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Admission Office
Hollins University
P.O. Box 9707
Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6401
Fax: (540) 362-6218



Rebecca Beach
(540) 362-6548

Sandra Boatman
(540) 362-6544

Hollins University
P.O. Box 9578
Roanoke, VA 24020

Pre-vet program of study: A formula for success

Getting into vet school: Course work + internships + research

Veterinary programs, legendary for their tough acceptance standards, require experience in a professional setting. They seek students who have demonstrated a commitment to their chosen profession. With experience gained through January Short Term, summer internships, on-campus research with faculty, and collaborative experiments, our pre-veterinary students graduate with clinical, classroom, and field knowledge.


A very good year

Amanda Gray, Sarah Jarosinski, and Erin Struble, all class of 2012, had a very good senior year. All three students, who followed Hollins’ pre-vet course-work guidelines, were accepted into prestigious vet schools.

Amanda is attending the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; Sarah was accepted at four of the seven schools to which she applied and enrolled at Texas A&M; and Erin was accepted at three of the five schools she considered and enrolled Virginia Tech’s veterinary program through the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

They attribute their success to the small classes, one-on-one attention from faculty, and research opportunities Hollins’ pre-vet program offers. As Erin notes, "Hollins prepared me so well for this."

Equine studies program in Limerick, Ireland

Hollins equestrians and students who are interested in veterinary science can spend a fall or spring semester at the University of Limerick in the equine studies program. The university also offers a wide range of courses with special strengths in the natural sciences, social sciences, technology, and Irish studies, including a new program in Irish traditional dance.

How internships can make a difference

Ilonna Brown-Norris, now a veterinarian in Texas, said the work experience she gained at Hollins was responsible for her acceptance into Texas A&M's veterinary school. She worked at the Houston zoo during two Short Terms. During the first, she trained sea lions and cleaned cages. The next year, she "hung out with the zoo vet at the vet clinic." Brown-Norris said she was worried about her application interview at Texas A&M, but when the panel found out she had worked at a zoo instead of taking a month off during the holiday season, she stood out from the crowd


Hands-on research provides a critical edge

Hands-on education has made our students much stronger prospects when applying to graduate programs. Here are just a few examples:

  • During her senior year, Rebecca Baum studied a mouse mutation that resembles a human birth defect. Rebecca graduated from Virginia Tech’s veterinary school and is now on the staff of a veterinary hospital in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
  • Tyne Hovda, who is now in vet school at Texas A&M, was a rider while at Hollins. She started a research project at racetrack in her home state of Minnesota on the incidence of MRSA among horses. Sarah Jarosinksi continued the research Tyne began—and Sarah has followed in Tyne’s footsteps to Texas A&M.
  • Amanda Gray undertook an ambitious research project that looked at the gene in horses related to behavior. She is attending the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

"While nothing can truly prepare you for the demands of vet school, at Hollins I learned how to manage my time, take charge of my education, and communicate with my peers and professors. Through small class sizes, extracurriculars, a close-knit environment, and the freedom to explore my academic interests I’ve developed a passion for learning that has fueled me throughout vet school." —Tyne Hovda '11

Hovda/JarosinskiTyne Hovda '11 (left) and Sarah Jarosinski '12, working together at Tufts University in the spring of 2010. Sarah will be joining Tyne at Texas A&M in the fall of 2012.



Rebecca Beach, associate professor of biology; B.S., University of Arizona; M.S., University of Connecticut-Storrs; Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin

Sandra Boatman, Professor of Chemistry; B.A., Rice University; Ph.D., Duke University


Necessary pre-veterinary courses

Requirements for admission to veterinary school can vary greatly from program to program. The following courses correspond to the academic requirements for admission to most veterinary schools: BIOL 220 and BIOL 236; CHEM 101 and CHEM 102 or CHEM 105 and CHEM 214; CHEM 221 and CHEM 222; PHYS 151 and PHYS 152 or PHYS 201 and PHYS 202 (all including laboratories). In addition, most schools require one or two semesters of mathematics (usually MATH 140 and MATH 241; some require STAT 140), and two semesters of English. Some veterinary schools also require one or two semesters of biochemistry (BIOL/CHEM 351), and nearly all recommend additional courses in biology, including microbiology (BIOL 312), genetics (BIOL 314), and comparative anatomy (BIOL 315).

First-year students who wish to enter veterinary school in the fall following graduation from Hollins are strongly encouraged to enroll in biology and either chemistry or mathematics during their first semester. Students should consult the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (published by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges) for the requirements and recommendations of specific veterinary schools.

Photo above, in the biology lab at Hollins. Left to right: Amanda Gray, Erin Struble, Sarah Jarosinski