Prerequisite Courses

Candidates are responsible for organizing and completing all prerequisites outlined below. If you have specific questions regarding requirements, please contact the admissions office.

The Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine seeks to admit a diverse body of students who are interested in the intellectual substance of veterinary medicine and are committed to advancing scholarship in any field of veterinary medicine.  Desirable candidates for admission are academically ready to succeed in our curriculum, have life experiences that will enrich our learning environment, and have personal qualities that will serve them, their colleagues and the profession as well.

Applicants must have completed at least three years of an undergraduate program by the time of matriculation.  They are encouraged to explore diverse educational opportunities throughout their college careers and undergo rigorous preparation in the life sciences. 

Since the content and depth of courses varies significantly among institutions, we approved the following recommendations as a guide:

  • Students must earn a "C-" or better in all prerequisite courses.
  • Prerequisite courses in which a "D" or "F" was earned must be repeated. Both the original and repeat grades will be included in grade point calculations for the cumulative and last-45 GPA. For any repeated science prerequisite, the highest grade will be used.
  • Transcripts from all colleges or universities where academic credit was earned, including high school dual enrollment, must be submitted through VMCAS.
  • All applicants have until the end of the Spring semester after submitting an application to complete prerequisites.

A two-semester sequence with laboratories is required.  To fulfill this requirement, higher-level science courses may be considered by the admissions committee.

A one-semester course in organic chemistry with laboratory is required.

A two-semester sequence with laboratories in general physics or introductory physics is required. Calculus-based physics is not required.

A one-semester introductory course in biochemistry without a lab will meet the minimum requirement. Topics should include metabolism and chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Courses in biochemistry that provide broader coverage would be helpful to an applicant.

Two semesters of writing intensive courses are required. Public speaking or communication courses do not satisfy this requirement. Advanced Placement credit for one semester/quarter of a high school writing intensive course will be accepted.

Writing-Intensive Courses are those in which writing is used as a central mode of learning as well as of evaluating student performance. Students in these courses are expected to write regularly, and their grades in these courses are linked to the quality and content of their written work.

If you have any questions about this requirement, contact

The math requirement can be met by courses in algebra, pre-calculus, statistics or calculus. Computer science courses are not acceptable.

Must take one humanities/social science course per semester for a total of two semesters. Courses to meet this requirement may include, but are not restricted to, art, philosophy, history, economics, psychology, or sociology.

An introductory medical terminology course that covers the correct pronunciation, correct spelling, and meaning essential to use and understand medical terminology is required. This course requirement can be fulfilled online or at any accredited college or university.

The admissions committee recommends taking additional liberal arts courses.

Academic Guidelines


  • Applicants are considered for admission to the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine without regard to their country of origin.
  • Applicants with disabilities are eligible to apply.
  • Eligible applicants include U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents holding a valid visa, individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application, undocumented students, and international students.
  • International Students must have studied for at least one academic year at an accredited college or university in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom, prior to applying for admission. 
  • Applicants must have completed at least two years of undergraduate work, prior to applying for admission.

Undergraduate Majors

  • VMCVM does not require a specific undergraduate major; however, it is strongly recommended that applicants enroll in a degree program of their choice to prepare for alternate career goals.
  • Students majoring in liberal arts or other non-science disciplines are advised that they may find it less difficult to deal with the veterinary curriculum if they do not limit their science studies to the minimum course requirements.

Course/Program Completion

  • While the college requires applicants to have two years of undergrad academics,  in order to qualify for Federal Financial Aid you must have completed three academic years (or six semesters) of college courses by the end of the spring term of the calendar year in which matriculation at the veterinary college is sought.
  • All required course work must be completed by the end of the spring term of the year in which matriculation is sought. There is no option to complete prerequisite courses during summer term of the year of matriculation.
  • If an applicant fails to register for or withdraws from a prerequisite course projected for spring-term completion, his or her application will be removed from consideration, and any offer of interview or admission will be retracted.
  • If an applicant is currently enrolled in graduate school, a letter is requested from the applicant’s advisor and department head stating that if accepted into veterinary college, the applicant will have made satisfactory arrangements for completion or release from the graduate program.

Policy Regarding Course Work Older than Five Years

In an effort to prepare our candidates for the rigors of a DVM professional program, we require the following:

  • Applicants who have completed all of their pre-veterinary course requirements five years prior to the time of application must show evidence of participation in either academic or work experience in the biological sciences.
    • Academic Experience would require a current science course (completed 5 years post-graduation) such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience or higher-level science course.
      • All course work must be completed prior to the end of spring semester prior to matriculation with a C- or higher.
    • Work Experience in the biological or physical sciences, clinical investigation or working as a licensed healthcare provider (e.g. nurse, physician, licensed veterinary technician). 
  • Please communicate your intent by writing a formal letter to the Admissions Office with detailed information regarding either academic or work experience.

Advanced Placement/Credit by Examination Guidelines

  • Advanced placement credit for one semester/quarter of English will be accepted if the additional required hours are composition or technical writing courses taken at a college or university.
  • Advanced placement credit or credit by examination for other pre-vet course requirements will be accepted. However, advanced placement credits will not be calculated in grade point averages, and no grade will be assigned. 
  • If you plan to use AP credit to fulfill a required prerequisite, your AP credit must appear on your official college transcripts.