Students in the Animal Science pre-veterinary program have an unusual opportunity as undergraduates: Cal Poly employs on-campus veterinarians, as well as provides a veterinary clinic for students. Students learn from veterinarians and are exposed to a veterinary clinic even before stepping off campus and into volunteer work or internships. The on-campus veterinarians, besides mentoring students as their teachers and advisors, provide the health and vet care for Cal Poly’s animals more than 100 horses, 400 head of cattle, 100 ewes, 35 sows, a tortoise colony and thousands of birds. Students have access to all of these animals and the opportunity to assist and observe the veterinarians as they care for them. Additionally, the veterinary clinic on campus is completely student managed. As undergraduates, students working at the vet clinic take part in activities like the clinic’s spay and neuter days and vaccinations, as well as develop the business and managerial skills needed in the veterinary industry.
The pre-veterinary program offers additional opportunities to work with animals through the enterprise classes, classes that build towards the real-world experience needed to apply to veterinary school. Whatever discipline in pre-veterinary medicine students choose to work in, Cal Poly’s program marries education with application so students have insight into the realities of working in the animal health field. Because of this, over 40 students per year from Cal Poly are accepted into colleges of veterinary medicine throughout North America and Europe.
Cal Poly has so many opportunities to work with animals outside of class; even in labs, teachers take it upon themselve to make sure you are learning to draw blood or sew sutures, not just watch them perform the procedures.
Kelly London, second-year pre-vet student