Veterinary applicants should have:
- strong grades
- strong performance on the GRE (the entrance exam for Vet programs)
- practical experience (ideally with both large and small animals)
First Year and Sophomore Year: Getting Started
- This is a time to make sure being a veterinarian is what you really want to do, and to start gathering practical experience to see what the field is really like.
- Get practical experience as much as you can and as soon as possible. Many schools expect or require a large number of hours before applying.
- You need hands-on experience with both large and small animals. Logging a large number of hours shows your dedication to the profession. You can work, volunteer, or find an internship in an animal shelter or hospital, humane society, zoo, kennel, boarding stable, racetrack, or livestock farm.
- Establish connections to veterinarians or animal scientists, and have at least one veterinary practitioner who can write a solid letter of recommendation for you.
- Talk to your HSAC advisor, a career center advisor, or a former SMCM student about ways to get involved, and consider using OpNet to connect with potential employers or internship supervisors.
- Buy the Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements book. This will help you choose schools and plan your undergraduate coursework accordingly
- Start preparations for your HSAC file. Submit the HSAC Introductory Worksheet and send it to the HSAC chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask for letters of recommendation from professors as soon as you finish their course. This ensures that they remember you and details of your academic performance.
- You will be applying through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) the summer following your junior academic year.
- Get your file and committee established during your Junior year and begin collecting information and writing your personal statement.
- You should have some practical experience in the veterinary field, or be planning to get some as soon as possible.
Students taking a year off after graduation
- You will be applying through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) the June following your senior academic year.
- Establish a file with the chair of the Health Science Advisory Committee.
- Submit the HSAC Introductory Worksheet if you have not already done so to the HSAC chair.
- Begin to request letters of recommendation. Many schools require electronic submissions through VMCAS. Once you submit the names of the contacts who plan to recommend you, VMCAS will send your contacts the information necessary for them to submit their letters.
- Start writing your personal statement. These statements should be submitted directly to the HSAC Committee member assigned to you as your HSAC mentor.
- Each student who wishes to interview with their committee in the spring for a summer or early fall application process must present without exception a strong working draft of their personal statement by the Friday following Spring Break.
- Request that a copy of your transcript be sent to your assigned HSAC mentor/advisor, as well as any transcripts from coursework taken at other institution.
- Choose faculty members who will serve on your committee and tell your HSAC advisor/mentor who they are. Please ask two faculty members who you feel know you well to serve on your HSAC. Selecting faculty from across divisions often enhances your interview experience.
- Your final committee will consist of your chosen faculty members, your HSAC advisor/mentor, and another HSAC committee member who will be assigned to your personal committee.
- Ask for help with your personal statement.
- Prepare a résumé highlighting your activities and accomplishments
- Submit your résumé to your HSAC advisor/mentor.
During the First Week of March:
- Check on your file with the HSAC advisor/mentor to see what has come in and catch up with what is missing.
March, by the Friday following Spring Break:
- Add a polished working draft of your personal statement to your file.
At this time your file should contain:
- Two letters of recommendation from faculty within your major, one letter from a faculty member outside your major, and at least two from a veterinary practitioner.
- If HSAC is submitting a committee letter, your file should contain: Two letters from veterinarians, two letters from faculty within your major, and one letter from a faculty member outside your major. You can have other mentors and supervisors submit letters to HSAC as well.
- If HSAC is not submitting a committee letter, your file should contain: Two letters from veterinarians, and one letter from a faculty member. Check with your schools to make sure that is enough.
- A current St. Mary’s College transcript, and transcripts from classes taken outside of St. Mary’s College.
- A draft of your personal statement.
- A résumé highlighting your activities and accomplishments.
- A log of all practical experiences in veterinary medicine.
- Previous GRE scores, if applicable.
Mid-March through April:
- Schedule your interview and meet with your committee. Due to the growing number of students applying to graduate programs in the health sciences, committee meetings must begin soon after Spring Break and continue throughout April. All meetings should take place before May. Meetings will not be planned during finals or Senior Week.
- You may schedule your interview for early fall instead. This is a good option if you have not yet completed enough practical experience, and plan to get more over the summer. Because vet schools often do not review your application until October 1st anyway, it is fine to wait until September or very early October to undergo the mock interview.
- Take the GRE. If you apply during the summer following your junior year, you need these scores; without these scores, you may be passed over for consideration until your August or fall test scores are processed and sent to your selected schools, usually about two months from the exam date. Since many veterinary schools begin interviews in the early fall and may begin to accept students on a rolling basis, postponing the completion of your file and its evaluation reduces your chances of acceptance.
- Forward or provide a copy of your GRE scores to your HSAC advisor/mentor for your file.
May & June Following Junior Year
- Prepare your application and apply to medical school! VMCAS begins accepting applications in the early summer. The VMCAS deadline is October 2nd, but you should plan to be done with the application far sooner than that.
- Review the VMCAS Application Checklist and the VMCAS Electronic Letters of Recommendation Information.
- Once your primary application (VMCAS) is complete, veterinary schools may require you to complete a secondary application. If this is a requirement, you will receive all the necessary information for completing it once your primary application is processed. Many schools require an interview, so if you get that far along in the admissions process be prepared to travel to vet schools in the Fall!
- Update HSAC with all acceptances/rejections for our files.