September 12, 2001, the PVMA held its second meeting of the year in room #151 of the Chemistry building at 8pm. The meeting opened with announcements of the assistant chairpersons for the social, service, and publicity committees. These people can be contacted through the chairperson for each committee (which are listed in the pink brochure).
Elizabeth Snow, social chairman, reminded us all of the Chewacla play day this Saturday
Lauren Sims, service chairman, announced contact information for the nation tragedy that occurred Sept. 11th.
After announcements, Dr. Angarano from the AUCVM spoke on what
we are all most interested in....getting into vet. school. (The
paraphrasing of what she said.) First of all, there are two ways to
vet. school. If you are a Alabama or Kentucky resident you can pick up
have mailed to you an in-house application, which is due October 1st.
are an out-of-state student, you should go to
www.aavmc.org and apply
through the VMCAS (Veterinary Medicine College Application Service).
With this you can apply to multiple vet. schools, although there is a
each school applied to. [If you have problems getting on the web page
contact Kaye Storey of the academic affairs office of AUCVM.]
In addition to the application, you also need to have ALL your transcripts sent to the AUCVM and get 3 letters of recommendation in sealed/signed envelopes. All this information is included in the applications packet.
Also, there is a book in the COSAM office entitled Veterinary Medicine School Admissions Requirements which might be helpful, as well as the AUCVM website which can be reached from a link off the prevet homepage.
Dr. Angarano also listed statistics from this past year's class. They are as follows:
She also told us that it does not matter what your major is as long as you meet the requirements and choose the track that has the most options for you if you do not get accepted into vet. school. You can apply as soon as you finish the required course work before June 15th of the summer before the fall that you want to enter vet. school. A handout was given of the Pre-Vet. curriculum requirements and GPA calculations were discussed.
There are 4 different GPA's:
1. You have an overall GPA which includes every class, every attempt, everywhere you took classes. (average for this year: 3.53) She stressed that EVERY GRADE is important!
2. You also have your science only GPA which covers only your best attempts at all the sciences. (average for this year: 3.48)
3. Next, you have your organic chemistry and physics GPA to be calculated. (average for this year: 3.32)
4. Finally, they look at your "trend" from your last year's worth of work or your last 30 hours. They like to see 16 to 18 hours per semester with a 3.5 GPA or better.
Your course load and GRE scores together with the above make up 50% of the score for your application. (average GRE for this year: quantitative and verbal= 1103; will mix and match your best scores but less than 1000 total is bad and less than 400 in either section is bad). Visit www.gre.org for more information on the GRE.
The other 50% of your application score is the non-academic portion such as your work experience, letters of recommendation, essays, interview, etc.
The admissions committee is split up into 3 sub-committees; one for AL, one for KY, and one for the At-large applicants; so actually you are only competing with students in from your category. Although the interview is just a piece of the application, it is something we all wonder about. Dr. Angarano told us that the committee uses the interview to finalize their view of you. They are looking for maturity, understanding of the profession, work experience, etc. They do not interview all applicants because they feel this may give false hope to some. They do interview all the first time applicants and only the second time applicants who interest them. If you are a second time applicant you need to be sure you are working on the things that were suggest to you in your post- interview review. Don't lose hope if you are a second time applicant; every year each class is made up of approximately one-third of second time applicants.
As far as experience goes, there isn't a set amount that you must have, but you should have enough that you understand what you are getting into. Two weeks, for example, would not be long enough though. Also, they like to see large and small animal experience, occasionally even research experience. When you graduate from vet. school, you will be licensed to work on any animal not just horses or only small animals, so they want you to be exposed to all sides of veterinary medicine.
BE HONEST on your application! It is not in your favor to exaggerate any portion of it. Explain anything that you feel would make a apparent weak point seem more understandable (i.e. a "W" on your transcript).
Your schedule when you get into vet. school will be heavily loaded with hours. For example, when you are a freshman vet. student you will be required to take a 20 hour load (that's actually 34 hours of contact) not to mention studying for all those classes! A typical freshman vet. student is in class 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday (with an hour lunch break). One class that Dr. Angarano suggested that one should try to take as an undergrad. is cell biology because it will help you when you get into vet. school.
Finally, the job market for veterinarians now is huge! The average base salary is $41,795 but increases and varies from veterinarian to veterinarian. The average student debt for vet. school students is $49,660, but they are trying to look into lowering that number over time.
This, along with many, many questions from PVMA members concluded our second meeting. Our next meeting will be held in Upchurch Hall room 203 at 8pm. The topic for the meeting will be pet assisted therapy.