Wondering how to get into vet school and take your first step toward becoming a veterinarian? First, you must ensure you meet all prerequisites before you apply. Read on to learn more about vet school admissions requirements!
Knowing how to get into vet school starts with knowing where to start. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step process to ease you into your vet school journey.
Getting accepted into vet school starts with taking the necessary prerequisites. Course requirements for veterinary school vary by institution, but most schools require you to take numerous science classes, with or without lab. For example, these are UC Davis’ undergraduate course requirements:
Please note that all courses not marked upper division are lower division courses; they can be taken at a community college.
Getting into vet school can be challenging, but a high GPA will always bolster your application. However, don’t panic if you don’t achieve that elusive 4.0. The minimum GPA for vet school tends to range between 2.8 and 3.0.
However, Michigan Tech University states that most successful veterinary school applicants have an average GPA of 3.6 or higher. Do your best to boost your GPA!
Any experience you have with working with animals boosts your application. While veterinary/animal experience may not be a staunch requirement at every school you apply to, many schools seek applicants with documented experience hours.
For example, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine states, “We do look for 400 hours or more of veterinary experience when you apply.” In contrast, UC Davis requires 180 hours of veterinary experience hours.
Please note that while animal experiences are great to have, many schools want you to log many hours working under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Test score requirements vary depending on the schools you’re applying to. Test requirements at the world’s vet schools are as follows:
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is a standardized test that is no longer required by most veterinary schools; the only schools still requiring the GRE are Oklahoma State University and Tuskegee University. However, many vet schools require the CASPer, a situational judgment test used to assess your personal qualities.
Applying for and getting into vet school requires careful planning. Here is a quick overview of the VMCAS application cycle:
Ensure you keep on top of veterinary school application dates and school-specific deadlines!
Your VMCAS personal statement’s purpose is to show admissions committees who you are and why you want to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. This statement is limited to 3,000 characters, which isn’t a lot of space! The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges suggests:
A winning personal statement adds differentiation and interest to your profile. You’ll likely spend a lot of time writing and editing your work.
Make sure you know how many letters of recommendation are required for each school you apply to. Great veterinary school recommenders include:
Good recommenders know you well and can speak about your work ethic, passion for veterinary medicine, skills, and traits.
Admissions requirements for veterinary school may mean completing secondary applications and essays or submitting additional materials. You can use the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR) database to learn more about program-specific details. Ensure you check school requirements before submitting your veterinary school application!
Ensure your vet school application is complete and edited to perfection and that you’ve paid all necessary fees before submitting it. Afterward, there won’t be much to do if you’ve already completed any supplemental application documents besides preparing for your veterinary school interviews!
To differentiate yourself further, share relevant experiences that showcase your leadership capabilities and communication skills. Vet schools seek applicants who are adept leaders; the ability to lead is crucial in veterinary medicine, regardless of your job title or location. Leadership experiences can include:
Although you can’t necessarily talk to your future patients, communication skills are also essential! Vet schools want to admit students with great communication skills so future clients will understand precisely what’s going on with their furry friends and how to treat and care for them.
Here are some frequently asked questions you might have.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may be required or recommended by some vet schools. However, the majority of vet schools no longer require the GRE. The MCAT may be used as a substitute at some vet schools. You may also need to take the CASPer.
As with prerequisites, GRE requirements will vary with each school. Before you apply to your desired vet schools, make sure you do your research to determine whether or not they require you to take the GRE.
Most vet schools that used to require the GRE no longer require it. However, it’s best to check school-specific admissions requirements before deciding whether or not to take the test.
Veterinarians need courage to deal with animals that may bite, kick, or scratch. They also need adequate stamina to withstand long working hours. Working with larger animals (barn/zoo animals) may require physical strength. Other than that, vets must have great dexterity to perform surgery and other intricate tasks.
Many factors determine the right school for a student. You should evaluate which criteria are most important to you when choosing a vet school, whether it’s location preferences, curriculum types, research opportunities, etc.
If tuition costs play a role in your decision, check the websites of the vet schools you are interested in to find out how much the education will cost you. Ultimately, the decision rests on your shoulders.
The best way to prepare for veterinary school interviews is to understand the questions you may be asked and practice responding in advance. Knowing what to expect can make you more confident and less nervous.
The road to vet school seems long and arduous, but that should not stop you from pursuing your passion. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t absolutely certain you wanted to pursue a career as a veterinarian. You have a deep love for animals and want to give them the best care imaginable.
Now that you know more about vet school requirements, you can craft a compelling application. Believe in yourself, put in the hard work, and follow this guide; you will be on your way to getting accepted into vet school in no time!