General Admission FAQs

1. How competitive is the applicant pool for veterinary school nationally, and at Illinois? Do you really need only a 2.75 GPA to be admitted at Illinois?
There are only 29 colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. Several thousand applicants vie for the approximately 2500+ seats available each year. Successful applicants demonstrate academic competency (especially in science course work), good problem-solving skills, able decision-making skills, capable interpersonal communication skills, skillful teamwork ability, experience with a variety of animal species and experience with veterinarians and/or scientists engaged in research.

Illinois accepts applications from students who have a minimum of a 2.75 cumulative and science GPA in their undergraduate studies. We generally have more than 500 applicants with a grade point average of a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher, so it is unlikely that someone with less than a 3.0 will receive serious consideration.

The competitive applicant at our college in recent years has had:

  • An average Cumulative GPA of 3.59
  • An average Science GPA of 3.49
  • An average GRE composite percentile of 63%
  • A wide variety of experience with both large and small animals
  • Experience working for several veterinarians (We do not specify a number of contact hours required for admission.)

2. Do Illinois residents have a better chance of being admitted?
Of the seats available through the admission process each year, 80% to 85% will go to Illinois residents, and the remainder to non-residents, who may come from a nearby state or from the far corners of the world.

For the 2013 entering class, 120 students will be accepted to the professional program leading to the DVM degree.

  • Approximately 80 Illinois residents
  • Approximately 40 non-residents

3. What undergraduate major should someone pursue to prepare for the study of veterinary medicine?
A large percentage of veterinary students have undergraduate majors in biology or animal science. But such a major is not required. Students who applied , and were accepted, have pursued majors in diverse areas of study including fine arts, English, business, etc. All competitive applicants, however, must demonstrate solid achievement in the mandatory science prerequisite courses.

4. Is there an advantage in taking more science courses than the minimum prerequisites?
The first two years of study in veterinary medicine consist of challenging science course work. A student will find it beneficial to have had as much science course work in their undergraduate studies as possible, especially biological sciences.

5. What types of veterinary experiences are expected?**
It is expected that a student will make every possible attempt to at least observe veterinarians in a variety of settings (large animal practice, small animal practice, research, wildlife/conservation work, etc.) to acquire an overview of what the profession is all about. There is no minimum hour amount of experience designated, but the Admissions Committee definitely wants to see a student articulate the learning they acquired in these experiences.

6. How much animal experience is necessary?**
We don’t indicate a requirement for animal experience in a specific number of hours. Students are encouraged to seek opportunities with as broad a spectrum of species as possible. It is the learning that comes from veterinary and animal experience that will be important to the Admissions Committee.

7. Are graduates of the University of Illinois favored for admission?
We encourage students to attend college at a fully accredited institution that provides a challenging curriculum in a setting where they are comfortable enough to become highly successful. Those who attend the University of Illinois are given no preferential treatment in the application process.

8. Should I be sure to complete a set “pre-veterinary curriculum” in order to be a more attractive applicant?
A “pre-veterinary curriculum” is usually designed to simply provide the courses that are the
required minimum prerequisites for admission. This may be very useful, but really is not
mandated in any way. Following the required prerequisites can provide the same guide for undergraduate choices as a student moves toward admission.

9. What electives I should take?
Suggested electives include anatomy, zoology, physiology, neuroanatomy or neurophysiology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, or nutrition.
**Those interested in becoming research veterinarians are encouraged to have some veterinary practice and animal experience as well. Ultimately, your studies for a DVM cover the breadth of biomedical education. Likewise, research experiences from all applicants are highly regarded.

VMCAS Application FAQs

1. When will the college let me know when my transcripts are received?
Applicants will need to verify receipt of transcripts with VMCAS.

2. How do I find the status page?
Your status page can be accessed at https://vetmed.illinois.edu/admissions/.  This site will provide you instructions to access your personal status page.

3. What will the status page tell me?
The status page will show you receipt of your supplemental application, transcripts received, letters of references, and selected Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores(s).  Please check this page for accuracy.  It will also show your designated science courses, your cumulative GPA and science GPA only after your transcripts have been evaluated.

4. What if I find an error in the status page?
If you believe there are errors in the information, please contact the Office of Academic and Student Affairs immediately at 217-265-0380.  All questions regarding GPA calculations need to be submitted by November 1.

5. How will I know that my application is complete?
Applicants will know by checking their individual status page.

6.  When will I hear if I get an interview?
You will not hear from the College until ALL applications have been evaluated by the Admission Advisory Committee.  This process is usually completed by the middle of January at which time invitations will be mailed to the highest ranking applicants.  Because final transcripts are not due until February 1 of the application cycle, invitations to interview will not include fall grades in the initial calculation of the grad-point averages.  After fall grade entry, remember that all requirements regarding grades and grade point averages continue to apply and affect your interview status.

8. When are interviews scheduled?
Interviews will be conducted in February.