Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, B.S.

Program Code: VBSC_BS

Program Description

This major provides a strong background in those biological and physical sciences underlying contemporary veterinary science and establishes a sound foundation for graduate-level study in veterinary and related biomedical disciplines. The student has the option to focus their area of study by selecting supporting courses in a variety of areas.

The mission of the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences major is to prepare students for admission to veterinary school and/or entry into graduate programs or employment in veterinary and biomedical research and development. Students may prepare for graduate programs in disciplines such as genetics, nutrition, microbiology, animal sciences, physiology, biochemistry, or others.

What is Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences?

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences is a pre-professional major for students interested in a career in veterinary medicine or any of its related biomedical disciplines.

You Might Like this Program If...

  • You are interested in a science-based education that can help prepare you to study the scientific basis of animal health and well-being

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences major a student must have:

  1. attained a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.0 and
  2. completed BIOL 110, CHEM 110, CHEM 111 and earned a grade of C or better in each of theses courses.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, a minimum of 124 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 7-10
Requirements for the Major 87-90

18 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
MICRB 201Introductory Microbiology3
MICRB 202Introductory Microbiology Laboratory2
PHYS 250Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 251Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course4
VBSC 211The Immune System and Disease Keystone/General Education Course3
VBSC 421Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ANSC 201Animal Science4
ANSC 301Principles of Animal Nutrition3
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
BIOL 222Genetics3
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
VBSC 403Principles of Animal Disease Control3
Additional Courses
ANSC 423Comparative Physiology of Domestic Animals3
or BIOL 472 Mammalian Physiology
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course3-4
or STAT 250 Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Biology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Molecules and Cells Keystone/General Education Course
Biology: Function and Development of Organisms Keystone/General Education Course
Molecular and Cell Biology I
Select 6-8 credits of the following:6-8
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
and Laboratory in Organic Chemistry
Select 6 credits of the following:6
Elementary Biochemistry
and Elementary Biochemistry Laboratory
and Applied Biochemistry
General Biochemistry
and General Biochemistry
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 9 credits of 400-level courses from department list9

Program Learning Objectives

  • Critical Review of Literature: Students will be able to search, critically evaluate, and discuss the scientific literature and popular press articles in the field of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Life & Physical Science Competency: Students will exhibit competency in the physical and life sciences, including anatomy, physiology, chemistry, cell biology, microbiology, and immunology.
  • Application of Data and Knowledge: Students will be able to apply research data and their knowledge from the physical and life sciences toward the management of health and diseases of animals.
  • Effective Communication: Students will demonstrate effective oral and written communication to both professional and lay audiences.
  • Career Development: Students will know career options within the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and be prepared to succeed in post-graduate jobs and in professional or graduate schools.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Lester C. Griel Jr.
Professor of Veterinary Science
115 Henning Building
University Park, Pa 16802
814-865-1321
lcg1@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043CHEM 1123
CHEM 110*#†3CHEM 1131
CHEM 111*#†1MATH 141 or 141B‡†4
MATH 140 or 140B‡†4ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3
VBSC 50 (or First-Year Seminar)3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 17 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 110*#†4BIOL 220W, 230W, 240W, or BMB 2513-4
CHEM 202 or 2103CHEM 203 or 212 and 2133-5
PHYS 2504PHYS 2514
CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3ANSC 201*4
General Education Course3 
 17 14-17
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ANSC 301*3MICRB 2013
STAT 250 or 2003-4MICRB 2022
BMB 401 or 211 and 2123BMB 402 or 2212-3
BIOL 222*3VBSC 2113
General Education Course3ENGL 202C‡†3
 General Education Course3
 15-16 16-17
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
VBSC 4214BIOL 472 or ANSC 4233
VBSC 403*3Supporting Course 400 Level*3
Supporting Course 400 Level*3Elective3
Supporting Course 400 Level*3Elective 3
Elective3 
 16 12
Total Credits 124-129

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should consult with an academic adviser regarding selection of CHEM 202 and CHEM 203 versus CHEM 210, CHEM 212, and CHEM 213.
  • If completing CHEM 212, CHEM 213 must also be completed.
  • The BMB selection should be based on the student’s Organic Chemistry selection.  In most cases, students enrolled in CHEM 202 and 203 course select BMB 211, BMB 212, and BMB 221.
  • Students cannot receive credit for both BMB 211 and BMB 401.
  • Students that desire to attend veterinary school or graduate school are strongly encouraged to select additional animal biology courses in their elective selections.
  • Students should consult with an academic adviser regarding the appropriate selection of supporting courses.  Supporting courses must be selected from an approved list.
  • Students should work with an academic adviser in the development of their plan as some courses are not taught every semester.

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, B.S. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
AGBM 101, ECON 102, or ECON 1043CHEM 1123
CHEM 110*#†3CHEM 1131
CHEM 111*#†1MATH 141‡†4
MATH 140‡†4ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15‡†3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
First-Year Seminar1-3General Education Course3
 15-17 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 110*#†4BIOL 220W, 230W, 240W, or BMB 2513-4
CHEM 202 or 2103CHEM 203 or 212 and 2133-5
PHYS 2504PHYS 2514
CAS 100, 100A, 100B, or 100C‡†3General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 17 13-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
STAT 250 or 2003-4MICRB 2013
ANSC 201*4MICRB 2022
BMB 401 or 211 and 2123BMB 402 or 2212-3
BIOL 222*3VBSC 2113
Elective3ENGL 202C‡†3
 General Education Course3
 16-17 16-17
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ANSC 301*3BIOL 472 or ANSC 4233
VBSC 4214Supporting Course 400 Level*3
VBSC 403*3Elective3
Supporting Course 400 Level*3Elective 3
Supporting Course 400 Level*3Elective 3
 16 15
Total Credits 125-132

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Notes:

  • Students should consult with an academic adviser regarding selection of CHEM 202 and CHEM 203 versus CHEM 210, CHEM 212, and CHEM 213.
  • If completing CHEM 212, CHEM 213 must also be completed.
  • The BMB selection should be based on the student’s Organic Chemistry selection.  In most cases, students enrolled in CHEM 202 and 203 course select BMB 211, BMB 212, and BMB 221.
  • Students cannot receive credit for both BMB 211 and BMB 401.
  • Students that desire to attend veterinary school or graduate school are strongly encouraged to select additional animal biology courses in their elective selections.
  • Students should consult with an academic adviser regarding the appropriate selection of supporting courses.  Supporting courses must be selected from an approved list.
  • Students should work with an academic adviser in the development of their plan as some courses are not taught every semester.

Contact

DEPARTMENT OF VETERINARY AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
115 Henning Building
University Park, Pa. 16802
814-865-1321
lcg1@psu.edu

https://vbs.psu.edu/