Prepare to apply
High School Preparation
High school students considering a career in veterinary medicine are encouraged to complete courses in biology, physics, mathematics, chemistry, and English composition in preparation for college-level courses required for admission to the professional program. High school grades are not considered in admissions process.
It is important to spend time with animals such as in zoos, shelters, 4-H, FFA clubs or any other activities that will help you learn about animals and the profession of veterinary medicine. We also encourage you to volunteer, observe or work in a veterinary clinic obtaining experiences in many areas of the profession. Keep track of all animal and veterinary medical–related experiences, which will be valuable when applying to the School of Veterinary Medicine.
One major does not have an advantage over another with respect to admission to the SVM. Students can choose from a wide range of majors as long as the required coursework is completed. We suggest that students contact the advising staff at the SVM prior to registering as college freshman for assistance in planning the necessary college course work.
As admission to the DVM program is competitive, students are encouraged to select a major that will provide career alternatives while completing requirements for admission to veterinary medical school.
Applicants for admission to the UW School of Veterinary Medicine must have completed a total of 60 semester credits of college course work and are required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Test.
The 60 credits of necessary college course work include 40-43 credits of required course work* plus a minimum of 17 credits of elective course work left to the student’s discretion. The 17 elective credits allow the student to meet personal and academic goals and objectives (e.g., focus on course work of interest, work toward a chosen major, or broaden one’s education) while preparing for admission to veterinary medical school.
*Students can have up to four outstanding required courses left to take but no more than two outstanding courses can be taken in the spring term prior to enrollment in the program. All required course work must be completed by the end of the spring term prior to enrollment in the program.
Official transcripts for Summer of 2020 and prior must be sent to VMCAS by September 15, 2020. Official Fall 2020 transcripts must be submitted to the School of Veterinary Medicine by January 15, 2021.
All required courses must have a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better to fulfill the requirement. Applicants become ineligible if they receive a grade less than C in a required course.
Courses taken after application will not be used in grade point calculations. Required courses must be taken from an accredited college or university on a graded A-F grading basis.
In the unique circumstance whereby courses can only be taken on a pass/fail basis, the campus must provide an evaluation of courses and a grade conversion. If no conversion is provided, a letter grade of C (2.0) will be assigned to calculate grade point averages.
If you attended an international school that was not part of an Education Abroad program, you must send a course-by-course evaluation report to VMCAS.
Transcripts and evaluation reports for non-U.S. and non-Canadian schools must be sent to VMCAS through World Education Services.
All 2020 applicants are required to take or retake the GRE examination by October 1, 2020, which includes the writing assessment. The School code is 1846 and GRE testing dates and registration are available at www.gre.org. Please note current GRE board policy states that GRE scores are reportable for only five years. Scores prior to October 1, 2015 cannot be accepted. Official GRE scores must be received by October 15, 2020.
A test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS scores may be submitted) exam is recommended for all international and permanent resident applicants whose native language is not English. It is required for international and permanent resident applicants whose native language is not English who have not completed at least 60 semester credits (within the past 24 months) as a full-time college student in the United States at the time of application. Even for those who have completed two years of study in the U.S., one of these exams is still recommended.
The minimum scores accepted are as follows: internet TOEFL=100, paper TOEFL=600, MELAB=84, IELTS=7. This must be taken no later than October 1, 2020.
The application for admission provides the opportunity for applicants to identify elements of diversity in their background. Both academic and nonacademic factors may contribute to an applicant’s diversity. Each year the Admissions Committee will evaluate the elements of diversity within the applicant pool. Weight will be given to qualified applicants who possess characteristics that are underrepresented in the profession and who would contribute to the overall diversity of the class. Some of the many factors that may contribute to an applicant’s diversity are listed below. This list is not meant to be all inclusive; it represents examples only.
The SVM has a commitment to increasing the representation of minority and disadvantaged groups in the veterinary medical profession.
To adequately serve the needs of society, the veterinary medical profession must have professionals who are diverse in their professional interests and goals.
Background and Experience
Diversity of work experiences, life experiences, disabilities, education, accomplishments, social and academic activities, etc., will also be considered.
In addition to the above factors, other information presented in the application file may be considered.
The school admits 96 qualified applicants each year. These selected applicants will exhibit the potential for becoming productive, competent, and responsible veterinarians concerned with maintaining high professional standards, providing public service, and continuing the learning process.
The number of nonresident positions available in each entering class may vary from year to year but will not exceed 34 in each class. Nonresident students will be selected using the same criteria and selection procedures used for resident applicants.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison attributes its unique, internationally admired academic environment, in part, to the diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff. The SVM adheres to the university’s philosophy that diversity of students, faculty, and staff has a positive influence on the educational process and contributes substantially to the quality of programs and graduates. Diversity among members of the veterinary medical class will result in a profession better able to respond to the varied and changing needs of society.
In conformance with applicable federal and state law and with university policy, UW–Madison does not discriminate on the basis of age; ancestry; color; creed; disability; ethnicity (specifically involving harassment by UW employees); marital or parental status; national origin; pregnancy; race; religion; disability, retaliation for making a complaint of discrimination or taking part in an investigation relating to discrimination; sex; sexual orientation; or veteran’s status with regard to treatment in the educational programs or activities that it operates. Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the SVM Office of Academic Affairs or the Office of Equity and Diversity, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706 (608-263-2378).
The SVM Admissions Committee is composed of faculty who review applications and select applicants for admission to the DVM program. The committee reserves the right to evaluate and modify the selection criteria and admission procedures each year. Based on the belief that there are many ways to prepare for a career in veterinary medicine, the Admissions Committee values a wide range of abilities and experiences, seeking the best possible candidates to serve society as veterinary medical professionals. Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of the academic record and the nonacademic portions of the application. The following academic factors are considered in the evaluation process:
- Cumulative grade-point average up to the first undergraduate degree
- Grade-point average in required courses
- Grade-point average for the 30 most recent semester credits
- GRE score
In addition to academic evaluation, each applicant is evaluated on preparatory experience and personal characteristics. The evaluation of non-academic factors is based upon qualitative and quantitative analysis of the applicant’s strengths and experiences. The highest evaluation is given to those applicants whose overall experience indicates the greatest degree of preparedness and suitability for the professional program.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to obtain experience with the veterinary medical profession and in the care and handling of a variety of species of animals, including food animals. Applicants will be asked to describe these experiences in the application.
Other non-academic factors considered include:
- Animal experiences (without a veterinarian)
- Veterinary medical experiences (with a veterinarian)
- Three letters of reference and evaluation (Letters from veterinarians are very highly recommended; letters from employers, faculty, and academic staff are also beneficial.)
- Written statements describing applicant’s professional goals and interests
- Communication skills
- Leadership potential
- Goal orientation
- Outside activities
- Work experiences
- Awards and honors
- Diversity of background, interests and experiences
- Special circumstances that may have affected the applicant’s record
The Dean and Admissions Committee may require additional evaluation procedures for selecting candidates for admission. A personal interview with candidates may be requested in order to obtain additional information.
All questions regarding admission requirements, application procedures, and selection criteria should be addressed to the SVM Office of Academic Affairs. Applicants may not directly contact members of the Admissions Committee regarding the admission process.
Required Applications & Forms
Veterinary Medical College Application Service
The deadline to apply is Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT)
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is the centralized application service for applying to veterinary medical colleges. Visit www.vmcas.org to find the application and instructions. The three reference evaluation forms must be sent directly to VMCAS.
Applicants may contact VMCAS at 617-612-2884 or send inquiries to email@example.com. Students are strongly encouraged to apply early to avoid system overload created by too many applicants applying at the same time.
The Required Applicant Data Form
The deadline to apply is Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 4 p.m. (CDT)
The Required Applicant Data Form (RADF) for Wisconsin is available at https://apps.vetmed.wisc.edu/radf/.
Official transcripts for Summer 2020 and prior must be sent to VMCAS by September 15, 2020. Official Fall 2020 transcripts must be submitted to the School of Veterinary Medicine by January 15, 2021.
Please submit to:
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Office of Academic Affairs
2015 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1102
The UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine also has a supplemental application. Our supplemental application provides the opportunity for applicants to expand on their personal and background experiences. All applicants are required to complete the supplemental application, which includes a UW-Madison application fee of approximately $60. In mid-November, all applicants will be notified by email about how to complete our supplemental application electronically.
Interviews are not part of the application process. Applicants for Fall 2021 admission will be advised of their status no later than April 1, 2021. (Applicants for Fall 2020 admission will be notified by April 1. 2020.)
The 2019 Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous three calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous three calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1429 Monroe St., Madison, WI