St. Mary's College of Maryland

Pre-Veterinary Advising: Application

Here is a breakdown of the elements of the pre-vet application. See the HSAC pre-vet timeline for details on the HSAC process that prepares you for application.

*Centralized Application Service: VMCAS
*VMCAS Application Checklist

The three main elements of the vet school application:

  1. Primary Application through VMCAS (open May/June - October)
    • Ideally you will have strong GRE scores from April or before.
    • The application is submitted online. You fill in pages of questions - record keeping type information -about grades, experiences, etc.
    • You also submit a personal statement- a one-page statement about why you want to go to veterinary school.
    • In most cases, you will submit the names and emails of the people who will write your letters of recommendation. VMCAS will then send submission instructions to those people. If one of your letters is a committee letter, enter information for your HSAC advisor-- they will submit the letter through VMCAS. [Electronic Letter of Recommendation Information]
    • Make sure you check that VMCAS has received your transcripts
      • Other students have had their applications held up because their transcripts didn't arrive at VMCAS. When this happens the application never makes it out of the starting gate.
      • If you don't check, they may sit in limbo for months while other applicants' primaries are processed.
      • It is very, very seldom a glitch in our Registrar's office that results in non-submission of transcripts to AMCAS; it is your responsibility to follow up on your application and find out if it is complete.
    • Important: Legal citations.
      • Student's legal profiles are critical. Even small citations on your record may come back to haunt you during the application process. Even though the VMCAS application may not ask explicitly about your legal record, when given the opportunity to provide "other information," do so and explain the circumstances.
  2. Secondary Applications, if applicable (July - Fall)
    • Some vet schools may ask you to fill out a secondary application.
    • These secondary applications may involve more questions, statements, and an additional application fee.
    • The schools may expect that secondary applications will be returned in as little as 2 weeks. Getting them right back can really make a difference, as those who delay response may be perceived as being less serious about attending a particular school.
    • NOTE: Some vet schools may request the secondary application at the same time as the primary application. These schools will have this information available on their websites.
  3. Interviews
    • If all goes well, you will be invited for interviews in the early winter to spring.
    • Make sure you review your mock interview feedback again before going to vet school interviews!


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