The requirements listed below are a general formula for what you will generally see required in American veterinary schools. However, other schools may require additional courses, at times ones that Tufts does not offer. As such, we recommend that you use the information below only as a guideline and check the admissions sites of all schools to which you wish to apply.
Generally Required Courses:
|Biology||2 Semesters w/ Lab|
|General Chemistry||2 Semesters w/ Lab|
|Organic Chemistry||2 Semesters (Lab Req. Varies)|
|Physics||2 Semesters (Lab Req. Varies)|
|Mathematics||1 Semester Calculus (1 Semester Statistics)|
|Humanities/Social Sciences||2-4 Semesters|
|Microbiology||1 Semester w/ Lab|
Note: Some schools have additional requirements that are not listed here (such as nutrition, public speaking, business/finance, developmental biology, etc…). Visit the schools website (refer to the links on this webpage) or you can check the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements book for details on any of the accredited schools. Carol Baffi-Dugan (our pre-professional advisor) has a copy as well as some of the officers. In addition a copy or two of the text are available in Tisch library.
Grades As you may have assumed, veterinary schools look for strong grades. The AAVMC, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, provide some admission statistics. The mean pre-vet GPA is a 3.53; however there is generally no minimum GPA requirement to apply. Most competitive applicants have a GPA between 3.00 and 4.00. Note that some schools will calculate a cumulative GPA as well as a required course/science GPA.
Experience Most (if not all) vet schools require some animal/veterinary work experience. This serves to ensure the applicant truly expresses motivation, interest, and understanding of their future career path. Many schools do not designate a required number of hours of experience; however, as you must know by now, check with specific schools to make sure you meet their requirements. Looking for places to gain experience? Check out the listings on the Tufts Health Professions Advising website: http://uss.tufts.edu/hpa/.
Test Scores Due to COVID-19, many schools do not require GRE anymore, but there are a few schools that still require GRE or MCAT as an alternative, please check specific school or AAVMC website for standarized test requirements. Test scores must generally be taken within the last five years prior to application (however this too can differ from school to school).
Extracurricular Activities Are they important? Absolutely. Not only do they let you enjoy another aspect of Tufts, but they also show your interest in non-academic pursuits. So how does this matter to vet schools? The admissions committees will turn to your extracurricular activities to gain a better understanding of who you are. Through extracurricular activities you can develop qualities that the admissions committees are looking for, such as communication, leadership, and organizational skills. Vet schools generally look for quality, your dedication to a few extracurricular activities, rather than quantity so don’t sign up for a billion extracurricular activities and have your GPA suffer as a result.
Letters of Recommendation Each school requires 2 or 3 letters of recommendation, one of which is generally from a veterinarian and the other from an academic advisor or faculty member. Students applying to vet school often do so through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). VMCAS is the central distribution, collection, and processing service for applications to the veterinary medical colleges. Most but not all schools participate in VMCAS (TUSVM does not). VMCAS is kind of like the equivalent of the common app. You complete one application which is applicable to all schools of your choice (provided they participate in VMCAS). Letters of Recommendation for VMCAS will soon be electronic only (currently there is still the option of paper or electronic). The electronic letter of recommendation allows your evaluator to access a secure portion of your web application to complete their evaluation. Be sure that your evaluator saves his/her evaluation on the computer as other schools that do not participate in VMCAS may request a paper evaluation (HPRC @ Tufts requires paper evaluations – keep reading for more information). Undergraduates from Tufts are provided with a composite letter of recommendation from the Health Professions Recommendations Committee (HPRC) at Tufts. This provides an amazing composite letter which focuses on all of your strengths. In addition, the writer of your composite letter also interviews you in order to get a better understanding of who you are. Not all schools accept the composite letter (VMCAS doesn’t want it) but TUSVM does want it. The HPRC wants a paper copy of your evaluations from your recommenders whereas the VMCAS will want it electronically, thus make sure that your evaluator saves your evaluation on their computer so that they can send it electronically as well as provide the HPRC with a paper copy.
For more information about the process or about the HPRC set up an appointment to meet with Tufts Pre-Health Advicing.