vet school

How to Apply for Veterinary School

3 min read
FYI: This article is part of the veterinary culture manifesto — a set of guiding principles to create better culture in vet med.
Read & sign the veterinary culture manifesto here.

First things first, congratulations on this exciting new journey you're about to embark on! The veterinary field is full of incredible people and it’ll be lucky to have you. The process of applying for veterinary school can feel daunting - but, don’t worry! We’ve compiled the ins and outs of how to apply to vet school!

1. Do your research!

Prioring to applying to veterinary school, do your research on all your program options and attend as many informational events for these college programs as possible. 

Helpful resources:

2. Be aware of program prerequisites & requirements

Once you have an idea of what school you are interested in it will be incredibly helpful to review the prerequisite chart for each veterinary medical school. 

Doing so can save you time & money!

Some schools may require additional courses that were not offered or required in your undergraduate program, which may hinder your application process.

Some schools also require additional standardized tests. 

We cannot emphasize enough how important is it to review each school’s requirements - if you only have one take away from this article, it should be to carefully review each programs requirements.

If you’re in undergrad, work with an advisor!

Advisors can provide the guidance or support you may need while navigating the journey of becoming an applicant. They can also be sure you complete all your the pre-requisites in your coursework, even if they’re not required for your current major. 

If you’ve graduated, seek out current DVMs!

Congrats on completing your bachelor’s! Since you don’t have an advisor at your disposal, you can reach out to current DVMs who are alumni of your prospective program. 

Pro Tip:  If you can, speak to multiple different veterinarians about their education process and see if they can offer any tips or tricks.

Additionally, it doesn't hurt to contact their admissions department to get clarification on their admission process. 

3. Gain veterinary experience

Now it’s time to get out in the veterinary field & gain experience. 

Volunteering or working as an assistant for a veterinarian can be extremely helpful in your application process for a couple reasons:

You’ll get to see how a veterinary practice functions

You don’t know until you do it! This is a great chance to see how a practice operates on the inside, and if this is the correct career path for you (before you spend all that money on school).

Looking for an assistant position? Join scout & browse thousands of jobs across the country!

Learn on-the-job skills that will help you in school & look good on your applications

During veterinary school, you’ll be doing a lot of on-the-job, practical coursework. By getting this experience ahead of time, you’ll have more base knowledge going into the different blocks. 

Additionally, many veterinary schools require or encourage on-the-job experience, helping you get accepted!

Potentially gain a mentor or letter of recommendation

When working with the veterinarian, communicate your goals & don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

They’ve gone through all this before and can have valuable insights. 

And, they might just give you a good letter of recommendation!

4. Prepare your transcripts & letters of recommendation

Speaking of letters of recommendation, don’t forget how important they are! Be sure to have them and transcripts ready. 

You should have letters of recommendation from multiple different perspectives. Ideally, a good letter of recommendation comes from a person who knows who you really are - someone like professor you may have connected or a veterinarian you’ve worked for. 

5. Time to apply via the VMCAS!

Once you’ve prepared & feel ready - time to apply! 

The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is the centralized application process that a vast majority of institutions use. The VMCAS application allows you to submit one application to your top schools. 

Other aspects of your application, like prerequisite courses, vary from school to school and it is your responsibility to be aware of those.

Helpful resources:

You've got this!

If anyone hasn’t told you yet, we’re proud of you for embarking on this journey. 

Veterinary medicine is an incredible industry, full of hardworking & passionate people - just like you. 

You’ve got this!

subscribe to our newsletter

get the dig in your inbox every week!