Pre-Medicine and Pre-Veterinary

If you’ve always wanted to be a doctor or veterinarian or physical therapist, we can help you pursue your dream. If you think you want a career in medicine or animal science but aren’t sure what kind, we can help you identify the one that’s right for you. Our graduates are in myriad careers, including genetic counseling, drug testing, dentistry, occupational therapy, wildlife husbandry and chiropractic and osteopathic medicine.

Why should you do your pre-professional coursework at Sweet Briar?

One very good reason is that our students are accepted to health and veterinary professional schools at more than twice the national average!

What are the components of the Sweet Briar pre-medicine and pre-veterinary careers program?


In addition to your academic advisor, Professor Morrissey will help you plan the coursework, extracurricular activities and internship experiences necessary to make you a strong candidate for admission to graduate programs in your chosen field.

Coursework and Major

The specific coursework required is dictated by your career choice and mandated by the professional schools. We will help you plan a course schedule that will allow you to complete your required courses on time.

There is no specific “pre-med” or “pre-vet” major. Although many pre-health career students major in biology or chemistry, you can fulfill your pre-professional requirements in any major.

  • Julia Rhinehart ’18 attended the Royal Veterinary College of London.
  • Alex St. Pierre ’12 majored in Classics and minored in Biology and Music before attending veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Shanthi Ramesh ’06 completed a French major before attending Wright State University’s School of Medicine.
  • Pediatrician Anne Lombardi Hladik ’01 majored in Physics and Mathematics with minors in Chemistry and Religion.
  • Dr. Nancy Weigel ’95 majored in Spanish and now practices family medicine.
  • Kathleen H. Hartman ’92 majored in English and Creative Writing before obtaining an M.S. in Animal Science, a D.V.M., and a Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences. She is a USDA-APHIS aquaculture epidemiologist, investigating diseases of ornamental fish stocks.

Internships and Experiences

Shadowing, internships and volunteer work allow you to investigate your chosen career to be sure it is the one for you. Participation in these areas demonstrates your commitment to professional school admissions committees and gives you plenty of experience to draw upon in your professional school interviews. We provide advice, suggestions and contacts to help you obtain this essential experience.

  • Pre-medical students in the SCRIBE program at Lynchburg General Hospital work with emergency room physicians, electronically transcribing their notes.
  • Leslie Price ’11 spent one summer as an intern in a physical therapy practice in Virginia and the next summer as an intern with an occupational therapist in Texas.
  • Jess Franklin ’11 gained experience with marine animal husbandry in the New York Aquarium Comprehensive College Internship Program.

Preparation for Standardized Tests

Professional schools require you to take a standardized test for admission. Among these are the MCAT, GRE, DAT, OAT and PCAT, for medicine, veterinary medicine and physical therapy, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy, respectively. We will help you design the best test preparation method for you.

The Pre-medical and Health Careers Committee

This committee of faculty members will serve as the panel for your practice interview, which helps you to prepare for the real thing. The committee will also provide input in the letter of evaluation required by many health professions programs.