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Applying to veterinary school

I. Admissions requirements

A four year Bachelor of Science degree in biology or animal science.

The following courses are commonly required, but will vary by school:

    • English Composition & Rhetoric – 6 hours
    • College (General) Chemistry – 8 hours
    • Humanities/Social Sciences – 6 hours
    • Organic Chemistry – 8 hours
    • Mathematics – 6 hours (Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus and/or Statistics)
    • Physics – 8 hours
    • General Biology (with Lab) – 8 hours
    • Biochemistry – 3 hours

Recommended course work:

    • Cell Biology
    • Comparative Anatomy
    • Genetics
    • Microbiology
    • Nutrition
    • Physiology

II. Application

Applications are submitted through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Applications must be accessed and submitted electronically to the application service. Information and instructions are available through the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Secondary applications may also be required for individual schools. Applications are accepted beginning in June with a final deadline around October 1. The sooner the application is sent, the earlier it is processed.

III. Standardized Entrance Exam

The exam used by most veterinary medical schools is the GRE. It is best to take this exam as soon as possible during the summer or fall you are planning to apply. This exam can be paper or computer-based, depending on the testing date and site. Some schools will also accept the MCAT exam.

IV. Residency Requirements

Check residency requirements before applying to specific schools. Virginia Tech, for instance, reserves six seats for West Virginia residents who would then be eligible for the in-state tuition rate.

V. Grade Requirements

While most schools list 2.8 or 3.0 as the minimum GPA for consideration, the average GPA of accepted students is over 3.5. Competitive GRE scores are at the 75th percentile. If you are applying to out-of-state schools, you may need higher scores to be competitive.

VI. Experience

While not all veterinary schools require prior veterinary experience, the average student accepted into veterinary school has completed between 400 and 600 hour of service. A wide variety of experience is best with both large and small animals. In addition to experience with veterinary medicine (preferably under the supervision of a veterinarian), successful applicants are also involved in community service and extracurricular activities. Since there are fewer Veterinary Medical Colleges than medical or dental schools, there is more competition for seats. Don’t wait until your junior year to actively pursue your veterinary experience! Get involved early and often.