Prepare for a rigorous, science-based veterinary curriculum

Applicants can major in any subject area as long as they fulfill our prerequisite requirements. Completion of the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation to the DVM program is strongly recommended. 

Applicants are evaluated on the strength of prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application.

Below also see our course descriptions and course equivalencies guide to learn if a course from your institution meets our prerequisite requirements. 

Prerequisites

Prerequisite courses (with a grade of C- or higher) Minimum semester credits
Biological Sciences
Biology with laboratory8
Inorganic chemistry with laboratory8
Organic chemistry with laboratory 4
Genetics3-4
Physical Sciences
Biochemistry 3
Physics with laboratory4
Math
Statistics (methods) 3
Algebra, pre-calculus, or higher3
Arts & Humanities/Social & Behavioral Sciences*
English composition/communication**6
Anthropology, art, economics, foreign language, geography, history, music, political sciences, philosophy, psychology, sociology. **21
Total64

* If an applicant has received or will receive a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation, the general education prerequisites are considered fulfilled regardless of credit hours. The science and math prerequisites are required regardless of degree(s) earned.

** Course titles and classifications may vary by institution. Please follow the institution’s graduation requirement standards for a guideline or see the University Common Requirements (UCORE) for course examples.

Additional prerequisite information

  • Applicants are evaluated on the strength of prerequisite coursework completed at the time of application. We will not evaluate prerequisite coursework until applications are submitted and are under consideration.
  • The committee strongly recommends completion of the baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation to the DVM program. If a baccalaureate degree has not been earned by the time of application or matriculation, the committee will still base its decisions on the strength and breadth of the applicant’s educational background.
  • Electives – students spending more than two years in a pre-professional are encouraged to take additional biomedical science courses, including highly recommended but not required courses in mammalian or comparative anatomy, animal science, cell biology, computer science, embryology, histology, immunology, microbiology, nutrition, physics II, physiology, or other biomedical sciences.
  • Advanced Placement (AP), Running Start, and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits – please use the AP credit chart or IB credit chart to determine if your score will transfer in as the equivalent WSU course number listed in our prerequisite course descriptions. Scores that will transfer in as the appropriate WSU course will be accepted. While AP, IB, or Running Start credits might be acceptable for some prerequisites, applicants are encouraged to view such credits as an opportunity to qualify for and enroll in upper division physical and biological science courses, rather than simply as a means for “testing out” of prerequisites.
  • Courses on a quarter system – we will consider the class fulfilled if the content is covered.  It often, but not always, takes two classes on a quarter system to cover the content of a single semester course.
  • Please read our course descriptions and course equivalencies guide below. If you are still not sure if your course will meet our prerequisite requirement, please contact us.

Course descriptions

Compare the WSU course descriptions with the description of the courses you have completed (or intend to take) to confirm a majority of the required topics are covered.  Also see course equivalency guide below.

We highly recommend speaking with a pre-veterinary or pre-health advisor at your institution and sharing this page with them to determine which courses at your institution will fulfill our prerequisites.

  • Online courses are accepted, provided they meet the same criteria as courses taken in a classroom. 
  • If you are unsure if the course is equivalent please contact your academic advisor, course instructor, or the department offering the course.

DVM program science and math prerequisite course descriptions or course equivalencies that must be met by other institutions.

Two semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Topics that should be covered include biology of organisms and plants, animal ecology, evolution, cell biology, and genetics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. (8 semester hours with laboratory; WSU Biol 106 & 107)

Two semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Topics that should be covered include stoichiometry, structure, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, volumetric and gravimetric analysis, acid-base, ionic, molecular, solubility, oxidation/reduction equilibriums, kinetics, electrochemistry, systematic chemistry of the elements, and coordination compounds. (8 semester hours with laboratory; WSU Chem 105 & 106)

Survey of organic chemistry, providing an overview of the chemistry of the functional groups. Topics that should be covered include structure and function in organic chemistry; reaction mechanisms, molecular orbital theory, alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, and radicals; biological applications. (4 semester hours with laboratory; WSU Chem 345)

Modern biochemistry for undergraduates in the biological sciences. Topics that should be covered include proteins (amino acids, protein structure, enzyme kinetics, and mechanisms), metabolism (carbohydrate structure, glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, glycogen metabolism, and metabolic integration), molecular genetics (central dogma, DNA structure, packaging, replication, repair, RNA transcription, translation, genetic code, protein targeting, gene expression, and DNA technology). (3 semester hours; WSU MBioS 303)

Topics that should be covered include graphs, properties and applications of polynomial, rational, and exponential and logarithmic functions. (3 semester hours; WSU Math 106)

Algebra/trigonometry-based physics. Topics that should be covered include mechanics, wave phenomena, temperature, and heat. (4 semester hours with laboratory; WSU Phys 101)

Principles of modern and classical genetics. Topics that should be covered include basic Mendelian genetics, meiosis, mitosis, chromosome rearrangement, DNA structure and replication, mutations, bacterial and phage genetics, gene regulation, transcription, translation, plasmids, transposons, cloning, population genetics, and evolution. (3 or 4 semester hours; WSU MBioS 301)

Topics that should be covered include introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics: t-tests, chi-square tests, one-way ANOVA, simple linear regression, and correlation. (3 semester hours; WSU Stat 212, 412 or Psych 311)


Course equivalency guide

Please use this as a guide as you review your prerequisite courses.

These example courses have been reviewed by our admissions committee for equivalency to the required prerequisite courses.

WSU course description

Genetics: Principles of modern and classical genetics. Topics that should be covered include basic Mendelian genetics, meiosis, mitosis, chromosome rearrangement, DNA structure and replication, mutations, bacterial and phage genetics, gene regulation, transcription, translation, plasmids, transposons, cloning, population genetics, and evolution. (3-4 semester hours; WSU MBioS 301)

Approved course from an outside institution

Introductory Genetics: Covers gene transmission, including chromosome mapping, genetic pathways, and mutational analysis of biological processes emphasizing mutations affecting chromosome transmission. Introduction to genomics – cloning and sequence analysis of whole genomes. Emphasizes formal genetic mechanisms, molecular techniques.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Genetics of Livestock Improvement: This course encompasses basic principles of animal breeding and genetics with application toward the improvement of domestic livestock species. A variety of topics are covered to facilitate a greater understanding of gene function, inheritance patterns, and selection practices used in sustainable animal breeding programs.

WSU course description

Statistics: (3 semester hours) Topics that should be covered include introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics: t-tests, chi-square tests, one-way ANOVA, simple linear regression, and correlation. (WSU Stat 212, 412 or Psych 311)

Approved course from an outside institution

Principles of Statistics: Includes summarizing data, measures of central location, measures of variation, probability, mathematics expectation, probability distributions, sampling and sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, regression analysis, and correlation.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Management Statistics: This is the introduction to basic statistics for management students.

WSU course description

Biology with lab, Part I: One semester of a two semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Biology of organisms, plants, animals, ecology, and evolution. (4 semester hours w/lab; WSU Biol 106)

Approved course from an outside institution

Biological Principles I: An introductory course focusing upon fundamental biological concepts and methods for students planning to major in biology or for students needing to satisfy a professional school requirement in biology. This course, one in a two semester series, focuses on the biological principles of evolution and speciation, a survey of biological diversity, the study of plant form and function, and the study of animal form and function. Three lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Biological Thinking: The science behind the science of life. Masters the core concepts of modern biology, understands the scientific discoveries that lie behind those concepts, and develops scientific reasoning skills so students can contribute discoveries of their own.

WSU course description

Biology with lab, Part II: One semester of a two-semester sequence for science majors and pre-professional students. Cell biology and genetics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. (4 semester hours w/lab; WSU Biol 107)

Approved course from an outside institution

Biological Principles II: An introductory course focusing upon fundamental biological concepts and methods for students planning to major in biology or needing to satisfy a professional school requirement in biology. This course, one in a two semester series, focuses on biomolecules, the molecular components of life, fundamental cell structures, and an introduction to genetics. Three lectures and a one 3-hour laboratory per week.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Biology and Society: Not open to Biology majors or for minor credit. Principles of biology and their relationship to social issues. Three lectures and one 3-hr lab a week.

WSU course description

Inorganic Chemistry with lab, Part I: Stoichiometry, structure, gases, liquids, solids, solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, volumetric, and gravimetric analysis. (4 semester hours w/lab; WSU Chem 105)

Approved course from an outside institution

General Chemistry I: Basic principles of chemistry, including stoichiometry; introduction to solution phase chemistry; gas phase chemistry; thermodynamics, including enthalpies of formation and reaction; atomic structure; periodic trends; chemical bonding; and molecular structure. Three lectures and a one 3-hour laboratory per week.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Elementary Survey of Chemistry: Nonrigorous but adequate background in fundamentals. Preparation for technical training in life sciences. Three lectures and one 3-hr lab a week.

WSU course description

Inorganic Chemistry with lab, Part II: (4 semester hours w/lab) Acid-base, ionic, molecular, solubility, oxidation/reduction equilibria; kinetics, electrochemistry; systematic chemistry of the elements; coordination compounds. (WSU Chem 106)

Approved course from an outside institution

General Chemistry II: Liquids and solids. Solutions and colligative properties. Continuation of thermodynamics, including entropy and free energy. Principles and applications of chemical equilibrium, including acid-base chemistry (titrations, buffers). Kinetics. Redox reactions and electrochemistry. Three lectures and a one 3-hour laboratory per week.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Introduction to Chemistry: General treatment of the fundamentals of chemistry. Three lectures and one 3-hour lab per week.

WSU course description

Organic Chemistry with lab: Survey of organic chemistry, providing an overview of the chemistry of the functional groups. Topics that should be covered include structure and function in organic chemistry, reaction mechanisms, molecular orbital theory, alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, radicals, and biological applications. (4 semester hours w/lab; WSU Chem 345)

Approved course from an outside institution

Organic Chemistry I: Introduction to the chemistry of carbon compounds; functional groups; relationships among molecular structure, properties, and reactivity; and biological relevance. For life and environmental sciences majors. Three lectures and a one 3-hour laboratory per week.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Survey of Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry: Structure, nomenclature, properties, reactions of organic compounds emphasizing those of practical importance in related fields.

WSU course description

Biochemistry: Modern biochemistry for undergraduates in the biological sciences. Topics that should be covered include proteins (amino acids, protein structure, enzyme kinetics, and mechanisms), metabolism (carbohydrate structure, glycolysis, TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, glycogen metabolism, and metabolic integration), and molecular genetics (central dogma, DNA structure, packaging, replication, repair, RNA transcription, translation, genetic code, protein targeting, gene expression, DNA technology). (3 semester hours; WSU MBioS 303)

Approved course from an outside institution

Biochemistry: Carbohydrate, lipid, protein, and nucleic acid structure and function; enzyme kinetics; energetics; major metabolic pathways for carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids; photosynthesis; and regulation of gene function.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

The Biochemistry of Health for Non-Science Majors: Introduction for non-science majors to the biochemical basis of nutrition, health, DNA, and the human genome. The class and laboratory includes training for in-depth searching of Internet and library information resources, evaluating and presenting the information found, and an introduction to DNA fingerprinting.

WSU course description

Physics with lab: Algebra/trigonometry-based physics, topics in mechanics, wave phenomena, temperature, and heat. (4 semester hours w/ lab; WSU Phys 101)

Approved course from an outside institution

General Physics I: Non-calculus treatment of mechanics, waves, sound, and heat. Knowledge of simple algebra and trigonometry is required.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

The Great Ideas of Physics: Conceptual, quantitative, and laboratory treatments of the great ideas and discoveries that have influenced lives and changed perceptions of nature, from Johannes Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and Isaac Newton’s and Albert Einstein’s laws of motion and gravity to the modern concepts of the quantal structure of nature and the big bang universe.

WSU course description

Mathematics (algebra, pre-calculus, or higher): Graphs, properties, and applications of polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. (3 semester hours; WSU Math 106)

Approved course from an outside institution

College Algebra: Functions: graphs, transformations, combinations, and inverses. Polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic functions and applications. Systems of equations and matrices. Partial fractions.

Unapproved course from an outside institution

Intermediate Algebra: Linear equations and inequalities, polynomials and exponents, rational expressions, roots and radicals, quadratic equations, lines, systems of equations and inequalities, applied problems, factoring, graphs, the quadratic formula, completing the square and complex numbers.