Pre-Veterinary Medicine: Pre-Professional Program

Undergraduate Program

Pre-Veterinary Medicine: Pre-Professional Program

dog drinking out of a benson bubbler

Pre-Veterinary Medicine Pre-Professional Program Overview

Veterinarians are licensed medical professionals dedicated to maintaining and promoting the health and well beings of animals. Veterinarians diagnose and treat sick and injured animals, prevent the transmission of diseases, and advise pet owners on the proper care of animals. Veterinary work is widely varied and may also include clinical practice with large and/or small animals, biomedical research, industry, zoological or exotic animal medicine, public health and food safety.

Admission to Veterinary programs is competitive and it’s recommended that students complete a bachelor’s degree and maintain a strong academic record prior to applying.

Portland State offers a strong pre-veterinary medicine program that enables students to complete their prerequisite coursework and obtain assistance in preparing for and applying to Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) schools across the country.

Pre-veterinary medicine is a professional track (not a major), but common majors for pre-veterinary students include: Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Students can choose any major while also completing their pre-veterinary coursework. You can discuss with your veterinary advisor how these two components fit together in your course plans.

Prospective students interested in PSU can meet with a pre-veterinary advisor to learn about the pre-veterinary track.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • PPT
    Pre-Professional Track
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Pre-Veterinary Medicine Pre-Professional Program: Why PSU?

PSU has dedicated pre-health advisors to help students plan their coursework, support them in gaining relevant experience, and guide them through the process of applying to veterinary schools.

There are a wide range of volunteer opportunities available in the Portland area to help students better understand the role of veterinarians in different settings and specialties, and boost their application to veterinary programs in the future.

Many of Portland State’s departments and schools offer student research opportunities, including Biology, and Chemistry.

Students are not required to hold a bachelor’s degree prior to entry into the DVM program at OSU, though the vast majority of students admitted to OSU’s veterinary medicine program have earned a bachelor’s degree. PSU students have the option of transferring back up to 48 credits of the first year’s work in the professional phase of the DVM program to complete the PSU requirements for a bachelor’s degree with a major in Biology or Science. Students choosing this option must already have all general education requirements met through PSU. Students also have the option to receive a bachelor’s degree through OSU by transferring DVM courses work towards a bachelor’s degree at OSU. In this case students must meet OSU’s general education requirements/ Baccalaureate Core Requirements

PSU has the Ignite Scholarship program, developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and Portland Leadership Foundation, which emphasizes a culture of support and community for students in healthcare career pathways that can sometimes be complex and overwhelming. Students who receive the Ignite scholarship will be part of a program emphasizing leadership and mentorship (supported by a $5,000 scholarship), which includes serving as mentors for incoming pre-health students.

Incoming pre-health students seeking mentorship can apply to be matched with PSU's Ignite mentors. This is a one-year commitment (fall, winter and spring terms) for mentors and mentees.

Student organizations on campus help students to connect with peers pursuing pre-health tracks or science fields, as well as many different multicultural, social, and community involvement focused groups. Examples of student groups include the Health Promotion Student Organization, Portland State Women in STEM, Science Outreach Society, Biology Investigation and Outreach, and the Neuroscience Club at PSU.

What can I do after completing the pre-professional program in Pre-Veterinary Medicine?

Students in PSU's pre-veterinary medicine program often go on to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at schools across the country.

Featured Courses

  • PHY 337 Physics in Biomedicine
  • PHL 446 Biomedical Ethics
  • SOC 250 Sociology for the Health Sciences


Pre-Veterinary Medicine is a pre-professional track, not a major. Students can select any major of their choice.



Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).