Admission Requirements

Evaluation criteria for applicants, how to submit a competitive application, and frequently asked questions.

The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine offers a four-year professional degree program leading to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. 

As you begin your application process, we encourage you to look over the prerequisite courses, work or volunteer with a veterinarian, and build relationships with academic mentors, employers, or community leaders who can write a recommendation letter for you.

Holistic evaluation

The Admissions Committee views a solid and broad undergraduate experience to be crucial preparation for successful completion of the veterinary curriculum. We consider both academic and non-academic criteria when evaluating applicants. We are looking for well-rounded applicants who are likely to succeed in our program.

When reviewing application materials, we answer two primary questions about each candidate. 

  1. How likely is it that the applicant will be able to successfully complete our rigorous, science-based veterinary curriculum? When evaluating an applicant’s academic preparation our committee looks at several components with an emphasis placed on physical and biological science preparation. Prerequisite coursework is considered an essential foundation, while excellence in additional upper division science courses further indicates an applicant is more likely to be able to successfully complete our program.
  2. Does the applicant possess the qualities of a successful veterinarian and have a holistic understanding of the profession? We consider various criteria such as motivation, communication and teamwork skills, compassion and empathy, professionalism, integrity and ethics, maturity, and knowledge of the profession when evaluating an applicant.

Our admissions committee considers several academic components when evaluating an applicant’s ability to successfully complete our veterinary curriculum.

  • Prerequisite coursework (with a grade of C- or higher before entering our program)
  • Four GPAs as calculated in the VMCAS application
    • Cumulative GPA (all courses)
    • Science GPA (physical and biological sciences)
    • Last semester (45 hours) or quarter (60 hours) GPA
    • DVM program science and math prerequisite courses GPA
  • Course load and rigor
  • Grades in upper division science courses
  • Major and academic institution
  • Advanced degrees
  • Record of academic honors, scholarships, etc.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required or reviewed as part of the admissions process

Additional academic criteria guidelines

Non-academic criteria are used to assess if an applicant possesses the qualities of a successful veterinarian and has a holistic understanding of the profession.

Applicants are evaluated on all of the following experience categories on the VMCAS application and are encouraged to include experience in all applicable areas.

  • Veterinary experiences (work supervised by or in observation of a veterinarian)
  • Animal experiences (any work with animals not supervised by a veterinarian)
  • Employment experiences (other than veterinary or animal experience)
  • Research experiences
  • Volunteer and community services (outside of the veterinary field)
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Achievements (honors, awards, and scholarships)

Guidelines for listing your experience on the VMCAS application

In addition to experience categories, the admissions committee evaluates letters of recommendation, your personal statement, and essay questions to understand your desire to enter the veterinary profession and our program.

All applicants are required to obtain a minimum of three letters of recommendation (submitted directly from the evaluator through VMCAS), and at least one must be from a veterinarian. A maximum of six LORs can be submitted.  It is recommended but not required that one LOR be from an academic (e.g., professor, teaching assistant, laboratory instructor, academic advisor) who can speak to the applicant’s academic abilities. Graduate students are encouraged to include an evaluation from their major advisor, and longtime employers can be valuable resources as well. All evaluators selected should know the applicant well enough to provide meaningful comments. Letters of reference from family members, personal friends, and high school contacts are discouraged.

All applicants have the opportunity to include an explanation statement. While this section is NOT REQUIRED, you can use it to record information that could not be listed anywhere else within the web application which requires detailed explanation. We recommend addressing relevant impacts of COVID-19 in this section. This section can also be used to provide the Admissions Committee additional information that you consider vital to your application. Your explanation statement should be clearly and succinctly written. Examples of pertinent information might include explanations about interruptions in your studies or experiences, unique circumstances you have faced, or reasons for decisions you have made. Extenuating circumstances such as extensive extracurricular work commitments or family responsibilities are also taken into consideration.

See How to create a strong application for VMCAS personal statement guidelines, supplemental essay questions, and optional explanation statement.

  • Idaho, Montana, Utah, and residents of WICHE states must complete residency certification to be given priority consideration.
  • IdahoMontana, and Utah residents must certify with their state by September 1. Email DVM Admissions to keep us up to date on your residency certification process.
    • Utah applicants must also complete the Utah Residency Certification Form and email it to the email address on the form. Please write “Residency Certification for Veterinary School” in the email subject line. 

Guidelines for residency certification

Top Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Utah resident applicants will be invited for a 30-minute personal interview as part of the application process.

Nonresidents will no longer be required to have a personal interview.

Preparing for your veterinary school interview

Academic criteria review

  • All Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Utah residents and WICHE certified applicants are advanced through the preliminary screening to receive further review.
  • Due to the size and strength of the non-resident pool, all non-resident applicants first receive a preliminary screening based on their academic record.
    • Applicants with a cumulative GPA above 3.5 or a science GPA above 3.7 are generally considered to have a previous record of academic excellence indicative of success within the professional veterinary curriculum. Non-resident applicants who meet the GPA criteria are automatically forwarded to the admissions committee for further review of their academic background and additional application criteria.
    • Non-resident applicants who do not automatically advance through the preliminary screen are further evaluated for additional evidence of academic success in a secondary screening. This process is designed to identify qualified applicants despite a more modest academic background. Factors such as the last 45 credit hour GPA, prerequisite GPA, academic rigor, work or family responsibilities, and extenuating circumstances are considered. Both the academic and non-academic criteria of an application are reviewed during this process to ensure that the college is admitting a class that reflects a broad diversity of anticipated career pathways and goals, life experience and circumstance, and stated interests in serving the veterinary profession and society.

Non-academic criteria review

To assess whether an applicant possesses the qualities of a successful veterinarian, we consider various criteria such as:

  • Communication and teamwork skills
  • Motivation and leadership ability 
  • Maturity and professionalism
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Integrity and ethics
  • Knowledge of the profession
  • Diversity of background, interests, and experiences
  • Special circumstances that may have affected the applicant’s record

After applications have been reviewed, the admissions committee will meet to recommend which applicants it feels are best suited to enter the professional DVM program. Recommendations of applicants who are acceptable for admission, those who should be waitlisted, and those recommended for denial of admission are submitted to the DVM director of admissions and associate dean of professional programs for final review to ensure the college is admitting a class that reflects a broad diversity of anticipated career pathways and goals, life experience, and stated interests in serving the veterinary profession and society.

WICHE applicants  In addition to admissions decisions for our program, the admissions committee provides each participating WICHE state with a ranked list of certified applicants. This information, along with information provided by other participating Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, assists each WICHE state in determining which applicants will receive conditional state funding.

How to create a strong application

Learn more about how to make your application stand out. A strong application highlighting your strengths and experiences will show you are a qualified applicant who can succeed in our program.

Individual advising

Applicants should thoroughly review our website before requesting individual advising. Our admissions requirements page clearly outlines the admissions process and criteria for our program.

If you still need additional assistance, please complete the Individual Advising Request to help us better address your needs as a prospective applicant. The admissions staff will only review your survey response, application reviews are not provided. Most requests will receive an email response.

Meetings are offered on a limited basis to individuals with extenuating circumstances that would benefit from one-on-one advising with a member of the admissions team. High school (or younger) students should reach out to pre-health or pre-veterinary advisors for support. Prerequisite and/or course/transcript evaluations are not provided.

Diversity and non-discrimination statement

We welcome all applicants to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Washington State University. We are committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment and encouraging students from all cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identity or expression, sexual orientations, age, religions, physical and mental abilities to join our veterinary profession.  WSU does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual.