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Cornell University
College of Veterinary Medicine

High School Advisors and College Counselors

Ask Us Anything

Please let us know if you have questions as you advise and counsel your students to prepare for a future application to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's DVM degree program. We are always happy to hear from you!

Preparation During High School


Students should achieve good grades and take the highest level course available to them to enable acceptance into good colleges. Our DVM program has prerequisite courses, so it might be helpful to take a course or two in those subjects in high school to prepare. 

Advanced Placement

We accept AP Chemistry and Physics with a score of 4 or higher for our prerequisite requirements. However, we do not accept AP for Biology or English. If the student does take AP in these areas and is granted college credit when they enroll in their undergraduate program, they will take upper-level college coursework in those subjects once in their undergraduate curriculum. 

Choosing a College/University

Encourage students to choose institutions that have a wide range of science and humanities courses that are required of pre-health professions and provide a well-rounded, challenging curriculum.

Veterinary/Animal Experience

High school students can gain animal experiences in a variety of ways. You can advise them on local opportunities and assist in making these contacts. If the student can bundle the experience into an internship, this may also help them when they speak with the practice or business where they are looking to do the experience. Some places may already have an internship in place. Veterinary experience can be gained through volunteer or paid experience with a veterinarian. While many veterinarians prefer students to be a certain age before they will let them volunteer, encourage students to ask anyway. In many cases, a veterinarian will allow them to shadow for a while and come back at a later date to gain hands-on experience. As part of our application requirements, we ask students to provide evaluation letters, with at least one of them from a veterinarian.

Summer College Experiences

Cornell offers three-week summer courses for high school students in the following areas:

Other precollege studies courses of interest:

Attend a presentation and tour or our annual open house at the College of Veterinary Medicine to learn more.

Preparation During College/University

Choosing a Major

While we do not require applicants to have a specific major in college, students should choose a major that they enjoy and succeed in, and can also fit in the required science and English courses.

No Bachelor’s Degree Required

We do not require a bachelor’s degree to enter the DVM program, but do require all the prerequisite courses be completed along with a minimum of 60 semester credits.

Veterinary/Animal Experience

This can be gained through volunteer or paid experience with a veterinarian. As part of our application requirements, we ask students to provide evaluation letters, with at least one of them from a veterinarian.

Veterinary Experience

While we do not require a set number of hours of experience in this field, we recommend students have enough hours for the student to gain an understanding of the profession, and provide the Admissions Committee with information on how the experience has helped inform their decision to pursue this career.

Breadth of Experience

Applicants should strive for some breadth of experience (different species in different environments). This could include an experience in veterinary medicine along with additional veterinary, animal husbandry or biomedical research experience. These experiences can be volunteer, paid, through an internship, etc. Be sure to connect interested students with the relevant faculty at your institution to gain research experience.

Prerequisite Courses

Your students should focus on courses that support a pre-vet program. All Cornell's prerequisite courses are listed on our prerequisite courses and credits page.


  • English composition or writing intensive courses.
  • Students with AP biology should take a year of upper-level biology with labs.
  • If the biochemistry course at your college is worth 3 semester credits, advise your students to do one of the following (in recommended order):
    • Take a biochemistry lab
    • Take a second semester of biochemistry
    • If the full year of organic chemistry with labs exceeds 6 semester credits, then one credit can be used toward the lacking biochemistry credit
  • All labs must be on-campus labs.
  • Students can apply lacking up to 12 credits of prerequisite course work pending completion by the end of the spring term prior to enrolling.
  • If your college is on the quarter system, ensure students take three quarters to fulfill the 'full year' requirement.

Connecting with Cornell and Other Students

Help your pre-vet students feel connected with their peers and with Cornell.

  • Open house: Many pre-vet clubs come as a group to our annual open house. This is a great way for pre-vet students to meet each other and learn more about Cornell.
  • Video conference presentation: If we are unable to travel to your college or university, contact the director of admissions to set up a remote meeting.
  • Attend an presentation and tour on our campus. We offer these one Friday afternoon from March through November.
  • APVMA: Connect your students with the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. They hold a symposium each March.