Admission to veterinary school is a highly competitive process. Approximately half or more of the students who apply to vet school each year do not get accepted. There are simply more applicants than there are seats available. Because of this, it is vitally important that students who want to pursue a vet degree thoroughly prepare themselves to be competitive applicants during the pre-vet years.
GPA AND GRE
GPA is a vital part of your application to vet school. The average GPA for accepted applicants is about a 3.57. All grades received for college credit may be calculated into your GPA even if you have retaken the class. If you have taken any classes at a different school or if you have retaken classes, your UVU GPA may not be an accurate calculation for vet schools.
The GRE general test is a standardized examination required by most vet programs as part of your application. Specific information on the exam is available at www.GRE.org. You should visit this site periodically to stay informed on updates and general information on the exam.
The GRE is administered via a computer-based format. There are 5 test sites in Utah: 1 in Orem, 2 in Salt Lake, 1 in Logan and 1 in St. George. Students select their preferred test site when they register to take the test.
The GRE general test measures:
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Critical Thinking
- Analytical Writing
Three scores are reported on the general test: a verbal reasoning score reported on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments; a quantitative reasoning score on a 200-800 score scale, in 10-point increments; an analytical writing score reported on a 0-6 score scale, in half-point increments.
NOTE: Vet schools determine their own individual requirements. The courses listed below are a general guide. Refer to the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) book, www.aavmc.org and the individual school's website to determine the specific requirements for that institution.
Required by most vet schools with a grade of C or better:
- Intro to Writing: ENGL 1010
- Intermediate Writing: ENGL 2010 or 2020
- College Biology I and II with labs: BIOL 1610/1615 and 1620/1625
- Principles of Chemistry I and II with labs: CHEM 1210/1215 and 1220/1225
- Organic Chemistry I and II with labs: CHEM 2310/2315 and 2320/2325
- College Physics I and II with labs: PHYS 2010/2015 and 2020/2025
- Biochemistry: BIOL 3600
- Molecular Genetics: BIOL 3500
- Microbiology for Health Professions: MICRO 2060
- Principles of Statistics or Stats for Behavioral Sciences: MATH 2040 or PSY 3010
In addition, some schools require the following courses:
- Public Speaking: COMM 1020
- Calculus I: MATH 1210
- Animal Nutrition: Not offered at UVU. Can be taken as an online or correspondence course.
- Upper Division Science/Biology Courses
- Social Science/Humanities Electives
It is extremely important to be involved in activities outside of the classroom in order to be competitive for admission into vet school. GPA and GRE scores are important, but they do not make you unique. Extracurricular activities are a chance for you to set yourself apart and display your motivation for pursuing a vet degree and dedication to serving the community. Preparing to apply for vet school is NOT about checking off boxes. Vet schools are not going to care if you have done the experiences if you have not learned from them. Admissions committees want to know that you are willing and able to learn in any circumstance and/or environment.
The activities you should be involved in and the recommended hours are listed below:
- Volunteer Service: 45-60 hours during each of the pre-vet years including the year of application. To be a strong applicant for vet school you must show dedication to serving the community, humans and animals. Volunteer service can be done with any group or organization and does not have to be animal related. Being involved in 2-3 service opportunities will benefit you more than having several brief experiences.
- Leadership: 3 different leadership positions during the pre-vet. These should be experiences that have lasted at least 3 months or more. This includes experiences as tutors, mentors, coaches, teachers or leaders in campus clubs and organizations as well as employment and church leadership.
- Vet Experience: 1000-2000 hours during the pre-vet years. Vet experience can be gained by shadowing/observing, volunteering or working as a vet tech or vet assistant. Some students gain experience through work on farms or ranches, zoos, vet clinics, animal shelters, public agencies, internships, etc. This shows admissions committees that you are comfortable around animals and have experienced some of the rewards and difficulties associated with being a vet and working with animals. You should have experience with large and small animals.
- Research: 50 hours during the pre-vet years with at least 25 hours completed before Fall semester of senior year. Research is highly recommended for all vet schools. Research must involve the testing of a hypothesis and must be supervised. Research cannot be part of a class, but may be an independent project or senior thesis that the student receives college credit for. Many students become research assistants for professors on campus. You should be able to describe the hypothesis and research methods for the project no matter what your role is in the research. Research involving live animals is preferred, but vet schools understand that this not always possible and will consider research in other areas as well.