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Grad School - should you do a masters?


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So I am going into my fourth year at Guelph. My grades aren't high enough to get into the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, my goal since I was born basically. So reality has finally set in and I can graduate but probably won't get into vet school and I don't want to face rejection so I don't want to apply next year.


The way a masters degree works for vet school is that you apply to the grad cohort and a maximum of 5 out of 120 seats are set aside for grad students. They look at your undergraduate last two full-time semesters, 8 pre-req courses, MCAT, veterinary involvement and finally how your masters or what you did in your masters contributes to veterinary medicine.


I have lots of research experience in several labs and I enjoy research sometimes but other times I hate some of the people I work with. There is always somebody that pisses me off in each lab and you are stuck with them all day long. Then there is the principal investigator...I have had both lazy and rude ones.


I want to leave Guelph because the environment here makes me sad;  my friends are all going to veterinary school meanwhile I'm just sitting here wondering what I'm going to do. I'm upgrading some of my pre-req courses next year and hopefully I will be competitive the following year.


I'm not sure if I should risk going to grad school and waste 2 years of my life/money that I don't have...research isn't something I would want to do for the rest of my life. Or if I should just go to college and try to apply to vet school in college. I'm in $28,000 in debt already....I was thinking if I go to college for medical laboratory technologist (3 year program) I can apply to veterinary school each year and then if I don't get in after that I guess there is nothing I can do. I'll just be a lab tech until I die. 


Any advice would be helpful. 

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Have you considered studying in another country? This certainly wouldn't be an inexpensive option as you'd have to pay international fees (or get a scholarship to cover the fees). Perhaps in another part of the world it is a little bit easier to get in this field... ex: Australia, New Zealand, US, UK... 


You didn't mention your GPA. But if you have an A- or higher and this is your life long dream I think it is worth looking into. You never know, you might stumble upon an unexpected opportunity.

Edited by jenste
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I wouldn't go to vet school in another country, unless you planned to relocate there.  I read a news article recently about students who went to vet school in other countries (mostly the Caribbean).  They racked up a lot of debt that they couldn't repay when they returned to the US; some of them couldn't find jobs, and the ones who could weren't making much money.  Vets make on average $82,000 a year, which is plenty to live on but not a lot compared to the huge loans it would take to get an international education.

First of all, you didn't mention your GPA but I do know that some students freak out over grades unnecessarily.  If you have a <3.0 then you are correct, but I know some students who wring their hands about a 3.4 or 3.5 and say that's not high enough - and I always say, apply anyway and see what happens.  Rejection is a part of life and running away from it's not a good idea.

If your GPA really is too low for vet school, my next question is will an MS actually improve your chances?  In your case (where the GPA is the main concern) it actually might.  I know many people who have gotten a master's in prep for medical school.  However, I would advocate getting a master's degree in something that will also help you secure a job after the degree, in case you still don't get into vet school.  A lot of my friends did MPHs and then went to work in public health.  (If you don't want to do research, then don't go to a research-based program - choose a professional program.)

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  • 1 month later...

The general wisdom I seem to encounter is that a master's can be useful for a very career-centric field (such as journalism, education, or something along those lines) - i.e., a program that prepares you for a specific type of job, as opposed to being more theory-oriented - but not so much for a STEM-related field or in the humanities, unless you plan on going all the way and getting your PhD. A PhD in the humanities is essentially only good if you plan to stay in academia, whereas medical and other types of areas, such as counseling, social work, or psychology, usually require a doctorate in order to be professionally licensed. I would assume that veterinary medicine requires some form of medical degree, though of course I could be mistaken.

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