2+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2017
Hello! I am a 18 y/o girl in Wisconsin, and I am applying to vet school in the next cycle. Im sure many of you know vet school applications for next cycle (class of 2026) open tomorrow (Yay!!), so I figured I would see if anyone has any recommendations for me as far as improving my applications. I will be applying to UW Madison (#1 school), UMN Twin Cities, Michigan State and RVC. It is my first cycle applying, so I am not familiar with the process, but I figured if I get an early start I should be able to perfect my applications. I am non-traditional in the sense that I am a freshman this year, so spring 2021 is my 2nd official college semester. After this semester I will have 63 credits, and I am planning on taking 9 credits in the summer to meet UW Madisons limit on in progress classes the year of applying. That said, I will be applying without a bachelors degree; I know a degree is recommended, but I feel like other aspects of my application are sufficient enough that I won't need it. I have worked hard to get where I am, and many of the veterinarians I work with think I have a good plan in place. Feel free to ask questions if you have any... now on to the technical stuff.

Cumulative GPA: 4.0
science GPA: 4.0
last 45: 4.0. (so far I have gotten a 4.0 in all classes)

Any degrees achieved: n/a

GRE results: I have yet to take the GRE, but am planning on taking it in March of spring break

Veterinary Experience:
1. 346 Hours as an Emergency Veterinary Assistant at a Small Animal Referral Center (small animals & exotics) - ongoing
2. 510 Hours at various small animal clinics working as a veterinary assistant - ongoing
3. 32 hour internship at a small animal clinic

Animal Experience:
1. 44 hours volunteering at a animal shelter
2. 688 hours working in a boarding facility
3. 9 hours volunteering with a horse trail-riding business (continuing in the summer)
4. 336 hours dog sitting
4. Owned animals all my life as well, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, lizards, and rodents

Research Experience:
- 200 hours research writing on various organic chemistry-based topics

- Fund for Wisconsin Scholars Grant
- 2020-2021 Academic Innovative Scholarship
- Ojo-Dor Scholarship
- Local Lions Club Scholarship

- 2020 Wi Yes! Competition Winner

- RHAA housing representative (1 yr)
- American Fisheries Society (1 yr)
- Student Association for Management (1 yr)
- Pre-Vet Club (1 yr)
- Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society (1 yr)

- Emergency/Critical Care Veterinary Assistant (full time) - ongoing
- Veterinary Assistant in 2 general practices (full time in one during the summer, part time at both during school year) -ongoing
- Web Developer for a Construction business for a summer (previous)


U of I c/o 2021
7+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2013
Perpetual state of disarray
Status (Visible)
  1. Veterinary Student
I know a degree is recommended, but I feel like other aspects of my application are sufficient enough that I won't need it
So, overall, having a bachelor's degree is more about having a backup in case vet school doesn't work out more than it helps your application. Granted, you'll only have had two years of college when you'll receive admissions decisions, so that would be plenty of time to continue towards a bachelor's degree if necessary. On that note, I highly recommend majoring in what you would use if you were to never become a veterinarian since we don't know what your current major is or what your current backup plan is. Had I not gotten into veterinary school, my biology degree was going to be completely useless and I wish I had picked a different major in hindsight.
now on to the technical stuff.
So. From a technical standpoint, you have good grades and decent experience. You check a lot of application boxes. A few things to keep in mind (and I have a feeling these things are already on your radar):

1. Your age. No sense in beating around the bush. You'd be *young* for the average vet school class, which seems to actually be getting older. Out of the entire application pool, applying at the age of 18 to 19 (through the application process) make you an outlier due to your age. That's not to say its immediately a disadvantage, but it very well may catch people's eye when reviewing your application. There are certainly young people with great life experiences that will make them an asset to a vet school class. You will have to convey this in your essays, letters of recommendations, and interviews if you get that far. You will want to show that you are emotionally and mentally ready for the rigors of vet school.

2. You currently have a 4.0 for your first semester of college and you'll want to continue that trend. The next statement will be based on assumptions on my part. I started college with 29 credits due to AP courses, but none of those had a grade. So while I technically finished my freshman year with 61 credits, only 32 of those were graded. Had one of those semesters gone badly, my GPA would have had very little cushion credits-wise and would have dropped like a stone. I'm assuming you are in a similar boat since you will finish your freshman year with 63 credits. So next semester, you'll want to keep up on those grades to avoid having to dig yourself out of a hole. Same goes for your sophomore year, in case you need to reapply. That's not to say you need a perfect 4.0 by any means. But the better your grades, the better you'll be able to show admissions committees you can handle vet school.

3. This is something I tell every pre-vet. Normally, people come here are later on in their academic career and it's after they've submitted or are getting ready to submit. But this is definitely something much better said for someone in your position. When you apply, assume you are rejected and will have to reapply until you receive a rejection letter. Applications are due in September and a lot of schools don't release acceptances until December to March (my school hasn't even sent interview invites yet for this cycle for perspective). So if you submit in September and don't hear a rejection/waitlist decision till March, that is 6 months that could be spent improving your application. So even after you submit your application, continue to improve yourself and your application just in case you have to reapply. Vet school admissions are getting more and more competitive and the applicant to available seat ratio is 2.0 for the most recent first year class. That means 50% of people who apply do not go to vet school. Further, 80ish% of applicants every year are first time applicants. So it is an urban vet med myth that most people are accepted in their 2nd or 3rd cycle.

Overall, you have a solid start. You really just need to nail your essays, letters, and interviews, and keep doing what you're doing.
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