A considerable amount of time and education is required to become a licensed veterinarian, including attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in an undergraduate program, attending a veterinary medical school, and passing a licensure exam. Those considering a veterinary career should ideally begin preparing in high school by taking as many science- and math-related courses as possible. In college, it's best to enter a pre-veterinary program. A pre-veterinarian program lasts at least two years, though for most, it will take three to four years to complete. Students typically major in animal science or a related field. Common courses include biology, chemistry, physics, genetics, biochemistry, and math. If you know which veterinary school or schools to which you plan to apply, it's wise to check with those schools in advance regarding which courses they require. You should also verify that the credits from your pre-veterinarian courses at a particular college will transfer to the veterinary school of your choice. Veterinary medical school entails another four years of study. Upon graduation, you'll earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or DVM (D-V-M), degree. Before opening a private practice, you must also pass a test in the state where you’ll work to receive a license from the board of veterinary medical examiners.
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