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10 Veterinary Programs For High School Students

Veterinary medicine is a popular STEM subject that offers multiple lucrative career opportunities for those with a passion for animal healthcare. With a wide scope for exploration and development, getting into a vet school is the stepping stone to entering the world of veterinarian professions.


However, when it comes to renowned veterinary medicine institutions, securing a spot is tougher than you think. More often than not, these schools look for tangible proof of past vet experience and are only motivated to move forward with student applications that demonstrate strong foundational skills in this regard.


One way to work on getting that edge over others is by taking part in a prestigious veterinary program while in high school.


So today, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 veterinary programs for high school students - check it out!


The Veterinary Summer Experience Program (VSEP) by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine is another prestigious opportunity on the list.


This program is extremely selective, so you must reflect sheer passion and determination to get selected. VSEP collaborates with veterinarians and school counselors to pool ambitious veterinary students from all across Tennessee and expose them to the world of vet medicine. 


The range of activities is also very expansive. If selected, you will get the opportunity to shadow vets for four weeks and then spend one week on the eminent UT campus to explore the profession in depth. Here, you will be attending lectures, taking part in lab practices, performing clinical activities, and much more.


As for the application process, you must email the submission verification form attached with three LORs and your high school transcript for review. If selected, you will be contacted upfront.


Location: Tennessee

Program dates: June 17 - July 19 (tentatively)

Cost: Free. Students will receive a stipend for participation!

Application deadline: February 29

Eligibility: 

  • Students must be legal residents and enrolled/homeschooled in Tennessee 

  • They must be current high school seniors/juniors at the time of application

  • They must be 16 years or above by June 1

  • They must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

  • They must have not participated in the program before


Tufts University offers multiple pre-college programs and courses for high school vet enthusiasts. One of them is the Adventures in Veterinary Medicine (AVM) Program. 


The curriculum of this 2-week long program is expansive, consisting of field trips, clinical practice, and case study dissections. During your course of study there, you will visit the Cummings School Farm to gain hands-on experience in animal handling and physical examination. Apart from that, you will also get to practice a range of other core vet skills like bandaging, reading X-rays, and, most importantly, how to work with a team to handle medical cases. The AVM Program also offers you a chance to participate in capstone projects, lab works, and lectures by Tufts' esteemed faculty. 


In a nutshell, this program is ideal for you if you’re aiming to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the veterinary profession. However, do note that you will need a letter of evaluation to apply for the program, so better keep it ready.


Location: Tufts University Campus

Program dates: Session 1: July 7 - July 19; Session 2: July 21 - August 2 (tentatively)

Cost: Commuter fee $4,500; Residential fee $6,000 (Financial aid is available)

Application deadline: May 1 (Priority deadline for both sessions is February 15)

Eligibility: Students entering grades 10-12 in Fall 2024 or Spring 2024 high school graduates


VetCAMP (Veterinary Career Aptitude and Mentoring Program) by UGA is a summer program for high school students passionate about veterinary medicine. 


The program, besides being prestigious, is also pretty selective. Each year, only 52 students are selected to indulge in a week of intensive veterinary activities that mainly include field visits and training at UGA’s labs and hospitals. Apart from this, you also get a chance to explore the internal workings of the Georgia Aquarium to achieve a first-hand idea of how things work in such settings. 

The whole program is designed in a way that helps you pick up skills and foundational vet experience. It also includes activities that go beyond traditional veterinary education to help you understand the profession as a whole. 


For the application, you need to submit a video essay, your high school transcript, and a LOR from a teacher/counselor along with the written application. 


Location: UGA Campus

Program dates: June 2 - June 8 (tentatively)

Cost: $1,000

Application deadline: January 23 

Eligibility: High school students studying in grades 10th, 11th, or 12th


BLI’s Veterinary Medicine Program is another prestigious opportunity for high school students to dive deep into the nuances of veterinary sciences prior to college. 


In this 3-week long program, you will gain hands-on learning in different veterinary verticals. As a participant, you will be performing mock surgeries and engaging in several researches - all under the supervision of practicing surgeons and vet specialists. The program also focuses on imparting skills related to medical diagnosis through MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and so on.


Not only this. Their curriculum also consists of field trips to some of the most famous medical schools, hospitals, animal rehab centers, and zoos in the country to give you a comprehensive, real-world experience. Moreover, aspiring vets like you can also interact and learn from esteemed vet specialists there, and build a strong network before applying to university. 


Location: Gann/Bentley, Waltham

Program dates: July 8 - July 26 (tentatively)

Cost: Free

Application deadline: NA

Eligibility: High school students


If you’re looking for an overseas learning experience in veterinary medicine, FutureVets makes for a great summer program for you. It’s a rigorous, 2-week long program that takes place in Costa Rica.


In this program, you will be under the guidance of top vets and animal specialists to get a sneak peek into the life of a veterinarian. As a part of their curriculum, FutureVets lets you shadow vets as they perform surgeries, work on live animals, and treat and diagnose them - all of which is normally only viable for students enrolled in vet schools. This is to give you all the exposure and understanding you need to gauge what it takes to be in the profession.


In fact, there’s also an opportunity to earn three college credits by participating in the program and complying with a few requirements. So, if you’re preparing to get into a vet school anytime soon, this can come in handy.


To learn more about that, click here


Location: Costa Rica

Program dates: August 4 - August 17

Cost: Free. However, if a student wants to earn three college credits, they must pay $550

Application deadline: NA

Eligibility: High school students graduating in 2022, 2023, 2024, or 2025 


VetCAMP is an annual summer program organized by the North Carolina State University. In this 5-day long summer camp, students interested in establishing a career in veterinary medicine are familiarized with the underlying career opportunities in the field. 


Apart from that, you also get to learn essential skills and expertise through hands-on practice on animals and gain tangible proof of experience for your college SOP. Other notable VetCAMP activities include field trips to the College of Veterinary Medicine, animal clinics, participation in workshops, live sessions, and so on. 


Given the large number of applications, the camp is generally conducted in two in-person cohorts divided into two weeks. To save yourself a spot, you can apply for both weeks. However, you will only be considered for attending any one week of VetCAMP, and if denied, you will be redirected to participate in its virtual session.


To apply for the program, you must fill out their application form and make the payment. Additionally, you’ll also have to upload your unofficial high school transcript for review. 


Location: In-person (NC State University Campus) and virtual

Program dates: In-person Week 1: July 8 - July 12; In-person Week 2: July 15 - July 19; Virtual Week: June 17 - June 21 (tentatively)

Cost: 

  • Application fee is $28 for a week that the student applies for

  • Camp fee:

  • For Day Campers $700

  • For Overnight Campers $700 + $230 

Application deadline: April 5

Eligibility: 

  • Students must be rising high school sophomores/juniors/seniors/rising college freshmen

  • They must be 15 years old by June 1


The Advanced Veterinary Academy is a 3-day long program that orients  students with different facets of veterinary medicine. So, if you’re still on the fence about whether the profession would be right for you or not, this one can help you find the answer.


The course of study primarily involves lectures and lab work across a range of vet topics, such as anatomy, radiology, toxicology, epidemiology, and more. But that’s not all. As a participant, you will also be shadowing veterinarians to observe the process of animal surgeries and other critical procedures while replicating them under their guidance. This practical approach tends to prove highly effective for students wishing to gain fundamental vet skills. 


Coming to the application process, it’s pretty simple. You just need to submit your application form online or send it via mail, along with two LORs (one from a vet and one from a non-family member) and a descriptive essay that highlights your knowledge of the profession, career goals, etc. Check out their official website for the entire information. 


Location: University of Missouri Campus

Program dates: June 10 - June 12 (tentatively)

Cost: $300

Application deadline: March 31

Eligibility: 

  • Students must be high school juniors/seniors

  • They must be 16-19 years old

  • They must have previous/ongoing experience in shadowing a vet (name, address, and phone number of the veterinary practice and the veterinarian(s) must also be provided)

  • They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7


Organized by the prestigious University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, VetCamp is an interactive summer program designed for middle/high school students keen on learning about veterinary sciences and careers.


The curriculum is simple and mainly focuses on imbibing skills on a practical basis. In the 3-hour long session, you can choose to learn from a range of modules that include multiple hands-on learning activities like working on simulation animals, learning about toxicology, and more. 


Given the brevity of the program, every year, one VetCamp is held in the Fall semester and one in the Spring semester. In summer, multiple camps are hosted every month. You can choose your ideal camp session and register for it online.


While the VetCamp offers great skill development opportunities, it is exclusively ideal for those students who already possess basic vet knowledge and want to dive deeper into its intricacies. 


Location: High School Camp

Program dates: Multiple camps are held in a year. The Spring VetCamp will take place on March 23 (tentatively)

Cost: $15 (registration fee)

Application deadline: 24 hours before the program starts

Eligibility: High school students studying in grades 6-12


Aimed exclusively at ambitious high school students with a passion for veterinary medicine, OSU Summer Veterinary Experience is another great veterinary program for high school students.  


As a participant, you will be working under seasoned mentors and instructors to explore topics revolving around basic sciences, animal and human health, and social sciences. That’s not all. The program also aims to help you with undergraduate and DVM admissions procedures, along with teaching vet skills, hosting career panel discussions, conducting excursions and field trips, etc. 


Location: Oregon State Corvallis Campus 

Program dates: July 28 - August 2 (tentatively)

Cost: $850 (scholarships are available)

Application deadline: April 15

Eligibility: 

  • Students must be high school sophomores/juniors

  • They must be 16+ years at the time of the program

  • They must have enrolled in science classes and secured acceptable grades


VetSummer is a hands-on animal summer program for high school students exploring vet careers. This program’s USP is its immersive residential experience coupled with the enriching learning opportunity.


VetSummer consists of both in-campus training sessions and off-campus field trips. Along with that, you will also be taking part in veterinary medicine workshops, team-building activities, and professional vet interactions. 


All in all, this program makes for a solid way to build your college SOP and gain practical skills.


Location: College of Mount Saint Vincent

Program dates: Session 1 (July 9 - July 15); Session 2 (July 16 - July 22); Session 3 (July 23 - July 29) [tentatively]

Cost: NA

Application deadline: NA

Eligibility: Students between the ages of 12-17



One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re looking for a different way to boost your college applications, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper. 


Image Source: Tufts University College Logo


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