Veterinary Medicine

Did you know there are only 28 veterinary schools in the United States? Admission is extremely competitive. Here's how the University of Minnesota, Morris and the power of the liberal arts can help you prepare.

Morris Advantages

In addition to outstanding teaching, the Morris campus offers VetFAST (Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program).

Students interested in working with food animals are, after completing the first year of undergraduate study on the Morris campus, eligible for early admission at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Admitted students complete the rest of their pre-veterinary coursework at Morris in two or three additional years
  • Next, transfer to the Twin Cities campus to earn their D.V.M.
  • Students enrolled in the VetFAST program are guaranteed admission to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
    • VetFAST participants receive an "admissions decision" at the end of the first year of undergraduate study
    • VetFAST participants may waive the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirement when applying to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students interested in veterinary medicine should also consider taking advantage of the following opportunities.

  • Undergraduate research: Participating in undergraduate research can give veterinary school applicants a competitive edge. Morris offers multiple stipend programs for students who want to conduct undergraduate research and an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at which to present findings.
  • Office of Community Engagement: Taking advantage of undergraduate service opportunities demonstrates the kind of commitment sought by many professional school admissions boards.
  • Study Abroad: Our noted Study Abroad program helps prepare students to participate in professional veterinary service opportunities with international wildlife conservation and sustainability projects.

Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine

  • Small or large animal clinical practice
  • Wildlife or exotic (zoo) animal medicine
  • Teaching and research
  • Government or public health work
  • Livestock disease control and food animal inspection
  • Biomedical research
  • Pharmaceutical or laboratory work

Preparing for Veterinary Medicine

Did you know...

  • There are only 28 veterinary schools in the U.S.
  • There is only one veterinary school in Minnesota—the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Only 10 percent of applicants are accepted each year—most with a GPA of 3.5 or higher—to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Morris has a great placement rate—Students hoping to pursue a career in veterinary medicine should take advantage of the many exceptional opportunities the Morris campus has to offer.

Here are some helpful hints for a successful path to a veterinary medicine career.

  • Recommended coursework: Consult with your adviser about the best way to complete your coursework
  • The Office of Community Engagement: Consider contacting to inquire about applicable service opportunities in farm, clinic, park, or zoo settings to gain veterinary experience during your undergraduate career at Morris. Veterinary college admissions staff want to be sure that applicants have a genuine understanding of the veterinary profession and dedication to the field
  • Nationally recognized study abroad program: A study abroad experience will help prepare you for international service trips common in healthcare professions
  • Undergraduate research: A demonstrated ability to excel in mathematics or science can give veterinary school applicants a competitive edge. Morris offers multiple stipend programs for students who want to conduct undergraduate research
  • Consider the VetFAST path

VetFAST Program

Students who successfully complete VetFAST (Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program) are guaranteed admission to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Morris first and second year students majoring in biology who are interested in working with food animals have the opportunity to apply for early admission to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Applicants are expected to:

  • Have a strong interest in food animal veterinary medicine: dairy, beef, swine, poultry and small ruminants, including sheep and goats
  • Pursue a Food Animal Medicine track once they enter the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program

There is an ongoing nationwide shortage of food animal veterinarians at all levels of government and industry, especially in rural areas where small private practices allow veterinarians to practice both companion and food animal medicine. In addition, federal and state agencies need more veterinarians to:

  • Protect the livestock industry from new diseases
  • Help ensure food safety
  • Support sustainability initiatives

Because the food animal field has a high demand for fresh faces and new ideas, veterinarians with a liberal arts background are especially prized.

Advantages of the VetFAST program:

  • Gain VetFAST program acceptance by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (U of M CVM) at the end of your freshman or sophomore year in college rather than during your junior or senior year.
  • Complete both your Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degrees in seven years rather than eight.
  • Graduate Record Exam (G.R.E.) requirement required of the traditional admission process for the D.V.M. program is waived for VetFAST.
  • Benefit from mentorships with veterinary faculty and other D.V.M. students.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate during the summer in independent study, research, and internship opportunities, or to find summer veterinary and industry work.
  • Get scholarships and financial support through summer internships.

Interested in VetFAST? Learn more or contact Margaret Kuchenreuther, associate professor of biology

Applying to Veterinary School

Students should work closely with their advisers throughout the application process, which varies by university. VetFAST (Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program) also has unique requirements. Here are some general guidelines.

Deadlines

  • Most schools have deadlines in the fall, a year before students begin their veterinary studies. October 1 is a typical application deadline. Consult The VetFAST program for the yearly deadline.

Entrance Exams

  • Some schools accept or prefer the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but most require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), a computer-based exam that consists of three sections.
    • The Analytical Writing section tests your critical thinking and analytical writing skills
    • The Verbal section gauges your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, to recognize relationships between words and concepts, and to reason with words in solving problems.
    • The Quantitative section measures your basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and ability to reason and solve problems in a quantitative setting.

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) requirement is waived for VetFAST participants.

Applications

  • The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine is a part of a national application service for U.S. and Canadian schools of veterinary medicine. The service is known as the Veterinary Medical College Application Service or VMCAS. With one Web-based application, prospective veterinary students may submit their initial application to any of the U.S. or Canadian veterinary colleges that are participating in the VMCAS program. The VMCAS application opens in early June and it is important to read all of the information on their website to ensure proper transmission of your application.

Visit the VetFAST site for information about the program's application process.

Letters of Recommendation

Requirements vary by institution. Most schools prefer the three letters to be from:

  • Academic advisor or faculty member
  • Employer
  • Veterinarian

Interviews

Remember that interviews serve two purposes:

  1. The admissions committee is given the opportunity to evaluate you.
  2. The veterinary school is given the opportunity to recruit you.

In addition to presenting yourself in the best possible light, remember to demonstrate the characteristics that make you a particularly interesting candidate and to create opportunities for the recruiting institution to observe how its strengths match your interests.