Admissions Committee Review (50%)

The Admissions Committee reviews the applicant’s essays, recommendations, extracurricular/community service activities, animal, veterinary, research, 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.

VMCAS Essays

VMCAS has eliminated the personal statement essay and has replaced it with three shorter essays concerning career goals, the impact of veterinarians on society and attributes of a successful veterinarian.


Three electronic letters of evaluation are required. Up to six electronic letters of evaluation will be accepted. All applicants are strongly encouraged to have at least four 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 upload a letter in addition to completing the electronic form. 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, leadership skills 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 essay

(This is now included with the VMCAS application)

Read the supplemental application essay carefully and make sure you address the question being asked. Do not repeat what you have stated in the VMCAS Essays 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/animal/research experience

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

The applicant is expected to have 200 hours of quality esperience (veterinary/animal/research) from which the applicant should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the veterinary profession. The diversity, level of responsibility, and breadth of the experience is considered. Diverse experiences are encouraged. 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 the breadth and depth of the veterinary profession. Partial credit may be given for less than 200 hours of experience. Pet ownership and educational coursework is not considered under experience.

Personal development

Personal development includes skills and activities outside of coursework and employment. Examples include study abroad, accomplishments and participation in community and civic organizations, 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. 

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.

NOTE: The Admissions Committee recommends candidates to the dean based on these established admission criteria. The Dean makes final decisions regarding letters of offer. All selection criteria and their weight in the evaluation are subject to change without notice upon Admissions Committee review. 

Updated 2/11/2020