Loyola University Maryland

Pre-Health Program

Application Process

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During your junior year, you will need to take the GRE, obtain strong letters of recommendation, write your personal essay and submit your primary application through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Most students also interview with Loyola’s Pre-Health Committee, which drafts a committee letter to include with the student's application. Some schools will request a secondary application or an interview before making a final decision.

Admission Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required by most veterinary schools. The exam is offered on a computer at various test centers. This exam should be taken the year before beginning veterinary school, typically in the junior year.

Letters of Recommendation

Most veterinary schools also require letters of recommendation. Loyola has a Pre-Health Committee, which submits one committee letter based off individual letters from faculty members, veterinarians you have worked with, or organizations where you have done volunteer or part-time work.

Some veterinary schools may request individual letters from professors. It is important to include recommendations from both science and non-science professors who can address your ability to read, write, support your ideas, logically draw conclusions and organize your work.

The Application

Most Veterinary schools use a central application service, called the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). This service does not make admission decisions. Their only responsibility is to process, duplicate and send your application, admission test scores and transcripts to the schools to which you apply. Check with each school before applying to see if they participate in the central application service.

The application must be completed the year prior to beginning veterinary school, typically in the junior year. You must provide your demographic information, submit transcripts, pay the fee, write a personal statement and choose the veterinary schools to which you want to apply.

Volunteer or Part-Time Work

It is recommended that you strengthen your application by listing any volunteer or part-time work. Some ideas are to observe a veterinarian; volunteer at a hospital or medical clinic; participate in a community activity such as Habitat for Humanity or serve as a committee member on a local club or student organization. Participating in research during the summer is also great exposure and can help you gain valuable experience.


Some veterinary schools interview applicants. Characteristics that interviewers most commonly assess are evidence of extracurricular activities; communication skills; empathy and concern for others; social awareness and self-awareness; and judgment and problem-solving abilities. View information about how to prepare for the interview.