Q&A for High School Students

February 10, 2020


Do I need to complete a specific undergrad program to apply to the OVC?

There is no specific university or program you must take to apply, so you can take any undergrad program that interests you. Just keep in mind that you have to get all 8 prerequisite credits done, many of which are science-based courses. Also, once you are in veterinary school, having a broad understanding of foundational science will help you with the higher-level genetics or cell biology courses you will encounter.


Do I have to complete my undergrad at the University of Guelph to apply to the OVC?

You do not need to attend the University of Guelph to apply to the OVC. Just make sure to email admdvm@uoguelph.ca during course selection to make sure the courses you will be taking at another university will count towards the prerequisite courses for the OVC.


What classes should I take to get good grades?

As everyone always says, take classes with topics that interest you. I found that the best way to balance out my science-heavy semesters was to take a fun social science introduction course, such as anthropology or criminal justice. All universities have supports to help students succeed, so consider accessing them.


What courses should I take in high school to be prepared for first year of my undergrad?

If you are planning to come to Guelph for a science undergrad, most first year courses are a continuation/repeat of your grade 11/12 chemistry, biology, physics and math courses. In first year, MATH 1080 is an “elements of calculus” course so in high school, be sure to take the equivalent high school course to make your life easier!


How can I get volunteer experience?

In high school, you could do a semester of co-op to get your foot into a vet clinic. During your semester of volunteering, work really hard and they may offer you a job in the future! The vet community is quite small so chances are if the vet is impressed with you, they will be willing to refer you to another vet working in another field. Once at Guelph, there are many opportunities to get involved on campus. Be sure to keep an eye out for clubs and extracurriculars that may interest you during your first week on campus – this is a great time to start getting in contact with them!


Also consider volunteering with the vet that takes care of the university Central Animal Facility. Faculty who are DVMs often hire summer research students so that too is a kind of veterinary experience. www.cvo.org lists all licensed vets in Ontario.


Should I apply to be in a residence program cluster?

Residence program clusters are great because they allow you to meet many other students in the same program as you! This can make studying for midterms and exams a lot easier if you enjoy finding a group of friends to work with. Also, you will be surrounded by students who have the same schedule as you which usually means that during the busier weeks, your peers will be studying and not partying, creating a quieter atmosphere for you to study. Program clusters also have academic leaders who can help you with any questions about your program.

That all being said, not being in an academic cluster also has its advantages, such as allowing you to meet more people outside of your program. And, there’s no need to worry about not finding study buddies; meeting people in class is always a great way to meet people in your program.


Should I apply to the Biomedical Science program or the Animal Biology program? What are the benefits of each?

Animal Biology and Biomedical Science are both great programs (as are Zoology, Biological Sciences, etc.)! Which one you apply to depends on what interests you the most. Make sure to research the various courses offered through each program before making a decision! In terms of applying to the OVC, students in both programs, as well as all other science programs, are able to take the required prerequisites.


Can I switch programs once I start classes?

Yes! Many of the classes you will take in your first year are very general. Chemistry, physics, science, and math are taken in many different science-based undergrads. This allows students to switch if they realize their program is not for them.


What resources on campus are there for classes?

The university provides students with a number of resources. The library runs Student Learning Groups (SLGs), where an upper year student who previously performed very well in the course runs a weekly session reviewing class content. SLGs also provide useful worksheets and practice finals. Many professors also have office hours where they can review material with students. The library also has the Science Commons, where students can work on course material and ask Teaching Assistants for help regarding math, chemistry, and physics.