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Admission Factors

Veterinary programs generally consider the following factors when deciding who to admit.

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.

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. Many 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.

We’re also happy to meet with students to discuss options for gaining veterinary medicine and animal experiences.

Letters of Recommendation

  • The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) requires 3 letters of reference submitted electronically through their system before an application can be processed.
  • Most veterinary medicine programs typically require at least one from a veterinarian that an applicant has worked with or shadowed. 
  • Applicants should check each school's specific requirements (see Additional Requirements and Considerations section of the vet school’s college descriptor page) regarding letters or recommendation.
  • Although HPA offers a recommendation file service for medical and dental school applicants, veterinary medical school applicants should use the electronic letter of recommendations process provided by VMCAS.


To prepare for a vet med program interview:

  • Review the school's website.
  • Review 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.