Preparing for Veterinarian Medicine Programs

Admission to veterinary medicine programs is very competitive. All programs require considerable undergraduate work, and getting into a program is very difficult without an undergraduate degree. Specific admission requirements vary, but the mean grade point average of accepted students is around 3.5. Applicants should demonstrate their interest, knowledge, and commitment to the field by having completing an extensive number of hours in a veterinary setting prior to application (the Virginia-Maryland School prefers 400 to 600 hours of experience).

Undergraduate Preparation: Pre-veterinary courses emphasize the sciences. Courses that are typically required for admission are:

  • 1 year of organic chemistry
  • 1 year of physics
  • 1 year of general biology
  • 1 semester of biochemistry
  • 1 year of English
  • 1 year of math
  • 1 year of humanities/social sciences courses
  • At least 400 hours of experience in a clinical veterinary setting

What You Should Do When:

First-Year:  
Keep your grades up!

Check out the Web sites of schools that you think you might like to attend. Identify schools of possible interest and write them to request information about the program and admission requirements.

Second-Year: 
Keep your grades up!

If you have not already done so, make contacts for employment, an internship, and/or shadowing experiences with veterinarians.

Determine the schools to which you will apply. Review their admissions criteria and requirements.

Log on to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Web site to learn about the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Log on to the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) to learn about the process that is required for application
to veterinary schools.

Third-Year:  
Keep your grades up!

Continue getting on-site experience.

Take the Graduate Record Examination during spring semester. The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service  and test dates for the year are usually announced in August.

Participate in a practice interview with HPAG members.

Work on your application materials. Contact your references. If you are comfortable doing so, waive your right to review letters.

Fourth-Year:  
Keep your grades up!
Submit your online application in August or early September through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service
(VMCAS). It is important to get your application in at the earliest appropriate time.

Prepare for your interviews with schools.

If You Don't Get In: 
Don't give up! Try again! Many students are admitted to health professions schools on a second or later attempt.

Contact schools and ask an admissions counselor what you can do to strengthen your application (some, but not all, schools will provide this type of feedback).