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Selection Criteria for Most Vet Schools

To be competitive in applying to veterinary schools, what you do outside of class is as important as what you do in class.

Interpersonal Skills

Vet schools are looking for students who have strong communication and interpersonal skills. The university offers a variety of courses in speech and writing to help you refine your abilities.

Academic Preparation

Your performance in college is the best indicator of your performance in a vet school. As such, plan to take a rigorous, yet balanced course load which allows you to demonstrate both your proficiency in science and a range of academic interests.

Animal/Veterinary Experience

All vet schools require experience with animal care with animals other than your own pets. This is expected to include substantial first-hand observation or work experience with a practicing veterinarian. Many vet schools recommend experience with a range of animal species, both large and small, both pet and livestock. All schools require a letter of recommendation from a practicing veterinarian with whom you have spent a significant amount of time. These experiences demonstrate your motivation for the profession, your understanding of the work vets do, and help you develop skills with your patients and their owners.

Volunteer / Community Service

Because you are preparing for a humanitarian profession, it is important to have volunteer learning experiences which demonstrate a commitment of service to others. It is suggested that this be ongoing throughout your college years prior to application for admission.

Leadership Experience

As a veterinarian, you will be a leader and team member in many ways – with your patients, your staff, your colleagues, and your community. Examples of leadership include offices held in organizations, committee work; leadership in church activities; coordinating a project; managing, training, supervising at work or in other activities; teaching experience of any kind; peer counseling or mentoring, etc.

Research Experience

Veterinary medicine depends on professional literature for practicing vets to remain current in the field. Most veterinary schools highly recommend participation in research. It is good to participate in independent, hypothesis-based research using the scientific method. Your research experience could be from many different areas – it does not necessarily have to be medically related or in a lab.

Things to Remember

  • Make sure you have accurate contact information for supervisors and veterinarians you shadow or work with, in case you need to have them write recommendation letters. Even if you discontinue an activity, try to keep a relationship with the people you have worked with through social media for example.

  • Record all hours of service and experiences. Writing your reflections in a journal will be also helpful when you write a personal statement.

Contact PreProfessional Advising


PPA Advisor Office Locations:

Main PPA Office: Mayumi Kasai, Amy Urbanek and Cari Winger: Building 44, Room 206 [MAP]  

Marriott Library: Shelley Nicholson and Tam Mai: On the 2nd floor, in the South West corner of the Knowledge Commons

HPER North: Heather Crum, Room 234 


Fall 2017
Mon, Tue, Wed & Fri.
7:30 am - 4:00 pm

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

The office will be closed for planned events on:

  • MLK Day: Monday, January 15, 2018
  • Presidents' Day: Monday, February 19, 2018
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 28, 2018

Appointments are required. Please call 801-581-5744 to schedule an appointment.

If you are a prospective student (freshman, transfer, post-baccalaureate) visiting our office for the first time, please call 801-581-5744 or email to schedule an appointment. 


"10 minute rule"

Please try to arrive a few minutes early to check in before your appointment time. Students who are more than 9 minutes late will be rescheduled.

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Last Updated: 1/19/18