Appendix H: Timeline for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program Applicants

Applying in 2 Years (typically fall of Sophomore year)


  • Look through the Pre-Health Handbook.
  • Choose courses very carefully to meet pre-vet requirements but avoid overloading yourself with difficult courses (grades are much more important than they were freshman year).


  • Meet with your advisor and keep him/her abreast of your progress and problems.
  • Take a look at the GRE schedule online and plan when you will take the exam in the future


  • Begin to plan summer experiences. Do you need more shadowing hours or research work to round out your background? For potential DVM candidates, summer research planning as early as sophomore year is very important.


  • Meet at least once with your advisor. Discuss summer plans such as research, shadowing, volunteer work, and classes.
  • Arrange summer experiences early in the semester before the mid-term crunch.


  • Plan summer experiences, either research projects or shadowing, as these will increase your chances of being accepted into DVM programs.

Applying in 1 Year (typically fall of Junior year)


  • Obtain a copy of the Veterinary School Admission Requirements handbook from AAVMC.
  • Touch base with your advisor to bring him or her up to date on your plans. If you have any questions regarding course selection, contact your advisor early. Course decisions are very important this year. Make sure all prerequisites are completed.
  • Register to take the GRE. This should be completed before May.


  • Look at the current Pre-Health Handbook to check for changes from last year that might affect you.


  • Touch base again with your advisor.
  • Begin planning for summer. If you have not done so already, you will need to plan to shadow a veterinarian.
  • Make good course selections for second semester.
  • Approach trusted professors for letters of recommendation. Make sure that all of your letter writers have a current copy of your resume and any other information that will assist them in writing their letters.


  • Complete a draft of your personal statement.
  • Make a tentative list of veterinary schools to which you are interested in applying.
  • Update your resume.


  • Finalize your list of recommendation letter writers.
  • Continue working on VMCAS personal statement.
  • Take a look at the VMCAS applications when it comes online to become familiar with it.


  • Make sure you have taken the GRE by this point so that you have the scores back before you apply.
  • Make sure that you have all your recommenders' emails for the eLORs.
  • Ensure that all recommenders know that recommendation letters should be submitted directly to the VMCAS (they will receive an email prompt).
  • VMCAS, the application service for those applying to DVM programs, opens in May.

In the Year of Application


  • The application for the VMCAS will open on June 5th. 
  • Submit transcript request forms to the CSA office to have your transcripts sent to the VMCAS.
  • Write to non-VMCAS schools to request applications.
  • Find out each school's secondary application policy.
  • Check periodically to see if your letters or recommendation have been submitted.
  • Draw up a flow grid or neat checklists to chart the process of each of your applications from initial contact through interviews. Create a folder for each school.


  • Work on non-VMCAS and secondary application forms.
  • Save money for interview trips.
  • Discuss sending a polite 'reminder' to recommendation letter writers and speak with your pre-health advisor if these letters have not been submitted.


  • All secondary application forms should be finished and sent off by mid-September.
  • Talk with your advisors about potential questions that will be asked during your interviews, review strengths and weaknesses in your application, and discuss how to deal with your weaknesses.
  • Call schools to ensure that any secondary applications are complete.
  • Make sure all remaining transcripts and secondary applications are submitted before schools' deadlines, which will vary by school.


  • Interview offers are provided during this time with interviews continuing into the spring.
  • Final offers should be received by April 15th.
  • Things to consider when choosing your school include quality, location, and financial aid package.
  • Speak to your pre-health advisor if you do not receive any interviews. Discuss ways to improve your application for the next application cycle.


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