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Selection Criteria

Admissions Committee Review






GPA (35%)

Includes required science course GPA and last 45 credit GPA. Both GPAs considered are weighted equally.  In calculating GPAs grades achieved in courses that have been repeated will be averaged. Grades in graduate didactic coursework will be considered in the last 45 credit GPA.  Summer coursework for the current application year is not included in the initial GPA calculations but is included when GPAs are updated with fall grades for the applicants receiving interviews.

GRE (10%)

Both the old GRE and the new revised GRE will be accepted.  There is no limit to the number of times the GRE may be taken and no minimum GRE score is required.  The single test which gives the applicant the best score is used.

Courseload (5%)

This looks at the credits/term that are taken during the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.

Admissions Committee Review (25%)

The Admissions Committee reviews the applicant’s personal statement, recommendations, essays included on the supplemental application, extracurricular/community activities, animal, veterinary and work experience, personal development, diversity, and any special circumstances. Each of these items is considered and contributes to the overall impression of the applicant.


Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to represent yourself to the Admissions Committee. The Committee suggests that you include the following information.

  • How did you become interested in a career in veterinary medicine?
  • How have you developed an understanding of the veterinary profession?  What have you learned about the profession from your experiences?
  • What intrigues you about the veterinary profession?  Why do you want to pursue this as a career?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What opportunities have you had to develop communication and leadership skills?
  • Is there any additional information you would like the Committee to know about you and/or your background?

For good information on preparing your personal statement, please visit John Hopkins' Pre-Professional & Advising website.  This information is for medical schools but applies to veterinary schools as well.



Three electronic letters of evaluation are required. Up to six electronic letters of evaluation will be accepted. All applicants are strongly encouraged to have more than the three required letters of recommendation in case one of their evaluators is unable to meet the evaluation deadline.  Persons chosen to submit letters of recommendation should know the applicant well and be able to speak to their personal characteristics and attributes. Do not choose an evaluator solely on the basis of their job or position. It is preferred that the evaluators write comments (or a letter) in addition to completing the form letter of recommendation. Suggested evaluators are veterinarians, advisors, professors and employers although others are also acceptable. Evaluations should support the applicant’s experiences and should confirm their commitment, maturity, work ethic and leadership and communication skills with examples. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have a recommendation from at least one veterinarian. Evaluators cannot be related to the applicant by blood or marriage.

The Admissions committee may contact references directly if further information or clarification is needed.


Supplemental application essays

Read the supplemental application essays carefully and make sure you address the questions being asked. Do not repeat what you have said in your personal statement or in the descriptions of your experiences.


Extracurricular/community activities

The Admissions Committee considers the leadership roles, depth of involvement and accomplishments in university clubs, community organizations and varsity athletics.


Veterinary experience

Veterinary experience may be voluntary or paid but must be completed under the supervision of a veterinarian or PhD scientist if it is a veterinary research experience.

There is no minimum number of hours of veterinary experience required, however, the diversity, level of responsibility, and duration of the experience is considered. Job shadowing is a good start, however, it is expected that the applicant will also have some “hands on” experiences with specific responsibilities. It is preferred that applicants have experience in more than one area of the profession. This could include experiences with companion animal, equine, production animal, research, or zoological veterinary medicine. The goal of veterinary experience is to give the applicant a good understanding of what is required on a day-to-day basis in the various aspects of the profession.


Animal experience

Related animal experiences are also considered in the Admissions Committee evaluation. This may include working with livestock, breeding or showing various species, working at a zoo, aquarium or pet shop, or volunteering at an animal shelter. This does not include pet ownership, or educational coursework.


Personal development

Personal development includes skills and activities outside of coursework and employment. Examples include study abroad, accomplishments and participation in community service organizations, level of accomplishments in organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Pony Club, achievements in varsity athletics or organized sports clubs, fluency in more than one language, achievement in dance, theater, music, photography and similar hobbies.



Factors that contribute to an applicant’s diversity and that are considered in the Admissions Committee evaluation include, but are not limited to, life experiences, work experiences, professional goals, geographical background (rural, urban or suburban), cultural background, disadvantaged status and other information presented in the application that may be considered as contributing to diversity. Weight will be given to qualified applicants who possess characteristics that are underrepresented in the profession and who would contribute to the overall diversity of the class.


Special circumstances

Special circumstances include factors which may have adversely affected the applicant’s academic record. These factors and how the applicant overcame them are considered.

All selection criteria and their weight in the evaluation are subject to change without notice upon Admissions Committee review.


Interview (25%)

Interview dates for the 2015-16 admissions cycle (entering Fall 2016) are as follows.  Dates are subject to change and additional dates may be added if necessary.

  • December 5-6, 2015
  • January 16-17, 2016
  • January 23-24, 2016
  • January 30-31, 2016

The behavior-based interview looks at experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities and focuses on the following competencies.

Acts Autonomously and Confidently - Makes decisions independently when warranted; is capable of working on one’s own when necessary. Takes charge when circumstances warrant and makes difficult decisions. Respects the right and responsibility of others to make decisions that rightfully belong to them.

Demonstrates Integrity - Acts in a manner consistent with the principles of the veterinary profession and the courage of one’s convictions. Builds trust with others through daily actions and decisions; increases one’s credibility by treating others with respect. Makes principled decisions.

Demonstrates Adaptability and Resilience - Responds to competing demands or abrupt changes with a positive outlook. Stays optimistic and resilient in the face of adversity, change, and ambiguity. Uses a large repertoire of skills, experiences, and behaviors to handle a wide variety of challenges and opportunities.

Uses Sound Judgment - Makes decisions on the basis of logic, evidence, and sound professional judgment/experience/accepted practice. Seeks data when needed and investigates issues. Makes timely decisions based on one’s professional judgment, even when faced with ambiguity and imperfect data.

Thinks Innovatively - Seeks new ideas and weaves them together to create new approaches to problems/challenges. Mitigates future problems by anticipating trends and consequences, considering alternatives, possibilities and options, and applying systems-level thinking.

Communication skills will also be evaluated.

The two member interview panel consists of faculty and veterinarians from industry, organizations, government and private practice. The panel will not have seen any of the applicant's materials so the applicant needs to be prepared to introduce themselves and give a brief description of their background. Interviews are scheduled for one hour and allow time for the applicant to ask questions.

During the interview weekends, applicants will have the opportunity to speak with faculty and students, attend information sessions on financial aid and the computer technology used in the curriculum, and tour the College.

The interview is the final step of the competitive process. Offer of an interview in no way implies acceptance to the program.


Last updated 5/11/2015