College of Veterinary Medicine

Admissions Criteria

Academic Criteria

When evaluating an applicant, the CVM Admissions Committee considers both academic and non-academic qualities. Committee members ask themselves: How likely is it that this applicant will be able to successfully complete our rigorous, science based veterinary curriculum? To answer this question the applicant's academic indices (i.e., cumulative GPA, science GPA, last 45-semester hour GPA, prerequisite GPA, grades in upper division science courses, course load per semester, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores) and record of academic honors, scholarships, etc.

Completed applications are immediately placed into one of three categories, or tiers, based upon the following criteria:

  Overall GPA *   Science GPA **   GRE% ***
Tier I >3.5 or >3.7 or >75%
Tier II 3.2-3.5 or 3.5-3.7 or 60-74%
Tier III <3.2 and <3.5 and <59%

* Overall undergraduate GPA. Initial evaluation of GPA will not include fall term grades. Fall term grades should be submitted as soon as grades are posted and will be used in the final evaluation.
** Science GPA will include all physical sciences, mathematics, and biological sciences courses (see Prerequisites).
*** GRE percentile is calculated by averaging the percentile rank from the three sections of the general test (composite score). If an application contains more than one set of GRE scores, the committee will consider the highest section score. Only GRE scores received by the admissions office at the time of initial academic evaluation will contribute to Tier assignment.

  • Tier I applications contain excellent academic records based upon these GPA and/or GRE criteria. Initially, we assume that, generally speaking, a student with a previous record of academic excellence is more likely to be able to successfully complete our program than one with a less excellent record. Many Tier I applicants tend to be invited to participate in a personal interview.
  • Tier II applicants have good academic records based upon their academic indices. In deciding whether a given Tier II application warrants further review, the academic record is thoroughly evaluated to determine if factors, such as academic rigor, work responsibilities, and family commitments, might have contributed to a more modest performance. Fewer Tier II applicants are invited for an interview.
  • Tier III applications are those in which the GPA and GRE score do not support a presumption of academic success. While these records are very closely scrutinized for evidence to support an argument for extenuating circumstances, fewer Tier III applicants tend to be invited for an interview.

Pre-professional coursework in the physical and biological sciences, outlined as prerequisites, and the GRE pertains to all students. Ensuring that all prerequisites have been completed no later than the spring semester of the application year is solely the responsibility of the applicant. A list of WSU prerequisite courses, equivalencies of which may be met at other institutions, can be found here. Note: Students who participate in the Combined DVM/Honors College must fulfill all requirements that apply to these individual programs, such as completing the baccalaureate degree, honors thesis, etc., prior to the awarding of the DVM degree.

Non-Academic Criteria

The fundamental question the committee poses to evaluate an applicant's non-academic qualities is, >Does the applicant possess the qualities of a good veterinarian? In order to answer this question, the committee considers various non-academic criteria, such as work ethic, knowledge of the profession, motivation, compassion, integrity, leadership and communication skills, and desire to contribute to society. The committee will also assess an applicant's resiliency, willingness to accept responsibility, maturity, and breadth of experience. The following paragraphs describe components of the application that are used by the committee to evaluate these criteria.

  1. The Veterinary Experience and Animal Experience

    Veterinary experience provides a basic knowledge of the veterinary profession through closely observing the role of the various members of the health care team in a traditional practice setting. Participating in biomedical research, public health, academic medicine, regulatory medicine, or industry can enhance an applicant's appreciation for the breadth of the veterinary profession. The committee also takes involvement in seminars, practica, and other veterinary professional activities into account.

    Veterinary medicine is an animal health and production oriented profession. The Admissions Committee considers animal experience to be an important preparation for the curriculum. Animal experience includes such things as breeding, rearing, feeding, and showing various species of companion animals, livestock, laboratory animals, zoo animals, or wildlife.

  2. Employment Experience

    This information helps the committee better understand time commitments an applicant has beyond the classroom, as well as gives some insight into the applicant's work ethic. Both full-time and part-time work experience should be included in this section of the application as it helps the Admissions Committee with a composite evaluation of an applicant.

  3. Honors & Awards and Community Activity

    Achievements, leadership ability, and participation in academic and other activities will be evaluated carefully. This includes extracurricular activities such as collegiate clubs, service organizations, sports or other interest-based activities.

    Community service activities are viewed as an indication of an applicant's desire to contribute to society. These activities need not be directly affiliated with veterinary medicine. The applicant should clearly and succinctly describe their level of participation in these activities.

  4. Letters of Recommendation

    Each applicant should obtain a minimum of three evaluations to help the admissions committee assess their personal traits. Students, however are allowed to submit up to six letters of recommendations. The best individuals for these evaluations are those who know the applicant well enough to provide meaningful comments. An evaluation from a veterinarian with whom the applicant has interacted fairly extensively is required. Another required letter is from person in academia who could speak to the student's academic ability. Other evaluations should come from individuals who can evaluate the oral and written communication skills as well as the scientific background of the applicant. The CVM Admissions Committee reserves the right to check references for verification and accuracy.

  5. Research Experience

    The CVM Admissions Committee does value knowing about an applicant's experience in the broad field of research. Since there is not a defined location for this information on the VMCAS application, the WSU supplemental application does provide a section for applicants to capture research experience. This experience does not have to be directly affiliated with veterinary medicine, and research experience is NOT required for admission to the DVM program.

  6. Diversity/Adversity

    Each year, the CVM Admissions Committee is given the enormous task of selecting top candidates from among a vast array of highly qualified applicants. The committee seeks applicants who will increase the geographic, cultural, and economic diversity of the student body and the profession. Extenuating circumstances such as extensive extracurricular work commitments or family responsibilities are taken into consideration as well. If you feel that you qualify in this category, please provide information in the "Explanation" portion of the application. Applicants may also have issues about which they are reluctant to write in their veterinary school application. If so, these candidates should feel free to contact the Director of Admissions to discuss the matter.

  7. Personal Statement

    The personal statement portion of the application is a candidate's opportunity to make a case as to why you are the best possible candidate for the DVM program at WSU. It is a chance to set yourself apart from other candidates, give the Admissions Committee background information that might not otherwise be included in the application, explain special situations or circumstances that have influenced you as a person, and where you see yourself in the future.

  8. The Personal Interview

    Non-academic evaluation of the top qualified applicants in the Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah and out-of-area pools may include a personal interview. WICHE-supported applicants are not formally interviewed, but they are encouraged to visit the WSU campus at any time. The interview consists of a 30 minute personal interview with two to three members of the Admissions Committee and a representative from the respective state veterinary medical association (the Idaho, Washington, Utah or Montana State Veterinary Medical Association). Two or three Admissions Committee members will conduct the interviews for out-of-area applicants.

    The personal interview will be used to clarify any issues arising from the academic and non-academic evaluation. We will assess the applicant's maturity, motivation, communication skills, knowledge of the profession, and desire to contribute to society through veterinary medicine.

Anti-Discrimination Policy


Washington State University and the University of Idaho prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, physical, mental, or sensory disability, marital status, sexual orientation, and status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment, employment, and retention of faculty and staff, and the operation of all university programs, activities, and services.

Final Evaluation

After all information has been accumulated on qualified applicants, the Admissions Committee will meet to decide which applicants are best suited to enter the veterinary curriculum. Academic and non-academic factors will be used to reach a final decision. For Washington, Idaho, and out-of-area applicants, this process will generate a group of admitted students and a list of alternates who may receive offers of admission at a later date. In the case of WICHE applicants, the process will yield a ranked list of all applicants from each sending state. Ranking of applicants from each WICHE state by the regional colleges of veterinary medicine (Washington State University, Oregon State University, Colorado State University and UC Davis) helps determine which applicants are funded each year and who are then made offers of admission.

AAVMC acceptance policy

The following resolutions was adopted at the July 21, 1997 business meeting in Reno, NV: "The AAVMC requests that all U.S. Schools and Colleges of Veterinary Medicine honor and enforce and acceptance date of April 15 for all offers of admissions."

This statement was expanded by the Board of Directors to include acceptance of all offers of scholarship and financial aid in the April 15th deadline.

Approved by the AAVMC Assembly
July 21, 1997
Amended by the AAVMC Board of Directors
April 29, 2008

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