uc davis vet school requirements

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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Minimum Requirements

In order to be considered for admission into the School of Veterinary Medicine, all submitted applications must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 2.5 GPA or higher
  • 180 veterinary experience hours
  • Three professional recommendations with at least one from a veterinarian
  • Successful completion of the required prerequisites (courses must have a grade of C and higher; a C- will not be accepted)
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university

Please note that these are the minimum requirements and competitive applications have substantially higher GPAs and experience. International applicants have additional requirements.

Grade Point Averages (GPA)

A minimum grade point average of 2.50 (on a 4-point scale, A=4) is required for admission. Two GPAs are used to calculate an application’s initial ranking:

  1. Overall science GPA (includes all science courses as deemed by VMCAS)
  2. Most recent 45 semester/68 quarter units GPA (includes any graded courses taken within these parameters including but not limited to undergraduate, graduate, or prerequisite courses)

Though the cumulative (all courses taken) GPA is not factored into an application’s initial ranking, it may be considered as part of the holistic review process. Please review our Application Process & Timeline for more details on the application evaluation process.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

All applicants are required to take the GRE which includes the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. Though only the quantitative score is factored into an application’s initial ranking, the verbal and analytical writing sections may be considered as part of the holistic review process. 

If the GRE is taken more than once, the highest score will be used. It must be taken within a five-year period prior to applying to veterinary school. No scores from before August 31, 2015 will be accepted for the 2020-2021 application cycle. The GRE must be taken no later than August 31 of the year the application is submitted. Examinations taken after this deadline will not be accepted for consideration in the year the application is filed.

Important Note

Due to public health concerns, ETS is now temporarily offering a Test at Home option. 

Do not send official GRE score reports directly to UC Davis or UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Any reports sent here cannot be retrieved nor attached to an application in any way and a new report will need to be ordered and sent directly to VMCAS.

It is highly recommended that applicants take the GRE well before the final deadline of August 31. This allows for additional time to re-take the test if necessary and avoids last-minute complications and delays with official score reports. 

*ETS is temporarily offering a Test at Home option. 

Ordering official score reports

All GRE score reports must be electronically delivered from ETS to VMCAS using the UC Davis school code 4804. VMCAS accepts scores when their application window opens and until September 15.  Do not send score reports directly to UC Davis. It takes time for ETS to process scores and score report requests and for VMCAS to process the reports. Do not wait until the last minute to request reports. If your scores are not received by VMCAS by the September 15 deadline, your application will be incomplete and will not be considered for admission.

Veterinary Experience

A minimum of 180 hours of veterinary experience are required by the application deadline (September 15 of current application year) to have your application considered for admission; however, admitted applicants have an average of 1,475 hours of quality “hands-on” experience in the veterinary field. You are expected to have a realistic and appropriate perspective of the responsibilities of the veterinary profession. Your experience may come from a job or volunteer service. You may acquire experience by working with veterinarians in private practice, farms, ranches, animal shelters, zoos, aquaria, etc.
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) explains the difference between veterinary experience and animal experience on their VMCAS Helpdesk page in the Experiences Section. 

Please note that online “experience” will not count toward veterinary or animal experience hours.

Letters of Recommendation (eLOR)

Applicants must submit at least three eLORs as part of their VMCAS application (refer to VMCAS instructions for more information). VMCAS will accept more than three evaluations; however, we will only consider three. At least one eLOR must be from a veterinarian. The remaining eLORS may be written by veterinarians, professors, researchers, or others who can attest to the applicant’s knowledge of veterinary medicine and/or academic abilities.

Once the application has been verified by VMCAS, we will email instructions to set up the applicant portal for the UC Davis Supplemental Application. There, the three recommendations wished to be considered will be indicated. We will calculate a composite score of the three eLORS by using the ratings the evaluators provided on the eLOR evaluation. The composite score will be factored with GPAs and GRE scores to rank the applicant pool for invitations to interview (MMI process). 

NOTE: Applications without at least one eLOR from a veterinarian do not meet the minimum application requirements and will not be considered for admission.

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Interviews will be conducted using the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) technique. The MMI is a series of short, structured interviews used to assess personal traits/qualities. Each mini interview provides a candidate with a few minutes to read a question/scenario and mentally prepare before entering the interview room. Upon entering, the candidate has several minutes of dialogue with one interviewer/assessor/rater (or, in some cases, a third party as the interviewer/assessor observes). At the conclusion of the interview, the interviewer/assessor has a few minutes to evaluate while the candidate moves to the next scenario. This pattern is repeated through a circuit of 10 stations.

The MMI was derived from the well-known OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) used by many medical programs to assess a student’s application of clinical skills and knowledge. However, the MMI does not test knowledge of veterinary medicine but rather personal attributes such as communication skills and ability to work as part of a team, ethical and critical decision-making abilities, and behaviors important to being a veterinarian such as empathy, honesty, and reliability.

Approximately 240 applicants will be invited to the in-person MMIs conducted on the UC Davis, which take place in early December. MMIs are mandatory for consideration of admission and cannot be conducted remotely. 

International Applicants

International applicants must submit their applications through VMCAS, meet the above criteria for admission, and meet the additional requirements as stated below: 


All international applicants must have a four year bachelor’s degree and are not eligible to begin the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program directly out of high school. A bachelor’s degree must be completed prior to matriculation.

Foreign Veterinary Graduate?

Graduates of foreign, non-AVMA accredited veterinary programs wishing to practice veterinary medicine in the U.S. may complete an educational equivalency assessment certification program through the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG).

Language Proficiency

Non-native English speaking applicants must take the ib-TOEFL test unless they received a bachelor’s degree from an English speaking university in the U.S. The minimum acceptable score is 105. The TOEFL test must be taken by August 31 and scores must be sent to school code 4834 by September 15.


All international transcripts must be evaluated by the World Education Service (WES) www.wes.org and the report must be received by VMCAS no later than September 15.  


While we offer a variety of funding for students, there is no specific funding for international students. If offered admission, international students must provide evidence of the first year of living and tuition expenses before an I-20 is granted. International students can expect to pay approximately $51,000-57,000 per year (subject to change) in tuition and registration fees for the duration of the program (4 years). This amount does not include housing and living expenses.

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