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 (if the 15th falls on the weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday) 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. At UC Davis, the overall VMCAS science GPA, most recent 45 semester units (68 quarter units) GPAs, Quantitative GRE scores and letters of recommendation 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 most recent 45 semester units (68 quarter units) GPA with quantitative GRE scores in the mid-70th percentile. Nonresident students have average GPAs that are 3.90 and above with GRE quantitative scores in the mid-80th percentile. A statistical profile of admitted students is available at Class of 2022 Statistics.
Applicants are offered an interview based on a two-step process:
1.) The Admissions Committee will rank your application based on your GPA’s (most recent 45 semester units/68 quarter units & overall VMCAS science GPA), highest quantitative GRE score, and three letters of recommendation.
• The top 180 applicants will be invited for interview based on their rank.
• These top 180 interviewees will be comprised of the top 10% of the non-resident applicant pool (approximately 50 applicants) and the top 25% (approximately) of California applicants.
2.) The next 180 applicants (California only) in rank order (based on the above factors) will be reviewed by the School’s Admissions Committee.
• The application review will include: Veterinary and other animal experiences, research opportunities, essay questions, letters of recommendation, leadership and community service, education, life experiences, and motivation for a veterinary career.
• The Admissions Committee will select the remaining 60 interviewees from the holistic application review.
• Six applicants will be placed on the interview waitlist.
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 (if the 15th falls on the weekend, the deadline will be the following Monday)..
- 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/rater (or, in some cases, a third party as the interviewer/rater observes). At the conclusion of the interview, the interviewer/rater 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. Admission will be offered to applicants based solely on their MMI 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 & Pre-veterinary 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 our Transferable Course page to review the listing of science courses at your school that will satisfy our prerequisites. To produce an articulation agreement, find your school under the alphabitized index. Please note that UC's will be listed under Q-U and California State Universities will be listed under A-D. 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 Transferable Course page. You do not have to convert units when using our transferable course page – 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 our Transferable Course page 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 our Transferable Courses list.
- 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 most recent 45 units (68 quarter 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 most recent 45 semester units (68 quarter units) 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.
- I’m interested in taking a gap year. Will that jeopardize my application?
- No, not at all. Many applicants take advantage of a gap year to obtain more veterinary experience and a solid understanding of the profession, diversify their veterinary experience and/or develop a relationship with a veterinarian so they can request a letter of recommendation from that person. Also, applicants find this is a good time to travel and learn about veterinary medicine around the world or simply to work for financial reasons.
- 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 most recent 45 semester (68 quarter) units GPA is not competitive, you may want to consider taking additional science courses to improve both your most recent 45 semester (68 quarter) units 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, receive strong letters of recommendation (eLORs) and gain quality veterinary experience.
- 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, organic 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, animal shelter work or other similar activities, and should not have occurred under the supervision of a veterinarian.
- I’m a non-traditional and/or older applicant 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 applicants 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 our Transferable Courses page 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 a graduate program (especially in the sciences) to raise your science and most recent 45 semester units (68 quarter units) GPAs.
- Do I need to submit a new application the next year I wish to apply?
- Yes. Refer to the VMCAS website for instructions on re-applying.
- 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 of Health Sciences 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. Visit our DVM Transfer Program page on our website for more information.
- Are tours of the teaching hospital available?
- Yes. Information about tours of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is on the School’s website at https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/hospital/schedule-tour or call 530-752-1507.