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COVID-19: Updates and Plans ›

Advice for Pursuing Veterinary Medicine

Although URGO is a small department at a small university, we provide comprehensive guidance in pursuing pre-health tracks. Students can come to our office to get on track for dental and medical school and more. One student who came to URGO for guidance and research opportunities was Emily Gregg ’17. While Gregg is currently in her fourth year of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, her experiences at Augsburg forever shaped her educational trajectory and career.

Emily Gregg holding a dog.
Emily Gregg ’17

Gregg pinpoints her time on the soccer team and her research experiences to be the most significant parts of her time at Augsburg. She took part in four different research projects through URGO, study abroad, and the University of Minnesota. The most instrumental was a month and a half spent in Uganda with then biology faculty member Dr. Kevin Potts researching chimpanzee habitats as a Sundquist Scholar. The relationship she formed with Dr. Potts became core support in her pursuit of veterinary medicine; while Gregg had always wanted to go to vet school, her time with Potts sparked a passion for field work and research.

Because her interests became both academic and practical in nature, Gregg applied for multiple DVM/PhD programs as these combine Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and PhD degrees. She did not get accepted into those programs, but her nontraditional approach to veterinary medicine made her stand out in her DVM applications and she received multiple acceptances. Her diverse research experience and wildlife interest made her unique in comparison to other applicants. Gregg also believes that her focus on public health and belief that all health is connected gave her an edge.

Regarding applying for veterinary schools, Gregg has specific advice for undergraduates.

  • Students should log as many shadowing hours as they can with many types of veterinarians.
  • Programs want to see diversity in your experiences and interests. Pursue passions outside of being a vet so that you can continue to connect with other people throughout school and your career! Students who emphasize their authenticity in essays show a well-rounded applicant who has the capability to be a personable professional.
  • Students should highlight their flexibility in learning and ideas. The field of veterinary medicine is going through a transition period, and schools will be looking for innovation and want to change and shape the field.

She also has crucial guidance for students who are accepted and about to begin at vet school.

  • Every year students are expected to learn a larger amount of knowledge in smaller amounts of time; know that the learning gets easier.
  • In Gregg’s own words, “C’s get degrees. Focus on enjoying the experience and diving in.”
  • While many medical students tend to be high achievers, Gregg believes that high standards are the enemy and encourages students to not aim for perfection. They should aim on making a difference in whatever way works for them.
  • Finally, Gregg emphasizes being a caring doctor. “Be the best doctor you can be, unaffected by the grades you received,” she says. “Personal skills are more important than anything else.”

Boren Language Awards: Why you should consider applying

Augsburg’s URGO and Study Abroad/Away offices encourage students to apply for the Boren Language Awards. Scholarships up to $25,000 are awarded to students to build proficiency in a wide range of critical languages, including Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin, and 60 other languages. Students are also expected to immerse themselves in the culture whose language they choose to study. Additionally, Boren alumni are expected to apply their knowledge to public service by working for at least one year with the federal government including the Departments of State, Defense, and Homeland Security and USAID. Continue reading “Boren Language Awards: Why you should consider applying”

An Allopathic vs Osteopathic Degree: An Augsburg Alum’s Opinion

Many Augsburg graduates go on to pursue medical degrees at a variety of institutions. One consideration that medical students must consider when choosing their program is the choice between an allopathic or osteopathic medical degree (MD vs. DO). According to the American Osteopathic Association, “osteopathic medicine emphasizes the interrelated unity of all systems in the body, each working with the other to heal in times of illness.” Allopathic medicine is more concerned with the direct treatment of symptoms to cure illness and disease. Augsburg alum Anil Gherau ’15 chose the osteopathic path and offers some insight into his decision. Continue reading “An Allopathic vs Osteopathic Degree: An Augsburg Alum’s Opinion”

Mayo College of Medicine and Science Virtual Info Session 12/3/20

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 from 2:30 – 4:00pm via Zoom

Interested in pre-health or pursuing a doctorate degree in medical sciences? Come to this virtual group session to learn about what Mayo College of Medicine and Science has to offer!

Contact with questions or to RSVP and receive Zoom meeting info.

URGO Summer Research Info Sessions 11/18/20 and 11/19/20

Join URGO to learn about on campus summer research!


Wednesday, November 18, 2020 from 5-6pm via Zoom.


  • Research and creative activities for all disciplines
  • Faculty mentorship
  • Professional development
  • Get paid to do research!
  • No previous experience required!

For more info or to RSVP and get the Zoom meeting info, contact us at

Ross University Info Session 11/5/20

Thursday, November 5, 2020 from 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom

Milena Garcia, Associate Director of Admissions, will speak about med school competencies and how Covid has changed teaching. Augsburg alum, Cedith Giddings, ’15 Biology, will share her perspectives as a med student at Ross.

For more info or to RSVP for Zoom info, contact Catherina Kipper at

Pre-Health Newsletter: October 16, 2020

Upcoming Events

As mentioned in the last newsletter, participating in virtual events is a great way to get information and connect with schools. You can always ask schools to help you get connected with alumni–this is a great way to meet with someone and at least conduct an informational interview. Also, don’t forget to sign up for Health Professions Week, November 14-19, where you can access resources to learn about 20 health professions, meet with schools, and have the opportunity to win gift cards ($100) or scholarships ($500) or Kaplan test prep materials. Continue reading “Pre-Health Newsletter: October 16, 2020”

Pre-Health Newsletter: October 9, 2020

Prehealth Advising

I hope fall semester is going well for you and you are staying healthy! COVID-19 has precipitated many changes and requires us to be flexible and creative. These are important attributes to demonstrate, especially for prehealth students. One major change for prehealth students is how to gain experience during a pandemic. What many admissions offices, across all programs, have shared is the continued need to gain experience although there may be fewer opportunities to meet in person or to shadow. For that reason, virtual information sessions are more important than ever. Please consider participating in the following opportunities I am hosting or those shared in the newsletter:
Continue reading “Pre-Health Newsletter: October 9, 2020”