Veterinarians treat the injuries and illness of animals with a variety of medical equipment, providing care for animals as doctors do for humans. While the majority of veterinarians work in private clinics treating pets, there are specialties in veterinary medicine including equine, food animal, food safety and inspection and research veterinarians who travel to farms, work outdoors or in laboratories. Many veterinarians also work with the intersection of human and animal health.
The University of Houston does not offer a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program.
There are two Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) programs in Texas.
- Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
- Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine
Applicants interested in applying to the Texas DVM programs will use the TMDSAS application.
If you are interested in DVM programs outside of Texas, you may apply using VMCAS.
Enrollment in Texas A&M's DVM Professional Program is limited to:
- Qualified applicants who are residents of Texas and who are United States citizens.
- Residents of Texas who live in the United States under a permanent residence visa or qualify for residency under the rules of SB 1528.
- Applicants from other states who have superior credentials will also be considered for up to 10% of the positions in each DVM class.
- NOTE: International applicants are not considered for admission to the DVM Professional Program.
Enrollment in Texas Tech's DVM Professional Program is limited to:
- Qualified applicants that are residents of Texas or New Mexico. Less than 10% of the class will consist of New Mexico residents.
Pre-Vet is not a major at the University of Houston. Therefore, you will need to pick a major that reflects what you are actually interested in learning. Indeed, there is no "best" major for pre-Vet students. Many pre-Vet students select a STEM major, such as Biology, because many of the required courses for admission into veterinary school are already included as a part of the degree-program. However, veterinary school admissions committees do not care which major you choose, as any major can lead to a career in veterinary medicine. So when choosing a major, you should be looking for a field that you are interested in and one that will challenge you academically, rather than the major you believe will help you "stand out."
While GPA is important, veterinary school admissions committees can easily identify when an applicant has selected coursework or pathway that is not challenging. You will benefit more from taking difficult classes together, than taking each course in isolation.
The basic course requirements for admission into Texas DVM programs include:
- Animal Nutrition: see approved courses outside of UH
- Biology: BIOL 1361/1161(*BIOL 1306/1106)
- General Chemistry: CHEM 1331/1111 & CHEM 1332/1112 (*CHEM 1311/1111 & CHEM 1312/1112)
- Organic Chemistry: CHEM 3331/3221 & CHEM 3332/3222 (*CHEM 2323/2123 & CHEM 2325/2125)
- Biochemistry: BCHS 3304
- Microbiology: BIOL 3332/3132 (*BIOL 2321/2121)
- Genetics: BIOL 3301
- Physics: PHYS 1301/1101 & PHYS 1302/1102 or PHYS 1321/1121 & PHYS 1322/1122
- English: ENGL 1303 & ENGL 1304 (*ENGL 1301 & ENGL 1302)
- Statistics: MATH 3339
- Communications & Public Speaking: COMM 1333 or SPCH 1318
*Course names/numbers effective Fall 2021
Additionally, prior to admission, applicants must have:
- Received a C or higher grade in all required coursework.
- Completed 53 hours of prerequisite course work by the end of the spring semester prior to admission into the program.
- Completed or be enrolled in the following prerequisites prior to the Fall semester of their application (in addition to the prerequisite work required by Spring):
- Organic Chemistry I
- Physics I
- Biochemistry I
- Completed the majority of their science prerequisites by the semester of their application.
- Completed all prerequisite courses within the past 10 years. (Note: Any required coursework taken more than 10 years ago will need to be retaken.)
Students wishing to apply to a DVM program must meet all three minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements:
- 2.90 Overall GPA
- 3.10 for the last 45 semester hours
- 2.9 Science GPA
To clarify, students with a minimum GPA of 2.90 overall, AND a 3.10 GPA for the last 45 semester hours, AND a 2.9 science GPA have met the minimal qualifications to submit an application (A = 4.00 grade points per hour).
Note: Just meeting these minimal academic standards does not make the applicant competitive nor qualified for an interview.
Yes, to a certain extent, you may complete pre-requisite courses outside of the University of Houston. However, our general advice is that if you are enrolled at the University of Houston, you should only take courses that fulfill prerequisite or requisite coursework for your degree plan or for your professional school application at the University of Houston. Taking 1-2 courses in the Summer outside of UH is not a big deal, but avoid making it a habit.
That said, if you are a transfer student bringing in credits from another institution, then you do not need to retake prerequisites for your professional school application. That includes transfer students who are transferring from community college as well as four-year institutions. The quality of your education will be tested in the coursework that you take once you enroll at the university.
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is the standardized exam that most veterinary school admissions use to measure an applicant's readiness for their program.
NOTE: Neither Texas A&M nor Texas Tech require the GRE for admission into their DVM programs.
The GRE is offered monthly via University Testing Services. You should plan to take the GRE in your junior or senior year depending on when you plan to apply. Most applicants take the GRE between January-May as they head into the application cycle. The GRE consists of three sections: Quantitative, Verbal, and an Essay.You should not plan to take the GRE more than 1-2 times.
The CASPer is a situational judgement test involving a series of realistic, hypothetical scenarios and asks applicants to indicate how they would respond if they were to be in that particular situation.
Veterinary schools purportedly use the CASPer to assess an applicant's non-academic, personality and interpersonal competencies, such as professionalism, communication, ethics, empathy, and motivation.
CASPer results are not released to applicants, so be wary of companies/test-preparation services that claim to offer guaranteed techniques for obtaining a high score.
What is the structure of the CASPer?
The CASPer consists of 12 sections to be completed in 60-90 minutes, with an optional 15-minute break after six sections.
Each section is comprised of either a video-based or word-based scenario and a set of three associated questions. You are asked to type out your response to each question in the designated text box. You have 5 minutes to respond to all three questions.
When the timer is up, you are automatically directed to the next section where you are presented with a new scenario.
How do I prepare for the CASPer?
Technically, the CASPer is not designed to be “studied” for in a traditional sense, as it is supposed to evaluate your in-the-moment decision making and problem-solving skills. Responses are not categorized as right or wrong, but instead should be viewed as appropriate vs. inappropriate. That is, evaluators consider how comprehensive and thoughtful your response is to any given scenario.
As the CASPer is similar in nature to a Multi-Mini Interview (MMI), our office recommends using example MMI prompts to simulate and practice a CASPer scenario (including keeping to the strict 5-min time constraints). After outlining your responses, discuss your answers with a friend for feedback and to brainstorm any variables you may have overlooked. It may also be useful to familiarize yourself with the stance/position that the primary medical organizations (e.g., AMA, etc.) have on current medical issues and hot-topics, as this could help you formulate your own opinion and how you would respond to specific scenarios.
Our office also recommends approaching each scenario in a similar fashion:
- What are the facts? What information is provided in the prompt? What information is not provided or do you wish you had?
- What is the primary issue or question being asked?
- Who would be affected by your response? These individuals may not have been included or mentioned in the scenario
- Does your response produce the greatest good/least amount of harm?
- As you write your response, are you including your thought process/reasoning behind the decisions and assumptions you have made?
- Strong GPA (>3.5)
- Strong GRE (>300 total)
- Pattern of taking challenging coursework and credit-load (>12/semester)
- Extra-curricular involvement (leadership in student organizations, research, employment, etc.)
- Significant animal and veterinary experience (especially in diverse settings)
A well-rounded person has interests that broaden them and that’s what your extra-curricular activities should do for you. By definition extra-curricular implies something outside of coursework so it should be something that you do that doesn’t count for credit. Extra-curricular implies that it’s something that makes you interesting and unique. Sports, literature, film, music, acting, dancing, hobbies, and any sort of competition all fall in this category.
Consider who you are and what makes you happy and different. What are the things that you like to do for fun? Well do them and do them regularly. Join clubs, learn more about the activity, become proficient and get excited about it. Be able to talk about it in depth and be able to teach others about it. If you can, get others excited about your interest, get them involved, and then lead them while doing it.
Veterinary experience is required for admission into most veterinary medicine programs. This means hours spent working under the direct supervision of a veterinarian, whether in a clinical or research environment, paid or volunteer.
Texas A&M requires applicants to have more than 100 hours worth of veterinary experience in order to qualify for an interview.
Texas Tech encourages applicants to seek out a wide variety of animal and veterinary exprience but does not require a minmum number of hours.
At least one letter of evaluation by a veterinarian with whom the applicant has worked must be submitted with the application.
Research is not required for admission into veterinary school, though many admissions committees appreciate students that have participated in a research project or laboratory.
If you are not interested in research, you are better off engaging in other activities that you are more passionate about. Remember that admissions committees appreciate you following your interests, rather than simply checking off a box of activities you feel are necessary for admission.
Yes, all veterinary medicine programs require that applicants have experience working directly with animals, though the amount of hours and settings may vary between programs.
Texas A&M defines Animal Experience as caring for and handling animals in a kennel or animal shelter. It also includes any other experience that was not under the direct supervision of a veterinarian, such as FFA and 4-H projects. Personal pets (excluding farm animals) typically cannot be used towards your Animal Experience hours.
Points are assigned based on the number of hours worked and the variety of environments in which the hours were obtained. These two experiences are scored separately, so applicants should obtain experience in both areas. For example, an applicant who worked for a veterinarian should include time spent cleaning stalls or cages as animal experience and time spent with the veterinarian as veterinary experience.
Short answer is yes.
That said, which organization(s) to join is completely up to you. One misconception that students make is that you must join a pre-Vet club. Instead, consider what hobbies and interests you have and seek out like-minded people. General advice for any UH student is to join at least one academic club and one social club. Academic clubs include professional clubs like pre-med clubs but also clubs for a major of an academic discipline. Social clubs include Greek life, hobbyist clubs, and other clubs that allow you to explore a variety of extra-curricular activities.
Generally speaking, the impact of joining an student organization (besides gaining friends and learning about a particular area) on your application will depend on your level of involvement. Veterinary school admissions committees strongly value leadership in applicants. Therefore, it is not enough to simply attend organizational meetings, but you should look for ways to further the mission or cause of the organization. This could mean becoming an officer, but may also mean engaging in activities organized by the club, such as fundraisers, volunteer activities, etc. If you are more involved, you will have more to included on your application and discuss during an interview.
Veterinary Medicine Admissions Data for EY2019*
- UH Applicants: 9
- UH Accepted: 4
|University of Houston (EY2019)|
|Overall GPA||Science GPA||GRE Quantitative||GRE Verbal|
|Total TMDSAS Vet-Med Applicants (EY2019)|
|Overall GPA||Science GPA||GRE Quantative||GRE Verbal|
*Note: Includes only those applicants who designated the University of Houston as their primary institution in TMDSAS and authorized release of their application data to the Pre-Health Advising Center.