Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQs - Admissions


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Prospective student

 

DVM Admissions

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
S2-009 Schurman Hall
Ithaca, NY  14853

P: (607) 253-3766
F: (607) 253-3709
vet_admissions@cornell.edu

Prospective Students

 

Prerequisite Course Questions
GRE/MCAT Questions
College Transcript Questions
Animal, Veterinary, Biomedical Research Experience Questions
Post Baccalaureate Students

 

PREREQUISITE COURSE QUESTIONS  

What if I have a course that is similar to one of the prerequisite courses, but does not have the same course title?
When is the Prerequisite Substitution Form due?
What if one of my courses does not have a lab experience?
What if my college only offers Biochemistry for 3 semester credits?
What should I do if I received AP credit for English and did not have to take any English in my undergraduate degree program?
Do Animal Science courses satisfy prerequisite courses?
Do the Physics courses need to be calculus based?
If I meet the minimum quarter credit requirements in two quarters, do I need to take the third quarter?
How many prerequisite course credits can I lack at the time of application?
Do I need to be an Animal Science or Biology major to gain admission to Cornell's Veterinary Medical College?

What if I have a course that is similar to one of the prerequisite courses, but does not have the same course title?

You can complete the prerequisite substitution form and provide additional information about the course, such as the course description, the course syllabi, or a letter from the faculty member outlining how the course meets our requirements.  The Prerequisite Substitution Form can be found on our web site at:   Prerequisite Substitution Form
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When is the Prerequisite Substitution Form due?

We recommend you have the form into our office by September 15th of the application cycle.  However, we will consider forms after that date with the understanding there may be a lag in time providing an answer.
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What if one of my courses does not have a lab experience?

We require a laboratory experience for all our science courses with the exception of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (lab not required, but highly recommended).  If your college does not offer a lab experience for one of our required courses you might consider one of the following options:

  1. Explain to the faculty member that a lab is required for your veterinary college preparation and ask if they would do an independent lab with you for 1 or 2 credits;
  2. See if one of the surrounding colleges offers the course.  Often colleges have cross-registration with the neighboring colleges and you can take the course for no extra charge;
  3. Look for a lab experience at a local college or at a college during the semester or in the summer;
  4. See if there is a summer course that includes a lab at a college near your home.

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What if my college only offers Biochemistry for 3 semester credits?

You can make up one credit (and not more than one credit) by the following options:

Recommended deadline for Prerequisite Substitution Forms is September 15th

We accept AP for Chemistry & Physics with a score of 4 or higher

You can apply lacking up to 12 credits of prerequisite course work

We recommend prerequisite courses be under 10 years old

Cadesus

  1. Take a Biochemistry lab (or ask the faculty member if they would do an independent study lab for 1 credit;
  2. Take Biochemistry II;
  3. Often Organic Chemistry is offered for 4 credits.  If your Organic Chemistry was worth more than our minimum required 3 credits we can use one of the extra credits.

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What should I do if I received AP credit for English and did not have to take any English in my undergraduate degree program?

You will still need English courses for our prerequisite course requirements.  You can consider taking a writing course in the English department (for example creative writing) or submit a prerequisite substitution form for a course you have taken that is writing concentrated.  The course must be either listed as a “writing concentrated” course or the syllabus must indicate 50% or more of the final grade was based on written work.  The second course under the English requirement can be satisfied by an English Literature course or a Public Speaking course.  You can also satisfy this requirement by scoring a 650/163 or higher on the verbal GRE.
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Do Animal Science courses satisfy prerequisite courses?

The prerequisite courses should be in the basic science disciplines.  For example, General Biology I and II should be taken in the “Biology” department at your college or university. 
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Do the Physics courses need to be calculus based?

The Physics courses do not need to be calculus based.  However, if you have taken calculus (or will be taking it in your degree program) and can take the calculus based physics, it will be noted and strengthen your application.
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If I meet the minimum quarter credit requirements in two quarters, do I need to take the third quarter?

Yes, you will need the third quarter to meet the full requirement.  Note that you will need to meet all of the requirements listed.  For example, for General Chemistry I and II we require a FULL YEAR, for minimally 9 QUARTER CREDITS, with LABORATORY experiences.  The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that you are preparing for a challenging medical curriculum.  With that in mind you want the best and most complete preparation you can gain to be successful if offered admission.
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How many prerequisite course credits can I lack at the time of application?

You can lack up to 12 credits of prerequisite course credits at the time of application.  You should have Organic Chemistry (or at the very least one semester) completed at the time of application.
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Do I need to be an Animal Science or Biology major to gain admission to Cornell's Veterinary Medical College?

We don't require any specific major when preparing to apply to Cornell.  You will need to make sure that the major you choose allows enough electives to gain the 10 prerequisite science courses.
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GRE/MCAT QUESTIONS

We require the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the GREs

Does Cornell consider any other part of the GRE's (example analytical)?
How old can my GRE's or MCAT's be?
Can I send you a copy of my GRE or MCAT scores?

Does Cornell consider any other part of the GRE's (example analytical)?

No, Cornell only takes into consideration the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the GRE's.
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How old can my GRE's or MCAT's be?

We require GRE scores and MCAT scores to be not older than 5 years.
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Can I send you a copy of my GRE or MCAT scores?

We require all scores to be sent to us directly from ETS or AAMC. 
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COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT QUESTIONS

Official Transcripts need to come directly from your college registrar to VMCAS.

We strongly recommend you have 400 hours in veterinary medicine and minimally one evaluation from a veterinarian

To explore ways to strengthen your future application, review our admissions formula:

  • 25% Overall GPA
  • 25% GRE Scores
  • 5% Quality of Academic Program
  • 20% Animal, Veterinary, Biomedical Research Experiences
  • 10% Noncognitive Skills
  • 10% All Other Achievements
  • 5% Personal Statement

Should I gather up all my college transcripts and send them to you in one envelope?
What if all my courses transferred to one of my colleges, do I still need to have both transcripts sent?
If I took courses in high school but they were through a college, should I have that transcript sent?

Should I gather up all my college transcripts and send them to you in one envelope?

We require all college transcripts to be sent to VMCAS directly from the college registrar.  Please contact each college's registrar's office to have these transcripts sent to VMCAS. 
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What if all my courses transferred to one of my colleges, do I still need to have both transcripts sent?

Yes, we need official transcripts from ALL colleges attended, whether courses transferred to another college or not.  This will allow us to evaluate all your college work from the original college where the courses were taken.
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If I took courses in high school but they were through a college, should I have that transcript sent?

Yes, you will have a transcript with that college and we will need the official transcript from that college (not the high school transcript).  Even if this was for one or two courses we will need the official college transcript.
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ANIMAL/VETERINARY/BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH EXPERIENCE QUESTIONS

Research experience is valued on an application

admissions

Will you consider experiences that I list on the VMCAS application in which I don't have letters of evaluation?
What if I worked with more than one veterinarian during an experience and want them both to provide evaluations?
Can I list an experience that is only 10 or 20 hours?
Is research experience required?
How can I strengthen my preparation for a future application?

Will you consider experiences that I list on the VMCAS application in which I don't have letters of evaluation?

Yes, we consider all the information you provide on your applications.  We give more consideration to those experiences that are listed on the Cornell Supplemental Application because the letters of evaluation provide more insight into the experience and your performance.
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What if I worked with more than one veterinarian during an experience and want them both to provide evaluations?

You are welcome to provide more than one evaluation for an experience as long as you divide the hours of the experience up between then them.  For example, if you worked 600 hours in the practice, you will want to divide that 600 hours up between the veterinarians and not list 600 hours twice (looking as if you worked 1200 hours if all your experiences were added together).
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Can I list an experience that is only 10 or 20 hours?

Yes, you can list the experience on the VMCAS and if you can obtain a letter of evaluation for the experience, then you can also list on the Cornell Supplemental application.  Note experiences that are for a short duration of time will not allow the evaluator to be able to write much and so seeking opportunities that will allow for more experience will strengthen your application.
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Is research experience required?

Research experience is valued, but not required.
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How can I strengthen my preparation for a future application?

If you take a look at the Admissions Formula, you will be able to see where you have certain strengths and where you might seek to strengthen your background.

You are encouraged to attend an Admissions Presentation on campus or should there be one offered at a location near you.  Dates, time and locations of the presentations can be found at: Presentations and Tours

You are also welcome to set up a time either on the phone or in person to talk with the Director of Admissions about your background and ways you can strengthen your preparation for a future application.  Phone and in-person appointments can be set up by calling (607)253-3700.
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POST-BACCALAUREATE APPLICANT QUESTIONS 

As a reapplicant, you need to complete both the VMCAS and Cornell Supplemental applications

As a post-baccalaureate student, do I need to retake courses older than 10 years?
Does it matter if a I go through a Post-Baccalaureate program or just take the courses on my own at a college?

As a post-baccalaureate student, do I need to retake courses older than 10 years?

We recommend courses not be older than 10 years.  In some cases you will want to retake the specific courses (for example organic chemistry, biochemistry, or an Advanced Life Science course).  In other cases you could take high level courses in the subject areas (for example, take higher level biology courses with labs instead of completing general biology again).
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Does it matter if a I go through a Post-Baccalaureate program or just take the courses on my own at a college?

We don't place an emphasis on one method of gaining your prerequisite courses.  Post-bac programs are often easier to navigate with specific advising from someone at the college.  Taking the courses on your own at a four-year college is also an option many take for the flexibility.
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