants were 658

2007-2008 Entering Profile
Total 75
Men 18
Women 57
Average Age 23
Average ACT 27
Average cum. GPA 3.71
Average of Last Three Semesters GPA 3.73
From Undergraduate Ag Program 35
From Undergraduate Arts & Sci. Program 36
Raised in Farm Environment 18
Raised in Small Town Environment 16
Raised in Urban Environment 27
Raised in City Environment 13

Summary Profile of Individuals Accepted Into the Class of 2010

To give you some idea of the competitive nature of entry into a college of veterinary medicine, following is a profile of the latest MU College of Veterinary Medicine Class.

Total number of applicants 585
Total number of Missouri applicants 123
Number of non-Missouri applicants 462
Number of eligible Missouri applicants 116

Number of students who applied for the first time 68
Number of students who applied twice 5
Number of students who applied more than twice 1

Applicants accepted from Missouri 58
Applicants accepted from California 2
Applicants accepted from New Jersey 1
Applicants accepted from Illinois 3
Applicants accepted from Arkansas 1
Applicants accepted from Colorado 1
Applicants accepted from Delaware 1
Applicants accepted from Kansas 1
Applicants accepted from Maine 1
Applicants accepted from New York4
Applicants accepted from Ohio 1

Number of women accepted 57
Number of men accepted 17

Number of accepted students with bachelor degrees 32
Number of accepted students with no degrees 42

Number of accepted students from farm backgrounds 15
Number of accepted students from small towns 21
Number of accepted students from urban areas 14
Number of accepted students from large cities 24

Average GPA of accepted students 3.68
Average age of accepted students 24