Veterinary School Frequently Asked Questions
None. But, because of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s participation in the Southern Regional Education Program, Kentucky students have the opportunity to enter veterinary medical school at Auburn University or Tuskegee Institute, both of which are located in Alabama. Each year, the School of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn reserves 34 positions and Tuskegee Institute reserves 2 positions for students from Kentucky who meet admission requirements. If admitted, Kentucky students pay in-state tuition, just as Alabama residents.
You should submit your VMCAS (Veterinary Medical College Application Service) as early as possible at the beginning of your senior year. However, some programs have their own application systems, such as Texas University System. Additionally, some still use paper applications, such as Tuskegee Institute. Look to your prospective school for more information.
It depends. Applicants must submit test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), depending on the preference of the college to which they are applying.
Visit the website of your prospective school, as they should usually have the average GRE and GPA listed for accepted students. For example, in 2010, the average GRE score (combined verbal and quantitative) was 1120 at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Check with your schools of choice to find out what they are looking for in an application. Your academic history is important. A strong grade point average (GPA) and high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score are the best predictors for future success in veterinary school. Besides academic achievement, veterinary experience, understanding of the veterinary profession, motivation and dedication to a career in veterinary medicine, extracurricular activities, and career diversity are also important factors in an application. These aspects are evaluated through your personal statement, letters of recommendation, experience, and interviews.
Generally, applicants should demonstrate that they have observed veterinarians in a variety of settings (large animal practice, small animal practice, research, wild life, etc.). Additionally, they should demonstrate strong communication skills, leadership, goal orientation, diversity of interests, and extracurricular activities.
The typical student attends veterinary school for four years. The fourth year usually focuses on clinical experience.
Your grades play an important role in your application, just as your experience, personal statement, and work history. Each school has a different GPA requirement. For example, at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the minimum GPA requirement for Kentucky residents is a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, while its average GPA for admitted students was 3.53 in 2009. Bottom line, you need to stay on top of your schoolwork.
Yes. Schools will usually specify who the recommenders should be (i.e. academic advisors, veterinarians, employers, etc). So make sure you look closely at the requirements. Also, see our Letters of Recommendation FAQ for more general information on this process.
Fred DeGraves, DVM, Ph.D
Department of Agriculture
Michael Stokes, Ph.D
Department of Biology
Look to see what your potential schools require. Most list their pre-requisites on their website. For example, at Auburn University, students are required to take certain courses in written composition, humanities and fine arts, history and social behavioral sciences, mathematics, and biological and physical sciences.
Veterinary schools do require that you successfully complete certain courses prior to veterinary school, thus attending college is necessary. However, most veterinary schools do not require bachelor degrees. Veterinary schools typically require the equivalent of 3 years of full-time college.
If you are applying for a nationally competitive scholarship, the Office of Scholar Development is happy to help you prepare your application, personal statement, and interview in order to be a competitive applicant. If you are not applying for a nationally competitive scholarship, there are additional resources on campus. The Writing Center is a great place to find assistance with your personal statement. It is located in Cherry Hall 123.
Generally, most pay for veterinary school with student loans. However, a few scholarships do exist. The American Kennel Club, the Race for Education, and the Saul T. Wilson Scholarship Program all offer competitive scholarships for veterinary students. Additionally, many national honor societies, like Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi, offer scholarships that can be applied to professional school.
You can always try again. Apply to the same schools. Apply to different schools. Take more courses. Improve your grades. Gain more relevant experience. Complete your degree. Mature.
Planning for alternatives in advance, however, can give you more options and flexibility. For example, you can apply for competitive internships, study abroad opportunities, and non-profit experience along with veterinary school. If you receive multiple acceptances, you have choices. If you do not get accepted into veterinary school, you have an alternative in place that will make you more competitive should you decide to apply again.
You can do many other things with an interest in animals and science. There are many alternatives you can explore.