- Veterinary Medical College Application Service
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is a centralized application service for students applying to
veterinary school. [Lori R. Kogan and Sherry L. McConnell, "Gaining Acceptance Into Veterinary School: A Review of Medical and Veterinary Admissions Policies and Practices," "Journal of Veterinary Medical Education," Winter 2001.] Created by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges(AAVMC) in 1995, VMCAS handles applications for most of the veterinary schools in the United States, as well as several in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealandand Australia.Robert E. Swope, "Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine Careers," 1st ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN 0658010557]
Participation in VMCAS
As of April 2007,
Tufts University, Texas A&M University, and Tuskegee Universitydo not use VMCAS at all. Additionally, the University of Missouriand Oklahoma State Universitypartially participate in that they only require non-residents to use VMCAS, and Washington State Universitypartially participates in that it does not require anyone to use VMCAS. [ [http://www.aavmc.org/vmcas/documents/AAVMCMemberSchoolChartupdated2007_000.pdf AAVMC General Information Chart] ] The list of veterinary schools using VMCAS changes over time, as does the degree to which a school may utilize VMCAS.
VMCAS is the primary source of information on the veterinary medical school applicant pool in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. [Daniel R. Ilgen, James W. Lloyd, Frederick P. Morgeson, Michael D. Johnson, Christopher J. Meyer, and Michael Marrinan, "Personal Characteristics, Knowledge of the Veterinary Profession, and Influences on Career Choice Among Students in the Veterinary School Applicant Pool," "Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association," December 1, 2003.]
The VMCAS process
Applicants fill out an online application, which is submitted to VMCAS. The application and accompanying materials pass through a quality inspection cycle and are forwarded to the colleges of veterinary medicine selected by the students. The centralized process considerably lightens student workloads since they may only have to submit one application rather than several.Mary Price Lee and Richard Lee, "Opportunities in Animal and Pet Care Careers," 1st ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN 0658010433] However, many of the schools using VMCAS may require applicants to submit supplemental applications in addition to the VMCAS application. Colleges also may require that some documents, like transcripts (for example) be sent to them directly.
The application cycle typically opens in March of each year. Students and advisors can go to the [https://www.vmcas.org VMCAS Web site] or the [http://www.aavmc.org/ American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Web site] to find out more about the process and how it works. These Web sites will also have information about the schools using VMCAS, and information about schools that do not participate in the VMCAS application.
The "Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements" (VMSAR) book also contains admission requirements and contact information for all 32 U.S. and Canadian veterinary schools, the University of Glascow, and the University of Edinburgh. [ [http://www.aavmc.org/vmcas/VMSAR_publications.htm AAVMC | VMCAS | VMSAR Publication] ] A new edition is published every year.
VMCAS and its host organization, AAVMC, have undertaken several initiatives to increase the number of applicants to veterinary school. Applications to veterinary colleges using VMCAS remained flat over the 2002-03 to 2003-04 application cycles while other medical professions experienced 5 to 8 percent growth in applications. Colleges participating in VMCAS generally receive only two applications for every available student slot. [Phillip Nelson, "Diversity: A Professional Imperative," "Journal of Veterinary Medical Education," Winter 2004, p. 404.]
At least one group of scholars conclude that VMCAS should begin assessing non-technical competencies and including this assessment in the application process. [James W. Lloyd, Lonnie J. King, Jeffrey S. Klausner and Donna Harris, "National Workshop on Core Competencies for Success in the Veterinary Profession," "Journal of Veterinary Medical Education," Fall 2003.]
* [http://www.aavmc.org American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Web site]
* [https://www.vmcas.org VMCAS Web site]
* [http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/ About the "Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements" (VMSAR). Purdue University Press.]
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