lower gpa.. no experience.. which path to take to become a Vet?

Sep 26, 2013
Hey! So I'm feeling a little down right now because I applied for SGU vet and didn't get accepted… not even an interview.
B.S in Biology
GPA 3.15 (both science and overall)
Very little experience- some farm hand experience
GRE- average

I'm so down but I've been browsing around on here and some people have mentioned that Australian vet programs are easy to get into? WHAT schools are they speaking of?

And I've been thinking about just settling for a vet tech program since it will definitely get me the experience and recommendations I need. But am I being silly for going back to the drawing board?

I've also read some people are doing Masters in biology, etc. and that has improved their chances.

Basically my question is
What do you guys think would be the best path to go down to get into a Veterinary Medicine program?

1. Retaking courses improve the GPA, get internships and shadow more vets.
2. Go into a Masters program and get awesome grades.
3. Go into Vet tech, work for a few years and then apply for Vet school
4. Any other international schools that seem like they'd for sure take me in?

Thanks guys!! Any helpful advice is appreciated.. not going through the best times right now :/


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
Hey mollyjane! This would likely get more responses in the pre-vet forum. To answer your question... I don't know a lot about Australia's vet schools, but I can say that with a lower gpa you need to compensate for that in other areas. It's possible that you were denied an interview from sgu because you mentioned that you have very little experience. Lots of applicants have way over 1,000 hours. Getting more vet experience might help you out if you were to apply there again. People do get into vet school with low gpas but they have made up for that in other ways (lots of vet experience, higher gre scores, taking more upper level classes and showing an upward trend, etc)
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that redhead

7+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2010
I agree that pre-vet is the best place to ask - you'll likely get more answers there.

I doubt Australian schools (or any international schools) are easier to get into than others. They may look more at the "whole picture" and be more forgiving of your GPA but frankly, you lack the whole picture right now without experience. Since your GPA is on the lower end, you definitely need to have other factors that help balance that, such as a lot more experience hours and a stronger GRE. Since you have so little experience, I'm going to guess that your letters of rec didn't include a vet, which is a really important component - LOR are another good balancing factor for a low GPA.

Getting a Master's is not the answer (usually); unless you really want to do research and be involved in that field, and unless you're 100% committed to finishing the two year program and not leaving your PI high and dry one year in, I wouldn't do it just for the grade boost. I'd look at re-taking classes.

My advice to you would be: assess where your poor grades were. If they were in pre-req classes, I would re-take those classes (you need at least a C- for a pre-req to count for most US schools). You can do that while working with a vet to gain experience, which is probably the biggest gap in your application. I personally don't think spending the money and time to go to tech school is worth it, since there are a lot of ways to get vet experience without going that route - maybe you can start as a kennel assistant and work your way up, for example. Overall, I think you're looking at at least a year before reapplying, if not two, and a lot of dedication, but I think it's manageable.


5+ Year Member
Jan 13, 2013
There's a "what are my chances" thread thread dedicated to this exact thing on the pre-vet forum. Post there, and you'll get some input. You can also see where others are. There will be some superstars (they're kinda daunting), but there are a lot of people in the same boat you are in. It makes the process easier, plus everyone's super supportive.

My advice? You need some vet experience. WTF answered on your other post that animal experience and vet experience are not the same, make sure you know the difference. If being a vet is your goal, I personally wouldn't recommend going to tech school. It can be pricey, and none of the classes transfer. You can get experience by shadowing/working at a clinic. However, if you just want to work with animals in the medical field, vet tech school may be a good choice. I was a tech for several (or nine) years, and enjoyed it. But like I said, my degree didn't do anything for me when I decided to pursue vet school, since all the classes were of a hands-on nature and don't fit into any other program.

Improve your GPA, maybe your GRE if it really is just average (without knowing the numbers, I can't tell you), and go out and get some vet hours. Oh, and post in the "what are my chances" thread (instead of making a new one).
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Jan 18, 2006
Do not go international if you can at all avoid it. The debt is simply monstrous.

Ok, this isn't intended to be a mean, but I think you need to get out of the mindset you are currently in. You seem like you are just desperately trying to find ANY school that will take you, while ignoring the fact that you are not prepared to take on veterinary school yet.

Exhibit A: Based on your science GPA, is sounds like you may suffer in the classroom. Yes, you don't need t make As (or even Bs) in vet school, but are you sure you can handle 22+ credits a semester of hard science? I know people have gotten in with lower GPAs and done perfectly well, but vet school is an absolute academic killer.

Exhibit B: You also have, at your own admission, no veterinary experience at all. This is the part of it that worries me the most. I don't know how you can possiblty consider going overseas and racking up huge amounts of debt when you have never experienced the profession.

You seem very genuine; I hope my points above didn't put you off. What they are supposed to do is give you a little dose of reality - NOT to deflate you, but to RE-FOCUS you. It IS doable, but you need to step back, take a few breaths, and reassess your priorities.

My suggestions:

Re-take any prereq classes you need to. Take additional classes if need be.

Re-take the GRE. Study for it as best you can.

Start shadowing at a vet. This may start out as kennel work, but you need, need, NEED veterinary experience. Farmhand doesn't count. Most schools require at least one letter of recommendation, if not two, come from veterinarians.

Start thinking about how you are going to make yourself stand out. This is the hardest and most important part of applying to veterinary school. There are going to be hundreds and hundreds of applicants with thousands of veterinary hours, stellar GPAs, etc - how will you stand out against them? What kind of unique opportunities can you pursue in order to show the adcoms that you will be a good addition to the field?

Good luck, chin up. It may take another cycle or two, but you can do it.