Your grade point average (GPA) is an important part of your veterinary school application. But just how high does your GPA have to be? And what if your GPA isn’t high enough?
The answers to these questions can vary significantly between the different veterinarian schools, but let’s take a look at the statistics and then discuss ways you can improve your application. Even if you have a lower GPA than the average veterinary student.
Mean GPA for Individual Veterinary Schools: Class of 2025
At the time of writing this post, there are 33 schools or colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States. You can find a full list on AVMA’s website. Per AAVMC’s statistics, these schools graduate about 3,200 students each year (so about 100 students per school). Individual acceptance rates vary greatly between schools, but most students apply to more than one school and nearly 50% of those who apply to veterinary medical schools end up attending somewhere.
Based on data for the class of 2025, mean overall GPAs of incoming classes for the various veterinary schools ranged from 3.3 to 3.8. The college of veterinary medicine with the highest mean was Cornell University with a class size of 126. These 126 studetns were chosen from 1481 total applicants. In this applicant round, Cornell’s class of 2025 had both a mean overall and mean science GPA of 3.8.
Based on the Admitted Students Statistics map on AAVMC’s website, I recorded the data for all 33 of the colleges accepting a Class of 2025. Be aware that these statistics change each application cycle each year, but the numbers below should give you a rough idea of where your GPA needs to be in order to be a competitive application. If you have a specific school you are interested in, you can likely find more information about GPA requirements on the individual college’s website.
|College/School||Mean Overall GPA||Mean Science FPA|
|University of Missouri||3.8||3.7|
|Louisiana State University||3.8||3.7|
|North Carolina State University||3.7||3.7|
|Texas A&M University||3.7||3.7|
|Washington State University||3.7||3.7|
|Oklahoma State University||3.7||3.6|
|University of Georgia||3.7||3.6|
|University of Tennessee||3.7||3.6|
|Colorado State University||3.7||3.5|
|University of Wisconsin- Madison||3.6||3.6|
|University of Minnesota||3.6||3.5|
|University of Pennsylvania||3.6||n/a*|
|Oregon State University||3.5||3.5|
|Mississippi State University||3.5||3.4|
|Long Island University||3.5||3.4|
|University of Illinois- Urbana||3.5||3.4|
|Texas Tech University||3.4||3.4|
|University of Florida||3.4||3.3|
|The Ohio State University||3.4||3.3|
|Michigan State University||3.4||3.3|
|Iowa State University||3.4||3.3|
|Kansas State University||3.4||3.3|
|University of California- Davis||3.4||3.3|
|Virginia-Maryland Regional College||3.3||3.2|
|Lincoln Memorial University||3.3||3.1|
|Western University of Health Sciences||3.3||3.1|
|University of Arizona||n/a*||n/a*|
As you can see above, a GPA of 3.8 and higher is competitive at most veterinary schools. A GPA of 3.5 is pretty middle of the road. But even if you have an overall GPA of 3.3 or lower, there are still some veterinary schools that you have a shot at gaining admittance to. And remember, the values above are mean GPAs, meaning that there are students who were admitted to the class of 2025 with lower GPAs than those recorded above.
And if you are interesting in seeing some other years’ lists, here are some other blog posts with GPA statistics for veterinary school applicants that I found during my research for this post.
- Vet Schools: Average GRE scores & GPA for Admissions on BrightLinkPrep.com
- AVERAGE ESTIMATED GRE SCORES AND GPAS FOR VET SCHOOL by AdmissionsConsultants.com
But now that you know where you stand compared to the average veterinary school applicant, what do you do if your GPA is below average?
So what do you do if you have a low GPA?
If you have a lower than desired GPA and are planning to apply to veterinary school, you have three main options:
1. Focus on a well-rounded application
While GPA is an important part of your VMCAS application, it is not all of your application. One strategy for those applying with lower GPAs is to make the rest of your application shine. A few tips to help the rest of your application stand out are listed below:
- Study up for your GRE and get a good score.
- Obtain a lot of veterinary experience hours. You may need 1000 hours +, so get started early. And try to find some diverse experiences.
- Obtain some research experience.
- Earn a related advanced degree, such as Public Health degree or a PhD in Animal Science
- Develop good relationships with mentors so they can write you a fantastic letter of recommendation.
2. Retake Classes and Improve Your GPA
If you GPA is truly so low that you don’t think any admissions council will look at your application, or if it is just too low for the specific school you want to attend, another option is to start retaking classes and increasing your GPA.
The main reason schools want to see a high GPA is to know that you can handle the rigor of a veterinary school education. Can you handle taking 20-30 credits a semester and still get passing grades? Do you have a good enough grasp of science to make it through biochemistry and anatomy classes?
If your science GPA is too low, you can go back and retake some of your pre-requisite classes to try and improve both your science and overall GPA.
3. Apply to More Veterinary Schools
And finally, another way to increase your options is to apply to more veterinary schools. Take a look at the less competitive schools and consider applying to the schools that typically accept more students with lower GPAs.
Don’t Lose Hope
Whatever you do, don’t lose hope just because your GPA is lower than you want it to be. If you can put in the work, a veterinary career may still be in the cards for you. Just check out some of these tips and sucess stories.
- Cat Got Accepted to 3 Vet Schools with a 3.4 GPA – article on HowIGotIntoVeterinarySchool.com
- 2.8 GPA to 100% DVM: The Importance of Enthusiasm and Honesty in Vet Med – Merck Manuals Student Stories