Food Animal Veterinary Medicine Scholars

Eligibility to Apply

Prospective students must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete one year of full-time (at least 12 credits per semester) undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin at either Madison, Platteville, River Falls
  • A minimum first year undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.25 with at least one-half of the credits coming from courses in biological sciences, genetics, chemistry, physics, or mathematics
  • A strong and documentable interest in veterinary medicine and specifically in food animal aspects of the profession

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following materials by June 30, 2025, after their first year of undergraduate studies:

  • UW School of Veterinary Medicine-specific DVM program application (contact the Office of Academic Affairs for application)
  • Official undergraduate transcripts showing both fall and spring semester coursework and grades
  • Three letters of recommendation, one each from:
    • A high school teacher who knows the applicant well
    • A pre-vet advisor or other college faculty member who can attest to the applicant’s academic abilities, maturity, and commitment to veterinary medicine
    • A veterinarian who can attest to the applicant’s interest specifically in becoming a food animal veterinarian and likelihood for success in this venture (letter writers must be unrelated to the applicant)

Finalist applicants must complete a personal interview with members of the FAVeMedS admissions committee. Decisions regarding acceptance to the program are announced by August 31 of the year of application.

Selection factors

  • Academic performance and preparation
  • Quality and quantity of food animal veterinary medical and animal care experiences as documented in the DVM program application
  • Commitment to a life-long career as a food animal veterinarian as described in the applicant’s personal statement and letters of recommendation
  • Personal attributes and likelihood for success as attested to by those writing letters of recommendation
  • Written and verbal communication skills as displayed in the application and interview
  • Leadership potential, maturity, and activities outside of veterinary medicine during high school and college
  • Work experiences
  • Awards and honors
  • Diversity of interests and experiences
  • Special circumstances that may have affected an applicant’s record

Eligibility to Remain in the Program

Students who successfully complete the following plan of study and mentored experiences will maintain eligibility for admission to the UW-Madison DVM program after three years of undergraduate studies.

  • Complete three years of full-time (minimum of 12 semester credits/semester) undergraduate education in a major area of studies of the student’s choosing
  • Achieve a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) by the end of the fall semester of the third year, with grades of B or better in standard prerequisite courses and FAVeMedS specific coursework in the spring semester of the third year
  • Successful completion of all standard prerequisite courses for DVM admissions at University of Wisconsin campuses at either Madison, Platteville, or River Falls
  • Successful completion of FAVeMedS-specific coursework at the applicant’s primary undergraduate institution


Livestock production/management (e.g., UW-Madison Animal Science/Dairy Science 101; UW-P AGSCI 1000; UW-RF ANSC 111). The ideal student will supplement this course with an intermediate or advanced course in their species of interest (e.g., UW-Madison Animal Science 430, 431, 432, or 511; UW-P AGSCI 4030, 4040, 4050, or 4070; UW-RF ANSC 366, 367, 368, or DASC 306)
Production animal nutrition (e.g., UW-Madison Animal Science/Dairy Science/Nutritional Sciences 311; UW-P AGSCI 3000 or 4080; UW-RF ANSC 231 and 232)


Animal Physiology (e.g., UW-Madison Animal Science/Dairy Science 373 or Animal Sciences/Dairy Sciences 434 or Dairy Science 305;  UWP AGSCI 4110 or BIOLOGY 2340; UW-RF ANSC 260)
Economics, ideally with an emphasis on agricultural economics (e.g., UW-Madison Agriculture and Applied Economics 215; UW-P AGINDUS 1500; UW-RF AGEC 230)
Microbiology, including agricultural and/or food microbiology (e.g., UW-Madison Microbiology 101; UW-P BIOLOGY 3240; UW-RF BIOL 324) — the ideal microbiology course will include a laboratory component

Students must also successfully complete all standard prerequisite courses for DVM admissions.

The UW School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) will work with each FAVeMedS student to help them achieve their goals.

  • FAVeMedS students will check-in regularly with the school’s Director of Admissions to ensure that they are meeting academic and mentored experience requirements.
  • Others including a food animal-related faculty/staff member at the student’s campus of origin; a practicing food animal veterinarian willing to mentor the student over a two year period; a food animal faculty/staff member in the UW-Madison SVM; and a current food animal medicine oriented DVM student from the UW-Madison SVM, may work with a FAVeMedS student to guide his/her professional development and to assist in arranging the following mentored experiences;
  • By the end of the spring semester of the third year of undergraduate studies, the student will complete a minimum of 300 hours observing clinical practice with a food animal practitioner. Up to 50 hours of this time may be substituted by working on a large production animal farm (i.e., greater than 200 cow dairy; not the student’s family farm).
  • At or before the start of the fall semester of the third year of undergraduate studies, the student will develop a research project in a subject of their choosing — but related to food animal veterinary medicine — to be completed over the fall and spring semesters of the third year. The project will be developed in discussion with and approved by the Director of Admissions; academic credit will be awarded at the student’s home institution as an independent study with the scope and workload of the project being appropriate for at least three semester credits.