Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for admission and what is the application deadline?
Applicants to UC Davis apply through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). The online application is available at http://www.aavmc.org beginning in mid-May. Follow the VMCAS application instructions very carefully. In addition, review the application information available on our website for specific instructions regarding our requirements. The application deadline is September 15 for entry the following DVM academic year.
What criteria does UC Davis use in selecting applicants?
Academic performance is the major factor in selecting applicants for admission. For UC Davis, overall science, last 45 semester units GPAs and Quantitative GRE scores are the best predictors of how successful an applicant will be in completing the veterinary curriculum.
The majority of our CA admitted students have earned a 3.6-3.7 in their overall science GPA and their last 45 semester units (68 quarter units) GPA. Nonresident students have average GPAs that are 3.80 and above. The average quantitative GRE scores for admitted students are in the mid to high 70th-percentile. A statistical profile of admitted students is available at Class of 2020 Statistics.
Those identified in the top 30-40 percent for California residents and top 10-15% for nonresidents will be invited for an interview. This number can vary slightly year to year. Interviews are required of all applicants being considered for admission and are conducted in-person on the UC Davis campus in early December. Interview notifications will be posted to applicant portals in November.
What is the GRE and when is the deadline to take it?
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test is a standardized test used by graduate and professional schools to measure applicants’ verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills. The UCD SVM uses the quantitative section of the GRE for purposes of evaluating applicants for admission; however, all sections of the GRE General Test must be taken and submitted when applying to our school. The GRE must be taken by August 31 of the year you submit your application. Tests taken after this date will not be evaluated with the current year's application. The GRE must be taken within a five-year period prior to submitting an application. You can retake the GRE examination to improve your scores if they are not competitive. When you take the GRE multiple times, we will consider the highest scores. We cannot accept any substitutions for the GRE. You must submit your scores to VMCAS using GRE code 4804 during the time of the open VMCAS application. The deadline to have GRE scores delivered electronically to VMCAS is September 15.
What are MMI’s?
Interviews are required for admission and will be conducted using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) technique. The MMI is a series of short, structured interviews used to assess personal traits/qualities. Each mini interview provides a candidate with a few minutes to read a question/scenario and mentally prepare before entering the interview room. Upon entering, the candidate has several minutes of dialogue with one interviewer/assessor (or, in some cases, a third party as the interviewer/assessor observes). At the conclusion of the interview, the interviewer/assessor has a few minutes to evaluate while the candidate moves to the next scenario. This pattern is repeated through a circuit of up to 10 stations. The MMI does not test knowledge of veterinary medicine but rather personal attributes such as communication skills and ability to work as part of a team, ethical and critical decision-making abilities, and behaviors important to being a veterinarian such as empathy, honesty and reliability.
If I’m granted an interview, how do you select your Class?
At the conclusion of the MMI interview process, all applicants will be ranked based on their MMI scores and offered admission based on their rank.
What are the academic course requirements for admission to veterinary school?
You must complete a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university no later than the end of the spring term prior to matriculation in the DVM Program. Course work must include 4 quarter units of statistics and all required science courses. A listing of basic requirements is available on our website Academic Preparation & Preveterinary Required Courses.
How do I know my college courses satisfy course requirements for veterinary school?
If you are taking science courses at California public colleges:
You must refer to the ASSIST website at http://www.assist.org to review the listing of science courses at your school that will satisfy our prerequisites. To produce an articulation agreement, select UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, select your college, and select UC Davis SVM Prerequisites as the major. These are the courses you need to take at your college. No other science courses are acceptable to fulfill our prerequisites.
If you are taking the required science courses at a private college in California or at a school outside California, follow this process for the lower division courses:
THESE COURSES MAY BE TAKEN AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Complete one year (2 semesters/3 quarters) of a college chemistry sequence with labs
Complete one year (2 semesters/3 quarters) of a general biology sequence with labs
Complete (2 semesters/2-3 quarters) of organic chemistry with one lab
Complete (2 semesters/2-3 quarters) of college physics – no labs required
Complete (1 semester/1 quarter) of statistics. ANY course in statistics (biology, business, psychology, etc) will satisfy the requirement
Follow this process for the upper division courses:
THESE COURSES MUST BE TAKEN AT THE UPPER (Junior/senior level) DIVISION LEVEL AT A FOUR-YEAR UNIVERSITY.
Submit a “Science Prerequisites Substitution Request Form” online for these required courses:
Genetics-Genes and Gene Transcription (1 semester/quarter)
Biochemistry w/metabolism (1 semester/quarter)
Physiology (1 semester/quarter). Combined anatomy/physiology courses will not satisfy requirement unless it’s pre-approved or a year-long sequence. Systemic, medical, vertebrate, mammalian, human, animal, comparative physiology courses at the upper division level fulfill the requirement.
You must receive a passing grade for all prerequisites.
Please note: The upper division requirements cannot be satisfied by taking lower division courses! Lower division courses will not be accepted. Failure to take approved course work may result in admission being rescinded if accepted to the DVM program.
I took courses on the semester system and UC Davis is on the quarter system. How do I know I have completed the correct number of units?
If taking courses at a California public college, refer to the Assist.org website. You do not have to convert units when using the Assist.org website – the courses listed on the articulation agreement will satisfy our requirements regardless of unit value. To convert semester units to quarter units, multiply the number of semester units by 1.5. The converted units may not exactly match the number of quarter units listed for the required science courses; therefore, always review articulation agreements on the ASSIST website at http://www.assist.org to be sure that you are taking equivalent courses. If you are unsure of a course equivalency use the Course Substitution Form if your school is not on the Assist website.
Does it matter how long ago the required course work was taken?
No, there is no specific time limit on acceptance of required courses; they count regardless how long ago they were completed. However, you may choose to re-take a course to better understand the subject. Grades for courses that have been re-taken will be averaged in your overall science GPA (if re-taking science courses) or last 45 units GPA depending on when the course was completed. We occasionally change requirements and it is your responsibility to know those changes. We suggest checking our website frequently to make sure you are still taking the correct courses.
Can required science courses be repeated for a higher grade?
Yes. Required science courses may be repeated for a higher grade and will be averaged into your overall science GPA. These repeated courses may also be calculated into your last 45 semester unit GPA if taken within your most recent 45 semester units prior to submitting a VMCAS application.
Are my chances of admission to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine better if I attend UC Davis as an undergraduate and/or take required science courses there?
No. You may attend any accredited college or university. We do not have preferred schools from which we select applicants. Choosing a college is an important personal decision. Attend a college that provides a challenging curriculum in an environment where you will succeed academically. Consider schools that offer strong science programs and majors that interest you. Consider also the location and size of the school, extracurricular activities, weather, etc., and decide which school suits your needs best.
May I complete some of my courses at a community college?
Yes. Only lower-division required science courses (general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics) and statistics may be completed at a community college. ALL upper-division course work (biochemistry, genetics, and physiology) MUST BE TAKEN at a four-year university. If you attend a community college, you should plan to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree and complete the upper-division course work. A bachelor’s degree must be earned by the end of the spring term prior to matriculation.
What should I choose as an undergraduate major?
You may study or earn a degree in any major; however, if you take the majority of your course work in the sciences, you may be better prepared for the veterinary curriculum. The majority of students accepted to our program pursue studies in the life or health sciences. Biology, animal science, zoology, and chemistry are the most common majors.
Must I complete all requirements before I submit an application?
No. However, the majority of your required science course work must be completed by the time you apply (2 -3 courses may be pending at application) so that we can appropriately evaluate your overall Science GPA. You must complete all required courses by the end of the spring term prior to matriculation in the DVM program. Grades for course work completed after you have submitted your application (i.e., fall semester) will not be used to calculate your GPAs for that application cycle. You must meet all pre-professional requirements regardless of any undergraduate or graduate degrees you may currently hold.
Is it advantageous to take science courses beyond the required course work?
On a personal level, additional courses in the sciences may be beneficial in preparing for the veterinary curriculum. Extra consideration is not given in the application process for extra course work. If your last 45 semester GPA is not competitive, you may want to consider taking additional science courses to improve both your last 45 semester and science GPA’s.
What should I do to enhance or improve my application?
Earn high grades and perform well academically. Obtain high (70th% or higher) scores on the GRE and receive strong letters of recommendation (LORs). Interview offers are based on these factors; no additional information will be used in the evaluation process.
Can I use Advanced Placement (AP) credit to fulfill the prerequisite courses?
Yes. If you receive a ‘3’ score or higher, AP credit may fulfill lower-division course work for the general biology, general chemistry, general physics, chemistry and statistics requirements. The number of units awarded and subject title must appear on your primary college transcript in order to use the AP credit to fulfill course requirements. If your official transcript does not list AP credit, you will need to request a copy of your AP report from the College Board and have it sent to us.
May I take courses pass/fail?
Grade point averages are very important in the evaluation process; therefore, the pass-fail grading option should be avoided, particularly in the required sciences.
How much veterinary experience is required?
A minimum of 180 hours of veterinary experience are required to have your application considered for admission; however, admitted applicants have an average of 1,500 hours of quality “hands-on” experience in the veterinary field. You are expected to have a realistic and appropriate perspective of the responsibilities of the veterinary profession. Your experience may come from a job or volunteer service. You may acquire experience by working with veterinarians in private practice, farms, ranches, animal shelters, zoos, aquaria, etc.
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) explains the difference between veterinary experience and animal experience on their website at https://portal.vmcas.org/vmcasHelpPages/instructions/experiences/index.html.
“Veterinary Experience” is defined as work related to animals and supervised by a veterinarian. It should be different from what you enter for Animal and Employment experience. Veterinary experiences should relate to any veterinary clinical, agribusiness, or health science experiences that you had under a veterinarian.
“Animal Experience” is defined as work related to animals not supervised by a veterinarian. It should be different from those entered for Veterinary and Employment experience. They should include farm and ranch experiences, 4-H membership, animal training, or other similar activities, and should not have occurred under the supervision of a veterinarian.
I’m a non-traditional and/or older student and veterinary medicine is a second career. What steps should I take to pursue my new career choice?
The process is the same for non-traditional/older students as it is for undergraduates. Start by making sure veterinary medicine is right for you. Read our website and review our admission statistics to take note of competitive GPA’s and GRE scores. Acquire experience working/volunteering with a veterinarian to gain hands-on experience and affirm that veterinary medicine is the appropriate career for you. This can be done part time or full time based on your individual circumstances. If prerequisite course work needs to be completed, locate accredited colleges where the required courses are offered. Visit the ASSIST.org website for current articulation agreements to find out what courses you need to take at your selected college. Courses may be taken during regular college sessions or summer sessions, as evening classes, online classes, or Extension/Open Campus classes. You should enroll at a college and courses leading to a bachelor’s degree if you do not already have a degree. Complete all prerequisite courses and earn a degree by the end of the spring term prior to matriculation in the DVM program. You must meet all pre-professional requirements regardless of the undergraduate or graduate degrees you may already possess. Take the Graduate Record Examination and review our website for information about the application process.
May I have my application reviewed by an adviser prior to submitting it?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate these requests.
May I apply again if I am not accepted after my first application?
Yes. Review the statistics of the students admitted to the DVM program and compare your application. Retake the GRE if your quantitative score is lower than the average of those admitted. Make sure you earn high grades in all continuing college course work. You may want to consider taking additional courses (especially in the sciences) to raise your science and last 45 semester units GPAs.
Do I need to submit a new application the next year I wish to apply?
Yes. You must submit a current online application, official college transcripts, GRE reports, and three letters of evaluation for each year that you wish to be considered for admission. We are not able to save material from previous year's applications.
What does it cost to attend veterinary school?
The current annual enrollment and registration fees are available online at http://financialaid.ucdavis.edu/graduate/vet/cost.html
How can I establish California residency?
Rules and regulations for establishing residency in California are explained on the UC Davis Registrar's website at http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/tuition/index.cfm
Does UC Davis have the only veterinary school in California?
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the only public veterinary college in California. A private college of veterinary medicine is located at Western University in Pomona, CA.
Does UC Davis accept transfer students from other veterinary schools?
Applications may be considered if available positions exist within the third-year class only. Information is available on our website at http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/students/dvm_program/dvm_transfer.cfm.
Are tours of the teaching hospital available?
Yes. Information about tours of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are on the School’s website at http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/visitors_info/tour_info.cfm or call 530-752-1507 to arrange a tour.