Applying to Veterinary Medicine Schools
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1. Academic ability
- Successful completion of prerequisite coursework, usually with a grade of C or above.
- Competitive applicants must have a higher GPA (typically 3.5 or above).
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required by most programs.
2. Veterinary medicine and animal experience
Volunteer or paid experience working with animals, ideally in a veterinary medicine setting, is required by many schools and encouraged by all. Some schools even require a minimum number of hours of experience.
Competitive applicants will have experience in a variety of settings and exposure to different types of animals (e.g. small animal, large animal, exotics, aquatics, lab animals, and wildlife). These experiences allow applicants to test their career decision and be confident that veterinary medicine is a good fit. Applicants who have researched and gained direct exposure to the profession will be better prepared to write a compelling application and respond to interview questions.
3. Letters of Recommendation
Many veterinary medicine programs require 3 letters of recommendation, typically at least one from a veterinarian that an applicant has worked with or shadowed. Ultimately, applicants should check each school's specific requirements regarding letters or recommendation.
Although the University Academic Advising Center offers a recommendation file service, this service is not the best option to use to submit letters of recommendation to VMCAS. Applicants should use the electronic letter of recommendations process provided by VMCAS and also check the specific schools' requirements and directions regarding letters.
To prepare for a vet med program interview:
- Review the school's website
- Review studentdoctor.net for interview feedback for various vet schools
- Talk with a health professions adviser about interview preparation
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you are pursuing a career in veterinary medicine
- Why you applied to this particular vet school
- What career paths you are considering in vet medicine
- Your strengths and weaknesses
- Any part of your application materials
- Ethical considerations within veterinary medicine
- How your experiences thus far have prepared you for a career in vet medicine
- Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS)
Most US and Canadian vet schools use this centralized application service.
- Direct Application
Texas A&M, Tufts and Tuskegee University do not use VMCAS and require applicants to apply directly to their programs.
- Supplemental Application
Many VMCAS schools will also have a separate supplemental application that must be completed by their deadline.
The majority of programs have deadlines in October, but it is highly recommended that you submit VMCAS and any supplemental or direct applications several weeks before the deadlines to avoid processing delays.