Pre-Veterinary Advising

Last updated Spring 2021

Contact: Dr. Janice Telfer, Director of Pre-Veterinary Advsing
Office: 427D Integrated Science Bldg.
Phone: 413-545-5564

The curriculum of the Pre-Veterinary Science major is designed to satisfy the D.V.M. prerequisite classes of the majority of veterinary colleges and other professional graduate schools. Students in other majors should consult with a member of the Pre-Veterinary Advisory Committee in order to ensure that they complete the D.V.M. prerequisite classes in addition to the requirements of their major.

Basic science requirements of most veterinary schools include one year of biology, one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, and calculus. Additional basic science courses required by the Pre-Veterinary Science major will prepare students for upper-level science courses, strengthen students' applications and better prepare students for the demanding curriculum of veterinary medical colleges. Students targeting particular veterinary colleges (i.e. their home state veterinary college) should research individual veterinary college requirements, costs, and financial aid through their websites or on the website and the yearly publication of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements ( 

Pre-Veterinary advising of Pre-Veterinary Science and other majors emphasizes the assembly of a successful application portfolio including a strong academic record in the sciences, a diversity of in-depth veterinary medicine-related experiences with small animals, large animals, wildlife or laboratory research, excellent recommendation letters, a strong performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE,, and application essays that testify to the maturity and written communication skills of the applicant. Students should prepare for the GRE in the winter of their junior year, so that they can take the test again to improve their score before the last date that they can take the test, which is in some cases is as early as July. Students should consult with members of the Pre-Veterinary Advisory Committee to develop their choices of veterinary colleges and to prepare for interviews. All but one of the veterinary colleges in North America and most of the veterinary colleges in other countries use the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS,, so that applicants can submit one application to multiple veterinary colleges. This application portal opens in May before the September 15 application deadline.

Course requirements for veterinary schools also satisfy all the requirements for entrance to any of the fields of human medicine and provide an excellent foundation for graduate work in the biological sciences.

Pre-Veterinary Advisory Committee Members

Amy Rubin, D.V.M

Katherine A. Beltaire, D.V.M.
Rafael Fissore, D.V.M., M.P.V.M., Ph.D.
Carlos Gradil, L.M.V, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Janice Telfer, Ph.D.

Animal Science Major Advising

Contact: Sue Marston, Chief Undergraduate Advisor
Office: 427U Integrated Science Building
Phone: 413-545-2641

The Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences requires students to meet with their academic faculty advisor during the Fall/Spring pre-registration periods. Prior to meeting with your advisor, please review your academic advising report in SPIRE for accuracy and be prepared with any questions you have regarding academic/career goals and your plan of study for the next semester. Your questions and plans will help your advisor to suggest the most appropriate courses, independent study and practica opportunities available to you. Upon completion of your advising appointment, your advisor will remove your registration hold, allowing you to register for classes when your enrollment appointment begins. If you are unfamiliar with who your academic advisor is, please check in the lower right corner of your student center on SPIRE.

Registering for Classes FAQs

Please click the link to view the most Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.

The Animal Science Major provides a sound background in the basic sciences to prepare students for a wide range of jobs in agriculture and related biomedical fields. All incoming freshmen enter the program as Animal Science Majors and must declare either the Animal Biotechnology and Research Concentration or the Animal Management Concentration or the Equine Science Concentration. These concentrations will equip students with the skills to make them competitive in the job market after graduation. Qualifying undergraduate students may elect the Commonwealth Honors College program.

For those students who choose to follow a career in Biotechnology, the Department offers a strong, well-structured curriculum that can help make them highly competitive in this market. Furthermore, this concentration will prepare students for graduate school, if they choose to follow this path.

All Animal Science majors must satisfy a set of basic science core courses and the Animal Science core courses. The specific offerings of the Biotechnology and Research concentration commence in the Fall semester of the junior year and continue through to graduation.

These specialty courses emphasize research animal management and welfare, as well as laboratory courses in biotechnology, immunology, and microbiology. Students have the opportunity to work in the laboratories of nationally and internationally recognized scientists studying immunology, reproduction and development, genetics and toxicology. The department houses an impressive array of research equipment and facilities including histology and sophisticated microscopy facilities, molecular biology labs for identifying and quantifying animal and human gene expression, sterile tissue culture facilities and micro-injection facilities and a Bio-safety level 3 containment facility. Research in departmental laboratories is targeted to lab animal models including rodents and frogs as well as cows, goats, sheep, poultry, and horses.

Students who choose to follow a career in Animal Management will have a well-structured and strong curriculum that can make them highly competitive in the market place, preparing them for both large-scale and small-scale farming, that is, “backyard to industrial”. The ‘buy local’ movement is expected to increase available jobs in New England for those schooled in this field. The Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences offers a series of courses that formalize the curriculum and accessory courses are taken in ancillary departments. Students have access to a number of animal species at our associated farms including a herd of Belted Galloway cattle, herds of Boer meat goats and Dorset sheep, as well as poultry and horses on which to learn management skills. We also partner with a local dairy farm where students care for the dairy calves and learn management skills. The Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences emphasizes animal ethics of food animal production as well as the impact of farming techniques on the environment.

The specific offerings of the Equine Science concentration commence in the Fall semester of the sophomore year and continue through to graduation. Horses require skillful management, knowledgeable trainers, specialized facilities, and appropriate nutritional programs and our Equine Science concentration is designed to teach these skills. Courses include: Equine Learning and Behavior, Development and Training of the Horse, Animal Business Management, Equine Nutrition and the Microbiome, Equine Diseases and Health Management, Equine Reproduction, Management of the Equine Athlete,Equine Rehabilitation. Students gain experience and build professional contacts through internships, career seminars, and industry association events.