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Early Acceptance Program for veterinary medicine

dora-dogdora-dog Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
edited September 2012 in Pre-Vet & Veterinary Medicine
I'm a high school senior and am interested in becoming a veterinarian. I got accepted to Early Entry Program of Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, but now, I'm worried how good this program actually is. The level of undergraduate school itself of MSU seems pretty low and I'm beginning to think that maybe it would be better to go to highly ranked undergraduate school and then apply to vet schools. I know so far that University of Missouri is another school I can apply to right now to be considered as an applicant for early acceptance program for vet, but does anyone know if the schools I go for early entry program matter? (like in finding jobs..) Would it be better to apply to Missouri too? Or do you think that MSU's early entry program is sufficient in becoming a vet?
Post edited by dora-dog on

Replies to: Early Acceptance Program for veterinary medicine

  • Dad_of_3Dad_of_3 Registered User Posts: 2,067 Senior Member
    d-d, thanks for starting this thread. I would like opinions from the others of the early admission programs - MS, MO, Kansas, etc. BTW, OP are you an MS resident or is this not an issue for the early acceptance program? Would also be interested in your stats - am assuming it's significantly higher than those of an average person accepted at MS state.
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    My daughter is a graduating senior at Kansas State University and will be continuing on to vet school at K-State. She has been in the early admission program for K-State's vet school since the fall of her freshman year. I don't know a great deal about MSU's program, but my daughter would tell you that it's difficult to get into K-State's early admission program and more difficult to stay in the program once you've been admitted. My daughter's early admit class had 22 students who were chosen from several hundred applicants. At the admission ceremony, the dean for admissions at the vet school told us that the early admit students as a group have high school gpas and standardized test scores that put them in the top 5% of K-State's freshman class. At the time of her application, my daughter had a solid "A" average and scored in the 98th percentile on the ACT. The application process was rigorous (very detailed written application, academic transcripts and test scores, a written summary of all animal related work experience and hours worked, two academic references, one reference from a veterinarian and a formal interview with the vet school admissions committee). Once in the program, the early admission candidates must maintain a minimum 3.4 overall GPA and complete all of the required prerequisite courses for vet school, which includes many "weed out" hard science classes, and with no grade lower than a C. My daughter worked very hard to gain admission to the program and to stay in it for all four years -- about 1/3 of her class "washed out" along the way. Given that K-State's vet school receives more than 1,200 applications for 108 slots in the entering class, I would say that my daughter earned her seat and then some. OP, if you are hesitant about the quality of MSU's program, I suggest that you speak to some of the former early admit candidates who are now enrolled at MSU's vet school. They will certainly be in the best position to give you an informed opinion about the quality of the program, their employment prospects, etc. If you have specific questions about the early admission program at K-State, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to get the answers for you.
  • Dad_of_3Dad_of_3 Registered User Posts: 2,067 Senior Member
    Congrats gbesq - you're raised a great child. The 1/3 attrition rate is very sobering. Do they, for the most part, manage to get in somewhere else, or do the majority just find another career track?

    My D2 isn't anything in the caliber of your daughter - top 15%, 3.8 unweighted, SAT taken last fall just below MS early entry req, but she's planning to boost it in June with a year's prep.

    Hypothetically if she were to be accepted in the MS early entry program for 2012, in your opinion, would you consider it better to go there versus somewhere like Penn State which has a good animal sciences dept, but with absolutely no guarantee three years down to any Vet school? Also, do you know anything about Canadian schools - are they any easier than getting into an out-of-state US school (I'm talking regular post-BS admission), and are the credentialing obstacles any better than with the Caribbean track?

    D1, coincidentally, was in a similar position as OP but with med school, and decided against a 7 year program which she felt was a third tier track, choosing to go to a highly rated pre-med school, and finds herself with a marginal MCAT score with no guarantees.
  • dora-dogdora-dog Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    gbesq, thank you for the great advice. I think I will try to get in contact with some of the former early admit candidates. I have been googling about this early entry program at MSU and the employment rate of early admit candidates after graduation, but it seems there is not much information about it.

    Dad_of_3, no I am not a resident of Mississippi. In fact, I live in north-eastern state, so I don't know much about the south. I am concerned about both the quality of this program and the campus life since I am unfamiliar with Mississippi. I have 3.9 GPA unweighted and 2200 (highest-seciton scores) on SAT.
  • dora-dogdora-dog Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    gbesq, I forgot to ask you one thing. I saw on K-state's early admission website that the interview was a part of admission process. Do you know what kinds of questions the interviewers asked?? I'm curious because University of Missouri also requires interview for finalists.
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    dora-dog and Dad_of_3,

    I'm going to try to address both of your posts in one response. Let me begin by telling you some things that I've learned about the vet school admissions process over the last five years. You may have heard that it's more difficult to gain admission to vet school than it is to gain admission to medical school. That's true. Although applicants to veterinary school and medical school have similar academic profiles, there are more than 160 accredited medical schools in the United States -- and only 28 accredited colleges of veterinary medicine. This fact underscores my first point: it doesn't matter how you get into vet school, whether by the traditional application route or via an early admission program, as long as you get in. As such, dora-dog, you should not take for granted the significant advantage that you've already gained over the rest of the vet school applicant pool by being admitted to MSU's early admission program. MSU's vet school is an accredited institution. If you attend MSU's DVM program, do well, and pass the NAVLE (North American Veterinary Licensing Examination), you're going to get a good job.

    Second point: You will not necessarily enhance your chances of getting into vet school by going to a "better" (i.e., Ivy League or similarly elite) undergraduate institution. Remember that veterinary medicine has its roots in agricultural education -- taking care of animals on the farm. As such, nearly all of the 28 U.S. vet schools are located at state universities which are "land grant" institutions under the Morrill Act -- the exceptions being the vet schools at Cornell (which is private, but which also has a land grant affiliation), Tufts, the University of Pennsylvania and the Western University of Health Sciences. So, given that the majority of the vet schools are located at the state "land grant" universities, it stands to reason that the best preveterinary education and advising are also found at these universities, most often in the undergraduate animal science program (the most common major for vet school applicants) which is usually offered through the university's college of agriculture. A state land grant university with an animal science program and a vet school will also give you opportunities for animal related work experience and research at the undergraduate level that isn't available elsewhere.

    Third point: The evaluation of candidates for admission to vet school really comes down to five factors: overall undergraduate gpa; undergraduate science gpa; GRE scores; animal related work experience and/or research; and state of residence. With regard to GPA and vet school admission, it is much better to achieve a high GPA from a good school than to achieve an average GPA from an elite school. Your GRE score is going to be more or less the same no matter what undergraduate institution you attend -- and you should remember that some of the early admission programs do not require you to take the GRE if you successfully complete all of the prerequisite courses for vet school. As I noted above, you are more likely to get opportunities for animal related work experience and research at a land grant university than at an elite institution. Finally, the last factor in vet school admission -- and it's a big one -- is your state of residence. Vet school applicants fall into one of three categories: resident applicants (meaning that you are a resident of the state in which the vet school to which you are applying is located); contract applicants (which means that you are not a resident of the state in which the vet school to which you are applying is located, but your "home" state "contracts" with that vet school for a few seats that are reserved for residents of your state); and "at large" applicants (i.e., everybody else). Most vet schools allocate somewhere between 75% and 95% of their seats for resident and contract applicants, which puts at large applicants at a huge disadvantage. Let's take a look, for example, at the admission statistics posted for the 2010 entering class at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine: 1,756 applicants, 139 admitted. Of those 139, 76 were from Colorado, 31 were from 8 states with which CSU-Vetmed contracts, and the remaining 32 were at large applicants. So your chances of being admitted to CSU-Vetmed as an at large applicant were about 1.8%. dora-dog, this is another reason that you should take your early admission offer to MSU seriously -- you've bypassed the "resident vs. at-large" hurdle that most traditional applicants to vet school have to deal with. Response continued on my next post . . .
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    Now, with regard to your specific questions:

    dora-dog: The ultimate question that you have to ask yourself is this: if you decide to attend MSU and it should happen that you do not complete the early admission program -- for whatever reason -- would you still be happy attending MSU as an undergraduate? If the answer to that question is no, then seriously revisit your options. I asked that same question of my daughter (she also applied to Missouri's early admission program) and her answer was yes -- she has loved being at K-State and would have found another path there even if the door to vet school had closed. As for the interview process, my daughter was interviewed by three members of the vet school faculty at K-State. The interview took about an hour and she described it as formal, but friendly. She was asked questions about her academic preparation, her animal related work experience and research, her reasons for wanting to attend K-State (she was coming more than 1,500 miles from Connecticut) and various other questions about veterinary medicine. I do remember that she was asked at least one question about medical ethics as well as an open-ended "tell us about yourself" sort of question. Response continued on my next post . . .
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    Dad_of_3: Some of those who wash out of the early admission program still apply to vet school by the traditional route; others find another career path. For the reasons noted in my post -- and subject to the caveats that I gave to dora-dog -- my opinion is that your D would be better off accepting a position in an early admission program than going to a "better" undergraduate school for animal science without a conditional guarantee of vet school admission. As for Canadian/European vet schools, my understanding is that they aren't much easier to get into than U.S. vet schools and they can be quite expensive. Most of them are accredited and are members of the AAVMC, however, so graduates of those schools are able to practice in the U.S. I would be very cautious about Caribbean schools (e.g., Ross) -- there are differing opinions about the quality of the education received from Caribbean institutions, they are expensive, and there can be problems with obtaining credentials to practice in the U.S. with a degree from a Caribbean institution.

    If either of you have additional questions, feel free to post or to PM me. Good luck.
  • dora-dogdora-dog Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    gbesq, sorry it's been a while to reply to your post, but would you be able to ask your daughter what K-state's early admission program for vet was like? I know it would be different from that of MSU, but I'm curious as to how rigorous the program actually is, and how much time must be spent for this program along with regular undergraduate study. I would like to know in detail what sort of experiences she was able to gain.
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member

    Each early admission candidate at K-State's vet school is assigned a faculty mentor and a student mentor. The student mentor is usually a third year vet student who is available to answer questions about the vet school experience, provide advice regarding undergraduate course selection and inform the early admission candidate about special shadowing opportunities (e.g., participating in clincial rounds). Typically, the faculty mentor is chosen based upon the candidate's areas of interest in veterinary medicine. In my daughter's case, she conducted research under the supervision of her faculty mentor (a professor in the department of pathobiology) and she participated in a food safety and security research consortium affiliated with the federal Department of Homeland Security. At K-State, the vet school sponsors a monthly meeting for the early admission candidates and there is usually a speaker, a presentation or an event of some kind that relates to an issue or topic in veterinary medicine. Other than a requirement that the early admission candidates complete 6-8 semester hours of undergraduate course work in an area that relates to their interest in veterinary medicine, I don't believe that K-State's early admission program has any other requirements of its candidates other than maintaining a minimum gpa of 3.4 and successfully completing all prerequisite undergraduate courses for admission to the vet school. I hope this answers your question.
  • dora-dogdora-dog Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    Thank you so much!
  • SusieQ13SusieQ13 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Hi- I am a new poster. This thread has been very helpful and thanks to all of you who have posted here. Some previous poster have suggested contacting previous early admit vet school undergrads re: their experiences at their respective early admit programs. I am wondering how you'd locate them. Surely, they could be an invaluable resource. One other question particularly re: K-State. Has any out of state resident been able to obtain in state status in Kansas for tuition purposes and if so, what has the process been? Thanks!
  • dvmsaradvmsara Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I can't answer the questions about the K-state early admin program, but as for gaining residence: at most schools, it is nearly impossible to gain residency while in school. Most require that you live and work in the state for one year as a NON-student. I believe one of the only shortcuts is to marry an in-state resident (go for it, lol!).
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member

    My daughter graduated from K-State this month and will be entering the college of veterinary medicine in the fall of 2012. She is an early admission candidate. If you would like me to put you in touch with her, please pm me and I'll give you her contact information. As for gaining in-state residency for tuition purposes, dvmsara is correct that most states (Kansas included) will require you to reside continuously in-state for at least 12 months for a purpose OTHER than being a student. There are many additional requirements as well. If you do a search on K-State's website for "guidelines for resident classification" or something similar, you'll find a publication that will provide you with all the relevant information.
  • Dad_of_3Dad_of_3 Registered User Posts: 2,067 Senior Member
    Bumping this old thread with a question on timing. DD and I were looking at several programs that offered Early Acceptance. Some of them, like Purdue, Colorado, and Missouri seem to have programs where you apply first to a pre-vet major and then file a second application to the vet school to get a direct acceptance. However, the deadlines for the latter application are quite late - like April or May of the year before starting college, and some even have an interview.

    How does this work logistically? Wouldn't the student have to commit to one school before these decisions come out and pull the applications from the others, thereby risking accepting a school where she is rejected for the Vet program while pulling out of one where she would have got in? How can one keep the application live till all the early acceptance vet decisions come out?
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