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Pre-Veterinary Medicine Curriculum

"Student holding two piglets"

SDSU has an excellent pre-veterinary medicine curriculum that allows students to meet the basic science & other course requirements for application to Colleges of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) throughout the nation. SDSU also has the advantage of having departments that offer many complementary courses that can enhance your opportunity for acceptance into a CVM. Examples of such courses include: animal nutrition, feed technology, livestock reproduction, pathogenic microbiology, virology, immunology, production courses (both animal and dairy science), anatomy and physiology of animals, and animal diseases and their control.

The pre-veterinary medicine curriculum requires roughly two years (60 plus credit hours) of your undergraduate time. Most of the required and recommended classes are also included in related academic majors. Since the pre-veterinary program is not an academic degree, students are encouraged to work concurrently toward a specific B.S. degree during their pre-veterinary program. At SDSU, examples of B.S. degrees in related fields include: Biology, Microbiology, Wildlife & Fisheries, Animal Science, and Dairy and Food Science. Students also may major in unrelated fields such as journalism, music, etc. (A degree in an unrelated field will require more coursework.) The Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department updates recommendations for pre-veterinary course requirements annually. 

Once students have completed most or all course prerequisites, they may then apply to one or more CVMs, typically in the fall of their junior or senior year. Other requirements for application include sitting for the GRE standardized examination and completion of the national online CVM application, called the Veterinary Medical College Application (VMCAS). Admission to colleges of veterinary medicine is very competitive and selective. Scholastic performance in pre-professional courses, standardized test scores, animal experiences, and extracurricular activities are used in the selection of candidates. A solid foundation in the sciences is basic to success in veterinary medicine, and scholastic achievement is used as a measure of this foundation.

For more information, contact Dr. Bev Cassady.

Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine

SDSU and the University of Minnesota (U of M) are offering a new collaborative Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (DVM). Students first complete all their pre-veterinary requirements and apply to the new program for admission to the professional program.  Students in the professional program complete the first two years of their veterinary medical education at South Dakota State and the final two years at U of M’s College of Veterinary Medicine on the St. Paul campus. The first 20-student cohort will begin classes on the SDSU Brookings’ campus in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department in August 2021.

The formal application process for the first class of 20 students will open in the summer of 2020 and applications will be due in early fall 2020. The new collaborative program will concentrate on preparing veterinary students for mixed animal practice. The new program helps to address a growing shortage of food animal veterinarians, creating additional opportunities for South Dakota students to pursue careers across the spectrum of veterinary medicine, while supporting a growing agriculture-based industry in the upper midwest and addressing the growing concerns of student debt in veterinary education. South Dakota students participating in the new program will pay tuition based on in-state rates.

For more information, contact Dr. Gary Gackstetter.