Protecting Animal Health: Make Your Mark in Veterinary Science
Veterinary science deals with the study and practice of caring for animals’ health and wellbeing. While many veterinary scientists make a career of caring for household pets like dogs and cats, specialists in the field care for livestock, exotic pets, and wildlife. Others pursue careers in veterinary research, studying and innovating the ways practitioners care for their patients.
As a diverse field with numerous avenues, veterinary science is an ideal major for anyone with an affinity for animals, science, and people. There are currently not many Black or Brown veterinarians, so there’s a need for more students like you to pursue a degree and career in which you can contribute to this field.
Whatever their interest, students who plan to pursue veterinary careers will need to enroll in a related degree program. Bachelor’s degrees in veterinary science or veterinary technology are an excellent choice. However, there are multiple academic paths that can prepare you for veterinary school (which is a specialized graduate school) or a two-year veterinary technology program. As long as you fulfill the necessary prerequisites for attending and completing veterinary school, you can qualify for high-level positions in this field.
Majors that prepare students for veterinary schools and careers include a wide range of related course subjects—science naturally being the most valuable—and may offer different concentrations. Courses may include:
- Organic chemistry
- Molecular and cell biology
Careers in Veterinary Science
A science or veterinary degree can lead to a variety of career paths, especially if you do attend veterinary school (which is necessary to become a veterinarian, researcher, or professor):
- Veterinary Physician
- Veterinary Researcher
- Veterinary Assistant/Technician
- Veterinary Technologist
- Veterinary Nurse
- Professor of Veterinary Science
Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major?
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How to Prepare for Success
All veterinary and science majors need to have some basic, foundational understanding of chemistry, biology, and ethics. A background working with animals in a domestic or agricultural setting will be beneficial. However, students who plan to work in a traditional veterinary practice will also need excellent communication, interpersonal, and multitasking skills, as well as strong capabilities in mathematics and various science disciplines.
UNCF Schools to Consider
Only one UNCF-member HBCU offers a degree program specifically in veterinary science: Tuskegee University. However, it’s common for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in one of the other sciences before continuing to veterinary school. Naturally, biology is a popular choice. These UNCF-member schools offer programs in biology:
- Xavier University of Louisiana
- Spelman College
- Clark Atlanta University
- Claflin University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Virginia Union University
- Florida Memorial University
- Rust College
There are many organizations in various fields of veterinary science that offer more insight into working in those professions. A sample list includes:
- American Society of Animal Science (ASAS)
- American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
- American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC)
- Iowa Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA)
- United States Animal Health Association (USAHA)
There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in veterinary science than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for veterinary science majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements.
Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study veterinary science.
As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in veterinary science. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!