Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

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Tips for Getting into Veterinary School

By Sandra Brautigam

 

Sandra Brautigam - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

With only 28 currently accredited veterinary schools in the United States, it can be quite competitive to obtain one of these sought after spots. Although vet school admission is very competitive, the American Veterinary Medical Association states that approximately 42% (that’s about 2 out of 5) people who apply to veterinary school will end up attending. I can remember my first day of orientation at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine when Dean of Students Dr. Lisa Nolan gave her welcoming speech. She asked all 150 of us incoming VM1 Students to stand up and look at the seat behind us. She proceeded to tell us that there were 6 other people who were looking to be sitting in our seats. So what do you need to do to be one of the people to sit in one of these seats? 

 

1) Try to get the best grades you can during your undergraduate degree. Although it is not necessary to have a perfect 4.0 GPA, most schools require you to have at least a 3.2 to be competitive. The average accepted GPA ranges depend on the school but most schools consider a 3.5 to be extremely competitive.

2) Don’t have the best grades? Don’t count yourself out! Some schools would view broad experience almost as important as being book smart. Schools are looking for well-rounded individuals that are going to be successful in such a rigorous program as veterinary medicine is. So join clubs, volunteer in the community, and get yourself involved.

Sandra Brautigam - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

 

3) Volunteer/work at local animal hospitals. This provides a multitude of benefits. First, it will help you decide if veterinary medicine is really for you. Second, it is a great networking opportunity and can allow you to get some really good letters of reference needed for vet school. Also, if you can, vary the experiences. For example, think you are interested in small animal medicine? Try riding with a large animal vet. This will provide a valuable experience and will show more versatility to the admission committee.

Sandra Brautigam - Manchester Veterinary Clinic - CT

4) Probably my biggest piece of advice is do not give up! Not everyone is lucky enough to get in on their first try. This does not mean that you do not have what it takes to be a veterinarian. Use this time to better yourself, gain more experience, and make more connections with veterinarians in your area. Also, make sure you talk to the school(s) you did not get into. They will often give you a review of your application and list areas that could be improved. Some schools even offer workshops for people with unsuccessful applications. Take advantage of these opportunities. Not only does it help you improve your application, it also offers you the opportunity to network with individuals at the school you want to go to.

It will not necessarily be an easy road. But as long as you work hard and remain dedicated, it will be a little price to pay to have your dream job.

 

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