"Keep track of the hours of experience you gain, and ask each supervisor for a letter of recommendation from each experience you list on your Cornell Supplemental Application."
Prerequisite courses are in the subject areas of English, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
A bachelors degree is not required. A minimum of 90 semester credits is required to enter our DVM degree program.
"Subscribing to the free electronic Pre-Vet Newsletter is a great way to stay current and up to date on what is happening at in the admissions process."
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
S2-009 Schurman Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
P: (607) 253-3700
F: (607) 253-3709
High School Students
Is veterinary medicine right for me?
Students interested in veterinary medicine should have an interest in animals, science, learning, and academics. Additionally, it is recommended students take their studies seriously. Veterinary college is an intense program with thousands of college students applying to only 28 veterinary colleges in the country.
What courses should I take in high school?
Take all college preparatory courses in all major subjects especially biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, trigonometry, statistics, environmental/earth science and English. Also important are computer science, history, and languages. Take all at the highest level your high school offers. New York State students should earn a NYS Regents Diploma.
Is veterinary experience important?
Yes, you should start at an early age working or volunteering for a veterinarian, zoo, or local shelter. Try to work with many animal species and not just cats and dogs. Keep track of the hours of experience you gain, and ask each supervisor for a letter of recommendation from each experience you list on your Cornell Supplemental Application.
When can I enter veterinary college?
Admitted applicants must have at least 90 semester credits (the equivalent of three years of full time study) of undergraduate course work prior to entering our Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. You can apply as early as the end of your sophomore year in college (with 60 semester credits).
How do I choose an undergraduate college?
Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Take your time and research your choices. Use a college guide and apply to the most competitive colleges into which you believe you can gain acceptance. Your undergraduate preparation is critical to your success in gaining admission and doing well in our DVM curriculum.
When you apply for admissions to veterinary college we will assign points to the college you attended and compare your college to the colleges of other applicants. Cornell tends to take its students from the most competitive colleges. We measure the competitiveness of a college based on “Peterson's Guide to Four Year Colleges” entrance ranking system.
What should I study in college?
Any major is acceptable, so choose one you enjoy, but your major must allow you to take many science courses during your college program. Most veterinary colleges require 10-12 college science courses.
What college courses are required?
We require the following sequence of courses:
English Composition and Literature
Biology(or Zoology) I and II with labs *
General Chemistry I and II with labs *
Organic Chemistry I and II with labs *
General Physics I and II with labs
Calculus (recommended, not required)
Biochemistry (half-year; lab recommended, but not required; 4 semester credits)
Microbiology with lab (half year; 3 semester credits)
* If on the quarter system, you will need 3 quarters
Since we require three chemistry courses, it is important to begin chemistry in your first year of college. So, try to take as many chemistry courses as your high school offers to be well prepared for college chemistry. All science courses should include labs (with the exception of biochemistry where it is recommended, not required).
When may I apply to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program?
You can apply as early as the end of your sophomore year provided you the appropriate number of prerequisite courses completed and a minimum of 60 semester credits. The applications are available online starting in June with deadlines in October.
Highly qualified students may apply in the spring of their second year of college under our Early Acceptance Program to the DVM degree program after the completion of their third year of college. This is a separate application porcess that runs from March 1st to June 1st.
How does Cornell evaluate applications to the DVM degree program?
Veterinary medical education requires strong abilities; 50 percent of the total admissions evaluation is given for academic achievement and aptitude. The following is the Admissions Formula:
25% College Grade Point Average
25% Graduate Record Exam (Verbal & Quantitative)
5% Quality of the Academic Program
(a challenging curriculum, full course load)
5% Personal Essay
20% Experience working with animals and with the veterinary profession
10% Non-Cognitive Skills
10% All other achievements (community involvement; non-academic interests, abilities; personal characteristics such as reliability, honesty, and dedication to service)
Can I visit the College of Veterinary Medicine and learn more about how to prepare for a future application?
We host an Admissions Presentations and Tour one Friday afternoon a month from March to November. The presentation is roughly an hour, with the tour guided by a current DVM student that lasts typically 45 minutes to an hour. Information about upcoming presentations and tours can be found on our web site at www.vet.cornell.edu/admissions.
The College also hosts an Open House each year, typically the second Saturday in April. This is a day long opportunity to attend lectures, go through species exhibits, watch different demonstrations, and attend an admissions presentation. This day is free and open to the public. Information about the Open House each year can be found on our web site after the first of the year at www.vet.cornell.edu.
How can I keep up to date about admissions requirements and any possible changes?
Subscribing to the free electronic Pre-Vet Newsletter is a great way to stay current and up to date on what is happening in the admissions process. This newsletter typically comes out once a semester and once during the summer. To subscribe to the Pre-Vet Newsletter go to www.vet.cornell.edu/admissions and click on the link for the newsletter.