Academic Preparation & Prerequisite Courses

Academic Preparation & Prerequisites Courses

No specific undergraduate program or major is required or preferred for admission into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. Applicants may select majors and schools on the basis of interest and aptitude as long as prerequisites are fulfilled. Prerequisites may also be completed after earning a bachelor's degree. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university is required prior to matriculation.

Prerequisite Guidelines

Admission to the School of Veterinary Medicine requires completion of specific prerequisite courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university. All courses need to have a C or higher to be accepted. Additional guidelines:

  • Courses and labs may be taken online.
  • All but the three upper division courses (biochemistry, genetics, and physiology) can be taken at a community college.
  • Students may apply after 75% of the prerequisites have been completed (approx. three courses may be pending at the time application is submitted). Remaining prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation. 
  • No credits are accepted for military experience, CLEP exams, DSST exams, or vocational school coursework.
  • AP credit is accepted based on the credit awarded by the student's institution.
  • There is no time limit for courses.

Required Prerequisite Courses

Lower Division Courses

  • COLLEGE PHYSICS (two semesters or two quarters; no lab required)
  • GENERAL BIOLOGY (two semesters or three quarters with lab)
  • GENERAL COLLEGE CHEMISTRY (two semesters or three quarters with lab)
  • ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (two semesters or two quarters with one lab total)
  • STATISTICS (one semester or quarter; can be lower or upper division)
     

Upper Division Courses

  • BIOCHEMISTRY (one semester or quarter)
  • GENETICS (one semester or quarter)
  • SYSTEMIC PHYSIOLOGY (one semester or quarter; animal or human)

NOTE: All upper division courses must be completed at the upper division level at a four-year college. They may not be completed at a community college. Lower division courses are not accepted.

Where to Take Prerequisites

All prerequisite courses are based on the UC Davis undergraduate courses as listed below. Equivalent courses found at other institutions may be found in our prerequisites database, listed alphabetically by institution name. Most California public colleges are listed within the database as are a few out-of-state institutions.

Each institution listed within the database has a document called an articulation agreement, which lists the equivalent courses offered at that university. No articulation agreements exist for statistics as we will accept ANY course in statistics (business, medical, psychology, etc.).

Applicants are responsible for ensuring they have taken the appropriate prerequisite courses necessary to be admitted to the DVM program. Use the course descriptions as stated below as a guide for what each prerequisite course should entail.


UC Davis Undergraduate Courses

UC Davis students are required to take the course or course series outlined below. No substitutions will be considered. All other students should first review Where to Take Prerequisites. If an articulation agreement does not exist for the institution where courses have been or will be taken, the course descriptions below should be used as a guide for finding comparable courses.

  • COLLEGE PHYSICS (two semesters or two quarters, no lab)
  • PHY 1A, 1B or PHY 7A, 7B, 7C

    PHY 1A Principles of Physics

    Description: 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.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s).

    PHY 1B Principles of Physics
    Description: Continuation of PHY 001A. Heat, optics, electricity, modern physics.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s)


    PHY 7A General Physics
    Description: Introduction to general principles and analytical methods used in physics for students majoring in a biological science.
    Details: Lecture—1.5 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—5 hour(s).

    PHY 7B General Physics
    Description: Continuation of PHY 007A. Physics 7B is most like the first quar­ter or semester of traditionally taught courses which treat classical mechanics.
    Details: Lecture—1.5 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—5 hour(s).

    PHY 7C General Physics
    Description: Continuation of PHY 007B. Physics 7C is most like the last quarter or semester which, in traditionally taught courses, treats optics, electricity and magnetism, and modern physics.
    Details: Lecture—1.5 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—5 hour(s)

  • GENERAL BIOLOGY (two semesters or three quarters with lab)
  • BIS 2A, 2B, 2C

    BIS 2A Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
    Description: 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 the Earth.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—2 hour(s).

    BIS 2B Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
    Description: 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.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s).

    BIS 2C Introduction to Biology: Biodiversity & the Tree of Life
    Description: Introduction to organismal diversity, using the phylogenetic tree of life as an organizing theme. Lectures and laboratories cover methods of phylogenetic reconstruction, current knowledge of the tree of life, and the evolution of life's most important and interesting innovations.
    Details: Lecture—4 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s)

  • GENERAL CHEMISTRY (two semesters or three quarters with lab)
  • CHE 2A, 2B, 2C

    CHE 2A General Chemistry

    Description: 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.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—4 hour(s)

    CHE 2B General Chemistry
    Description: Condensed phases and intermolecular forces, chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, solubility. Laboratory experiments in thermochemistry, equilibria, and quantitative analysis using volumetric methods.

    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—4 hour(s).

    CHE 2C General Chemistry
    Description: Kinetics, electrochemistry, spectroscopy, structure and bonding in transition metal compounds, application of principles to chemical reactions. Laboratory experiments in selected analytical methods and syntheses.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—4 hour(s).

  • ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (two semesters or two quarters with one lab)
  • CHE 8A, 8B or CHE 118A, 118B, 118C or CHE 128A, 128B, 128C
     

    CHE 8A Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
    Description: With CHE 008B, an introduction to the nomenclature, structure, chemistry, and reaction mechanisms of organic compounds. Intended for students majoring in areas other than organic chemistry.
    Details: Lecture—2 hour(s)

    CHE 8B Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
    Description: Laboratory concerned primarily with organic laboratory techniques and the chemistry of the common classes of organic compounds. Lecture portion a continuation of CHE 008A.

    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s)


    CHE 118A Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
    Description: Rigorous, in-depth presentation of basic principles with emphasis on stereochemistry and spectroscopy and preparations and reactions of nonaromatic hydrocarbons, haloalkanes, alcohols and ethers.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Discussion/Laboratory—1.5 hour(s).

    CHE 118B Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
    Description: Continuation of CHE 118A, with emphasis on spectroscopy and the preparation and reactions of aromatic hydrocarbons, organometallic compounds, aldehydes and ketones.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s)

    CHE 118C Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
    Description: Continuation of CHE 118B, with emphasis on the preparation, reactions and identification of carboxylic acids and their derivatives, alkyl and acyl amines, ß-dicarbonyl compounds, and various classes of naturally occurring, biologically important compounds.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s); Laboratory—3 hour(s).


    CHE 128A Organic Chemistry
    Description: Introduction to the basic concepts of organic chemistry with emphasis on stereochemistry and the chemistry of hydrocarbons. Designed primarily for majors in chemistry. Chemistry majors should enroll in CHE 129A concurrently.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s)

    CHE 128B Organic Chemistry
    Description: Continuation of CHE 128A with emphasis on the chemistry of alcohols, ethers, their sulfur analogs, and carbonyl compounds. Introduction to the application of spectroscopic methods to organic chemistry. Introduction to synthesis of moderately complex organic molecules.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s)

    CHE 128C Organic Chemistry
    Description: Continuation of CHE 128B with emphasis on enolate condensations and the chemistry of amines, phenols, and sugars; selected biologically important compounds.
    Details: Lecture—3 hour(s)

  • BIOCHEMISTRY (one semester or quarter)
  • ABI 102 or BIS 103

    ABI 102 Animal Biochemistry & Metabolism
    Description: Water and biological buffers; thermodynamics of metabolism; structure and function of biomolecules; enzyme kinetics and function; membrane biology; digestion and absorption; carbohydrate metabolism.
    Details: Lecture—4 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): (CHE 002A, CHE 002B, CHE 008A, CHE 008B) or (CHE 118A, CHE 118B). Not open for credit to students who have completed BIS 102

    BIS 102 Bioenergetics & Metabolism
    Description
    : Fundamentals of the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles in nature, including key reactions of biomolecules such as carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides, and of energy production and use in different types of organisms. Principles of metabolic regulation.
    Details: 1.5 units of credit for students who have completed BIS 105; 1 unit of credit if students who have completed ABI 103.
  • GENETICS (one semester or quarter)
  • BIS 101 Genes & Gene Expression
    Description
    : Nucleic acid structure and function; gene expression and its regulation; replication; transcription and translation; transmission genetics; molecular evolution.
    Details: Lecture—4 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): (BIS 002A C- or better, BIS 002B C- or better); (CHE 008A or CHE 118A or CHE 128A); (STA 013 or STA 013Y) or STA 100 or STA 102 or STA 130A); STA 100 preferred.
  • SYSTEMIC PHYSIOLOGY (one semester or quarter; animal or human)
  • ANS 100 or NPB 101
     

    ANS 100 Animal Physiology
    Description: Basic principles of animal physiology in domesticated and captive animals with a comparative approach. Molecular, biochemical, chemical and physical aspects and their influences on function of physiological systems in animals.
    Details: Lecture—4 hour(s); Discussion—1 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): BIS 002A; CHE 002B. Pass One restricted to students in the Animal Science and Animal Science and Management majors.

    NPB 101 Systemic Physiology
    Description: 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.
    Details: Lecture—5 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): BIS 002A; (CHE 002B or CHE 002BH); PHY 001B or PHY 007C strongly recommended.

  • STATISTICS  (one semester or one quarter; lower or upper division)
  • Statistics 13 or 100, or other acceptable UC Davis statistics courses in agricultural business,
    psychology, biology, etc., may be used to meet this requirement.