Veterinary School - Application
While many veterinary schools use the VMCAS application, each school has different deadline submission dates. There are 34 schools that utilize VMCAS. It is important for you to know the deadlines for the schools/programs that you plan to apply as well as any requirements needed.
Veterinary schools require the GRE. VMCAS lists the specific testing requirements for each VMCAS school, last date an applicant can take the required test and the last date each school will accept test scores. Test scores need to be sent directly to the schools you apply by their deadline. AAVMC suggests that tests be taken before Fall of your application year to ensure you do not miss a VMCAS school’s deadline. Most schools will not accept test scores older than 2-3 years.
Letters of recommendation are a critical component of the application process. It is the part of your application where veterinary schools can learn about your personal qualities. Electronic letters are required. Letter requirements vary from school to school but generally, three letters of recommendation are required. It is also wise to obtain a letter from a veterinarian who can speak to your interests and knowledge of veterinary medicine.
VMCAS provides instructions of what you need to do as well as how your writers can upload your letters. Make sure to confirm each school’s preference for what type letters they require. VMCAS does not accept more than three letters of recommendation. Additional letters can be sent directly to the individual school if the school accepts additional letters. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are submitting the correct letters for each school you apply.
You can influence the quality of your letter by providing your letter writer with useful information that will aid them in preparing your letter: a copy of your transcripts, your resume, and a copy of your personal statement discussing why you want to be a veterinarian. You should plan on meeting with your letter writers to discuss the letter they will write for you. Read more tips and resources for how to obtain strong letters of recommendation.
A written statement of purpose is required in the admission process. In your statement, plan on addressing why you selected veterinary medicine as your career. This is your opportunity to discuss how your relevant personal background and interests, education, and experiences have led you to select a veterinary medicine education. Take time to review and rewrite your statement as many times as needed. Select individuals who know you either personally or professionally to read your statement and provide you feedback. You are allotted 5000 characters including spaces. Refer to the VMCAS instructions (PDF) for complete details.
Some schools have an interview requirement. Interviews are by invitation only and usually start in January and can run through the end of March. The interview helps the school learn more about you and provides you an opportunity to further discuss your interests in veterinary medicine. You also want to use your interview to learn more about the school to determine if you want to spend the next four years there. Prior to your interview, take time to review your application, research the school and practice interviewing.
The interview may vary from school to school. You may be interviewed by a panel of Admissions representatives, faculty, an advanced veterinary student or a veterinarian. Some schools are conducting the Multiple Mini Interview format (see Medical School – Application for more information). Most schools that require interviews also offer an orientation (in person or online) to help you learn more about their interview process as well as what to expect, dos and don’ts, and sample questions. When you are offered an interview, you should check each school for their interview policy so you best prepare yourself.
Interviewing for Health Professions offers some tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your interviews.