Lupin21

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Guess I'll go ahead and get this thread going a few days early.

Please post all your VMCAS questions and rants here for ease of finding information for the 2019 application cycle.

Good luck all!!


For questions redirected to VMCAS:

VMCAS Customer Service (Help with the application): 617-612-2884 or [email protected]
 
Apr 13, 2018
7
4
1
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Is there an official date for the application opening? On the VMCAS website I just see May 2019, but no specifics.
 
Jan 29, 2019
1
1
1
24
This is my first time applying and I’m so nervous but what really irks me is the fact that VMCAS doesn’t honor any academic forgiveness policies. I had to retake a few classes (and I did better) but I know that those grades are going to plummet my GPA (I have a 3.3 so it’s already low.) Do vet schools generally only go by the GPA that VMCAS says or do they look at the big picture? I’m so stressed lol
 
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ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
This is my first time applying and I’m so nervous but what really irks me is the fact that VMCAS doesn’t honor any academic forgiveness policies. I had to retake a few classes (and I did better) but I know that those grades are going to plummet my GPA (I have a 3.3 so it’s already low.) Do vet schools generally only go by the GPA that VMCAS says or do they look at the big picture? I’m so stressed lol
Check with the schools you want to apply to. It varies widely from school to school. Some only use the VMCAS GPA’s, some use their own but don’t have grade forgiveness, and some use their own with grade forgiveness. I had a 3.32 with grade forgiveness and my VMCAS GPA was much lower (3.0) but I ended up doing fine. Don’t worry yourself too much.
 
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SkiOtter

c/o 2022
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This is my first time applying and I’m so nervous but what really irks me is the fact that VMCAS doesn’t honor any academic forgiveness policies. I had to retake a few classes (and I did better) but I know that those grades are going to plummet my GPA (I have a 3.3 so it’s already low.) Do vet schools generally only go by the GPA that VMCAS says or do they look at the big picture? I’m so stressed lol
Lots will calculate their own GPAs too. Someaceeage the original and any retakes, some take the best grade. Contact schools you’re interested in to see what they do.
 

mmmdreamerz

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Good luck to everyone applying this year! Remember to enjoy the process:)
 

foxbytes

paper crowns of silver and gold
May 9, 2019
4
0
1
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I do a lot of animal sports and was wondering if titles obtained on an animal (ex. a CGC title on a dog) count as achievements? VMCAS wants relevant "professional and academic" achievements and I'm assuming animal sports "count" in the context of vet school? Or if it wouldn't count as an achievement, should the titles be listed under animal experience?

Also hi guys this is my first post! Long time lurker but now I'm applying (wow) so I made an account! Good luck to everyone who is applying this cycle and congrats for making it this far! :)
 
May 2, 2019
4
1
1
Status
Pre-Veterinary
So I applied in 2023 but decided to defer for a year (so happy I don't have to redo the application process) but also good luck yall! Feel free to ask any questions! I'd be happy to help and join everyone next yer!
 

ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
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Pre-Veterinary
I’d think this counts as an achievement. The dog didn’t do it on its own. Maybe someone with similar experience can weigh in, but I would think it counts since it’s showing that you stuck with something, put in work, and got recognized for it.
 
Feb 28, 2018
26
93
31
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'd absolutely count it as an achievement! When I did file reviews a major point was to include everythinggg just in case. My first year I wrote my app as a resume of sorts (omitting smaller or ambiguous experiences/achievements) and was waitlisted, but once I included everything I was offered multiple acceptances. Brag on yourself!
 
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blueheeler

c/o 2024 hopeful :o
Mar 31, 2019
26
41
21
Soooo I have been out of school for about a year and a half now. I want to ask a professor for a recommendation from a course I took in 2016. How should I ask for a recommendation from this professor? I have a resume ready. Should I write a cover letter as well?
 

Dinashadow

Tufts c/o 2023
May 11, 2018
922
782
41
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I do a lot of animal sports and was wondering if titles obtained on an animal (ex. a CGC title on a dog) count as achievements? VMCAS wants relevant "professional and academic" achievements and I'm assuming animal sports "count" in the context of vet school? Or if it wouldn't count as an achievement, should the titles be listed under animal experience?

Also hi guys this is my first post! Long time lurker but now I'm applying (wow) so I made an account! Good luck to everyone who is applying this cycle and congrats for making it this far! :)
I do dog sports and have titles under my dog but that stuff will usually belong under extracurriculars and not achievements. Definitely add it though. It came up during one of my interviews.
 

Dinashadow

Tufts c/o 2023
May 11, 2018
922
782
41
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Pre-Veterinary
Soooo I have been out of school for about a year and a half now. I want to ask a professor for a recommendation from a course I took in 2016. How should I ask for a recommendation from this professor? I have a resume ready. Should I write a cover letter as well?
I had been out of school for 3 years and needed 2 academic LORs. I emailed two professors and explained my situation and offered to send them my resumes. I asked them if they would feel comfortable writing a letter. It was scary for me but they were super helpful. I chose my advisor and a professor I had taken a lot of classes with.

Also ask NOW. I cannot stress this enough, especially if they'll need to check over your resume. You also want to make sure they can write you a good letter as well. If they say no say thank you and move on. You definitely don't want a letter from someone who isn't comfortable writing you one.
 

blueheeler

c/o 2024 hopeful :o
Mar 31, 2019
26
41
21
I had been out of school for 3 years and needed 2 academic LORs. I emailed two professors and explained my situation and offered to send them my resumes. I asked them if they would feel comfortable writing a letter. It was scary for me but they were super helpful. I chose my advisor and a professor I had taken a lot of classes with.

Also ask NOW. I cannot stress this enough, especially if they'll need to check over your resume. You also want to make sure they can write you a good letter as well. If they say no say thank you and move on. You definitely don't want a letter from someone who isn't comfortable writing you one.
Thank you!! I am planning on emailing two professors either today or tomorrow.
 
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MixedAnimals77

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May 16, 2016
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I do a lot of animal sports and was wondering if titles obtained on an animal (ex. a CGC title on a dog) count as achievements? VMCAS wants relevant "professional and academic" achievements and I'm assuming animal sports "count" in the context of vet school? Or if it wouldn't count as an achievement, should the titles be listed under animal experience?

Also hi guys this is my first post! Long time lurker but now I'm applying (wow) so I made an account! Good luck to everyone who is applying this cycle and congrats for making it this far! :)
Yes they do. I personally put the sport under extracurricular and titles earned under awards. That was 2 years ago though so make sure to read through VMCAS instructions.
 
Mar 19, 2019
7
0
1
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hi everyone, Question that I didn't know where to ask:

I'll be graduating Summer C (early august) and the app isn't due until September 17th. Does anyone know if it would make a huge difference if i submit before or after I graduate?
 

ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hi everyone, Question that I didn't know where to ask:

I'll be graduating Summer C (early august) and the app isn't due until September 17th. Does anyone know if it would make a huge difference if i submit before or after I graduate?
If you submit your final transcript through VMCAS (after you graduate and before submitting), a lot of schools won’t require your final transcript to be sent directly to them. If you submit before graduating, most schools will require it, especially if you’re taking prerequisites right now. That’s the main difference that I can think of.
 

MixedAnimals77

Trash Panda C/O 2022
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May 16, 2016
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Hi everyone, Question that I didn't know where to ask:

I'll be graduating Summer C (early august) and the app isn't due until September 17th. Does anyone know if it would make a huge difference if i submit before or after I graduate?
Just make sure that the time between getting your transcripts from your school, being able to enter in your course work, and get them sent and verified by VMCAS is enough. I would much rather have to send transcripts again with final grades than my VMCAS app not be verified in time. Keep in mind it takes them FOREVER to recieve, process, and verify things even if you submit early (ie July) and not later towards the due date.
 

ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
To add onto what @MixedAnimals77 said because it reminded me of my own mess-up, check like RIGHT NOW how your school sends transcripts. If they send them online through one of VMCAS’s approved systems, then it’s more okay to submit them a little later. If they only send them by mail and you have to contact the school or go in person to do it, then do it earlier. Otherwise pay to overnight it. This past cycle I realized maybe 10-12 days before the cycle closed that my school only mailed transcripts. So I had to go to the school and overnight my transcript. It actually only took 3 days from when my transcript was sent to when it was processed and appeared on my account, but it was nerve-racking. While I’m proof that you may be able to get away with sending your transcripts in with little to no time left, try to give yourself a month of buffer just in case things don’t go as smoothly as they should. If your final transcript will be ready to send any later than August 19th or so, I’d advise that you not risk it.
 
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EngrSC

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Jul 25, 2012
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This is a silly question but we can send transcripts now even if we don’t plan to submit until August, yeah?
 
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blueheeler

c/o 2024 hopeful :o
Mar 31, 2019
26
41
21
This is a silly question but we can send transcripts now even if we don’t plan to submit until August, yeah?
I did last cycle, and it took my app around 3 days to be verified when I submitted in September.
 
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c0smopolitan

c/o 2024 hopeful
2+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2015
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Pre-Veterinary
I'm tossing & turning about applying to Minnesota & K-State due to having to take the GRE (something I've been largely trying to avoid). Does anyone know how much they weigh GRE in their decisions? Edit: I found a link for Minnesota talking about how they evaluate applicants, which was helpful but I'm still curious to know everyones thoughts as far as the weight it holds. I would also to be interested to know of any schools that don't weigh it very heavily. (Sorry, I realize this isn't specifically a VMCAS question).
 
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Dinashadow

Tufts c/o 2023
May 11, 2018
922
782
41
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'm tossing & turning about applying to Minnesota & K-State due to having to take the GRE (something I've been largely trying to avoid). Does anyone know how much they weigh GRE in their decisions? Edit: I found a link for Minnesota talking about how they evaluate applicants, which was helpful but I'm still curious to know everyones thoughts as far as the weight it holds. I would also to be interested to know of any schools that don't weigh it very heavily. (Sorry, I realize this isn't specifically a VMCAS question).
I applied to 6 schools including Minnesota. The 2 schools I was rejected from didn't require the GRE. I had a pretty average GPA but studied really hard and did well on the GRE. I think it can definitely help your grades look better but if you already have a solid GPA you could probably get away with an average GRE score.

There are quite a few schools that don't require it and it seems more schools are moving in that direction. Ohio state, VMCVM, and Michigan State are the 3 I can think of off the top of my head but there are more.
 
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Elkhart

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US/Canadian vet schools no longer requiring the GRE as of the c/o 2024 cycle:
- Florida
- Iowa State
- Michigan State
- Midwestern
- Mississippi State
- Ohio State
- Purdue
- VMCVM
- Calgary
- Guelph

Also, most of the accredited UK and Australian schools don’t seem to require it but Glasgow and Dublin at least will consider if it is submitted. RVC and Edinburgh still look like they require it for American applicants, at least from what I’ve found, but if that’s not true, I’m sure someone will correct me.

The two accredited Caribbean schools—SGU, Ross—still require it.

Sheesh, this reminds me that I need to get off of my lazy butt and finish getting my website back up. Haha.
 
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Red147

c/o 2024 hopeful
2+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2017
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Hope this isn't a dumb question but I am entering my grades into VMCAS and am getting a little tripped up over the subject line. Obviously things like Microbiology go under microbiology. But I took a class titled "Population Genetic and Ecology and Evolution" what would I classify that as? Biology or Genetics. Does the subject line matter that much, and does it mess up your transcript input if you don't do it correctly? I just don't want to get help up due to a subject misalignment.
 

Elkhart

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Hope this isn't a dumb question but I am entering my grades into VMCAS and am getting a little tripped up over the subject line. Obviously things like Microbiology go under microbiology. But I took a class titled "Population Genetic and Ecology and Evolution" what would I classify that as? Biology or Genetics. Does the subject line matter that much, and does it mess up your transcript input if you don't do it correctly? I just don't want to get help up due to a subject misalignment.
No worries. It’s not a huge deal if you don’t categorize it exactly; either of those options should be fine, methinks.
 
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blueheeler

c/o 2024 hopeful :o
Mar 31, 2019
26
41
21
I'm feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of essays I have to write for this cycle's application. :mad: I know I don't have to write them all at once, but it's still slightly freaking me out.
 
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ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'm feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of essays I have to write for this cycle's application. :mad: I know I don't have to write them all at once, but it's still slightly freaking me out.
It’s several essays, but they’re all very short. Around half a page per essay. So you’re more just writing several paragraphs. Don’t even look at all of them at once. Look at one, write it, and finish it. Then go to the next one. And the next one. By the end of it it’s like writing one high school essay that’s maybe 3 pages.
 

EngrSC

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I'm feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of essays I have to write for this cycle's application. :mad: I know I don't have to write them all at once, but it's still slightly freaking me out.
Same. And I’m suddenly feeling like my writing skills are inadequate.
 
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SkiOtter

c/o 2022
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Same. And I’m suddenly feeling like my writing skills are inadequate.
Don’t worry, my writing skills ARE inadequate and they let me in :rofl:
Usually there’s a thread of current students and vets who are willing to read and help edit essays! I don’t think it’s been started yet this year.
 

PetVet23

VMCVM c/o 2023!!!
Mar 5, 2019
39
82
31
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Same. And I’m suddenly feeling like my writing skills are inadequate.
Last year I applied to 6 schools and had a total of 13 essay questions, and apparently managed through them well enough to get multiple offers. My best advice- make lists!! I kept a running list of what I had to write for each school, made lists of talking points for each one, etc. to help me keep things organized. Just remember to take breaks so you don't get too frustrated with them, you've got this!!
 
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ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
In addition to what grebes said, if you write and keep your essays in a word editing program and not on the VMCAS website itself (which most people including my self did), make sure you remember that the essays are by character, not by word. So don’t write a 2,000 word essay on google docs and try to paste it into the section in VMCAS. It’ll get cut off wherever the character cutoff is. This happens to people every cycle and it’s always really annoying to be the one that that happens to. But it’s also a really easy mistake to make.
 
Jun 9, 2018
12
3
1
Kentucky
Hey, when inputting experience, it asks for "Current Experience? Yes/No". I have been trying to get a working definition for this. Is this ongoing experience or for experience that you have already completed?
 

ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hey, when inputting experience, it asks for "Current Experience? Yes/No". I have been trying to get a working definition for this. Is this ongoing experience or for experience that you have already completed?
Ongoing experience that you’re currently participating in.
 
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Dinashadow

Tufts c/o 2023
May 11, 2018
922
782
41
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I kept all of mine in google docs and shared with a bunch of friends who helped me edit and re-write and re-re-write them
Yes and google docs has an editing feature where people can suggest the edits and you have the ability to accept them or not which was super helpful

All my essays came out to 13 pages, it really sucked. I went to the coffee shop and drank an espresso and then word vomited onto the page. Then I fine tuned it later with the help of friends.
 

Fragaria

5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2013
24
2
91
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I have one course that doesn't have a subject that matches with what VMCAS provides. I read on the VMCAS FAQs that you should just pick the department its under but the department the course says its Arts & Sciences? So....do I put the subject as art...? Will VMCAS correct this once I go through the transcript verification process? ;^;
 

Elkhart

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I have one course that doesn't have a subject that matches with what VMCAS provides. I read on the VMCAS FAQs that you should just pick the department its under but the department the course says its Arts & Sciences? So....do I put the subject as art...? Will VMCAS correct this once I go through the transcript verification process? ;^;
What is the actual course title?

It’s really not a big deal either way, especially if it’s not an actual prerequisite for the school(s) you’re applying to; I would just go with whatever subject seems closest.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. :)
 

Fragaria

5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2013
24
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91
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What is the actual course name?

It’s really not a big deal either way; I would just go with whatever subject seems closest.
It was a weekend leadership course through the university so the course number was "UNIV 1315" and the actual name was just "Weekend Leadership". I'm not sure what subject seems closest, in all honesty :confused:
 

Elkhart

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It was a weekend leadership course through the university so the course number was "UNIV 1315" and the actual name was just "Weekend Leadership". I'm not sure what subject seems closest, in all honesty :confused:
Hmm. It’s honestly been so long since I applied that I don’t remember precisely what subjects are listed on VMCAS.

Maybe someone else can help you out with the specifics, but I vaguely remember there being some generic catch-all category for university experience/education/leadership type stuff. I don’t recall what it may have been called, though.
 

ajs513

PennVet c/o 2023
Feb 15, 2018
759
956
41
Philadelphia
Status
Pre-Veterinary
It was a weekend leadership course through the university so the course number was "UNIV 1315" and the actual name was just "Weekend Leadership". I'm not sure what subject seems closest, in all honesty :confused:
I took a leadership course and I think it was categorized as social sciences. If that rings a bell.
 

RahyneDays

C/O 2024 Hopeful | President UMKC Pre-Vet Club
Aug 7, 2018
82
78
31
Shawnee, Kansas
Status
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Odd question I am not seeing an answer for in previous threads. How would you go about describing 1.) participation in a symposium hosted by your college 2.) Hobbies. (I know hobbies are supposed to be listed under extracurricular but if its something you do for fun [ie amateur entomologist] what the heck would you put under "organization"?)