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General Admission FAQs
1. How competitive is the applicant pool for veterinary school nationally, and at Illinois? Do you really need only a 2.75 GPA to be admitted at Illinois?
There are only 30 colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. Several thousand applicants vie for the approximately 2500+ seats available each year. Successful applicants demonstrate academic competency (especially in science course work), good problem-solving skills, able decision-making skills, capable interpersonal communication skills, skillful teamwork ability, experience with a variety of animal species and experience with veterinarians and/or scientists engaged in research.
Illinois accepts applications from students who have a minimum of a 2.75 cumulative and science GPA in their undergraduate studies. We generally have more than 500 applicants with a grade point average of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher, so it is unlikely that someone with less than a 3.0 will receive serious consideration.
The competitive applicant at our college in recent years has had:
- An average Cumulative GPA of 3.59
- An average Illinois Science GPA of 3.49
- An average GRE composite percentile of 63%
- A wide variety of experience with both large and small animals
- Experience working for several veterinarians (We do not specify a number of contact hours required for admission.)
2. Do Illinois residents have a better chance of being admitted?
Of the seats available through the admission process each year, over 50% will go to Illinois residents, and the remainder to non-residents, who may come from a nearby state or from the far corners of the world.
For the entering Class of 2021, approximately 130 students will be accepted to the professional program leading to the DVM degree.
- Approximately 70 Illinois residents
- Approximately 60 non-residents
3. What undergraduate major should someone pursue to prepare for the study of veterinary medicine?
A large percentage of veterinary students have undergraduate majors in biology or animal science. But such a major is not required. Students who applied , and were accepted, have pursued majors in diverse areas of study including fine arts, English, business, etc. All competitive applicants, however, must demonstrate solid achievement in the mandatory science prerequisite courses.
4. Is there an advantage in taking more science courses than the minimum prerequisites?
The first two years of study in veterinary medicine consist of challenging science course work. A student will find it beneficial to have had as much science course work in their undergraduate studies as possible, especially biological sciences.
5. What types of veterinary experiences are expected?
It is expected that a student will make every possible attempt to at least observe veterinarians in a variety of settings (large animal practice, small animal practice, research, wildlife/conservation work, etc.) to acquire an overview of what the profession is all about. There is no minimum hour amount of experience designated, but the Admissions Committee definitely wants to see a student articulate the learning they acquired in these experiences.
6. How much animal experience is necessary?
We do not indicate a requirement for animal experience in a specific number of hours. Students are encouraged to seek opportunities with as broad a spectrum of species as possible. It is the learning that comes from veterinary and animal experience that will be important to the Admissions Advisory Committee.
Those interested in becoming research veterinarians are encouraged to have some veterinary practice and animal experience as well. Ultimately, your studies for a DVM cover the breadth of biomedical education. Likewise, research experiences from all applicants are highly regarded.
7. Are graduates of the University of Illinois favored for admission?
We encourage students to attend college at a fully accredited institution that provides a challenging curriculum in a setting where they are comfortable enough to become highly successful. Those who attend the University of Illinois are given no preferential treatment in the application process.
8. Should I be sure to complete a set “pre-veterinary curriculum” in order to be a more attractive applicant?
A “pre-veterinary curriculum” is usually designed to simply provide the courses that are the required minimum prerequisites for admission. This may be very useful, but really is not mandated in any way. Following the required prerequisites can provide the same guide for undergraduate choices as a student moves toward admission.
9. What electives I should take?
Suggested electives include anatomy, zoology, physiology, neuroanatomy or neurophysiology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, or nutrition.
1. When will the college let me know when my transcripts are received?
Applicants will need to verify receipt of transcripts with VMCAS.
2. How will I know that my application is complete?
We are adopting a new computerized Admissions program and have decided to communicate with you via e-mail rather than through our old status portal. You should be receiving e-mails shortly that will inform you of your status.
3. When will I hear if I get an interview?
You will not hear from the College until all applications have been evaluated by the Admissions Advisory Committee. This process is usually completed by the middle of January at which time invitations will be mailed to the highest ranking applicants. Because final transcripts are not due until February 1 of the application cycle, invitations to interview will not include fall grades in the initial calculation of the grade point averages. After fall grade entry, remember that all requirements regarding grades and grade point averages continue to apply and affect your interview status.
4. When are interviews scheduled?
Interviews will be conducted in February.