Summer Volunteer Program

What You Need to Know

The Wildlife Medical Clinic (WMC) is a nonprofit, volunteer-operated, donation-funded clinic within the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Volunteers, under the supervision of the Medical Director, the WMC veterinary intern, and two student managers, are responsible for the intake, care, and release of all animals admitted to the clinic. Summer student interns also help run the clinic. These are veterinary students that have at least one year of WMC experience and have been selected through an application processes. There is also an undergrad intern position that is filled by a member that has excelled in the program the previous year.Volunteer group size varies year-to-year, around ten to twelve members.

The program begins the Monday after finals in May and goes through the Friday before school starts in August. Volunteers must sign up for a minimum of 4 treatment shifts a week which is about 20 hours in the clinic a week, but volunteers are always encouraged to sign up for more than the minimum to gain more experience. Volunteers sign up for shifts that work best with their schedules, so there is usually quite a bit of flexibility.Non-veterinary University of Illinois students will be considered on a space-available basis, during a specific application timeframe (detailed below), and following an application and interview process. Working in the WMC is a privilege and a serious responsibility; please consider this when applying.

Qualification & Requirements

Application and Requirements to Apply:

Must be a University of Illinois student in good standing

University regulations require that the applicant be associated with the University of Illinois by being a student, faculty, or staff member.

Must have a current rabies vaccination

All volunteers must complete a full set of rabies vaccinations prior to beginning work in the WMC (series of 3 vaccinations). Volunteers must maintain rabies vaccination currency during their entire tenure at the WMC. Proof of vaccination must be on file in the clinic prior to being assigned to a team. A rabies vaccination titer is highly recommended following completion of the rabies vaccination series.

The rabies vaccination series can be completed through the University of Illinois Mckinley Health Services. Additional information can be found at:

We understand that some students may have financial constraints, so we will allow students to submit all other application materials first, receive conditional approval, and then begin their rabies series. Our deadlines provide applicants enough time to complete all requirements before the beginning of each semester.

Must submit two letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation should focus on animal experience, leadership and management skill, and maturity. One or both of the letters should be from an individual familiar with your interest in and experience with animals.

Must submit an updated resume and personal statement

Your resume should reflect previous animal-related experience and interest in veterinary medicine and/or wildlife. A brief personal statement (less than one page) should outline your motivation and goals for volunteering at the WMC.

Must have a method of transportation to the WMC

A personal automobile is preferred due to the immediacy associated with on-call duty. In the absence of a personal automobile, bus access is acceptable. Bicycles are also an acceptable mode of transportation during the summer months.

Must submit material fee once accepted

A $10.00 material fee will be required once accepted into the program. This will cover the cost of the access badge necessary for volunteers. Payment must be in the form of cash or check; credit cards or other online payments are not accepted. Please make checks out to the University of Illinois Foundation. The fee will be collected at the time of the volunteer orientation.

When to Apply

The summer volunteer application opens February 16, 2018. It is required that the cover letter, resume, and letters of recommendation be submitted to Please have your letters of recommendation be sent directly from the recommender to the above email. It is also necessary to complete the online application form (Click here to apply) to complete your application.

Application Deadline

The summer application deadline is March 16, 2018. The academic year application is currently closed.

Interviews & Orientation

Applicants will be contacted and provided a status no later than one week following the application deadline. Applicants are required to attend an interview, after which the volunteers for that year will be selected within the week.

Volunteers will need to attend a generalized clinic orientation. After orientation, volunteers will be assigned to a WMC team. Team leaders are responsible for further orientation and team integration of the new undergraduate member.

Policy waivers

The Medical Director may waive any policy set forth in this document and may delegate waiver authority for specific items to the Student Managers.

Waiver requests for specific policies set forth in this document should be forwarded to the Medical Director, in writing, via the Student Managers.

Requirements to Stay a Volunteer once Accepted (if in Academic Year Program)

Must complete the minimum number of required shifts per week

Volunteers must sign up for a minimum of 2 treatment shifts a week, 1 orphan feeding shift, and 1 on-call pager shift per week.  These required shifts add up to about 5-10 total hours in the clinic per week, but volunteers are always encouraged to sign up for more than the minimum to gain more experience. Volunteers sign up for shifts that work best with their schedules, so there is usually quite a bit of flexibility.

Must attend rounds once a week 

WMC rounds are held in the Large Animal Clinic, Room 100 (LAC 100) each Tuesday of the academic year, from 12:00pm to 12:50pm, unless otherwise noted. Make-up rounds are also held weekly for those with an excused absence from regular scheduled rounds.  Time and day of make-up rounds are TBA at the beginning of each semester. Attendance at rounds or make-up rounds is mandatory for all volunteers. Chronic failure to attend rounds is grounds for removal from a WMC team.

Must attend a team meeting once a week 

Each school year WMC team holds a team meeting once a week, based on a time that the entire team votes on to ensure all members can attend the meetings.  These meetings contain valuable information that are specific to the team, its patients, and its members, so it is mandatory that these meetings are attended.