Student Selection Criteria

The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee strives to select applicants who: 1) have a high probability of successfully completing the professional program, 2) possess the qualities deemed valuable in a veterinarian, 3) have a varied knowledge of the veterinary profession, and 4) contribute to the cultural, geographic, professional, and economic diversity of the student body and the profession.

1) Likelihood of academic success in the veterinary curriculum

An applicant's academic history is carefully assessed with the objective of answering the question, "Does the applicant's past academic performance generate confidence in his/her ability to succeed in the veterinary curriculum?" To answer this question, the following factors are taken into consideration:

  • GPA: Applicants are evaluated on their undergraduate and graduate grades. A minimum GPA is not required. The average GPA of admitted students is approximately 3.60. Performance in science and prerequisite courses is carefully reviewed.
  • Quantity and quality of upper division science courses and student's performance in these courses.
  • Academic credit load: Students who have taken heavy course loads (i.e., 15 or more credits per term) and performed well are likely to be better prepared for the veterinary curriculum, which averages 17-21 credits per term.
  • Test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Work and/or family demands during school
  • Obstacles overcome: Special circumstances, disadvantages, and adverse situations that an applicant has overcome during his/her lifetime are considered. If an applicant adequately demonstrates that these obstacles, including learning disabilities, have been overcome, the influence on his/her past poor performance may be minimized.

2) Demonstration of qualities deemed valuable in a veterinarian

The Admissions Committee strives to select candidates who are likely to demonstrate the following qualities in their future veterinary careers:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Maturity
  • Motivation
  • Civic and community-mindedness
  • Diversity of interests and activities
  • Leadership in student and/or community organization
  • Scientific inquisitiveness and analytical skills

To select candidates who are likely to have these qualities, the VMCAS and supplemental applications are evaluated together with the applicant's letters of recommendation. These attributes are also evaluated during the interview (for Oregon residents only). During the admissions evaluation process, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to view and consider any publicly available information pertaining to applicants. This information may include, but is not limited to, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

3) Knowledge of the veterinary profession

Applicants should have exposure to and an understanding of the veterinary profession. The following areas are assessed:

  • Veterinary experience: Veterinary experience may include working or volunteering in research laboratories, clinical practice, animal shelters, zoos, animal rehabilitation facilities, or public health, regulatory, or industrial settings. The quantity, quality, and diversity of experiences are important.
  • Other animal-related experiences are also evaluated, including raising and caring for different species of animals.
  • Recommendations from those who know the applicant in an educational or work environment.
  • Knowledge of the varied roles of veterinarians in the scientific community and in society.
  • The applicant's potential to contribute in a unique or diverse fashion to the profession is also considered.

4) Contribution to the cultural, geographic, professional, and economic diversity of the student body and the profession

The Admissions Committee and faculty recognize the value of a diverse student body. Applicants from diverse backgrounds may bring unique perspectives and enrich the veterinary educational experience as well as the profession. Therefore, the Admissions Committee seeks to accept applicants from a variety of ethnic, educational or social backgrounds that may be underrepresented in the veterinary profession. Each applicant is evaluated in terms of his/her stated background and professional goals in light of current and projected future needs of the veterinary profession. The Admissions Committee is wholly committed to the non-discrimination policy of Oregon State University in all of its admissions procedures.