Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program

UMass Amherst University Without Walls


Amherst, MA


Jun 25 - Jul 8


The Pre-Veterinary Medicine Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is an immersion experience for rising junior and senior high school students seeking to learn about (1) the field of veterinary medicine, (2) the steps involved in successfully completing a pre-veterinary undergraduate program and becoming a competitive candidate for applying to veterinary school, and (3) the time and financial commitments involved in choosing this career path.

This two-week class includes an overview of the veterinary profession and the academic preparation and animal experience required for becoming a competitive applicant to veterinary school. Students will complete hands-on rotations in basic comparative anatomy and physiology, animal handling and restraint, and overviews of veterinary pharmacology, clinical pathology, parasitology, biosecurity, diagnostic imaging, obstetrics, and wound management.

The schedule for the program consists of short lectures and discussions on the UMass-Amherst main campus in addition to hands-on modules at the University’s Hadley and South Deerfield Farms. During hands-on modules, students will interact with sheep, goats, beef cattle, and horses. There will also be off-campus field trips, academic games, and team presentations.

Class Objectives - Students completing this course successfully should be able to:

  • recognize and use some basic veterinary terminology.
  • explain basic mammalian and avian cardiac, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, and reproductive anatomy and physiology.
  • perform domestic animal handling, restraint, and basic physical assessments.
  • describe some common veterinary therapeutics and the laws regarding their use.
  • understand fundamentals of diagnostic imaging (radiography, ultrasonography, CT, and MRI) and perform a trans-abdominal reproductive ultrasound examination on a sheep.
  • describe basic similarities and differences between zoo, wildlife, and exotic animal care and management.
  • develop a personalized plan of action (completion of academic requirements and animal experiences) for becoming a competitive veterinary school applicant.
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The feedback online is highly positive, with a rating on Facebook of five stars. It is also frequently ranked as one of the top Pre-College programs in the country. One student on Facebook writes, “I have loved my experiences here at Umass Amherst. The campus and area [are] beautiful, and the food is phenomenal!” Students who enroll in a Residential Program have access to UMass’s cafeterias which are typically ranked in the Top Three in the country.

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