How to Choose a Major for Vets: Degree Research Guide

Choosing the best major for vets may seem like a challenging task, but it can be easy with a little guidance. To know how to choose a veterinary major, consider your interests and long-term goals. If you are interested in preventing and treating medical conditions in different types of animals, veterinary medicine may be for you.

Veterinary medicine is an area that involves significant training and education, regardless of the program. After completing your bachelor’s degree, you must complete a four-year program at a veterinary school. Keep reading for tips on finding the best major for a vet.

Why choose a career as a veterinarian?

There are several reasons why you might want to consider a career as a veterinarian. Veterinarians play a vital role in animal welfare and health and have the ability to help animals stay healthy and disease-free. Professionals work in a wide variety of environments, including animal hospitals, animal shelters and research facilities.

In general, in veterinary schools, you will learn about a variety of topics and conditions in animals, such as animal behavior, animal science, food safety, and the treatment of medical conditions and injuries. This can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for students who love animals and want to help them stay healthy.

Vet Job Outlook

The job outlook for veterinarians is bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for veterinarians are expected to increase by 17 percent between 2020 and 2030. This is much faster than the average for all occupations. The expected growth is due to the demand for a licensed veterinary practice in both private and public clinics.

Satisfaction with the vet’s work

Vets enjoy a good work-life balance. They typically work standard hours and have the opportunity to interact with animals on a daily basis. So if you are an animal owner and care for animals, veterinary medicine may be the perfect choice for you. According to US News & World Report, veterinarians are ranked ninth for best healthcare jobs and 23rd for best jobs.

Veterinarian Salary

Career Minimum education level Average salary
Veterinary Scientist doctorate $86,147
Medical Vet doctorate $88.008
Biomedical & Clinical Services Vet doctorate $75,000
pet nutritionist bachelor’s degree $71,788
Veterinary Technologist bachelor’s degree $36,627

Choosing a Major for Vets: Tips for Selecting the Right Vet Degree

Tip 1: Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to determine which area of ​​veterinary medicine you want to specialize in. By working directly with a licensed veterinarian, you can gain experience with animal health issues and learn about the day-to-day tasks of veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. Volunteering can help you build relationships and strengthen various interpersonal skills, such as communication skills. You can volunteer at an animal shelter or a clinic.

Tip 2: Research

It is essential to research the required courses for your desired program to ensure that you are following the required procedures to be considered for veterinary school admissions. For example, the entry requirements at Penn Veterinary Medical School require knowledge of biological sciences, experience working with animals, and research.

Tip 3: Look for accreditation

Selecting a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is crucial. This accreditation ensures that academic institutions within their jurisdiction meet acceptable levels of educational quality. The AVMA is the governing body for veterinary medicine in the United States, as it sets the standards for educational ethics and practice.

Consider the location of the school and whether you want to study in a rural or urban environment. Some students prefer to seek out in rural settings to be close to the animals they will be working with, while others prefer to learn in an urban setting to access more resources.

By contacting schools and checking the school rankings, you can learn more about the programs and make the right study choice for you.

Tip 5: Keep your career goals in mind

You should consider your career goals and choose an education to help you achieve them. If you want to work in a research lab, you must select training paths that provide required courses in research methods. You should also consider what types of animals you are interested in and where you want to work.

What Vet Degree: Best Majors for a Vet Career?

Veterinary medicine requires college-level courses in biology, a degree in chemistry, and the ability to diagnose and treat disease.


Veterinary medicine is a field that leads the way in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in animals. It’s a good major for students who want to work in a field where they can make a difference in helping animals. Veterinary medicine is a vast field that covers a variety of topics such as animal anesthesia, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology.

  • Associated career paths: Research, Education, Animal Politics
  • Education levels: PhD

Veterinary Radiology

This major allows students to enter veterinary medicine, animal husbandry, or various roles within the veterinary industry. Veterinary radiologists participate in clinical examinations and medical tests on the bones, organs and tissues of animals.

  • Associated career paths: Veterinary Medicine, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Practice
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s degree


A zoology major is an excellent choice for someone interested in experiencing live animals, the animal kingdom, and learning how different types of animals interact with their environments. The skills you will learn in this major include conducting research, analyzing data, and writing papers.

  • Associated career paths: Animal Research, Education, Nature Conservation
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

animal physiology

The best thing about a major in animal physiology is that it applies to multiple career options. You can become a veterinarian, scientist or researcher. Also in the entertainment industry, such as zoos, aquariums and nature parks, there are many opportunities to work with animals. Whatever you choose, you will gain soft skills and a deep understanding of animal physiology.

  • Associated career paths: Vet, Animal Research, Zoology
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral degree

animal science

If you have an aptitude for science, animal science is an excellent major for you. It covers a wide range of topics related to animal husbandry, such as animal nutrition, reproduction, genetics and behavior. Many animal science majors continue their education and earn a PhD to engage in research.

  • Associated career paths: Poultry production, Animal health, Research
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Doctoral degree

You have many choices when it comes to choosing a major to become a veterinarian. A veterinary degree is a four-year doctorate that prepares students for a career in veterinary medicine. If you have a deep interest in both animal health and welfare, the veterinary practice is a good choice. Below are some of the other vet-related majors you should consider.

  • Animal Anatomy
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Comparative and Laboratory Veterinary Medicine
  • Biology in the wild
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Immunobiology
  • Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology
  • Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary Technology
  • Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology and Public Health
  • Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Is a career in veterinary medicine right for me?

The best way to determine if a career in veterinary medicine is right for you is to learn more about it. While challenging, veterinary medicine is a rewarding field that offers students opportunities to work with animals, help people, and make a difference.

To find the best career opportunities for you, do your research and ask around. Talk to pre-veterinary students to learn more about their experiences or follow a professional vet. High-quality veterinary schools include the University of California, Davis, Cornell University, and University of Florida.

Best Major for a Vet Frequently Asked Questions

Can students become veterinarians with biology courses?

Yes, a student can become a veterinarian with biology courses. Most veterinary schools require a minimum of 90 credits of undergraduate courses, including courses in biology and other basic sciences. However, specific course requirements vary from school to school, so it’s important to research the specific requirements of the school you want to apply for.

What should I do if I want to become a veterinarian?

You must be majoring in animal science, zoology, biochemistry or wildlife biology. There are just some of the main options that you can choose if you want to become a veterinarian. However, each vet school has its own requirements, so be sure to check your desired school’s undergraduate requirements before choosing your major.

Are vets real doctors?

Yes, vets are real doctors. The title of veterinarian is protected by law in the United States and many other countries. According to the American Veterinary Association, all veterinarians may use “Doctor” as long as they meet the requirements of the veterinary profession.

How much do vets earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for veterinarians in May 2020 was $99,250. It is important to consider the cost of living in a particular area and the availability of jobs as these can affect wages.

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