How to Get Into Cornell Vet School

October 5, 2023


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 10/05/23

If you’re looking to join a veterinary school that’s dedicated to leading, enabling, and inspiring students to attain a healthier world for animals, read on to learn more about how to get into Cornell Vet School.

So, your love for animals has inspired you to become a veterinarian. What’s next? While we’re sure you know you have to attend vet school, you might be on the fence about which school can provide you with the best resources and opportunities to become a stellar veterinarian.

Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine is the third-best vet school in the nation and is renowned for its rich learning environment, internationally recognized faculty, and unique, innovative educational approach. Cornell students begin working with animals on the first day of their DVM! 

If this school has piqued your interest, this guide will go into further detail about how to get into Cornell Vet School, its application process and important deadlines, tuition fees, and tips on how to increase your chances of admission!

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Cornell Vet School Requirements

Here’s what it takes to be considered for Cornell’s DVM program:

A Bachelor’s Degree

The first requirement to apply to Cornell is to complete a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. While you can choose whichever major you want, it’s generally recommended you choose a science major such as biology, animal sciences, biomedical sciences, or marine sciences.

The main reason you should take a science-focused major is because you’ll have to complete certain prerequisite courses during your undergrad in order to apply to Cornell. The majority of these are science courses:

  • English/Writing Intensive Courses: at least two semesters or three quarters
  • Biological Science With Lab: biology or zoology are recommended; at least two semesters or three quarters with an in-person lab
  • General (Inorganic) Chemistry With a Lab: at least two semesters or three quarters, with an in-person lab
  • Organic Chemistry: at least one semester, a lab is recommended
  • Advanced Life Science Course: microbiology, immunology, physiology, or genetics are recommended; at least one semester
  • Biochemistry: at least one semester, but one full year is preferred, and so is a lab
  • Physics with Lab: at least two semesters or three quarters with an in-person lab

A letter grade of C minus is required in all of these prerequisite courses, or B for early applicants. However, to be considered competitive, you should aim to maintain grades that are much higher!

Experience Working With Animals

Like most vet schools, Cornell asks all prospective students to have a significant amount of experience working with animals before applying to their veterinary medicine program.

This experience should include at least some work done under a veterinarian’s supervision. You may also work at an aquarium or pet store, volunteer at an animal shelter or abroad, or assist with veterinary or biomedical research.

Most accepted applicants have 400 hours of experience in two or more areas of veterinary expertise and extensive experience in one. 

Letters of Evaluation

You’ll also need to submit three letters of evaluation as part of your application. You may submit up to six, but do so cautiously! Only ask those who can strongly attest to your candidacy for vet school to write these letters.

At least one letter must be written by a veterinarian who supervised you, and another must be written by an academic faculty member who mentored you. The final letter(s) can be written by anyone of your choosing. Most students choose employers or volunteer coordinators to write their remaining letter(s). 

A Personal Statement

Part of your Cornell Vet application will include a very important personal statement. 

This personal statement should tell the admissions committee more about why you chose to pursue veterinary medicine, why you applied to Cornell in particular, what makes you unique, and any significant experiences you think the admissions committee should know about.

Cornell Vet School Acceptance Rate

Knowing these extensive admissions requirements, you might be wondering, “how hard is it to get into Cornell Vet School?”

Well, according to the Cornell Vet School acceptance rate of around 10%, it’s quite difficult! To maximize your chances of gaining acceptance into this school, ensure you begin preparing your application early and gain as much diverse experience working with animals as you can!

Cornell Vet School Application Process and Deadlines

To apply to Cornell’s vet school, you’ll need to make a VMCAS account. You will submit your letters of evaluation to this portal and ask your transcripts to be sent here as well. 

Other application materials and your supplemental application, including your personal statement, will be submitted through Cornell’s application portal. 

Here are some important dates to keep in mind for your application:

Deadline What’s Due
January 2023 VMCAS applications open
September 2023 Application deadline
January 2024 Decision letters available
February 2024 Recommended deadline to file financial aid form
April 2024 Deadline for all enrollment decisions
June 2024 Official final transcripts due

Remember to keep track of these dates and mark them into your application timeline!

Cornell Vet School Tuition and Fees

Vet school is a huge investment, both timewise and money-wise. Here is the estimated budget Cornell vet students can expect to pay each year:

Expense New York Resident Non-Resident
Tuition $41,098 $61,284
Mandatory Fees $585 $585
Housing $11,562 $11,562
Food $6,992 $6,992
Books and Supplies $2,700 $2,700
Personal Expenses $2,420 $2,420
Transportation $3,042 $3,042
Total Cost $68,399 $88,585

Luckily, Cornell offers its incoming vet students various scholarships that are given out on a basis of need or through an application which requires interested students to write a statement of personal interest.

Tips For Getting Into Cornell Vet School

Now that you know exactly how to get into Cornell Vet School, follow these tips to ensure you stand out as an applicant:

Gain As Much Experience As You Can

Gaining a diverse range of animal-centered experience will not only prove your dedication to caring for animals, but will also help you build a solid foundation to work off of in vet school. You can bring your experience into education and may find certain aspects of vet school less stressful, like your practical training.

Begin Your Application Early

Your application will require you to secure strong letters of evaluation from mentors and complete hundreds of hours of veterinary experience. You won’t be able to build these connections or complete enough hours of experience if you leave your application till the last minute, which will significantly decrease your chances of admission!

Consider preparing for vet school in the first year of your undergrad! You can join a pre-vet club at your school to begin making connections with your peers and learn about useful opportunities that can help you start on your hours!

FAQs: Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

Read on to find the answers to any remaining questions about how to get into Cornell Vet School.

1. How Do I Get Into the Cornell Vet Program?

You’ll need to complete at least 400 hours of veterinary experience, have stellar letters of evaluation, strong supplemental essays, and a high undergraduate GPA, particularly in your prerequisite courses.

2. What GPA Is Required for Cornell Vet?

Students must have at least a C minus in all of their prerequisite courses to be considered for application. However, you should aim for a much higher GPA to be considered competitive.

3. What Is Cornell Vet School’s Acceptance Rate?

Cornell only accepts around 10% of all its applicants.

4. Is Cornell University Good for Veterinary Medicine?

Yes! Its ranking speaks for itself; Cornell is the third-best vet school in the nation!

5. How Long Does It Take to Become a Vet at Cornell?

It will take four years to complete a DVM at Cornell Veterinary College.

6. What Standardized Testing Is Required to Apply to Cornell?

There are no standardized testing requirements to apply to Cornell. So, you don’t have to worry about studying for the GRE, GMAT, or MCAT!

7. Does Cornell Vet School Conduct Interviews?

No, Cornell does not have an interview process for its vet school applicants. The admissions committee gathers everything they need to get to know and assess an applicant through their GPA, experience, skills, achievements, personal statement, and letters of evaluation.

Final Thoughts

After learning more about Cornell Vet School, you should have a clear idea of what this school offers, how competitive it is, and how you can increase your chances of gaining admission. 

Use this knowledge to decide if Cornell is the perfect school for you to kickstart your veterinary career!

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