Academic Preparation & Preveterinary Required Courses

Academic Preparation

Before you apply to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, there are course requirements you need to fulfill, tests you must take, experience you must obtain, and letters of recommendation/evaluations that must be written on your behalf.  It takes a lot of preparation to be a successful applicant.  Carefully read through all of the admissions information on this website and make note of important deadlines. Also, read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) section as it will answer many of your questions.

Admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine requires completion of specific prerequisite courses taken at a college or university accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. The School of Veterinary Medicine does not accept credits for military experience, CLEP exams, DSST exams or vocational school coursework. Transferable coursework must be comparable to courses offered within the UC system.  Applicants attending California public colleges must use the ASSIST.org website to review the courses that are accepted from their school to meet our prerequisite courses.  Three of the prerequisites: biochemistry, genetics and physiology MUST be taken at the upper division level at a university (cannot be taken at a community college).  Students may apply to veterinary school after 75 percent of the science prerequisites have been completed (approx. three courses may be pending at the time application is submitted.)  Remaining prerequisites must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to matriculation. 

A Bachelor’s degree is required prior to matriculation.

Applicants must have a Bachelor's Degree from a college or university accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education by the end of the spring term prior to matriculation.   Applicants may select majors and schools on the basis of interest and aptitude as long as prerequisites are fulfilled.

Required Pre-veterinary Medical Courses:

Applicants taking science courses at California public colleges must refer to the ASSIST.org website to review the courses at your college that will fulfill our requirements.  If upper division required science courses are taken at a private college or at a school outside California, please fill out the Course Substitution Form and email it to the Admissions Office at admissions@vetmed.ucdavis.edu for determination of articulation.  Lower division required courses usually do not require approval:  One year of general biology w/lab, one year of general chemistry w/lab, one year or 2 quarters of college physics, and one year or 2 quarters of organic chemistry w/lab.

No articulation agreements exist for statistics. The School accepts ANY course in statistics (business, medical, psychology, etc.). There is no time limit on acceptance of required courses.  

Applicants are responsible for ensuring they have taken the appropriate prerequisite courses necessary to be admitted to the DVM program. 

The following courses are required if taken at UC Davis. Seventy-five percent of the required science courses must be complete at time of application.  Approximately three courses may be pending when application is submitted.

ALL PREREQUISITE COURSES AND A BACHELOR'S DEGREE MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE END OF THE SPRING TERM PRIOR TO MATRICULATION.

A. Lower Division Required Sciences

GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY: Two semesters or three quarters with lab
CHEMISTRY (General Chemistry 2A) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours; laboratory/discussion 4 hours. Prerequisite: high school chemistry and physics
strongly recommended; satisfactory score on diagnostic examinations. Periodic table, stoichiometry, chemical equations, physical properties and kinetic theory of gases, atomic and molecular structure and chemical bonding. Laboratory experiments in stoichiometric relations, properties and collection of gases, atomic spectroscopy, and introductory quantitative analysis.
(On the Davis campus, Chemistry 2AH may satisfy this requirement.)

CHEMISTRY (General Chemistry 2B). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours; laboratory/discussion 4 hours. Prerequisite: course 2A or 2AH. Continuation
of course 2A. Condensed phases and intermolecular forces, chemical thermodynamics, chemical
equilibria, acids and bases, solubility. Laboratory experiments in thermochemistry, equilibria,
and quantitative analysis using volumetric methods. (On the Davis campus, Chemistry 2BH may
satisfy this requirement.)

CHEMISTRY (General Chemistry 2C) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours; laboratory/discussion 4 hours. Prerequisite: course 2B or 2BH. Continuation
of course 2B. Kinetics, electrochemistry, spectroscopy, structure and bonding in transition metal
compounds, application of principles to chemical reactions. Laboratory experiments in selected
analytical methods and syntheses. (On the Davis campus, Chemistry 2CH may satisfy this
requirement.)

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: Two semesters or two quarters with one lab

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (Organic Chemistry 8A) Brief Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 2 hours. Prerequisite: course 2B with a grade of C- or higher. With course 8B, an
introduction to the nomenclature, structure, chemistry, and reaction mechanisms of organic
compounds. Intended for students majoring in areas other than organic chemistry.
(On the Davis campus, course Chemistry 118A may satisfy this requirement.)

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (Organic Chemistry 8B) Brief Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours. Laboratory 3 hours. Prerequisite: course 8A or 118A. Continuation of course
8A. Laboratory concerned primarily with organic laboratory techniques and the chemistry of
the common classes of organic compounds. (On the Davis campus, Chemistry 128ABC together
with 129A or 118ABC may also be used to meet the Organic Chemistry requirement.
A laboratory is required.)

COLLEGE PHYSICS:  Two semesters or two quarters (no lab required)

PHYSICS (Principles of Physics 1A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours. Prerequisite: trigonometry or consent of instructor. Mechanics. Introduction to
general principles and analytical methods used in physics with emphasis on applications in
applied agricultural and biological sciences and in physical education. Not open for credit to
students who have received credit for course 7B or 9A on the Davis campus.

PHYSICS (Principles of Physics 1B) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lecture 3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1A or 9A. Continuation of course 1A. Heat, optics,
electricity, modern physics. Not open for credit to students who have received credit for course
7A, 7B, 7C, 9B, 9C or 9D on the Davis campus.

GENERAL BIOLOGY: Two semesters or three quarters with lab

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (Introduction to Biology 2A: Essentials of Life on Earth)
Lecture 3 hours; discussion 1 hour. Essentials of life including sources and use of energy, information storage, responsiveness to natural selection and cellularity. Origin of life and influence of living things on the chemistry of Earth. Not open for credit to students who have completed Biological Sciences 1A with a grade of C- or better.

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (Introduction to Biology 2B: Principles of Ecology and Evolution)
Lecture 3 hours; laboratory 3 hours; discussion 1 hour. Prerequisite: course 1A or 2A. Introduction to basic principles of ecology and evolutionary biology, focusing on the fundamental mechanisms that generate and maintain biological diversity across scales ranging from molecules and genes to global processes and patterns. Not open for credit to students who have completed Biological Sciences 1B with a grade of C- or better. (A laboratory is required.)

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (Introduction to Biology 2C: Biodiversity and the Tree of Life)
Lecture 4 hours; laboratory 3 hours. Prerequisite: course 1B or 2B. Introduction to organismal
diversity, using the phylogenetic tree of life as an organizing theme. Methods of phylogenetic
reconstruction, current knowledge of the tree of life, and the evolution of life’s most important
and interesting innovations. Not open for credit to students who have completed Biological
Sciences 1C with a grade of C- or better. (A laboratory is required.)

B. Upper Division Required Sciences (Must be completed at a four-year college; may not be completed at a community college. MUST BE TAKEN AT THE UPPER DIVISION LEVEL.  Lower division courses not acceptable.)

GENETICS (Biological Sciences 101) Genes and Gene Expression:  One semester or one quarter
Lecture 4 hours. Prerequisite: Biological Sciences 1A and 1B or 2A, 2B and 2C (which may be
taken concurrently), and Chemistry 8B or 118B or 128B. Nucleic acid structure and function; gene expression and its regulation; replication; transcription and translation; transmission genetics; molecular evolution. (A laboratory is not required.)

BIOCHEMISTRY (Animal Biology 102) Animal Biochemistry & Metabolism: One semester or one quarter

Lecture 4 hours; discussion 1 hour. Prerequisite: Chemistry 2A–2B, 8A–8B. Water and biological buffers; thermodynamics of metabolism; structure and function of biomolecules; enzyme kinetics and function; membrane biology; digestion and absorption; carbohydrate metabolism. (Biological Sciences 103, Bioenergetics & Metabolism, will meet this requirement.
A laboratory is not required.)

PHYSIOLOGY (NPB 101) Systemic Physiology:  One semester or one quarter (cannot be a combined anatomy/physiology course unless indicated on Assist website)
Lecture 5 hours. Prerequisite: Biological Sciences 1A or 2A, and Chemistry 2B; Physics 1B or 7C are strongly recommended. Systemic physiology with emphasis on aspects of human physiology. Functions of major organ systems, with the structure of those systems described as a basis for understanding the functions. (A laboratory is not required.)

ANS 100 – Animal Physiology will also satisfy this requirement.

C. Additional Required Courses (Lower or Upper Division Courses)

STATISTICS (Elementary Statistics):  One semester or one quarter
Statistics 13 or 100, or other acceptable UC Davis statistics courses in agricultural business,
psychology, biology, etc., may be used to meet this requirement.