Applying to Veterinary School

Students should work closely with their advisers throughout the application process, which varies by university. VetFAST (Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program) also has unique requirements. Here are some general guidelines.


  • Most schools have deadlines in the fall, a year before students begin their veterinary studies. October 1 is a typical application deadline. Consult The VetFAST program for the yearly deadline.

Entrance Exams

  • Some schools accept or prefer the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but most require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), a computer-based exam that consists of three sections.
    • The Analytical Writing section tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills
    • The Verbal section gauges your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, to recognize relationships between words and concepts, and to reason with words in solving problems.
    • The Quantitative section measures your basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and ability to reason and solve problems in a quantitative setting.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirement is waived for VetFAST participants.


  • The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is a part of a national application service for U.S. and Canadian schools of veterinary medicine. The service is known as the Veterinary Medical College Application Service or VMCAS. With one Web-based application, prospective veterinary students may submit their initial application to any of the U.S. or Canadian veterinary colleges that are participating in the VMCAS program. The VMCAS application opens in early June and it is important to read all of the information on their website to ensure proper transmission of your application.

Visit the VetFAST site for information about the program's application process.

Letters of Recommendation

Requirements vary by institution. Most schools prefer the three letters to be from:

  • Academic advisor or faculty member
  • Employer
  • Veterinarian


Remember that interviews serve two purposes:

  1. The admissions committee is given the opportunity to evaluate you.
  2. The veterinary school is given the opportunity to recruit you.

In addition to presenting yourself in the best possible light, remember to demonstrate the characteristics that make you a particularly interesting candidate and to create opportunities for the recruiting institution to observe how its strengths match your interests.