Application & Requirements

The Application

All applicants must apply through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). The VMCAS application is available online *here* beginning in late January, the year before you intend to enroll. The deadline for the submission of applications and all application materials is generally mid-September and will be stated on the VMCAS website. The application deadline and other important dates for each cycle can be found at VMCAS Application Cycle Dates. 

To be considered for admission, in addition to meeting all academic, testing, and deadline requirements, an applicant must be in good standing at his/her current university, as well as at all colleges or universities he/she has attended. A student who has been dismissed from another college/school of veterinary medicine cannot be considered for admission to MSU CVM.

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Admissions FAQs

VMCAS Applicant Guide


Transcripts must be submitted to VMCAS from all institutions attended by the stated VMCAS deadline. This includes any high school/college dual credit coursework or AP/IB/CLEP credits. AP/IB/CLEP credits must either appear on your official college transcripts and be equivalent to the appropriate college-level coursework or your institution's Registrar's Office must provide us with an AP/IB Certification listing the AP/IB /CLEP credit and the equivalent college-level course it fulfilled. If AP/IB /CLEP credits are not listed on your official transcript, contact your institution's Registrar's Office to have an AP/IB /CLEP Certification sent to Exempted credits or waived requirements from an undergraduate institution will not be accepted for fulfilling prerequisite coursework. Credit hours must be awarded. 

Note: Mississippi State University recognizes the IB Program. Credit will be considered for the higher-level subject examinations with scores of 5, 6, or 7 pending approvals of the various colleges, schools, and major departments of the university. 

Failure to submit all transcripts could result in an incomplete application. If coursework from one institution is listed as "transfer coursework" from another institution, the official transcript from the transfer institution must be sent to VMCAS as well. 

Do not submit transcripts to MSU for the verification process. Transcripts sent directly to MSU CVM will not be evaluated as a part of your application. Late transcripts will not be accepted. 

If you are taking courses during the summer term, wait until summer grades are posted before sending transcripts to VMCAS. VMCAS will only verify your transcripts one time during the admissions cycle. To learn more about the verification process, click *here*.

Standardized Testing 

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE®) is not required for admission and will not be considered as part of the application process regardless if an applicant has submitted their score.

An applicant whose primary language is not English is required to submit either a TOEFL score or an IELTS score. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 iBT or an IELTS score of 6.5 is required to be considered for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. The results of this test should be submitted using MSU's institutional code 1480.

Candidates from Puerto Rico and English-speaking Canadian territories are not required to submit test results. Applicants that have completed their undergraduate or graduate degree within the US (prior to submission of their application) also do not have to submit English language test results.

Supplemental Application Processing Fee

In addition to the VMCAS application, MSU CVM requires a non-refundable $60 supplemental application processing fee. This application fee is a required portion of your application, and your application will not be reviewed until we have received payment. Within 24 hours of selecting Mississippi State University in the VMCAS portal applicants will receive an email from with instructions on how to pay their supplemental application fee. If you do not receive an email from us within 24 hours of selecting Mississippi State University in VMCAS, please email and inform us at

Entrance Requirements

A student and doctor examine a cat

Academic Requirements

A minimum overall GPA of 3.00 is required to be eligible for the MSU DVM program. 

Applicants must have no more than 3 science or math prerequisite courses that are without grades at the time they submit their application.

Prerequisite courses taken during the fall semester when the application is due are included in this requirement as those courses will be without final grades at that time. Labs associated with a course are excluded. For example, if Microbiology lab is separate from the lecture course, the lab will not count as 1 missing prerequisite course for the purposes of this requirement.

If an applicant has not taken 6 hours of upper-level science or math course work within the previous 5 years (to application submission), the student must update their coursework by completing 6 semester hours of upper-level science or math course work (within the previous 5 years) by the time they submit their application.

Upper-level science elective courses refer to junior, senior, and/or graduate level courses that are typically numbered 300/3000, 4000, or higher.

Prerequisite courses in which a grade lower than a C- was earned must be repeated (not in progress) before the application is submitted. In addition, a grade lower than a C- cannot be made in a prerequisite course from the submission of the application to matriculation into the program 

Applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to submitting their application may waive the following prerequisites: Writing and Humanities/Social-Behavioral Science/Fine Arts.

In light of many colleges and universities offering alternative grading options for the spring 2020 term as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, satisfactory and passing grades for prerequisite classes taken only during the spring 2020 term will be accepted.

Following our normal protocol, any student making an unsatisfactory grade in a prerequisite class must successfully complete a retake of the class (with a grade of C- or higher, passing, or satisfactory) prior to submitting their application through VMCAS. Prerequisite courses that received satisfactory and passing grades other than during the spring 2020 term must have a grade that can be obtained for the course(s). Otherwise, the prerequisite course(s) will need to be repeated.

Course Requirements

All prerequisite courses must be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to matriculation and cannot be taken during a Maymester or summer term of matriculation year. Please note the academic year at MSU CVM for first-year students begins mid to late June.

The courses that are listed below are examples of courses offered by MSU and may vary at your institution. Applicants with questions regarding the course(s) taken or offered at their undergraduate institution that satisfy the prerequisites should complete the prerequisite substitution/fulfillment form and email it to This form should also be used for repeated courses that are not titled the same as the original course. 

If your institution uses a different course numbering system, please submit a prerequisite substitution form including an example course and all university course numbering documentation (i.e., transcript key, course catalog/bulletin, departmental website with course numbering system).

Prerequisite Substitution/Fulfillment Form

We require the prerequisites listed below for entry into our DVM program. The same course cannot be used to satisfy two prerequisite requirements. MSU CVM accepts courses from accredited colleges or universities (verified by VMCAS) to fulfill prerequisites and to calculate GPAs. Currently, courses from an accredited institution may be in-person or online.

Writing - 3 semester hours

English Composition or Composition and Rhetoric

MSU Examples: 

Humanities, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts - 15 semester hours

Any combination of courses in the below categories such as:

  • Humanities
    • FLS 1113 Spanish I 
    • HI 1063 Early US History
    • PHI 1103 Introduction to Philosophy
    • REL 3213 World Religions I
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • AN 1103 Introduction to Anthropology
    • EC 2113 Principles of Macroeconomics
    • PSY 1013 General Psychology
    • SO 1003 Introduction to Sociology
  • Fine Arts
    • ARC 1013 Architectural Appreciation
    • ART 1023 Art History II
    • PSS 2343 Floral Design
    • MU 1103 African American Music

A list of what MSU considers Humanities, Social/Behavioral Sciences, and Fine Arts can be found here.

Math - 6 semester hours

College algebra or higher. Intermediate algebra is not accepted. 

MSU Examples:

Courses outside of a mathematics department may be used to fulfill this requirement if the institution in which the course was taken states the course can be used to fulfil a math requirement.  

Biology I and Biology II - 8 semester hours*

Biological science introductory courses with labs for pre-professional science majors. *Students on the quarter system are required to complete a 3-quarter sequence in biology.

MSU Examples:

Microbiology - 4 semester hours

Microbiology course with lab for science majors.

MSU Examples 

Chemistry I and Chemistry II - 8 semester hours*

General chemistry courses with labs for pre-professional science majors. *Students on the quarter system are required to complete a 3-quarter sequence in chemistry. 

MSU Examples

Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry II - 8 semester hours*

Organic chemistry courses with labs for pre-professional science majors. *Students on the quarter system are required to complete a 3-quarter sequence in organic chemistry. 

MSU Examples

Biochemistry - 3 semester hours

Biochemistry courses taken at the junior or senior level (3000 or 4000).

MSU Examples

Physics I and Physics II - 6 semester hours

Physics courses may be trigonometry-based or calculus-based. Labs are not required.

MSU Examples

Upper Level Science/Math - 6 semester hours

Upper-level science elective courses refer to junior-, senior-, and/or graduate-level courses. Seminars, labs not associated with a course, internships, clinical rotations, research electives, capstones, thesis hours, management, and study abroad courses cannot be used to fulfill this requirement. Candidates are encouraged to complete the Prerequisite Substitution/Fulfillment form to determine if a course fulfills a MSU CVM prerequisite requirement. Course numbering is determined by each institution. MSU CVM follows the institutional guidelines in which the course was completed.

Course subjects that will be accepted at the upper-level are as follows: 

· Anatomy 
· Analytical Chemistry 
· Cell biology 
· Genetics 
· Herpetology 
· Histology 
· Ichthyology 
· Immunology 
· Mammalogy 
· Nutrition 
· Ornithology 
· Parasitology 
· Physiology 
· Reproduction

Applicants with questions regarding the course(s) taken or offered at their undergraduate institution that satisfy the prerequisites should complete the Prerequisite Substitution/Fulfillment form and email it to

Students on the Quarter System

Students on the quarter system are required to complete a 3-quarter sequence in biology, chemistry and organic chemistry.

Non-Academic Requirements

The MSU CVM Admissions Committee considers non-academic qualities in the initial review of applications to select candidates for interviews. The committee seeks to admit students who will succeed not only in the classroom, but also in clinical and research settings, and ultimately, in the profession. Letters of recommendation and veterinary experience are both required components of the MSU CVM admissions process. Other experiences that are reviewed and evaluated by the admissions committee include animal and research experience, extracurriculars, community service, employment history, leadership, awards, and achievements. 

It is highly recommended that applicants are thorough when completing the experience portion of the VMCAS application as MSU CVM values all of these experiences gained throughout an applicants' high school and undergraduate career.

Letters of Recommendation

Three electronic letters of recommendation (eLORs) are required as a part of the admissions process. The VMCAS application allows each applicant to submit up to 6 names and email addresses of evaluators. At least one of the three references must be a veterinarian who is listed in one of your experience categories (i.e., shadowing, working, classroom, or laboratory). Family members cannot be used as evaluators. 

We recommend entering your references as soon as possible to allow them ample time to complete your eLOR. References are strongly encouraged to provide a letter of recommendation that is reflective of the required rubric evaluation completed on behalf of the applicant. Supplying detailed information related to the rubric characteristics is highly beneficial. The rubric characteristics can be found *here*. 

Within MSU’s supplemental application, an applicant will identify the three references they prefer the admissions committee to review. The admissions committee reserves the right to read other recommendations beyond the three listed, if needed. Letters must be submitted electronically to VMCAS (not MSU CVM) by the VMCAS deadline which can be found at VMCAS Application Cycle Dates. No recommendations will be accepted after this deadline. 

Recommendation tips: 

  • Choose individuals who know you well enough to elaborate on your experience, motivation and dedication. 
  • Submit additional references beyond the three required in the case that a reference fails to complete their evaluation by the deadline. 
  • Follow up with your references to be sure they have correctly submitted the materials to VMCAS prior to the deadline. 
  • Check your VMCAS portal to determine if your references have submitted the necessary materials. 

Animal Experience

The admissions committee highly recommends applicants gain animal experience of good quality and diversity as it is part of the admissions evaluation process. It is important to track and log any animal experience you gain throughout your high school and undergraduate career. Animal experience comes from a variety of sources but must include the care for animals or the husbandry of animals. Examples of animal experience can include but are not limited to work or volunteer hours at a humane society/shelter, kennel technician, showing animals with 4H, a groomer, a farm, or stable. Companion animal ownership can be documented as animals experience only under special circumstances such as management of diseases or injuries requiring medications or rehabilitation under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Veterinary Experience

Experience under the supervision of a veterinarian is a required component of the MSU CVM application. This includes working, volunteering, or shadowing with veterinarians directly; engaging in their day-to-day communications and procedures alongside them. Applicants should track and log all experiences gained. The Admissions Committee stresses the importance of gaining quality veterinary experience hours that reflect the vast array of career opportunities available to you as a veterinarian. Applicants should be active participants in these hours. This is often seen through hands-on interaction but can also be accomplished through quality knowledge of experiences where hands-on learning was not possible. Though the admissions committee does not have a set quantity of veterinary hours of experience, applicants are encouraged to gain quality and diverse hours of experience and descriptively demonstrate these within their application.

Research Experience

The admissions committee highly recommends applicants gain research experience as it is a part of the admissions evaluation process. Participating in research can lead applicants to discover specialty areas within veterinary medicine; providing a broader understanding of the profession. Research experience provides students with problem-solving skills that are essential in the veterinary field. It is important to explain your research which can be clinical, field, or lab-based research experience, including whether the experience provided an opportunity to present or publish your findings. The research does not have to be veterinary, or animal related to be added to this section.

Employment (Not Animal Related)

Employment is an additional experience category that the admissions committee will review. Paid employment can further highlight positive non-academic characteristics and values of an applicant. This section should include any paid position an applicant has held since high school that does not involve working with a veterinarian, research, or working with animals as this information should be added to those designated areas. Applicants should include paid positions in retail, offices (student worker), restaurants/fast food, childcare, schools (or tutoring), paid coaching, etc.

Extracurricular/Volunteer/Leadership Experience/Awards and Achievements

Veterinarians are expected to be contributors and leaders in their communities. Students aspiring to become veterinarians should start early in their high school and college careers, building a record of service, leadership and involvement through student clubs, civic organizations and outreach projects. The admissions committee highly recommends applicants gain these types of experiences as it is a part of the admissions evaluation process. Leadership is a non-academic evaluation criterion that can be seen throughout an application. Applicants should place either leadership positions or leadership experiences within the appropriate VMCAS category.


These activities offer opportunities for students to learn the values of teamwork, individual and group responsibility, competition, diversity, and a sense of culture and community. Applicants should include sports/intramurals, clubs, honor societies, committees, community activities, social activities, fraternities/sororities, certifications, and hobbies. If you were involved in these activities in a leadership role, please include this information within your description. Some extracurriculars such as sororities and clubs, may provide members with chances to gain community service/volunteer hours. In these situations, applicants are encouraged to separate the time dedicated to the volunteer activities from the primary extracurricular activity.

Volunteer (Not Animal Related)

These experiences offer essential help to worthwhile causes, people in need, and the wider community. Applicants should include times in which they served others or their community in capacities such as fundraisers (autism awareness, cancer research, food drive, school supply drive, etc.), tutoring (free), Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother/Big Sister, and beach or park clean up. Applicants involved in these activities in a leadership role should include this information within the description. Some extracurriculars such as sororities and clubs, may provide members with chances to gain community service/volunteer hours. In these situations, applicants are encouraged to separate the time dedicated to the volunteer activities from the primary extracurricular activity.

Awards and Achievements

This section highlights your work ethic, commitment, and dedication. These may include awards, honors, special distinctions (Eagle Scout/Girl Scout Gold Award, sport accolades, etc.), dean’s list, honor societies, scholarships, certifications, and other notable achievements, which the applicant should provide a detailed description of each.

Personal Statement 

The one-page essay should provide the Admissions Committee with a clear picture of the applicant’s reasons for choosing a career in veterinary medicine and the reasons the applicant is a good candidate for veterinary school. It is important to include details that will differentiate one applicant from another while avoiding repeating information that is included in other parts of the application. The essay should convey the applicant’s passion for veterinary medicine and incorporate information that demonstrates character, ideals and aspirations through a conversational tone. Essays should be original, thoughtful and well written and include the applicant’s career goals and their contributions to the profession.

Please contact the Office of Admissions and Student Success by phone at 662-325-1418 or email at  

The following information is subject to change at the discretion of the CVM Admissions Committee: Entrance Requirements, Selection of the Class, and Timeline.