Pre-Vet Internship

AAB Pre-Veterinary Summer Fellowship


Jeffrey D. Wyatt DVM, MPH, ACLAM, Director of Animal Health and Conservation
Associate Professor and Attending Veterinarian
University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry


Five-week, funded research and clinical fellowship for pre-vet college students to occur between the end of the second week of May and the end of the first week of August. The successful applicant will earn a $500 per week stipend.

Please note: Housing will be NOT be provided. The successful applicant will be responsible for identifying their own housing. We suggest the Extended Stay America. A car is highly desirable as public transportation is limited.


Familiarize an academically qualified, pre-veterinary college student with exotic animal medicine and conservation by:

  • Completing a retrospective or cross-sectional research project jointly identified between the student and Dr. Wyatt (10 hours per week)
  • Assisting and observing the veterinary staff with implementation of the Zoo’s preventive medicine program including clinical rounds, chemical immobilizations, quarantine procedures, necropsies, diagnostic techniques and surgeries (20 hours per week)
  • Rotating through all of the Zoo’s animal care areas and learning husbandry practices for and normal behavior of animals including marine mammals, penguins, primates, elephants, carnivores, birds and reptiles (10 hours per week)

The Zoo’s pre-veterinary fellow will:

  • Gain first-hand experience with research methodologies employed in a Zoo based conservation institution. The student’s final report will be filed in the Zoo Animal Hospital Library.

  • Understand important aspects of a preventive medicine program essential for all fields of veterinary medicine.

  • Become proficient with both routine laboratory diagnostic tests employed at the Zoo hospital.

  • Gain a working knowledge of husbandry practices unique to maintaining healthy exotic animals.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Two years of undergraduate pre-vet studies must be completed by the start date of the program.

  • The successful applicant must have at least 100 hours of experience in a traditional companion animal (dog, cat, horse) and/or food animal (cow, pig, sheep) veterinary practice.

  • At least a 3.0 GPA

Please note: Applicants are objectively scored and ranked for this highly, competitive position.

Application Process

  • Submit a college transcript in the application materials (unofficial copy is OK).

  • Submit a personal statement indicating what you would bring to the program and what the program could do for you.

  • Submit a CV or resume.

  • Submit a completed recommendation form. Please have a veterinarian familiar with your experience and skill set fill it out.

  • Deadline for all applications is the second Friday in January.

  • All applicants will  be informed of whether or not they were chosen by the second Friday in February.


By Mail

Print materials and mail to:

Dr. Jeff Wyatt, Seneca Park Zoo Society, 2222 St. Paul Street, Rochester NY 14621

AAB Pre-Vet FAQ:

What kind of GPA does the successful applicant typically have?

A 3.9 out of 4.0

Am I eligible to apply (meeting the January deadline) if my second year of prevet curriculum ends in May?

Yes. The successful candidate must have completed two years of undergraduate prevet coursework before June. If there is a tie between two applicants’ scores, the applicant with more coursework is awarded the position.

Am I eligible if I am graduating in May?

Yes. You must be a pre-vet undergraduate student at the time of application.

May I apply if I am a veterinary student?

No. The program is limited to pre-vet students only.

May I apply if I attend college outside of the U.S.?


May I apply if I am preparing for veterinary technology?


Do you ever accept more than one student or ever accept students outside of the summer schedule (last week of May through first week of August)?


May I apply after the deadline?


Will more than one recommendation help?

No. Please submit one recommendation from a veterinarian you have worked with.

Would a PhD advisor be acceptable for a letter of recommendation instead of a veterinarian?


Will prior experience volunteering/working at a zoo, or traveling internationally be helpful?

No. The most important experiences for successful candidates are veterinary practice experience with both companion animal (dog/cat) AND large animal (cow/horse) private practice settings.

What months may I select for my five week internship?

June, July and August.

Is housing included?

No. The stipend ($250 per week) is intended to cover housing costs identified by the successful applicant. There are several extended-stay hotels in Greece, NY with weekly rates.

Do I need a car?

Yes. There are no housing opportunities within walking distance to the Zoo.

May I volunteer for a pre-vet shadowing experience at Seneca Park Zoo?

No. We prioritize routine animal health procedures for the five weeks every summer during the Aab pre-vet program and cannot offer other shadowing opportunities.

What type of research projects have students completed?

Some have included:

  • Reproductive endocrine profiling of African elephants
  • Retrospective (12 Year) Analysis of Mortality in African black footed penguins
  • Cross sectional survey of amphibians for chytridiomycosis (PCR)
  • Nutrient and shell analysis of wild and captive Chittenango Ovate amber snails
What do I wear?

The Zoo provides scrub tops. The Aab Pre Vet fellow provides their own comfortable shoes and pants (long or short).

How is the candidate selected?

The admission committee uses an objective scoring system ranking applicants by experience in both traditional large and small and veterinary practices, letter of interest, veterinary recommendation and GPA.

May I apply more than once?

Yes. However, a new application must be submitted.

How many students apply?

75 to 100 qualified applicants apply each year.

How often and how much am I paid?

Weekly payments of $250 for five consecutive weeks, totaling $1,250.

May I also work weekends?

Yes. The Aab Pre Vet fellow may work with keepers in animal sections and the hospital on weekends.