Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Veterinarians touch the lives of individuals and families through caring animal health practices. Although requirements vary at professional schools, a strong foundation in the natural and social sciences as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education is considered excellent preparation for a career in veterinary medicine.

Central students are successful on entrance exams and in securing acceptance into professional schools with the assistance of an on-campus pre-health adviser, internship coordinator and academic advisers to ensure that you complete the required courses, maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher and take advantage of the many on-and off-campus opportunities for research and professional development. Central’s pre-veterinary program prepares you to pursue veterinary education in graduate school. With the help of your adviser, you will choose a major that best prepares you for further study.

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Large/small animal veterinarian, Osceola Veterinary Clinic
  • Veterinarian/Owner, Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic, Ankeny
  • Veterinarian, Stuart Veterinary
  • Veterinarian, Tri-County Veterinary Clinic, Pella


  • Bio-Chem Club
  • SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment)
  • Tri-Beta (national biological sciences honor society)
  • Health Professions Club
Central College student

Graduate Placement

Central students have attended a variety of graduate institutions including the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.


Students interested in veterinary medicine are able to intern with local businesses. Opportunities are available across the state including the Knoxville Veterinary Clinic. Also, pre-veterinary students who studied abroad in Merida, Mexico, have interned with a veterinary clinic in Merida, working with small animals.

Courses & Faculty

Students may major in any area that fits with personal and professional life goals. Regardless of major choice, students are required to successfully complete a series of courses in biology, chemistry, physics, English, speaking and arts/humanities. Students are also required to gain exposure to veterinary medicine/animal care (both large and small animals) and complete the GRE.

The Central College Career Center provides the following activities to help pre-health students narrow career options: individual appointments to identify career options in the health field, job shadowing opportunities with local professionals or Central alumni, assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, help with graduate school applications and much more.

Meet the faculty:

Russ Benedict, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Biology, interest areas include: interest areas include prairie ecology and restoration, conservation biology, natural history and mammalogy

Cathy Haustein, B.A., M.F.A., Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include: analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry instrumental analysis, the extraction of alkaloids from natural products, fluorescence spectroscopy and fiction writing

Paulina Mena, B.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology, interest areas include: understanding how organisms adapt to their environment and what role their chromosomal architecture plays in that process

James Shriver, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, interest areas include: organic chemistry, molecular engineering and design, supramolecular chemistry and anion binding

The Central Difference

Individualized Attention

Thanks to Central's small class and laboratory section size, faculty can provide each student with individualized attention and the opportunity to develop skills necessary for graduate school. Our faculty members also provide personalized advising that ensures students meet the coursework requirements for graduate school. And to help students get into graduate school, faculty provide letters of recommendation that make a vital difference in the decision process for acceptance into medical programs.

Central's Health Professions Club also provides mentoring, informs students about opportunities related to healthcare, and coordinates visits to and from various graduate programs. The club's faculty adviser also provides free workshops to address a range of interests, from career exploration to preparing for graduate entrance exams and application.

Heartland Global Health Consortium

Central College is a founding member of the Heartland Global Health Consortium whose mission is to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research and service opportunities to inspire and equip students to become leaders in global public health. The consortium provides additional opportunities for students to participate in educational, global research and global medical service experiences.

Hands-On Research

Central faculty provide students with many research and professional development opportunities, of which students are encouraged to take full advantage while on campus. Opportunities include undergraduate research and presentations at scientific meetings, internships, shadowing programs, targeted service-learning opportunities related to career goals and much more.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago or Washington, D.C. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Learn More

Want to find out more about Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.