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Pre-Veterinary Medicine


At left, Dawn Kernich '12 worked at Busch Gardens in Florida before taking a position at the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri. In middle, Nicole DoGiacomo '01 is a veterinarian in her home town of Villa Park, Ill. At right, Joseph Lupo '10 is working his way through earning his veterinary degree from Ross University on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Schools of veterinary medicine give preference to applicants who are bachelor of arts degree candidates, and Augustana offers an excellent education for students who plan to pursue a career as a veterinarian. Augustana’s pre-vet majors prepare with a challenging science curriculum—especially biology, chemistry and physics, including advanced courses in subjects such as histology, parasitology, neuroanatomy and biochemistry.

What graduates do

Dawn Kernich ’12 works at the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri.

Gloriann Golden ’08 is an associate veterinarian at Animal Care Center in Plainfield, Ill.

The 114,000-square-foot Science Building houses the pre-health programs and the departments of biology, chemistry and physics, promoting cross-disciplinary study and research among students and faculty. Special facilities include high-tech individual labs for anatomy and physiology, cell biology, zoology, biochemistry, genetics, and a dedicated cadaver dissection lab, among others.

Class sizes are small, with highest numbers around 60 students, and no classes are taught by teaching assistants. Professors teach both the lecture and lab portions of their classes, ensuring continuity and connection between theory and practice.

Facts & distinctions

Augustana College is one of only three colleges with an early acceptance agreement with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Students accepted into this program can enter vet school one year early.

Students are accepted at the beginning of their second year at Augustana and must maintain a minimum grade-point average. Our agreement is not only an early admission program, but also a 3-4 program, meaning students can enter the vet school after their third year at Augustana. After their first year of veterinary school, they return to graduate at Augustana, then finish the remaining three years of vet school (seven total years). This is not restricted to Illinois residents.

Students also may participate in clinical rotations during the school year at various veterinary clinics in the Quad-City area to obtain the clinical experience necessary for successful competition for admission into schools of veterinary medicine. Students interested in veterinary medicine should consult with the advisor early in their first year of study to plan an appropriate schedule of studies.

Hannah Hart '13, biology major with pre-veterinary medicine emphasis; attends University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

"There are so many resources on campus to help students get where they want to go, and I found myself surrounded by the most amazing, driven, talented and passionate students, faculty and staff. I know that they played a big part in my development into a more confident individual and a more able scientist."

Dawn Kernich '12, biology major with pre-veterinary emphasis; works for World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri

"The pre-vet program at Augie helped me to get involved with animals without having to actually become a veterinarian. I love working with animals but I didn't want to be the "bad guy" all the time. Now, I educate others about the importance of animal conservation, especially birds of prey, while holding a particular bird that I have bonded with.

Poelvoorde '87 named Trinity College of Nursing chancellor

After serving as the interim chancellor for Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences since August, alumna Tracy Poelvoorde moves into the position on a permanent basis. After completing her bachlor's degree in biology/pre-veterinary medicine at Augustana in 1987, Poelvoorde went on to earn her master's degree at Idaho State University. She joined Trinity College as an assistant professor in 2000.

Pre-vet student ready for wild African internship

Danielle Schneider ’16 will travel to South Africa for a two-week internship in June. The Shimongwe Limpopo Veterinary Experience, which typically accepts students already in veterinary programs, features medical work on sick and injured domesticated species as well as animal vaccinations.

Class of 2015 profile: Amanda Johnson

When Amanda had to decide on a college, she had a clear idea of what she was getting. "The pre-vet program and sciences offered are exactly what I am looking for. Augustana was unlike any of the other colleges I had already visited, in a good way."

Class of 2016 profile: Franki Compere

The pre-veterinary advising program attracted Franki to Augustana. She found it paired well with playing the cello and competing on the equestrian team.
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