Choosing a Veterinary School
There are 28 AVMA-accredited Veterinary Schools in the United States, and 8 outside the country. Please visit Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges for Accredited Veterinary School websites.
Most veterinary schools give preference to in-state applicants, but often accept qualified out-of-state applicants. Therefore you should apply broadly to schools based on these other important criteria:
- o Your personal preference in veterinary specialties o Location
- o Schools' program strengths o Residency
- o Caseload o Tuition
- o Class size
The Application Process
Many of the US schools participate in a common web-based application, which can be found at http://aavmc.org/vmcas/vmcas.htm. The web-based application is generally available online beginning the last week of May, and due in its entirety the first week in October prior to the year you intend to enroll.
Most applications require:
o College transcripts
o GRE scores
o 3 letters of recommendation
o Record of hours of animal/veterinary experience
o Personal statements and essays
Notification of application status (rejection, selection for interview, or acceptance directly into a program) can occur anytime between December and March.
Criteria for Selection for an Interview
Not all veterinary schools interview applicants. Those that do usually use a point-based system that weights GPA (cumulative, science GPA, and last 45 semester/quarter units of coursework), GRE scores, and animal/veterinary experience. If you get an interview at a veterinary school you've applied to, that's half the battle!
The Interview Process
The interview is your final chance to impress the admissions committee. For tips on interview attire, sample questions, and "mock interviews", please check Stanford's Career Development Center (CDC) http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc. The most important thing to remember is that the admissions committee wants to confirm that you really are the person they liked so well in your application! So be yourself, be confident in your strengths, and try to relax!
Vet Student's Journey:
"I was a part of the Pre-Vet Club during my time at Stanford, and found Dr. B to be an invaluable source of knowledge and support for applying for vet school. I was able to study elephants in Namibia for my honors thesis with her guidance, which was an incredible experience and really strengthened my vet school application. After graduating from Stanford, I attended the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine where I continued doing research on wildlife disease. I then completed a rotating small animal medicine and surgery internship at the University of Tennessee, and am currently doing a residency in zoological medicine at UC Davis and San Diego Zoo Global. I strongly recommend getting as much exposure as possible to numerous fields of veterinary medicine to learn what areas you are most interested in. Additionally, getting involved in research - even in college! - is a great way to make connections and further our field. "