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.
- How likely is it that the applicant will be able to successfully complete our rigorous, science-based veterinary curriculum? When evaluating an applicant, emphasis is 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.
- 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
- Major and academic institution
- Advanced degrees
- Record of academic honors, scholarships, etc.
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)
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.
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.
- Idaho, Montana, 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.
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.
Academic criteria review
- All Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Utah residents and WICHE certified applicants are advanced through the preliminary screening to receive further review.
- All non-resident applicants 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.
- 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. 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.
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.
WICHE applicants – The admissions committee provides each state with a ranked list of their certified applicants to assist them in determining state funding.
All other applicants – Recommendations of applicants who are acceptable for admission and those recommended for denial of admission are submitted to the DVM admissions committee director and the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine 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.
This process will determine who will receive offers of admission, who will be waitlisted and for which offers of admission may be made at a later date, and who will be denied admission.
A strong application thoroughly highlighting your strengths and experiences will help show you are a qualified applicant who can succeed in the veterinary program at WSU. Learn more about how to make your application stand out.
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.