Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR)
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Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR)


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351 pages

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Updated annually and packed with useful tips and helpful insights, Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) provides a comprehensive overview of the admission process for the national and international veterinary schools that are members of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). This book provides concise, current, and the best comparative information for students interested in preparing for a career in veterinary medicine, as well as their advisors and counselors.

The heart of this publication is a directory of member schools, providing the following information for each school: a summary of application procedures; requirements for application and residency; prerequisites for admission; deadlines for each component of the application process; a description of campus and campus life; and the costs of tuition and fees. Full-page spreads provide a complete profile of the different campuses and clearly lay out all the details you require to select the school that best matches your needs.

Additional information includes an overview of the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), information about the accreditation of veterinary schools and professional licensure as a veterinarian, a helpful timeline for aspiring vets from high school onward, and firsthand accounts from current students and practitioners about what it is like to train as a vet.

As Executive Director of AAVMC Dr. Andrew McCabe writes: “These are exciting times for veterinary medicine, a profession that bridges animal, human, and ecosystem health. We understand that getting started and making sense of all the choices and requirements can be challenging, but you’ve come to the right place by accessing this publication, which provides the essential information you need to begin your journey.”



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Date de parution 15 avril 2020
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781557539458
Langue English
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Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements
Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements

Please be aware that the admission requirements described in this book are subject to change by individual institutions without prior notice. Additionally, while VMCAS has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this book, VMCAS is not liable for any misrepresentations of a college’s requirements. The provisions of this book do not constitute a contract between any applicant or student and the colleges of veterinary medicine.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
Compiled by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges;
Diana L. Dabdub, Editor, Director of Admissions and Recruitment Affairs
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55753-943-4
ePub ISBN: 978-1-55753-945-8
ePDF ISBN: 978-1-55753-944-1
ISSN: 1089-6465


In order to grant member schools enough time to complete their admissions processes and to give applicants enough time to consider all offers of admissions, no AAVMC Member Institution will require any applicant to make a decision about admission or financial aid before April 15 of each year. If April 15 falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the date will be shifted to the following Monday.
To ensure applicants are awareness of this policy, each Member Institution will attach a copy of this policy to all admissions offer letters.
This policy does not apply to:
• Institutions outside the U.S. that do not participate in VMCAS
• Offers of admission for non-VMCAS applicants to institutions outside the U.S.
• Offers of admission for matriculation that is other than August or September
The Executive Director will investigate all complaints about alleged violations of this policy and report any findings to the chair of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee.
First Offense: If a Member Institution is found to be in violation of the policy, the Executive Director will send a Warning Letter to the Dean and Admissions Director of the institution and inform the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.
Second and Subsequent Offenses: If a Member Institution is found to be in violation of this policy after a Warning Letter has been issued, the Executive Director and the chair of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee will report their findings to the Board of Directors and make a recommendation for additional penalties. Penalties may include monetary fines and exclusion from participation in VMCAS for a specified period of time.
Approved by the AAVMC Board of Directors November 10, 2014
Congratulations on your decision to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine. Veterinary medicine is an exciting and rewarding career that provides a diverse array of options for contributing to the health of animals, people, and the planet.
Published annually by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), this Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) publication helps prospective students consider an important mix of factors when preparing for a veterinary medical education, including cost, financial aid, special programs, standardized tests, the AAVMC Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), and the various colleges’ and schools’ residency admissions requirements.
Where to apply and attend will be one of your initial decisions, and it’s an important one, but all of these American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-accredited schools offer great programs. Each one can start you on a rewarding path filled with choices and opportunities. Animal clinical care is an important and popular option in veterinary medicine, but veterinarians also contribute to global health in many other ways, including through careers in public health, research, and specialty practice. You also can prepare yourself for scientific and administrative careers with pharmaceutical, nutrition, and biomedical health corporations, or work in state and federal government. Augmenting your professional degree with advanced graduate work can lead to faculty positions in higher education.
Our profession offers many opportunities beyond the time-honored practice of providing clinical care in general practice.
Like other health professions, the pursuit and achievement of a veterinary medical education represents a substantial investment of time, effort, and financial resources. Cost-saving strategies include focusing on in-state veterinary medical schools or states that offer in-state tuition as part of special agreements with neighboring states. Other strategies include focusing on areas of greatest need, such as rural veterinary practice where loan repayment options might be available.
More information can be found on individual college and school websites or on the AAVMC website at . Prospective students also can contact the appropriate admissions office at each school or the VMCAS Student and Advisor Hotline, either by email ( ) or by calling VMCAS at (617) 612-2884.
Perhaps no other medical career provides such a broad base of biomedical training and leads to so many different areas of opportunity. The choices can seem overwhelming, but this guide is a great place to start, and step by step, your path will become clear, as it did for me. In my own case, a veterinary medical education led me to service as an officer in the United States Air Force, work in a mixed animal practice, in public health as an official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and now, as the chief executive officer of the AAVMC.
All of us at the AAVMC wish you luck and success as you prepare yourself for service in this extraordinary profession.
Dr. Andrew Maccabe AAVMC Chief Executive Officer
Use this book as a guide to exploring the career of a veterinarian and the preparation required to apply to a college of veterinary medicine. The text will touch on career options, job outlook, salary outlook, education required, and potential debt incurred to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The book will focus on the requirements for becoming a competitive applicant, choosing the right schools to apply to, and building an understanding of school admissions processes. This should encourage future students to organize and plan for applying to veterinary school.
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a non-profit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people, and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. The association was founded in 1966 by the deans of the then-existing eighteen colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and three in Canada. During the 1970s and 1980s, AAVMC’s membership expanded to include departments of veterinary science in colleges of agriculture, and in the 1990s to include divisions or departments of comparative medicine. In 2008, AAVMC began accepting non-accredited colleges and schools of veterinary medicine as provisional members.
Today, the AAVMC provides leadership for an academic veterinary medical community that includes 53 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean Basin, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. The AAVMC also includes 11 Collaborative and Provisional member institutions, five Departments of Veterinary Science, six Departments of Comparative Medicine and one additional teaching/clinical facility.

A Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine student checks out a horse with advice from her professor. Photo courtesy of Andy Cunningham of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine .
AAVMC inspires innovation and promotes excellence in academic veterinary medicine worldwide. We:
• Analyze: Generate data-driven information that helps member institutions improve performance and plan for the future;
• Catalyze: Ignite change throughout the academic veterinary medical community in order to shape the future of the profession;
• Advocate: Protect, promote, and advance the interests of the academic veterinary medical community.
1. Serve as the thought leader and primary advocate for academic veterinary medicine.
2. Identify, inspire and recruit qualified and diverse applicants who will serve as the future veterinary medical workforce.
3. Build a robust pipeline of future scholars and educators for academic veterinary medicine and support them along their lifelong career pathway.
4. Advance teaching and learning to prepare students for professional success in a wide variety of careers.
5. Foster discovery to improve the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment.
*“URVMs are populations of individuals whose advancement in the veterinary medical profession has historically been disproportionately impacted by six specific aspects of diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, and geographic, socio-economic, and educational disadvantage) due to legal, cultural, or social climate impediments.” Definition of Underrepresented in Veterinary Medicine (URVM) , approved by the AAVMC Board of Directors, July 20, 2008.
Veterinary Schools join the AAVMC as institutional or provisional members. A key difference between these two membership categories is whether a college/school of veterinary medicine is accredited by the Council on Education (COE). Only COE-accredited colleges of veterinary medicine may join AAVMC as an institutional (voting) member. Colleges of veterinary medicine that are not COE-accredited may join AAVMC as a provisional member (non-voting) only. It is important for prospective veterinary students to know the different implications of attending and/or graduating from COE-accredited vs. non-COE–accredited colleges of veterinary medicine as it pertains to educational options and eventually seeking and obtaining a license to practice veterinary medicine. AAVMC encourages its provisional members to become COE-accredited.
The COE accredits DVM or equivalent educational programs. Accreditation through the COE assures that minimum standards in veterinary medical education are met by accredited colleges of veterinary medicine and that students enrolled in these colleges receive an education that will prepare them for entry-level positions in the profession. In the United States, graduation from a COE-accredited college of veterinary medicine is an important prerequisite for application for licensure. Internationally, some veterinary schools have chosen to seek COE accreditation in addition to accreditation by the competent authority in their own regions. COE accreditation of international veterinary schools provides assurance that those programs of education meet the same standards as other similarly accredited schools.
Additionally, COE accreditation assures:
• Prospective students that they will meet a competency threshold for entry into practice, including eligibility for professional credentialing and/or licensure;
• Employers that graduates have achieved specified learning goals and are prepared to begin professional practice;
• Faculty, deans, and administrators that their programs measure satisfactorily against national standards and their own stated missions and goals;
• The public that public health and safety concerns are being addressed; and
• The veterinary profession that the science and art of veterinary medicine are being advanced through contemporary curricula.
*Source: The source for this information and a site recommended for obtaining additional information is as follows:
Licensure in the United States
In the United States, requirements for licensure are set by individual state regulatory boards. The North American Veterinary Licensing Exam (NAVLE) and any additional state exams must be taken by a graduate to become eligible for state licensure. The NAVLE, which is administered by the International Council for Veterinary Assessment (ICVA), fulfills a core requirement for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in all jurisdictions in the United States and Canada. Mexico does not require NAVLE. In addition to the NAVLE, state regulatory boards will have other licensure requirements, which may include state-specific examinations.
To be eligible to take the NAVLE, applicants must have graduated from either a COE-accredited college of veterinary medicine or a non-COE–accredited college (see following details).
Applicants who graduated from a non-COE–accredited college must also have a certification of eligibility, which can come from one of two sources: the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) Certification Program ( ) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE) ( ).
All state regulatory boards accept the ECFVG certification, administered through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as meeting in full or in part the educational prerequisite for licensure eligibility. At this time, forty-one state regulatory boards also accept PAVE certification, which is administered through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
It is important to note that prerequisites for licensure eligibility and requirements for licensure vary amongst state regulatory boards and are subject to periodic modification.
Licensure Outside the United States
Mutual recognition arrangements apply to jurisdictions where there are COE-accredited schools. These specify that graduates of COE-accredited schools in the United States and Canada are permitted to obtain licensure to practice under terms no less favorable than graduates of schools accredited by the competent authority in that jurisdiction.
There are several factors, as well as the issue of accreditation, that an applicant must consider in identifying school(s) to submit an application for admissions. In addition to licensure issues, there may be economic, educational options, or other differences that students should consider in making decisions on where to apply. This book is intended to provide important information about AAVMC members to assist in informed decision-making for students considering applying to one or more veterinary colleges.


Current School Name
Texas A&M University
Graduation Year: Class of 2022
Why do you want to be a veterinarian?
Being a veterinarian will allow me to help both people and animals and have a hand in overall global health. Not only will I be able to lead a life of service, but I will be able to do so through a profession that cultivates lifelong learning and growth.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
My short-term goals are to make it through the next 2.5 years of veterinary school! It has been an adjustment, but I have already learned so much and have met some amazing people. My long-term goals include practicing small animal emergency medicine and taking on a role in public health.
What did you do as an applicant to prepare for applying to veterinary school?
Before applying to veterinary school, I tried to get as much experience in different areas of veterinary medicine as I could. I worked in a small animal practice in South Texas, where I saw many infectious diseases. I worked in a bovine reproduction facility and received tons of hands on theriogenology training. I worked in the small animal ICU at the TAMU CVM Teaching Hospital and experienced an entirely new environment and level of care. I sought after these experiences to help guide decisions for my career path, but they simultaneously strengthened my application.
What advice would you give to applicants or those considering applying to veterinary school?
Start early! There was so much more that went into the application process than I originally thought. Give yourself plenty of time cushion to account for any hiccups. Waiting for admissions decisions will be stressful enough … don’t let the application process add to that. Additionally, applying as a first-generation student can be difficult but there are many resources out there to help with the process. The AAVMC website answered many questions for me.
What helped make the transition to veterinary school easier for you?
The transition into veterinary school was made easier by a study group that became my friend circle. Being able to ask questions, share ideas, or just hang out was crucial for an extrovert like me.
What is your advice on student debt?
My advice on student debt is to be mindful of it. You can’t treat it like the elephant in the room or ignore it and hope it goes away. Keep track of what you’ve used, what you need, and what repayment will look like in the future.
Whether they’re pets, livestock, or working animals, animals matter to individuals and society. Every community needs veterinary professionals to provide animal health care, but veterinarians also do many other kinds of jobs. They make sure the nation’s food supply is safe. They work to control the spread of diseases. They conduct research that helps both animals and humans. Veterinarians are at the forefront of protecting the public’s health and welfare. Besides medical skills, veterinarians often take a holistic approach to human well-being and animal welfare that, combined with communication and problem-solving skills, makes veterinarians uniquely qualified to fulfill a variety of roles. Many veterinarians, of course, provide care for companion animals through private medical practices, but veterinarians are also involved in promoting the health and welfare of farm animals, exotic animals, working animals (like those in the equine industry), and those that need a healthy environment in which to thrive, whether that environment is a rain forest, a desert or even the ocean. Outside of companion animal practice, the largest employer of veterinarians in the United States is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, but veterinarians are found throughout government in roles where they contribute to public health, the environment, and even homeland security, as well as working in research and public policy. Many veterinarians are engaged in work at the intersection of both human and animal health. For example, veterinarians play an important role in food safety, where epidemiological research is crucial to forecasting the threat of foodborne diseases and outbreaks. They work to keep cattle and other food animals healthy by developing and testing various farm control methods that help to detect, limit, and prevent the spread of food that might be contaminated by salmonella, E. coli, or other pathogens. And they’re often on the frontlines of surveillance where their extensive medical training can help them to detect and treat the outbreak of diseases that have the potential to make the jump from animals to humans.
Most often when you think of veterinarians you think of them as clinicians in private practice working with small companion animals such as cats and dogs, or out in rural areas working with production animals or horses. However, veterinarians have careers in many other sectors as well. Below lists some of the areas where you will find career opportunities as a veterinarian:
• Private practice , where about two-thirds of veterinarians in the United States work. There are many types of private practices, ranging from small animal exclusive, exotics, equine exclusive, and food animal exclusive to mixed animal practices that would work with all species.
• Corporate veterinary medicine , for example, with corporations that provide veterinary care, test human drugs for safety, or produce animal-related products.
• The federal government employs veterinarians through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) working on biosecurity, environmental quality, public health, meat inspection, regulatory medicine, agricultural animal health, or the investigation of disease outbreaks.
• The U.S. Army Corps and U.S. Air Force offer career opportunities in areas such food safety and military working dog veterinary medicine. The military also provides advanced training in specialty areas for those who commit to service.
• Research , either in a university setting or with companies that produce animal-related products or pharmaceuticals.
• Teaching, either in academia or nonprofessionals schools . With 40 percent of aging faculty in academia eligible for retirement over the next 10 years, projections indicate an increasing need for qualified academics to teach in all disciplines of veterinary medicine.
• Public health , particularly with governmental agencies such as the United State Public Health Service, which works to control the transmission of animal-to-human (zoonotic) diseases.
• Food supply medicine , with either the government or a food animal company.
• Global veterinary medicine , in private practice or with international agencies working in areas such as food production and safety or emerging diseases.
• Public policy , working for governments on animal and zoonotic diseases, animal welfare, public health issues, or as consultants with nongovernmental agencies.
• Shelter medicine , working with communities and private or public agencies to ensure the health and well-being of animal populations housed in shelters.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 1 the job market for veterinarians is predicted to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028. This is much higher than the growth rate for all occupations, which is 5 percent for the same timeframe. Also, there are always new career opportunities for veterinarians as veterinary medicine continues to expand into areas such as cancer treatment, radiation therapy, physical therapy, and other specialty areas that are present in human medicine.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognizes many specialties within veterinary medicine. These include anesthesia, animal welfare, behavior, dentistry, dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine cardiology, internal medicine neurology, internal medicine oncology, laboratory animal medicine, microbiology, nutrition, ophthalmology, pathology, pharmacology, poultry veterinarians, preventative medicine, radiology, sports medicine and rehabilitation, surgery orthopedics, surgery soft tissue, theriogenology, toxicology, veterinary practitioners (including avian, equine, beef cattle, feline, canine/feline, exotic companion mammal, food animal, dairy, reptile and amphibian, and swine health management), and zoological medicine. You can find out more about these specialties at the AVMA website: . To become a specialist, additional training is required beyond that of the DVM degree and additional examinations must be passed to evaluate skills in the specialty area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2 indicates that the median wage for veterinarians in 2018 was $93,830.
According to the 2018 AVMA & AAVMC Report on The Market for Veterinary Education 3 , the mean starting salary for veterinarians graduating in 2017 was just over $59,900, with veterinarians finding employment in private practice averaging the highest, just over $75,000.

Figure 1. Figure courtesy of the 2018 AVMA & AAVMC Report on the Market for Veterinary Education.
The outlook is good for those interested in a career in veterinary medicine. The projected market for veterinarians is increasing, starting salaries are increasing, and the number of specialties is likely to increase. Since the recession of 2008–2012, the number of DVM graduates finding employment continues to increase, and for graduates in 2017 the employment rate was at a high of 93.8 percent (2018 AVMA & AAVMC Report on the Market for Veterinary Education ).
Whether you have known that you wanted to attend veterinary school forever or whether you have decided to attend veterinary school as a second career, the pathway is the same. In the upcoming chapters this guide will focus on the steps needed to prepare for application to veterinary school, the application process, and the selection criteria used by colleges of veterinary medicine. You will also find discussion about some important topics in veterinary medicine today—diversity in veterinary medicine and the high cost of obtaining a veterinary education.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( ).
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( ).
3. 2018 AVMA & AAVMC Report on The Market for Veterinary Education.
Earning your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree typically takes eight years of education beyond high school. Although variations occur, a typical DVM graduate has attended four years of undergraduate education and then four years of professional school at a college of veterinary medicine.
All colleges of veterinary medicine require prerequisite courses that must be completed before applying. Prerequisites are typically a mix of math, science, social science, and humanities-based courses. Every college has different requirements and varying restrictions on whether they accept AP/IB credits, community college courses, and/or online courses to fulfill those prerequisites. You need to do your research on different school requirements. There are multiple sources of information—the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR), individual websites for each school, and admissions offices of each school.
Most schools do not require you to have a bachelor’s degree before matriculating into a DVM program. Some schools are encouraging applicants to apply after only two years of undergraduate education to save on overall tuition costs.
All veterinary medicine programs in the United States and Canada are four-year programs. The four years typically include three years of nonclinical or didactic training and then one year of clinical training. A few schools have two and a half years of preclinical training followed by one and a half years of clinical training. Again, this is something to research on individual school websites.
To become a licensed veterinarian, which allows you to practice veterinary medicine in a private or public practice, you must take and pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). Students typically take the NAVLE in November/December of their fourth year in veterinary college.
Visit for more information about the NAVLE.
What is diversity? Diversity is an understanding that each individual is unique and brings unique experiences and differences to any situation or organization. We always think of race and ethnicity as common types of diversity, but there are many others as well, such as gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, physical and cognitive abilities, and religious and political beliefs.
Veterinary medicine remains one of the least diverse professions in the United States. However, the efforts of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to attract an applicant pool that is more reflective of society as a whole have resulted in a broader diversification of the veterinary student body. The number of racially and/or ethnically under-represented students currently stands at 19.6 percent of total enrollment. That figure continues to grow and has increased 200% since 2005.
Diversity is an important value for all colleges of veterinary medicine, and colleges are looking to build diverse populations of students. The data below is that which is measurable, but diversity can also be found in experiences, education, and volunteer activities. Your individual experiences and what you have learned from those experiences make you a unique and diverse individual.
In the 2018–2019 application cycle, 86.8% of all applicants were female, 0.5% of applicants identified as on the transgender spectrum, and 0.2% of applicants identified as a gender other than female or male (see Figure 3.1 ).

Figure 3.1. Applicants to the Class of 2023 by Gender Identity Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
Since prior to 1980, there has been a steady increase in female applicants and a steady decrease in male applicants (see Figure 3.2 ).

Figure 3.2. Gender Representation at U.S. Colleges of Veterinary Medicine Internal AAVMC Data Reports 1980-2019
In the 2018–2019 application cycle, 75.1% of all applicants identified as white (see Figure 3.3 ).

Figure 3.3. Applicants to the Class of 2023 by Race/Ethnicity Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
There has been a significant increase in the percentage of underrepresented in veterinary medicine (URVM) since 1978, with an increase from 4.1% of all veterinary students to 19.6% in 2019. URVM include the racial and ethnic backgrounds of African American/Black Hispanic/LatinX, Asian, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Multi-racial/Multi-ethnic (see Figure 3.4 ).

Figure 3.4. Aggregate URVM Representation Enrolled at U.S. Colleges of Veterinary Medicine Internal AAVMC Data Reports 1980-2019
In the 2018–2019 application cycle, 86.3% of applicants self-identified as heterosexual or straight. This is a new query in the application and so there is no historical data (see Figure 3.5 ).

Figure 3.5. Applicants to the Class of 2023 by Self-Reported Orientation Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
Socioeconomic disadvantage is measured by those applicants who have been awarded Pell grants, which are limited to students with financial need, and also by those applicants who are the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college. In the 2018–2019 application cycle, 28.6% of applicants were Pell Grant eligible and 27.2% identified as first-generation college students (see Figure 3.6 ).

Figure 3.6. Pell Grant Eligible/Recipients & First Generation College Attendees as Applicants to the Class of 2023 Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
In 2005 the DiVersity Matters initiative was launched by AAVMC. The initiative demonstrates a commitment to affirm the value of diversity within the veterinary medical profession. The membership of AAMVC is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion efforts by advocating for the recruitment and retention of under-represented persons as students and faculty, and ultimately fostering their success in veterinary medicine.
To achieve results, AAVMC conducts career fairs, disseminates information about veterinary career options, works to generate interest in veterinary medicine, presents at key diversity meetings and conferences, and helps lead students through the application process.
Recently, AAMVC concluded the DiVersity Matters Culture and Climate Initiative, a survey and analysis designed to assist member institutions in assessing the climate in their colleges of veterinary medicine with respect to diversity.
At the annual conference, AAVMC also hosts the biannual Iverson Bell Symposium, which recognizes the outstanding leadership and promotion of diversity in veterinary medicine by the late Iverson Bell, DVM, the first African American to hold a national office in organized veterinary medicine.
AAVMC is committed to increasing diversity in the veterinary profession and has the following initiatives:
1. Diversity & Inclusion On Air , which is a podcast with new episodes produced on a regular basis through YouTube and Soundcloud, which feature engaging interviews on a wide range of diversity and inclusion topics. For more information visit .
2. Diversity Matters Climate Survey, which was first conducted in 2011 and again in 2017. The findings inform efforts to develop enhanced national programming and guidance on best practices for improving and maintaining successful and supportive academic climates within the colleges of veterinary medicine.
3. Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship recognizes veterinary students who have demonstrated exemplary promise as future leaders and have made significant contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine. The scholarships honor individuals who have been consistent champions in addressing inequities and underrepresentation in the veterinary profession; have advocated for social justice; and who have advanced valuing diversity and inclusion within their veterinary college.
4. AAVMC Career Fair held every year in Washington, DC, in the beginning of March is free for any high school or undergraduate student with an interest in the veterinary medical profession. Students and their parents can pick up informational materials and speak with representatives of more than 20 veterinary medical schools. Students can also attend informational sessions on preparing to apply to veterinary school and the diversity of career opportunities within veterinary medicine.
The average percentage for URVM students at United States colleges of veterinary medicine is 18.6%. Based on geographic locale, recruiting strategies, and programming, some US CVMs attract a higher level of URVMs than others (see Figure 3.7 ).

Figure 3.7. URVM Representation by U.S. College of Veterinary Medicine Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
To learn more about diversity and inclusion programming at any individual college, visit their websites and search for “diversity” or “inclusion.” Many schools have summer programs for economically disadvantaged or URVM students, and as most of these programs are federally or state funded, they may or not be available on any given year. It is critical to visit the school websites and search for any programs currently available.
The cost of an undergraduate education can vary widely depending on the undergraduate institution(s) that you choose to attend. For veterinary colleges who accept AP, community college, and online credits, you could theoretically complete your prerequisites within two years at a community college and take any upper-level courses required online or as a visiting student at a four-year institution. This would be the least expensive route. The most expensive route would be to attend a four-year college or university. It is up to you to decide how to complete your prerequisites and budget for veterinary school.
In the 2018–2019 cycle, 50% of all applicants took at least one course at a community college (see Figure 4.1 ).

Figure 4.1. Applicants taking community college courses
In 2019 the median cost of tuition for an in-state student was $31,979, per AAVMC data. The median cost of tuition for an out-of-state student was $52,613, per AAVMC data. The cost of living—and thus the total cost of attendance—will vary from school to school based on regional economic factors. Figures 4.2 and 4.3 show the first year cost of tuition for residents (in-state students) and non-residents (out-of-state students) at US Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.

Figure 4.2. First Year Resident Tuition & Fees at U.S. Colleges of Veterinary Medicine Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019

Figure 4.3. First Year Non-Resident Tuition & Fees at U.S. Colleges of Veterinary Medicine Internal AAVMC Data Reports 2019
Figure 4.2 represents the cost for in-state students at US Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.
Figure 4.3 represents out-of-state tuition for first year tuition at all AAVMC member institutions. At some schools it is possible to gain in-state residency after one year. You should check with schools registrar’s office to determine residency rules.
The AAVMC has developed a Cost Comparison Tool to help prospective students further develop a financial plan for veterinary school. As concerns continue to grow about the increasing educational debt held by recent veterinary school graduates, prospective students must take time to consider and plan for the costs associated with becoming a veterinarian. The Cost Comparison Tool presents several key pieces of financial data that should be considered when applying to veterinary school, including resident, nonresident, and international total tuition (adjusted for colleges where residency may be established after the first year) charged to the class of 2019, the average amount of institutional scholarship aid awarded to first-year professional students, the percentage of students to whom it was awarded, the cost of living for each of the participating colleges, and estimated loan interest accrued on a fully financed education. The Cost Comparison Tool can be found on the AAVM website at .
Because of the high cost of veterinary education, there is much focus by AAVMC, AVMA, and colleges themselves on efforts to reduce the debt of veterinary students.
The median debt for all students graduating in 2018 from AAVMC Member Institutions was $156,205. The range was $0–$440,701.
The debt to income ratio for graduating veterinarians is about 2:1. The AVMA and the AAVMC are working collaboratively with colleges of veterinary medicine, veterinary students, allied associations, states, practice owners, and other experts toward a debt to income ratio goal of 1.4:1. The initiative, spearheaded in 2016, is called “Fix The Debt.” Working groups have been formed to look at both reducing debt and increasing income. Major strategies 4 for each include:
• Reducing debt:
o Increasing scholarship endowments
o Enhancing student financial literacy
o Streamlining the veterinary school curriculum
o Advocating to governments
o Minimizing the cost of borrowing
• Increasing income:
o Building professional skills and competencies
o Improving workplace on-boarding
o Focusing on preventive medicine
o Increasing practice ownership literacy
o Expanding career option awareness
Financial literacy and planning are important factors to understand long before starting veterinary school. The AVMA provides a comprehensive list of resources to utilize in developing financial skills. It is never too early to start budgeting and planning for your veterinary medical education.
There are federal and state loan repayment programs that veterinarians may be interested in or may qualify for participation. While not every veterinarian will qualify for these programs, you should be aware of what is available. The two programs highlighted below are federal programs and are not inclusive of all the programs available. The Student Association of Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) has a more comprehensive list on their website.
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) 5 will pay up to $25,000 each year toward qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a NIFA-designated veterinarian shortage situation for a period of three years. To learn more about the VMLRP, visit .
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) 6 forgives the remaining balance on your direct loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working fulltime for a qualifying employer. To learn more about PSLF, visit .
4. AVMA@Work ( ).
5. Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program ( ).
6. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program ( ).
Preparing for veterinary school admissions is complex. You will receive advice from many directions—parents, other applicants, veterinary school graduates, your school advisor, and so forth. The best source of information is to talk to the actual veterinary school admissions offices or pre-veterinary advising offices. Many schools offer webinars or hold pre-veterinary seminars or will meet with you individually. The professionals at the actual schools are by far the most knowledgeable about what it takes today to be a competitive applicant for their colleges of veterinary medicine.
This guide will point out some of the critical factors that you can be working on as you prepare for veterinary school, including academics, animal experiences, veterinary experiences, community service, extracurricular activities, research, employment, and leadership roles.
Maintaining good grades while completing veterinary school prerequisites is important. It is not necessary to maintain a 4.0 throughout your undergraduate years. It is important to complete the prerequisites at a pace in which you can maximize your learning and your grades while participating in nonacademic activities, whether that be extracurricular activities, employment, volunteer work, clubs, research, or animal/veterinary experiences.
Your choice of major is typically not a factor in veterinary school admissions. Completing the prerequisites is a factor and prerequisites can be completed no matter your choice of major. If your interests lead you to choose a major in the humanities, social sciences, or arts, do not be afraid to pursue that interest while simultaneously completing the prerequisites. Granted, the majority of veterinary school applicants have a major in either animal science or biology, but this is typically not a factor in admissions.
Veterinary schools do not have common prerequisite requirements. The best places to research prerequisite requirements are either this publication, the AAVMC Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) guide, or the veterinary school website. AAVMC also develops a prerequisites chart, available online, as a guide for applicants, but you also should check the school’s websites for the most up-to-date information. Use the worksheet on the next page to start comparing the prerequisite courses required at schools that interest you.
A bachelor’s degree is not required at most U.S. veterinary schools. The prerequisite chart referenced above also indicates which schools require a bachelor’s degree.
Many applicants have the opportunity to study abroad for a short or extended time. Study abroad has become a very common experience and is not a ticket to getting into veterinary school. The opportunity to study abroad should be weighed carefully versus other opportunities that are also available, perhaps at a reduced cost. For example, the experience gained from milking cows or volunteering in a nursing home may be more valuable than the experience gained from high-cost international travel. All your experiences are important, and you should pursue those experiences that interest you and that are logistically and financially feasible.
Many applicants have pursued or are in the progress of pursuing an advanced degree when they apply to veterinary school. Often, applicants pursue an advanced degree to improve their GPA. An advanced degree can offer the opportunity to complete research, which can be a positive addition to your application. If you are pursuing an advanced degree you may want to consider completing one with a thesis so that you have the benefit of an improved GPA as well as the benefit of completing significant research.
All nonacademic experiences are important. You should pursue experiences that interest you and not worry about what other applicants are pursuing. Most veterinary schools are looking for applicants who have well-documented experiences and can articulate why they chose those experiences and what they have learned from those experiences. See the worksheet at the end of this section as an example of a way to keep track of your non-academic experiences.
Most applicants have completed volunteer work or community enrichment in high school—through the National Honor Society, scouting, or their church. Most applicants do not continue volunteer or community enrichment in college. If you have opportunities to continue serving your community after high school, take the opportunity to do so. Choose organizations that are important to you and volunteer consistently. If you can grow into a leadership role, then that is a bonus that will add value to your veterinary school application.
School A
School B
School C
Introductory Biology
Introductory Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Other Biology
Animal Science
Foreign Language
Public Speaking
Social Sciences
Arts and Humanities
Whether you play a varsity sport, participate in school government, band, theater, or clubs, it is important to include all extracurricular activities on your application. Keep track of your activities and your role in any clubs. Look for opportunities for leadership roles in any activities in which you participate.
As undergraduate research experiences are more common; many schools offer undergraduate research forums that give you a taste for research early in your academic career. Completing research with a faculty member could lead to a very positive letter of recommendation for your veterinary school application.
Many schools offer summer research experiences that are typically funded through government grants. The best way to find these programs, as they may change from year to year, is to contact schools directly in late fall or very early winter as application deadlines are usually in January or February.
Many applicants need to work during college either to earn money for tuition and/or living expenses. Having a job during college can enhance your veterinary school application. It can help you portray your work ethic, dedication, commitment, responsibility, communication skills, and leadership potential. While most college jobs may be customer service-based, this feeds into better communication skills and a better understanding of working with diverse populations. As you are working, think about the job in terms of the above personal attributes as opposed to the hourly wage and then make the most of your employment experiences in your application.
Some applicants will have animal experiences from a very young age, and some will not have been exposed until college. There are many ways to gain animal experience—shelters, 4-H, zoos, therapeutic riding centers, nature centers, rescues, and farms, and so forth. While pet ownership is also a way to gain animal experience, most veterinary colleges would like to see some type of organized experience beyond pet ownership. There are many varied opportunities and you will want to choose those that are of interest to you and are logistically and financially feasible.
In order to understand what a veterinarian does you will need to shadow, assist, or volunteer for a veterinarian. If possible, it is good to shadow more than one veterinarian as a veterinarian working for a large clinic may have a very different job and lifestyle than a veterinarian working in a small, mixed animal practice. Before committing to veterinary school, you want to be sure that this is the career you envision for yourself. After shadowing, you may determine that a veterinary technologist or veterinary nurse is the better career option for you.
Most veterinary schools do not have a required minimum number of hours of veterinary experience. Check with the schools you are interested in to determine if they do have a required minimum. On the flip side, most veterinary schools do require a letter of recommendation from a veterinarian, and this means that you must have enough hours to build rapport with a DVM who will write you a positive letter of recommendation.
In all of the above categories of nonacademic experiences, leadership can play a role. You may have been the captain of a college sports team, section leader in the college band, manager at McDonald’s, or lead veterinary assistant at a clinic. Although a leadership role may be well defined, such as president of a pre-veterinary club, it does not have to be. Growth in your position in any activity to where you are training or managing others can be considered leadership. As you are pursuing those activities which interest you and which are logistically and economically feasible, consider how you can grow into a leadership position.
Why did I choose this
What did I do
What did I learn
Number of Hours
Contact Information
Reference Potential?
June – August, 2019
Nursing Home Aide
My grandmother was in a nursing home and I saw that she valued the efforts of volunteers
play games, read, watch TV or just sit with guests
I felt I was making a difference in the lives of those who could no longer do things for themselves. A small amount of my time could make someone else’s entire day better
10 weeks for 8 hours per day. (400 hrs)
Name, email, phone, address
Yes – compassion, work ethic, dedication
If you know from an early age that you would like to become a veterinarian, then there are some preparatory things you can do while in high school. Veterinary medicine is a career that is steeped in science. Therefore, in high school you should take biology, chemistry, and physics courses to prepare for the science prerequisites which you will take in college. Math is also important, so consider taking algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and precalculus or calculus in high school. It is also important to take four years of English composition and courses in social sciences, and arts and humanities. If your high school offers a class in public speaking, that would also be a good choice.
Be involved in school activities, clubs, or school government, and hold leadership positions if you can. Veterinary schools like to see leadership roles on applications and the place to start obtaining those positions is in high school. If you are active in high school, then you will also likely be active in college. Being part of a club or school government will help you to develop good communication skills, which will be needed when you interview for veterinary programs.
Getting animal and veterinary experience is important so that you begin to understand what the career of a veterinarian is like. It may be very difficult to get a job in a veterinarian’s office, but you can shadow or volunteer at a clinic. Teens can usually volunteer at zoos or shelters. If your county has 4-H, join as that is an excellent way to learn more about animals. Depending on where you live, you will have different opportunities to obtain animal and veterinary experience. If you live in an area where you cannot easily obtain animal and veterinary experience, do not worry, but try to get involved in other things. Perhaps you can volunteer at a hospital or nursing home—veterinary medicine is about working with people as well as with animals.
Employment is also a good way to improve communication skills and to learn how to deal with people. If you are in some type of customer service position, use this as a stepping stone as to how to deal with people and solve problems.
Some colleges of veterinary medicine offer summer programs for high school-aged students. Ask your school guidance counselor to help you find these programs or search online. A lot of these programs are federally funded by grants. Search for these programs in the late fall and early winter as many will have deadlines for applying at the first of the year.
Use the table provided to keep track of your experiences. Keep track of animal, veterinary, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and employment. All these things will be important for your veterinary school application.
Advising is a resource that you should take advantage of in college. Many schools do not have dedicated pre-veterinary advisers but have an overall health adviser who will advise all pre-professional students. Also take advantage of pre-veterinary advising at the colleges of veterinary medicine where you plan to apply. Many of the schools have pre-veterinary advisers that will meet with all students, regardless if they attend that school for undergraduate studies.
If you are at an undergraduate institution that does not offer advising, then the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) can help you. Visit their website at to request a volunteer adviser.
What did I do?
Number of Hours
Contact Information
Summer 2020
Zoo Teen
helped with feeding penguins
80 hours
Sue Smith at Capron Park Zoo, Attleboro MA
Currently, there are thirty-two schools of veterinary medicine in the United States and twenty-one international schools, including five in Canada. The AAVMC website, , has descriptions for each school and links to the school websites.
The process to apply for many of these schools is through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service or VMCAS. Applying to multiple schools through VMCAS is easy as you are completing one application, but it can be costly. The current cost for the first application is $220 and $120 for each additional school application. Many schools also have supplemental applications and/or application fees that you need to complete in addition to the VMCAS application fee.
The average applicant applies to four or five schools. Research the schools to determine which schools are a good academic and social fit and will meet your goals. Develop a list taking into consideration your application strengths. Listed below are some factors you may want to consider:
• Prerequisite courses required
• Standardized testing required
• Other requirements
• Selection process
• Interview requirements
• Size of class; resident and nonresident numbers
• Tuition expenses
The above factors at any school may change from year to year, and thus it is critical to keep an eye on school websites and be aware of any changes that are implemented in requirements or selection factors.
Veterinary schools may have some basic prerequisite courses in common, but for the most part each school has specific requirements. The best source of information on prerequisites is the VMSAR and the individual school website. If you have questions, it is best to contact school admissions offices directly via email or phone. The table provided on the following page was presented in the section on undergraduate preparation but is included again for your reference. Use it as a checklist to make sure you have completed the appropriate prerequisites for the schools that you are interested in.
Not all schools require you to take a standardized test. For the schools that do, typically it is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and some schools accept the MCAT exam. AAVMC provides a general information chart on its website that has the most up-to-date information on the standardized testing schools require. It is also a good idea to visit the websites of the individual schools you are interested in to double-check for any recent updates.
If you are taking the GRE, information about the test can be found at . The site offers instructions to sign up for taking the test and free preparation materials. If you are taking the MCAT, information about the test can be found at .
If you are an international applicant applying to a school in the United States, check with the schools that you are interested in as you may be required to take a test of English as a second language. The most common test is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) but some schools also accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL). Websites for these tests are listed below:
Check with the schools you are applying to for what test they require, minimum scores accepted, and specific deadlines.
Some schools may have requirements for the hours of veterinary and/or animal experience you have before applying. Also, schools may have requirements on the types of letters of recommendation you need to obtain. The best source of information for additional requirements is the VMSAR and individual school websites.
All schools typically have a selection process based on academic criteria, life experiences, and perhaps an interview. Each school will weigh these factors differently based on how well they believe the factors matter to your success in their program. The most important factor for any school admissions group in choosing a class is to select students that they believe will be successful. No admissions committee wants to select students that they believe do not understand the profession or are not academically prepared for the curriculum.
School A
School B
School C
Introductory Biology
Introductory Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Other Biology
Animal Science
Foreign Language
Public Speaking
Social Sciences
Arts and Humanities
There are three basic GPAs that schools may evaluate. These include cumulative GPA, your GPA earned in the last 45 credits you have taken, and your GPA in the science prerequisite courses. Among schools, there may be variations on these GPAs. Check the VMSAR and individual school websites to determine which GPAs they evaluate. If you have questions, contact the schools directly. It is good to understand how to calculate these GPAs. Any GPA is calculated by knowing two things: 1) the grade you received in a class and 2) the credits you earned in that class. If you know those two things you can calculate the points earned in that class by multiplying the grade by the credits. You can determine any GPA by adding up all the credits taken and all the points earned. The GPA is the total points divided by the total credits.
An example is given in the table below regarding how to calculate a science GPA:
Some schools may have minimum requirements for certain GPAs. Make sure you know what these minimums are so that you do not apply to any schools for which you are not qualified.
Some schools also evaluate GRE scores and have minimum required GREs. As with the GPAs, make sure you do your research to determine any schools for which you may not meet the minimum requirement.
An admissions committee’s first introduction to you and the great things you have done is the VMCAS application and supplemental application (if the school has one). The next chapter will provide an overview of the VMCAS application sections and the importance of completing the application thoroughly and with a lot of thought. In your personal essays, experiences, and references, you want to portray who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you have learned from what you have accomplished.
Many schools are looking at applicants more holistically and this means more weight is given to experiences overall, not just animal and veterinary experiences. Admissions committees are focused on other accomplishments as well—employment, community service, research, and extracurricular activities. If you have held leadership positions in any area, including employment, you should emphasize that in your experience descriptions and your essays. Although grades are important to getting your foot in the door, your experiences may be what fully opens the door.
Letter Grade
Equivalent Number Grade
Points (number grade x credits)
Biology I
Biology II
Chemistry I
Chemitry Lab
Physics I
Physics II
Organic Chem I
Organic Chem II
Total (add columns)
GPA (total points/total credits
The chapter on undergraduate preparation went into greater depth on the importance of varied experiences, but it is critical to keep repeating the importance of gaining unique and varied experiences.
Not all schools conduct interviews, but for those schools that do conduct interviews, there are many types of interview formats. Some schools hold traditional interviews where they will find out more about your experiences. Other schools conduct behavioral interviews with one or two committee members. And some schools have multiple mini interviews (MMIs), which are timed interviews with multiple questions and multiple interviewers. Research the types of interviews that each school has and try to determine which type of interview you might excel in. Also, practice interview skills with advisers, mentors, or peers.
Every school evaluates academic and nonacademic factors differently, based on college values and historical data depicting what applicants need to be successful.
You may glean some information from school websites regarding their admissions decision process. You may be able to discern which schools focus primarily on academics versus personal accomplishments versus the interview. You may be a top candidate for one school but be denied at another school.
If you do your research, you should be able to determine where your strengths will match up to a school’s selection process and hopefully that school will be the best fit for you. And, if you are not admitted the first year, do not despair, as every year about 20% of applicants are re-applicants (see Figure 7.1 ).

Figure 7.1. Application Attempts by Applicants to the Class of 2023 AAVMC Internal Data Reports 2019
If you apply to more than one school, then you may be applying to a school at which you will be considered a nonresident. An important factor to consider in choosing the best schools to apply to is the number of nonresidents a school will accept. That number may be as low as ten or as high as one hundred. The general information chart provided by AAVMC will have the most recent numbers for schools in VMCAS. This chart is found on the AAVMC website at .
As discussed in the section on the cost of education, it is important to consider tuition as a factor in applying to veterinary school. If you know the cost of tuition at school X is more than you want to pay, you may decide to not apply there. Have a limit in your mind of the cost of tuition you are willing to pay and stick to it. In the long run, it would be better to take the steps necessary to become competitive at a school you can afford versus attending a school that is over your desired budget.
Hopefully, you have learned from this section that it is important to research the school requirements, selection processes, and basic school logistics. Applying to the schools where you are competitive and where you have the best chance of being selected will save you money in application costs. What follows is an example of a way to compare school factors that are important to you. You can prepare a similar table using factors that you consider important and colleges that you would like to compare. Perhaps for one reason or another, a school might fall off your radar after comparing them on paper. Information for colleges A–E in the figure below is random and will not match up with any actual college. Use this table only as an example as to how you might create your own table to determine the colleges that match your strengths.
College A
College B
College C
College D
College E
Pre-requisite requirements
completed all
need to take cell biology
need to take animal nutrition
completed all
need calculus
Standardized Testing
Other requirements
400 hours vet experience; reccommendation from DVM
recommendation from a DVM
recommendation from a DVM
Academic Criteria
cumulative GPA > 3
science GPA > 2.8
last 45 credit GPA and science GPA > 3
50% of selection
50% of selection
40% of selection
holistic selection
not indicated
Interview requirements
traditional format
behavioral format
Non-resident numbers
Tuition over 4 years
Good Fit
do not have enough vet experience
want tuition under $215,000
low number of non-residents selected
I meet all criteria
do not meet science GPA minimum
VMCAS is a centralized application service provided by AAVMC where you can apply to all the United States schools except for Texas A&M. You can also apply to the following Canadian and international schools: The University of Guelph, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Saskatchewan, Massey University, Murdoch University, Ross University, Royal Veterinary College, St. George’s University, University College Dublin, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.
The application typically opens mid-to-late January with a deadline for completion in mid-September. Please reference the AAVMC website for current application cycle deadlines. The deadline is firm, and schools will not accept any additional materials once the deadline has passed. The application can be found at .
As an applicant, you will be held to a code of conduct that is in accordance with the ideals and principles of the veterinary profession. You will also certify that the information you provide in the application is truthful.
The VMCAS application is split into four sections: personal information, academic history, supporting information, and program materials. The VMCAS section of the AAVMC website has a sample application.
The personal information section asks for some basic background information and includes essay questions. The basic background information covers:
• Biographic information
• Contact information
• Citizenship information
• Parent/guardian information
• Race and ethnicity
• Languages spoken and proficiency
• Military status
• Felony convictions and misdemeanors
• Academic infractions
• Explanation statement for any information not asked for elsewhere in the application—good spot to write about hardships or challenges you have overcome
• Current student status
• Current school GPA
• Explanation for an interval longer than three months in which you were neither a student nor employed
• Are you a resident of a WICHE state (explanation in application)
• Have you previously applied to veterinary school through VMCAS
• Are you a first-generation college student
There are three essay questions in the application. In answering the questions, pull from your personal life experiences and goals. The current questions and character count are as follows:
1. There are many career choices within the veterinary profession. What are your future career goals and why? (2,000 characters)
2. In what ways do veterinarians contribute to society and what do you hope to contribute? (2,000 characters)
3. Consider the breadth of society which veterinarians serve. What attributes do you believe are essential to be successful within the veterinary profession? Of these attributes, which do you possess and how have you demonstrated these in the past? (2,000 characters)
With these essays, most admissions committees are looking for you to write more about your personal experiences—why you chose the experiences you did and what you have learned from them. Make sure these essays are grammatically correct with proper spelling, but otherwise make them personal and about you. Your story is important and should be unique to you—make sure your essays portray this.
Please be aware that these essay questions are reviewed and assessed every year, which may result in changes to the questions. Reference the VMCAS section of the AAVMC website for the most current information regarding the application.
The main topics in this section include:
• High school attended
• Colleges attended
• Transcript entry
• Standardized tests
You will be asked to input only the high school from which you graduated (or last attended if you did not graduate).
You will be asked to record ALL the colleges that you have attended. You need to enter all colleges you have attended, including those where coursework may have been transferred to another institution. You will also be asked to send ALL college transcripts to VMCAS and will be given instructions in the application on how to do that. This is a critical step. If VMCAS discovers that you have attended a college that you did not report your application will be “undelivered” and you will need to add that college and send in a transcript if this is found before the application deadline. If this error is discovered after the transcript submissions deadline, your application will not be “verified.”
You will be required to enter your coursework into the application. You can do this yourself by having the actual transcripts in front of you so that you are entering the information exactly as it appears on your transcript. Or you can choose to have VMCAS enter your coursework for you, but this will be at an additional fee. When your application moves through the “verification” process, trained individuals will be comparing what you entered versus how it appears on the actual transcript. If you enter something wrong, you will need to correct it.
You can enter standardized test scores for the following tests in the VMCAS application:
If you have taken any of these standardized tests, enter the dates and scores or planned dates for taking the tests and any other information requested. Check on individual school websites to determine how and when official test results should be communicated.
The main topics in this section include recommendations, experiences, and achievements.
You must have a minimum of three (3) requested recommendations to submit your application. You may have a maximum of six (6) recommendations requested. To request a recommendation, you will be asked for the name and email address for your recommendation writer. You will also be asked to enter a due date; this allows you to provide a deadline before the VMCAS deadline. By selecting an earlier deadline, you can ensure your recommendation writer does not miss the official VMCAS deadline, but you can always enter the VCMAS deadline date if you wish. You can also write a personal message to your recommendation writer if you choose to do so.
You should communicate with your recommendation letter writer in advance to ask them if they are willing to write you a recommendation for the VMCAS application. Then they will not be surprised when they receive an email from VMCAS with the recommendation request and form.
When thinking of who you should ask to write a recommendation letter, chose individuals that you have interacted with on a professional basis—either through academia, experiences, employment, coaching, and so forth. Choosing family friends, neighbors, or someone you know casually typically does not add substance to your application. You want your recommendation writer to be able to speak to your work ethic, your commitment, and your dedication to whatever activity they have been involved in with you.
You will also be asked to waive your right to access the recommendation. Most often the answer to this should be yes. If you say no then a recommendation writer may refuse to submit the recommendation, or they may be very reserved in what they have to say. If you say yes, recommendation writers tend to be much more open and verbose with their recommendation. You will also need to give permission to VMCAS, and to the individual schools which you are applying, to contact your recommendation writer.
Even though VMCAS sends out automated reminders, it is up to you to make sure the recommendation writer completes the recommendation and submits by the deadline. Remember, this is your application, and making sure all materials are submitted on time is ultimately your responsibility. You will know when a recommendation is submitted—be sure to keep track of the status of all your submitted materials on the “check status” tab.
There are six (6) types of experiences that you can add:
• Animal experience (no veterinarian involved)
• Employment (not animal related)
• Extracurricular activities
• Research
• Veterinary experience (with a veterinarian)
• Volunteer (not animal-related)
Hopefully, you have kept a running log of your experiences so that this section will be straightforward to complete. If you have not kept a log, try to remember everything that you have done and record dates and hours as accurately as possible. Include all your activities, including high school activities. If you include pet ownership, try to be realistic in the hours you record. Some applicants indicate that they have taken care of pets for their entire life 24 hours a day and 7 days a week—this is just not realistic and does not impress any admissions committee.
You are given 600 characters for a description of each activity. Use the 600 characters to explain what you have accomplished in any activity if you have grown in responsibility and if you have held a leadership position.
There are three (3) types of achievements that you can add:
• Awards
• Honors
• Scholarships
Enter information under these topics as appropriate. If you have received one award, honor, or scholarship multiple times, such as “Dean’s List,” you may want to enter it just once and then indicate in the description the number of semesters that you won that award.
Each school to which you apply will have their own section. This section will include any specific instructions or deadlines specific to that school. It will indicate whether you need to complete a supplemental application or pay a supplemental fee. It may ask you to upload additional materials or to write additional essays. Follow the instructions carefully for each school you are applying to and complete the requirements for each school by the deadlines indicated.
The application deadline will be indicated on the VMCAS application site and the AAVMC website. You will need to make sure to submit your VMCAS application to the programs you want and pay all VMCAS fees by the listed deadline. Additionally, you will need to make sure of the following:
• Make sure that you have requested all transcripts be delivered to VMCAS by the listed deadline.
• Make sure you have requested all necessary standardized test scores be submitted by listed deadlines.
• Make sure your recommendation writers have submitted your recommendation by the listed deadline.
You will be able to check the status of all these materials using the “check status” feature on your VMCAS dashboard.
You can submit your application before all your letters of recommendation are submitted. Once you submit your application and VMCAS has received all transcripts, your application will be in the queue for “verification,” meaning VMCAS is checking the academic information you entered versus your actual transcripts. If you have made mistakes, VMCAS will contact you to fix those mistakes. If VMCAS discovers you have attended a college that you did not include a transcript for, they will not verify your application.
Once you have submitted your application the type and frequency of communication will vary depending on the schools that you applied to. All admissions office staff will be busy processing applications. Some schools will extend interview invitations or make selections as early as November or December, but most schools will hold interviews or make decisions in the January–March timeframe.
April 15 is an important date as it is the date all AAMVC member schools must abide by in hearing back from selected applicants. If you receive an offer of selection from a school in November, you do not need to accept that offer until the following April 15. This is the common reply deadline and must be adhered to by all AAVMC member schools. This policy does not apply to schools outside the United States that do not participate in VMCAS, to non-VMCAS applicants to institutions outside the United States, or for matriculation dates other than August or September. If an AAVMC member school is pressuring you to make a decision before the April 15 deadline, you should inform VMCAS.
• Read the application instructions carefully.
• Set a goal to submit your application at least 4–6 weeks before the deadline.
• There are many components of the application that need to be completed, which presents opportunities for error. By submitting early, you will have the opportunity to correct any errors before the final deadline.
• Be sure to request transcripts well in advance of the deadline and follow the transcript ordering instructions.
• Check your application status regularly and check your email regularly for VMCAS-related communication.
• When in doubt, reach out to VMCAS customer service
• Communicate with VMCAS when issues arise.
If you are fortunate to be admitted to more than one school, you will have to decide where to accept. Typically, you will need to put a down a nonrefundable deposit at the school to which you plan to attend.
Hopefully, you have done your research before applying and this will be an easy decision. If you have not done your research before applying, you will need to quickly determine which school is the best fit for you. Factors to consider during this process, other than location and tuition cost, are the type of curriculum, the type of clinical rotations, research emphasis, and the mission, vision, and values of the school.
Some schools are revamping their preclinical curriculum from a traditional lecture/lab format to a learner-centered format, where there is more online learning and less time in a lecture hall. You should consider which is the best teaching method for your learning style.
Older colleges of veterinary medicine will all have a teaching hospital onsite, where you will do most of your clinical rotations. Newer schools may not have a veterinary animal hospital, and you may do your clinical rotations at approved clinics and hospitals in the surrounding area. Both models provide excellent training, but you will need to decide which would be best for you.
There may be a difference in research emphasis at the schools. If you are interested in obtaining a master’s degree or a PhD while in veterinary school, then you will want to ask if there is an opportunity to do so. Some schools have dedicated pathways for dual degrees, some will have informal pathways, and at some schools, this opportunity may not exist.
Hopefully, you have been able to visit the schools, meet faculty and current students, ask pertinent questions, and tour the area. This is the best way to determine the best fit for you. Use the worksheet provided to record answers to questions that are important to you. Some of these might be filled in by your own research or a combination of your research and direct answers from the college.
Name of school:_________________________________
Date of visit:____________________________________
1) Type of curriculum__________________________________________________
2) Type of clinical education model_______________________________________
3) Dual degrees and research opportunities_________________________________
4) Student services____________________________________________________
5) Tuition, living expenses, financial aid, and scholarships_____________________
6) NAVLE preparation_________________________________________________
7) Other_____________________________________________________________
AAVMC does not provide any academic acceptance data publicly for its member institutions. This data could be misleading as selection processes across the schools are very different. Selection processes take many factors into account, and “getting in” to a school of veterinary medicine is not just about good grades, high test scores, or above-average veterinary experience. Many schools are going to a more holistic approach in their admissions offices. This means that committees are focused on the entire history of the applicant, and not just grades and standardized test scores.
The Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR), this publication, contains the most recent acceptance data for each school. The VMSAR allows you to compare schools side by side searching for the variables that are most important to you. You can search for prerequisites, standardized test requirements, minimum GPAs, which schools have dual degree programs, and so forth. Utilize the information in VMSAR to determine the best schools for you to apply to.
A dual baccalaureate/DVM program would enable you to complete your undergraduate degree using credits from your DVM degree. The main purpose of this is to complete your DVM degree in fewer years and pay less in tuition. Such a program may allow you to eliminate one or even two years of undergraduate costs, resulting in less debt. Another benefit is that you are out in the workforce earlier earning money.
A dual baccalaureate/DVM degree is not for everyone. It takes a very mature and self-aware individual to be prepared for the rigors of a veterinary curriculum after only two to three years of undergraduate preparation.
Currently, the only US veterinary college with an official dual degree is Cornell, with a 7-year BS/DVM program which is in conjunction with the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
There are a few schools that have early entry programs, and you should contact those schools if you are interested in finding out more details about these programs.
Other schools may also have “unofficial” combined degree programs.
The best place to find information is on school websites or to ask the veterinary college admissions office personnel.
In veterinary medicine, there is a need for individuals who would like to pursue research either in a corporate or academic setting. There are many opportunities for individuals who decide to pursue a combined DVM-PhD or other combined degrees such as a DVM and a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master in Business Administration (MBA). Also, a combination of a DVM and a master’s (MS) degree can offer additional opportunities in your career path.
Some colleges of veterinary medicine have formal pathways to combined degrees and some colleges have informal pathways.
While the VMSAR includes information for schools that have dual degree options, this does not mean that other colleges of veterinary medicine do not have similar programs. If you are interested in a dual degree, it is advised that you contact the colleges you are interested in to determine 1) if the school has the dual degree you are interested in and 2) how to go about applying for and obtaining that second degree.
Veterinarians help animals and people live longer, healthier lives. They serve society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree can lead to diverse career opportunities and different lifestyles from a solo mixed-animal practice in a rural area to a teaching or research position at an urban university, medical center, or industrial laboratory. The majority of veterinarians in the United States are in private clinical practice, although significant numbers are involved in preventive medicine, regulatory veterinary medicine, military veterinary medicine, laboratory animal medicine, research and development in industry, and teaching and research in a variety of basic science and clinical disciplines.
Veterinarians may choose to become specialists in a clinical area or to work with particular species. The first step on the path toward specialization is usually an internship.
Internships are one-year programs in either small- or large-animal medicine and surgery. The most prestigious internship programs are at veterinary medical colleges or at very large private veterinary hospitals with board-certified veterinarians on staff. Since internships are usually at large referral centers, interns are exposed to a larger number of challenging cases than they would be likely to see in a smaller private practice.
Veterinary students in their senior year and veterinary graduates apply for internships through a matching program. Internship applicants and training hospitals rank each other in order of preference, and a computerized system matches each applicant with the highest-ranking teaching hospital that ranked the applicant. Academic performance in the veterinary professional curriculum, as well as recommendations from veterinary school faculty, is considered in the ranking of internship applicants.
Most veterinary interns in the United States receive a nominal salary, and their educational debts, if any, may be postponed in some governmentally subsidized loan programs. Veterinarians can sometimes command a higher starting salary in private practice after completion of an internship. Also, an internship is often the next step, after receiving the veterinary degree, toward residency and board certification.
Residency Training
Residency training is more specialized than an internship. Residency training programs are competitive and most require that the prospective residents complete an internship or equivalent private-practice experience prior to beginning the residency programs. Residency training is available in disciplines as varied as internal medicine, surgery, preventive medicine, behavior, toxicology, dentistry, and pathology.
The programs take two to three years to complete, depending on the nature of the specialty. Successful completion of a residency often is an important step toward attainment of board certification. Some residencies combine research and graduate study, leading to master’s or PhD degrees.
Board Certification
Currently, there are twenty-two AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organizations, comprising forty distinct specialties: anesthesiology, animal behavior, clinical pharmacology, dentistry, dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine, laboratory animal medicine, microbiology, nutrition, ophthalmology, pathology, poultry medicine, private practice, preventive medicine, radiology, surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation, theriogenology (reproduction), toxicology, and zoological medicine. Veterinarians may become board certified by completing rigorous postgraduate training, education, and examination requirements.
The majority of veterinary graduates are engaged in private practice, either as an owner of a solo practice or, more likely, as a partner or associate in a group practice. Increasingly, veterinarians work together as a team, which allows a wider range of services to be provided.
Small-animal veterinarians focus their efforts primarily on dogs and cats but are seeing a growing number of other pets, including other small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.
Large-animal veterinarians often place their emphasis on horses, cattle, or pigs, and work both on a farmcall and an in-clinic basis. A mixed-animal veterinarian works with all types of domestic animals.
Public practice provides a variety of opportunities at the international, national, state, county, or city levels. There are exciting career opportunities for veterinarians in food safety, public health, the military, animal disease control, and research. Some veterinarians are employed by zoos and aquariums, wildlife conservation groups, game farms, or fisheries.
Veterinarians have many opportunities available to them in private industry, particularly in the fields of nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Assisting in the development of new products in the animal industry, conducting research for pharmaceutical companies, diagnosing disease and drug effects as pathologists, or safeguarding the health of laboratory animal colonies are all interesting career possibilities.
By the very nature of the comparative medical education that veterinarians receive, the many species of animals they care for and work for, and the wide variety of clientele served, the opportunities available to today’s veterinarian are abundant.

Many veterinary medical colleges require one or more standardized tests: the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). For further information regarding test dates and registration procedures, contact the testing agencies listed below:
GRE Graduate Record Examinations – ETS
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
(609) 771-7670 (Princeton, NJ)
also: (866) 473-4373 |
Individual school codes: see GRE booklet
MCAT Medical College Admission Test
MCAT Program Office
655 K St NW #100,
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 828-0600
TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language
TOEFL/TSE Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
(609) 771-7100 or (877) 863-3546
Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island (CANADA)
Registrar’s Office
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown PEI C1A 4P3
Auburn University (USA)
Office for Academic Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine
217 Goodwin/Overton
Auburn, AL 36849-5536
Colorado State University (USA)
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
1601 Campus Delivery – Office of the Dean
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1601
Cornell University (USA)
Office of Student & Academic Services
College of Veterinary Medicine
S2-009 Schurman Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-6401
Iowa State University (USA)
Office of Admissions
College of Veterinary Medicine
2270 Veterinary Medicine
1800 Christensen Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1134
Kansas State University (USA)
Office of Admissions
College of Veterinary Medicine
101 Trotter Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-5601
Lincoln Memorial University (USA)
College of Veterinary Medicine
6965 Cumberland Gap Pkwy
Harrogate, TN 37752
Long Island University (USA)
Graduate Admissions
720 Northern Blvd
Brookville NY, 11548
Louisiana State University (USA)
Office of Admissions, Room 1213
Skip Bertman Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Massey University Veterinary School (NEW ZEALAND)
International Student Affairs
Undergraduate Office
School of Veterinary Science
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North 4442
New Zealand
Michigan State University (USA)
Office of Admissions, Student Life, and Inclusivity
College of Veterinary Medicine
784 Wilson Road
G100 College of Veterinary Medicine
East Lansing, MI 48824
Midwestern University (USA)
College of Veterinary Medicine
19555 North 59th Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85308
Mississippi State University (USA)
Office of Student Admissions
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 6100
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Murdoch University (AUSTRALIA)
Murdoch International Student Applications
South Street
Murdoch 6150
Western Australia, Australia
North Carolina State University (USA)
Student Services Office
College of Veterinary Medicine
1060 William Moore Drive, Box 8401
Raleigh, NC 27607
The Ohio State University (USA)
Office of Student Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine
Suite 127 Veterinary Medicine Academic Building
1900 Coffey Road
Columbus, OH 43210-1089
Oklahoma State University (USA)
Office of Admissions
112 McElroy Hall
College of Veterinary Medicine
Stillwater, OK 74078-2003
Oregon State University (USA)
Office of the Dean
Attention: Admissions
Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine
200 Magruder Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331-4801
Purdue University (USA)
Student Services, Lynn 1185
College of Veterinary Medicine
625 Harrison Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2026
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (ST. KITTS)
Office of Admissions
630 US HWY 1
Suite 2031
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Royal Veterinary College (UNITED KINGDOM)
Head of Admissions
Royal College Street
London NW1 0TU
United Kingdom
Seoul National University (SOUTH KOREA)
1 Gwanak-ro
Gwanak-gu, Seoul
South Korea
St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine (GRENADA)
Office of Admission
c/o The North American Correspondent
University Support Services, LLC
3500 Sunrise Highway
Building 300
Great River, NY 11739
Texas A & M University (USA)
Office of the Dean
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
College Station, TX 77843-4461
Tufts University (USA)
Office of Admissions
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Tuskegee University (USA)
Office of Admissions and Recruitment
School of Veterinary Medicine
100 Dr. Frederick Patterson Hall
Tuskegee, AL 36088
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
Office of Undergraduate Studies (Division de Estudios Profesionales)
College of Veterinary Medicine (FMVZ)
Av. Universidad 3000
Circuito Interior
Delegacion Coyoacan
Mexico D.F. 04510
Université de Montréal (CANADA)
Service des Admissions
C.P. 6205
Succursale Centre-Ville
Montréal Québec H3C 3T5
University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine
1580 E Hanley Blvd.
Oro Valley, AZ 85737
University of Bristol (ENGLAND)
Admissions Office
Directorate of External Relations
University of Bristol
31 Great George Street
University of Calgary (CANADA)
Admissions Office
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
TRW 2D03
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6
University of California (USA)
School of Veterinary Medicine
Office of the Dean-Student Programs
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
University College Dublin (IRELAND)
Veterinary Medicine Applications
UCD Admissions Office
Tierney Building
Belfield, Dublin 4
University of Edinburgh (UNITED KINGDOM)
Admissions Office
Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Easter Bush Veterinary Centre
Roslin EH25 9RG
University of Florida (USA)
Admissions Office
College of Veterinary Medicine
P.O. Box 100125
Gainesville, FL 32610-0125
The University of Georgia (USA)
Admissions Department
Office for Academic Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine
Athens, GA 30602-7372
University of Glasgow (UNITED KINGDOM)
Director of Admissions & Student Services Manager
College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine Undergraduate School
464 Bearsden Road
G61 1QH
University of Guelph (CANADA)
Admissions Services
University Centre, Level 3
Guelph Ontario N1G 2W1
University of Illinois (USA)
College of Veterinary Medicine
Office of Academic and Student Affairs
2001 South Lincoln Avenue
Room 2271g
Urbana, IL 61802
University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Melbourne Veterinary School
Corner Park Drive and Flemington
Road Parkville
Melbourne 3010
Victoria Australia
University of Minnesota (USA)
Office of Academic and Student Affairs College of Veterinary Medicine
108 Pomeroy Center
1964 Fitch Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)
Office of Academic Affairs
College of Veterinary Medicine
W203 Veterinary Medicine Building
Columbia, MO 65211
University of Pennsylvania (USA)
Admissions Office
School of Veterinary Medicine
3800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6044
The University of Queensland–Gatton Campus (AUSTRALIA)
School of Veterinary Science
Gatton, 4343
Queensland, Australia
University of Saskatchewan (CANADA)
Admissions Office
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
52 Campus Drive
Saskatoon Saskatchewan S7N 5B4
University of Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney School of Veterinary Science
JD Stewart Building University of Sydney
NSW 2006
University of Tennessee (USA) Admissions Office
College of Veterinary Medicine
2407 River Drive
Room A-104-C
Knoxville, TN 37996-4550
University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)
Office of Academic Affairs
School of Veterinary Medicine
2015 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1102
Utrecht University (NETHERLANDS)
International Office
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Yalelaan 1
3584 CL Utrecht
The Netherlands
VetAgro Sup (FRANCE)
1, avenue Bourgelat
69280 Marcy l’Etoile
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (USA)
245 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Washington State University (USA)
Office of Student Services
College of Veterinary Medicine
100 Grimes Way
P.O. Box 647012
Pullman, WA 99164-7012
Western University of Health Sciences (USA)
Office of Admissions
College of Veterinary Medicine
309 East 2nd Street
Pomona, CA 91766-1854
City University of Hong Kong (HONG KONG)
5/F, Block 1, To Yuen Building
31 To Yuen Street
City University of Hong Kong
Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon
Hong Kong
St. Matthew’s University (WEST INDIES)
Office of Admissions
12124 High Tech Avenue, Suite 350
Orlando, FL 32817
United Arab Emirates University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
PO Box 15551
Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
University of Adelaide (AUSTRALIA)
The School of Animal and Veterinary Science Roseworthy
Campus Roseworthy
SA 5371 Australia
University of Tokyo (JAPAN)
1-1-1, Yayoi, Bunkyo-Ku
Tokyo 113-8657, Japan
University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice – UVMP in Košice (SLOVAK REPUBLIC)
Study Office
Komenského 73
041 81 Košice
Slovak Republic
Seven Canadian provinces and 16 states in the United States have a veterinary school contract with one or more schools to provide access to veterinary medical education for their residents. The state or province, working through the contracting agency, usually agrees to pay a fee to help cover the cost of education for a certain number of places in each entering class. Residents from the contract states then compete with each other for those positions.
Some states contract with more than one school. For example, Arkansas contracts with 5 veterinary schools, and North Dakota contracts with 6 schools. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Nebraska, and the District of Columbia presently have no contracts, so all candidates from these places apply as nonresidents to veterinary schools of their choice.
The educational agreements between contracting agencies and veterinary schools differ. Under some contract arrangements, students pay in-state tuition; in others, they pay nonresident tuition. Some contract states require students to repay all or part of the subsidy that the state provided; others require veterinary graduates to return to practice in the state for a period of time. Applicants should be aware of their obligation to the state before agreeing to participate in a contract program
Following is a list of states and provinces that have educational agreements with schools of veterinary medicine.
Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts through the SREB ** with Louisiana State University, University of Missouri, and Oklahoma State University. Contracts not all completed at time of printing; may be some changes.
Contracts with Oklahoma State University and the University of Georgia.
Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts with Washington State University.
Contracts with Auburn University and Tuskegee University.
Contracts with Washington State University. Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Formal education alliance with Iowa State University allows students admitted into the 2+2 program with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pay resident tuition for all 4 years.
Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts with Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, and Kansas State University. Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts with University of Georgia, Mississippi State University, and Tuskegee University.
Reciprocity with University of Minnesota. Contracts with Iowa State University.
Contracts with Washington State University.
Contracts with Mississippi State University and Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
Contracts through WICHE * with Colorado State University, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
Contracts with University of Calgary.
Contracts with University of Saskatchewan.
Contracts with University of Saskatchewan.
Contracts with Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island and Université de Montréal.
Contracts with Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Contracts with Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Contracts with the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire of the Université de Montréal
* WICHE = Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (offices in Boulder, Colorado) ** SREB = Southern Regional Educational Board
The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges affirms the value of diversity within the veterinary medical profession. The membership is committed to incorporating that belief into their actions by advocating for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented persons as students and faculty, and ultimately fostering their success in the profession of veterinary medicine. The Association believes that through these actions, society and the profession will be well served.
Many schools have programs designed to facilitate entry into, and retention by, veterinary programs nationwide. These programs are directed at several levels, from high-school students to the student who has already been accepted by a veterinary college. Most of these programs will accept students from every state, regardless of the school(s) to which an individual might eventually apply or attend.
Following is an alphabetical list of schools by state and a short explanation of their programs:
Program: Vet Prep
Description: A one-year academic program that serves as a bridge to the Doctor of Veterinary (DVM) program for disadvantaged (cultural, social, economic) applicants who ranked high but were not admitted. Limited to 10 students who upon successful completion are guaranteed admission to the DVM program. Candidates are selected from the current regular admissions applicant pool and do not directly apply to the Vet Prep program.
Eligibility: Disadvantaged students.
Contact: College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, W102 Anatomy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523; telephone: (970) 491-7051; email: .
Sponsorship: College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University.
Program: State University of New York Graduate Underrepresented Minority Fellowships
Description: All matriculating underrepresented minorities are eligible (not restricted by state residency).
Contact: Director of Student Financial Planning, Office of Student & Academic Services, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, S2-009 Schurman Hall, Ithaca NY 14853-6401; telephone: (607) 253-3766; website: .
Program: Enrichment Summer Program (ESP)
Description: The ESP, sponsored by the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine with support of an endowment, provides academic advancement and career knowledge for undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine. There is no fee to participate in this program.
Eligibility: The program is open to undergraduate students who have selected veterinary medicine as a career choice and plan to apply to a professional program. It focuses on developing well-qualified prospective students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Consideration is given to residents of Michigan who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Program dates: Early June through late June.
How Do I Apply: The application opens November 1 each year and closes in late January. For more information, visit .
Contact: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, College of Veterinary Medicine, 784 Wilson Road, F-113 B, Veterinary Medical Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; telephone: (517) 355-6521; email: .
Program: Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning Veterinary Medicine Minority Loan/Scholarship Program
Description: A financial assistance program for Mississippi residents who are underrepresented minorities. The loan to service obligation is one year for each year of scholarship assistance, not to exceed four years.
Contact: Susan Eckels, Program Administrator, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson MS 39211-6453; telephone: (800) 327-2980.
Program: Vet Camp
Description: MSU-CVM has been offering Veterinary Camp since 2011. Modeled after the first and second year student experience, our curriculum is heavily hands-on and is taught by our own faculty, with DVM students serving as counselors and leaders. After that first year, the camp grew in the number of students we could serve, the number and types of camps we offered, and the labs and activities we provided. We are proud of the 100% satisfaction rate and willingness to recommend our camp reported by campers, parents, and our own faculty. We love sharing the veterinary profession with young people.
Program: VetAspire
Description: VetAspire is an exciting program designed for students to spend the day at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Each month, five students will have the opportunity to participate in clinics, lectures, and hands-on activities. The goal of this program is to expose students to the field of veterinary medicine in hopes that they will choose it as a career path. Students will also get to see the real-world impact of math, science, and communications training.
Eligibility: Open to 11th and 12th grade high school students and college freshmen. Must be educationally, economically, and/or socially disadvantaged. All students (11th grade-college senior) will be considered, but priority will be given to students who meet the above criteria.
Program: UNC Campus Scholarship Program—Graduate Student Component
Description: UNC General Administration funds this program. Eligibility is limited to new or continuing full-time doctoral students who have financial need and who are residents of North Carolina as of the beginning of the award period (as determined under the Manual to Assist the Public Higher Education Institutions of N.C. in the Matter of Student Resident Classification for Tuition Purposes). Individuals who have been accepted to a master’s degree program in a department offering the doctoral degree and who intend, and will be eligible, to pursue doctoral studies at NC State after completion of the requirements for the master’s degree are also eligible. The program provides up to $3,000 annually for North Carolina residents.
Contact: Director of Diversity Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Drive, Box 8401, Raleigh, NC 27607; telephone: (919) 513-6262; website: .
Program: Diversity Graduate Assistant Grant
Description: Funded by the North Carolina State University Graduate School, recipients must be fulltime, new or continuing students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees at North Carolina State University. The program provides up to $3,000 annually. Both resident and nonresident students are eligible to apply.
Contact: Director of Diversity Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Drive, Box 8401, Raleigh, NC 27607; telephone: (919) 513-6262; website: .
Note: North Carolina residents are encouraged to apply for both programs. However, the annual maximum award for these grant programs is a combined $3,000 (with an option of $500 in additional support for study in the summer). The grant is awarded on an annual basis. Awardees must re-apply each year.
Program: Buckeye Veterinary Camp
Description: In this summer residential camp, high school students will learn more about veterinary school and the profession.
Eligibility: Scholarships are available for those who qualify.
Program dates: Application typically opens in March. Dates of the camp are at the end of June.
Sponsorship: the State of Ohio and The Ohio State University.
Program: Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
Description: The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Ohio State is designed to help historically underrepresented students explore opportunities for graduate study and academic careers. Over the course of eight weeks during the summer, Ohio State SROP participants will conduct research with a faculty mentor on a topic of mutual interest, and participate in activities crucial to preparation for graduate school, including workshops on research skills, seminars on topics related to graduate education, and professional development events. At the end of the summer program, participants present their research at a campus summary conference and a regional conference.
Eligibility: All historically underrepresented undergraduates who are U.S. citizens and who meet the criteria listed in the qualifications section below are eligible to participate in the program. The selection process targets groups underrepresented in graduate education. Priority is given to those students who have not participated in SROP previously.
Contact: Graduate Student Recruitment, 614-247-6377, . Website: . SROP is overseen by the Big Ten Academic Alliance.
Program: Vet Up!™ National HCOP Academy for Veterinary Medicine
Description: Vet Up!™! provides opportunities and support for equity-minded individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the veterinary profession and serve society by advancing public health, ensuring food safety, or serving rural areas. Vet Up!™ consists of three programs with a competitive selection process for admissions: Vet Up! Champions; Vet Up! College; and Vet Up! DVM Scholars. Vet Up! Champions integrates face-to-face and interactive online learning to provide a 12-month structured curriculum to a cohort of 26 students each year comprised of rising high-school juniors/seniors, adult/nontraditional learners including veterans, and first or second year undergraduate students. Champions will prepare for entry into veterinary college by receiving mentorship, financial and cultural competence training, and gaining exposure to veterinary careers. The Vet Up! College program is a six-week-long residential summer program at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine for 26 educationally or economically disadvantaged undergraduate students each year that will prepare students to be competitive in the DVM applicant pool. Vet Up! College is geared towards rising college juniors and seniors. Vet Up! College replaces Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Access to Animal-Related Careers (A2RC) 2-week-long summer program which has been discontinued. The Vet Up! DVM Scholars program provides academic, social, and financial support post-matriculation to five educationally or economically disadvantaged Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine D.V.M. degree students per year, to support them from matriculation to a timely graduation from their veterinary medical degree program and employment in a veterinary shortage area.
Eligibility: Vet Up! is open to individuals who are: U.S. citizens, Non-citizen nationals, and Foreign nationals who possess a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States. Participants must also establish an educationally or economically disadvantaged background by meeting two or more of the following criteria:
• The individual is an underrepresented minority with respect to race or ethnicity.
• The individual is from a rural background.
• The individual is the first-generation in their family to attend college (neither parent nor legal guardian completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher).
• The individual graduated from (or last attend

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