Early Entry Vet school

Hey! I am a rising senior in high school, and I will be applying to all 4 early entry vet school programs. I was wondering what kind of stats your son had applying to the programs? I have 200+ vet shadowing hours, 500+ animal care hours (doggy daycare work), and I am in the top 3% of my class of 500. I would love a realistic look at what is needed to be accepted into one of these programs.

Hey there! He had approximately 500 hours as a CVA (including the training with the vet to get certified) in small animal and equine, about 1000+ animal hours playing polo, polocrosse, teaching horseback and caring for the animals. He was only top 12% of his class of 800 (didn’t go to that school until Sophomore year - transferred from private to public school - and that hurt him). His ACT was not that great either (low end of what is accepted for the programs. What helped him was that he had a lot of people experience (summer camp counselor, volunteer at a hospice) working with people under stressful circumstances. They really liked that. Plus he interviews really well which was a plus to the programs that did interviews. The programs are even more competitive than they were the year he got in but are really nice. He was really happy to be able to only take the classes that were prerequisites or he felt would help him in vet school, go to vet school after 3 years but still get his BS when he completed his second year of vet school, and have time to work hard to have very high grades and still have a life. It helped him to go into vet school without being burnt out! He is in his 4th year of vet school now doing his clinical year preparing for the NAVLE and to apply for internships through the Match. It is a long road and is hard but very rewarding! He has changed his specialty several times since he started undergrad. First he wanted to be an equine surgeon, then a SA surgeon, then a cardiologist but has finally settled on radiology. Good luck!

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When my daughter was applying to undergraduate programs I think that she was already interested in veterinary medicine, but had not completely decided to become a DVM. She therefore did not do direct entry. She did attend a university that has a good pre-vet program, and participate in their CREAM program (which was very helpful). Just as importantly she stuck to the budget so she did not need to take on any debt at all for her bachelor’s degree.

Since she did not apply to DVM programs until a couple of years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree (to start 3 years after her bachelor’s), the amount of experience that she had with animals was understandably much, much greater. However, she had a LOT of experience. This included working at a summer camp where kids get to interact with animals, working on several farms (mostly with large animals), doggy day care, working with veterinarians, assisting on animal surgeries, helping out in a roadside veterinary emergency, and more. This ran into thousands of hours. She and I both think that her experience and associated references was a huge part of what got her accepted to several very good DVM programs (of course we do not really know for sure).

However, as a current high school student you just have not had the time to put in as many hours. It sounds as if what you have done is very good given how young you are. It also sounds like you probably have more veterinary-related experience than my daughter had at the same time in her life.

“Top 3%” of your class is in fact higher than my daughter was. To me this is likely to be fine.

Based on what I have seen watching a DVM student from some distance but with a lot of interest, to me you will need to be academically strong. However, the two things that to me seem really important are being very sure that you want to go into veterinary medicine, and having the determination to stick with it. You will be bitten. You will be pooped on and peed on. You will see animals die, including some very beautiful and deeply loved animals. There will be some days where the work is long, goes into the evening or even night time. [In one case for my daughter an emergency went to 3 am – they saved a horse. Many other cases did not work out this well.] Quite a few of the classes will be very demanding, and you will be studying a LOT. This is all part of becoming a DVM. So is getting a series of rabies vaccinations before you even start the DVM program (or at least this was required for my daughter).

I think that the more experience that you have the better. Then you apply and see what happens. You also should of course apply to normal bachelor’s programs, preferably at universities that are affordable and that have good pre-vet programs (which in terms of classes will overlap a great deal with premed classes).

My daughter’s experience is somewhat different than @momocarly’s son, but I think that there are some similarities also. My daughter’s ranking in high school was about the same. She also had a lot of experience with horses. Both people and animal experience helped a lot. She also had plenty of large animal experience. She also finds it to be a lot of work and very rewarding.

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The average college student changes their major at least twice before deciding on what to major in. I wouldn’t put all your eggs in that basket right now because there’s an almost 100% chance you’ll change your mind later. Instead choose a healthy list of affordable schools that have flexibility for you to explore. You can always apply to a DVM program in college if that truly is your passion. But you might find out you like nursing, or hotel/restaurant management. There’s nothing more miserable than being stuck in the wrong career. I’ve been through that :slight_smile:

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Thank you everyone who replied!! I wanted to share some updates now that school has started. The first is that the vet I am shadowing is now training me to be a vet tech. I’ll be shadowing twice a week this entire school year, plus even more during breaks. I’ll be drawing blood, restraining animals, doing fecals, expressing anal glands, etc. I’m super excited about this opportunity, and after shadowing for an entire summer already I feel positive that I want to pursue a career as a vet. My only concern applying to these programs is my academics. I got a 29 on the act, but plan to retake and aiming for a 32-33. I have an unweighted gpa of 3.77, barely above the required gpa. My weighted gpa is a 4.5. I also don’t have a super strong science and math background, I’m in my fourth year of biology (bio I honors, anatomy and phys, two years of ib bio HL including a research paper) but have only taken chemistry besides that. As for math, I’ve done up to calculus, which I am taking this year. I also no longer work at the doggy daycare as they no longer employ high schoolers…but I plan on volunteering each weekend at an animal shelter. I also run two clubs, a Save the Bees club that raised $700 last year, and the Interact Club, the high school branch of Rotary that does monthly community service. I’m very involved, attending rotary leadership camps and going to district conferences. I also ran our French Club last year, and I’m taking French 5 this year. I’m also involved in choir and orchestra, my orchestra won state last year and my choir placed 4th! I’m honestly worried most about my academics, so if anyone has some wisdom to share that would be greatly appreciated. I’m hoping my experience in the vet field and confidence in my choice to enter the field will carry my application far.


My son only had a 29 on his ACT, a little higher GPA but not a ton. He was a CVA and worked at a vet clinic and then after his senior year he worked for a horse vet. He wan’t in any clubs, played interscholastic polo, worked at a summer camp all summers each year teaching riding, caring for the horses and living with the 6 - 7 year olds in their cabin. He also volunteered at a hospice. He was accepted into the early admit program at Kansas State, went 3 years undergrad, has a 4.0 so far through 3 years undergrad and 3+ years of veterinary school. It is doable. They really liked he had people experience as well as animal experience and knew what he was getting into academically, emotionally and financially. He changed areas of emphasis a few times and that is perfectly ok. It wouldn’t hurt to try!

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This is impressive.

When my daughter started her DVM program, at the welcome ceremony, multiple speakers emphasized that “C’s get degrees”. She hasn’t had any C’s yet, but a few B’s involved a lot of hard work and a lot of prep for the final to pull a C up to be a B. She has gotten stronger over her 2 years so far of the DVM program. I think that a lot of hard work is a big part of the reason. She feels that working in a large animal drop in clinic has helped her grades – some of the issues that they discuss in class or that show up on exams are things that she has seen in the clinic.

This is good.

This reminds me of why I was a math major instead. :wink: The willingness to dive into this stuff is just as important as academic strength.

Did you take or are you about to take any physics? I am pretty sure that physics was one of the courses that my daughter was required to take before applying to at least some DVM programs (not that I could explain why it would be needed).

This was my daughter’s experience as well. Every animal comes with a human, and you need to deal with both. Having both large and small animal experience helped my daughter. She has the determination that is needed, has shown the ability to deal with the messy parts (including some animal deaths), and we have figured out how to get her to graduation without an unpleasant amount of debt. She also understands that while DVMs get a decent salary, it is not at a level that offsets the many years of hard work that is needed to get there.

@Audrey511 To me it looks like you are doing very well. I cannot predict whether you will get into an early entry program. However, if you stick with it and if you can find a way to afford the required education it sounds to me like you have a good chance to be “Dr Audrey” in a few years.

Hi! I am unsure if you need anymore info on early entry program acceptance, but I am currently an early entry student at msu. I am a junior in college. My acceptance may have been a little different than yours because I applied during covid, but I can say that you stats are looking good. If you want anymore info, feel free to ask