Veterinary, Animal, and Research Experience

The purpose of experience is to give the applicant a good understanding of the various aspects of the veterinary profession.  The applicant should have a goal of 200 hours of quality animal, veterinary and/or research experience to meet the expectations of the Admissions Committee.  The level of responsibility, diversity and duration of the experience is considered.  In addition, the applicant should have a letter(s) of recommendation that speak to the experience(s) they have had.  Experience may be voluntary or paid.

ANIMAL EXPERIENCE 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.

VETERINARY EXPERIENCE may include companion animals, equine, production animals, pocket pets or zoological animals.  Veterinary experience must be completed under the supervision of a DVM or VMD.

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE can be gained in any field of study and is NOT limited to animal research. It is expected to be under the supervision of a person with a DVM, MS or PhD. Valid research experience is considered to be more than general maintenance (washing glassware, feeding animals, cleaning cages, collecting specimens, etc) and should include activities that support an understanding of scientific method, evidence of problem solving and observational skills, data entry and analysis for the purpose of reflection/study and other related experiences that exhibit a significant contribution to a research project. Listed below are examples of research experience:

  • Research experience gained while applicant is pursuing a graduate degree (MS or PhD)
  • Collaborator status on another student or faculty member’s research.
  • Responsibility for a portion of a research project (including conducting a portion of the project, responsibility for observations, data entry, development of protocol)
  • Presenting the research project data  at a professional meeting – either oral or poster format.
  • 1st, 2nd or 3rd authorship on peer reviewed papers.