Pre-Vet: Animal Health and Veterinary Science

Working in a Living Lab

What better way is there to explore Pre-Vet career opportunities than by working at Mystic Aquarium surrounded by animals and animal care professionals?  UConn's Pre College Summer offers students the chance to immerse themselves in the marine world and explore their passions for veterinary science animal care, animal training and research through our Pre-Vet: Animal Health and Veterinary Science course. The core of the program will take place at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT where students will have the opportunity to utilize the Aquarium as a living laboratory.  This hands-on course will have students learning directly from aquarium research scientists, veterinarians, veterinary technicians and animal rescue staff.  Students will gain knowledge and experience through labs and activities focused on animals at Mystic Aquarium including beluga whales, penguins, seals, reptiles and fishes.

Primary areas of study will include:

  • Genetics - the importance of genetic diversity in marine animal populations
  • Hematology - how the components of blood can be utilized to gain information on an animal’s health
  • Microbiology - how common bacteria affect marine animals and their health
  • Pathology and Anatomy - effects of disease, through participation in a detailed necropsy (animal autopsy)

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the wide variety of careers both at Mystic Aquarium and beyond in animal health and veterinary science, from staff in all stages of their careers.
  • Participate in research lab programs focused on hematology, microbiology, anatomy and pathology and learn how each is utilized to determine an animal’s health. Observe feeding and training sessions with beluga whales, penguins and sea lions and have the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of their animal care teams.
  • Participate in behind the scenes tours of Mystic Aquarium to see where the animal care and veterinary staff work every day.
  • Tour the state of the art Wiederhold Animal Care Center at Mystic Aquarium.
  • Tour the Mystic Aquarium research labs located at UConn, Avery Point.

Transportation: The course involves frequent off-site visits to Mystic Aquarium and the UConn, Avery Point Campus.  Supervised transportation is provided by the program and is included in the course cost and fees.

Note: Parents/guardians and students will be required to submit Mystic Aquarium participation forms prior to attending this course.


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At a Glance:

Sessions Offered:

  • Session 1: June 28th - July 4th
  • Session 3: July 12th - July 18th

Location: UConn Storrs & Avery Point Campuses and Mystic Aquarium

Supplemental Lab Fee: $250.00

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