Selection criteria for most veterinary schools include the following:
- A likelihood of academic success
- Included in this category are pre-requisite course requirements (see below), GPA, and GRE scores. Some schools may also accept MCAT scores in place of the GRE.
- Possession of qualities deemed valuable in a veterinarian
- These include personality traits such as compassion, integrity, motivation, and maturity, etc, and are often assessed through letters of recommendation, personal essays, and interviews.
- Knowledge of the veterinary profession
- Veterinary experience, either paid or volunteer, and/or other animal-related experiences are essential. Some schools may require documentation of a minimum number of hours in this area.
Undergraduate Course Requirements
These may vary slightly from school to school. Oregon State University’s requirements are given here
- General Biology: one year (BIO 211, 212, 213)
- Biological Sciences: minimum of two additional quarters of upper division biology (recommended are anatomy and physiology, cell biology, immunology, microbiology and others)
- Physics: one year (PHY 201, 202, 203)
- General Chemistry: one year inorganic chemistry with lab (CHE 221, 222, 223)
- Organic Chemistry: 2-3 quarters organic chemistry (CHE 331, 332, 333)
- Biochemistry: three quarters of upper level biochemistry (CHE 450, 451, 452)
- Animal Nutrition: one quarter; must be animal nutrition, not human nutrition;
- ANS 311 is offered online by OSU for students not attending OSU
- Genetics: one quarter (4 credits) of general genetics that includes both Mendelian and molecular genetics (BIO 341)
- Mathematics: one quarter of calculus (MATH 251)
- Statistics: one quarter (MATH 243 or 361)
- Physiology: at least one quarter of animal or human physiology (BIO 331/332/333)
- English writing: two quarters (WRI 121/122)
- Public Speaking: one quarter (SPE 111)
- Humanities & Social Sciences: four quarters
Important Sources of Information
- AAVMC (Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges)
- VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Service)
- This organization coordinates applications to all 28 U.S. veterinary medical colleges through their online electronic application service.
- Student and Advisor Hotline (toll free) 877-862-2740 (M-F 9:30 - 5:30 ET)
- Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements, by the AAVMC is updated yearly and published by the Purdue University Press
- AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association)
- GRE (Graduate Record Exam): required by most schools
- Format: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing
- MCAT (Medical College Admission Test): may be used in place of GRE by some schools
- Format: Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences
- Kaplan: Info on the GRE and MCAT
VMCAS applications are available on-line starting in early June. Deadline for VMCAS application is early October.
There are a total of 28 accredited veterinary schools in the United States and 5 veterinary schools in Canada. State residency may need to be certified. In some cases, WICHE (Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) can help. It oversees cross-enrollment agreements between 15 western states, and has special agreements related to veterinary medicine.