What experience do I need for veterinary school?

Experience working under the direction of a veterinarian, working directly with animals and/or working in a research setting long has been a valued qualification for veterinary school applicants. The weight given to experience has waxed and waned over time, and varies from school to school. VMCAS asks all applicants to report experience hours, specifying the type of experience, on their application.


Presently, many programs are reducing their required number of hours, or not specifying a set number. Nevertheless, all schools consider experience (type and quality counts, as well) when evaluating a candidate’s overall fit for their program. Even as minimum expected hours are decreasing or eliminated, schools do still take experience under consideration and many students log more than 1,000 hours before they apply to veterinary school.

Many other factors should go into choosing your veterinary school.

  • Do you want to be close to home, live somewhere new or is location not a deciding factor for you?
  • Is the focus of the school — research programs, emphasis on production medicine, flexible curriculum, etc. – important to you?
  • Is instruction primarily lecture or problem based learning?
  • Are the class sizes relatively large or small? Learn more.
  • Are clinical rotations onsite or will you be sent to local veterinary clinics for clinical training?

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One response to “What experience do I need for veterinary school?”

  1. […] about the VIN News Service’s findings at News.Vin.com. Another great VIN resource is this interactive map of veterinary school experience requirements and […]

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