Veterinary Medicine - Applying

Where to Apply ~ When to Apply ~ How to Apply ~ Tips and Advice ~ What Happens Next

Where to Apply

There are 28 veterinary institutions in the United States. When choosing where to apply, you should:

  • • Do independent research - a good place to start is the current edition of the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements Handbook and the VMCAS website, found here
    • When looking through programs, be sure to track the following information on an excel spreadsheet:
    o Gpa requirements
    o Letters of recommendation
    o Tests required (GRE, MCAT, etc…)
    o Minimum number of clinical hours
    o Application windows; when it opens and when it closes
    o Additional required courses you might need to take
    • You should come up with a short list of programs to apply to. Usually 5-10 programs
    • Make an appointment with Susie Fang to discuss your options.

When to Apply

Schools begin accepting applications in early June (deadlines in early October). We recommend that you complete your applications by late June or early July so that you take advantage of the rolling admissions process. Even if you will not take the GRE/MCAT until later in the summer, it is important to file your application early.

How to Apply

Most U.S. veterinary medical schools use a centralized application service known as the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). You can access their application online through their website.

When you apply, materials you will send to VMCAS are:

  • VMCAS Web Application
  • Letters of Evaluation (minimum three processed through the VMCAS application site)
  • VMCAS Application Fee

Tips and Advice

Coursework: All schools have slightly different coursework requirements for admittance so be sure to check them for each school to which you apply. If you are missing any courses, you can plan to take them during your application year.

Letters of Recommendation: You should have at least three letters. Your most important letters will be those from veterinarians with whom you have volunteered/ interned. Additionally, you may want to get a letter from a science professor who knows you well.

Make sure you ask you evaluators to write your letters in advance and provide them with a deadline for when you would like to have your letter written. You should give your evaluators a minimum of four weeks.

If you are applying through VMCAS, your recommendations will be sent using eLOR which stands for electronic Letters of Recommendation. It lets evaluators complete the evaluation process over the internet. When you fill out your VMCAS application, you will go to the "Evaluators" section of the application and register a minimum of three and a maximum of five evaluators. After you enter your evaluators' information into the spaces provided, the evaluators will then receive an email requesting them to log into the secure eLOR service and complete your evaluation at their leisure. -Let your evaluators know to expect this email! Evaluators have the option of denying your request.

You are allowed to submit your application before your evaluators have submitted their letters. Just make sure that your evaluators submit their letters in a timely fashion (and, of course, before the application deadline). You should monitor the status of your evaluations (i.e. whether or not they have been completed) by logging into your application and visiting the eLOR section. This can be done even after you have submitted your application.

If a letter had not been submitted and you think that is should have been, it is a good idea to follow-up with your evaluator to make sure he or she has not forgotten.


Personal Statement: The Admissions Committee members who read your essay are looking for individuals who are motivated, academically prepared, articulate, socially conscious, and knowledgeable about the profession. Write about your experiences and qualities that will make you stand out. For tips, visit our Personal Statements/Essays page.

Experiences: Other sections of your VMCAS application will include:

  • Veterinary Experience
  • Animal Experience
  • Employment Experience
  • Honors and Awards
  • Extracurricular and Community Activities.

Brief written descriptions of each activity are required - they do not need to be lengthy but make sure they are well written! For tips, visit our Personal Statements/Essays page.

What Happens Next

Most schools will ask you to complete a secondary application. Secondary applications are not done through VMCAS and they vary from school to school—some are comprehensive, some are short. Most schools will ask for another application fee when you submit a secondary. Try to fill them out and return them as soon as possible.
Some questions to prepare for Interviews:
  • What interests you in the profession?
  • What motivates you to be a veterinarian?
  • Why did you apply to our veterinary school?
  • What do you want to do after veterinary school?

You should also:

  • • Do some research on the veterinary school you are interviewing at and formulate informed questions you could ask the interviewer.
    • Be prepared for questions on current issues and emerging diseases. Don't just memorize facts; be sure to formulate your own thoughts and opinions on the information.

For general information and tips on interviews, visit our Interview page.

Please inform us if you are interviewed or accepted to a health professions program/school. We track all of this data to better inform future applicants of where our students have had success.