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You Have Questions. We Have Answers.

Please explore the questions and answers below to learn what many of our prospective students are concerned about. If you still have questions, please contact us.

  • Admissions

    Question 1: What are the class statistics for the most recent class?
    The statistics are available on the competitive candidate profile page.

    Question 2: How many students are admitted each year?
    The College of Veterinary Medicine seats a class of 100-105 each year.

    Question 3: Does it matter that I’m older than your average applicant?
    No, the College of Veterinary Medicine will support the admissions of qualified candidates irrespective of their age.

    Question 4: Can international students apply?
    Absolutely! International applicants follow the same application procedures as domestic applicants, but must also submit transcripts to World Education Services for a course-by- course evaluation. The completed course evaluation is to be submitted and received by VMCAS by the application deadline. The International Student Website will provide detailed information regarding visa’s etc.

    Question 5: Do you give preference to California residents?
    No, the College of Veterinary Medicine does not give preference to applicants residing in California. We draw from a pool of national and international applicants and have no quota on or a limit to the number of students we will accept from any given state. However, we limit the number of accepted international students to 8 percent of the student body. There are no state residency requirements for admission.

    Question 6: Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state residents?
    Yes. We are a private institution, therefore the tuition is the same for in-state, out-of-state and international students. Review the financing my education page for current tuition and fees.

    Question 7: Can I transfer into WesternU-CVM from another college of veterinary medicine?
    No, we do not accept transfer students from other veterinary schools at this time. In order to graduate from our institution you would need to start over in your first year, were you to be accepted. This is mainly due to the unique structure of our curriculum (Problem-Based Learning). Our concern is that someone who was not involved in the first or second year curriculum would be at a disadvantage in their last two or three years.

  • Prerequisites

    Question 1: Is a bachelor’s degree required to apply?
    No, it is not required that you have a BA or BS to apply. Please keep in mind that admission is a highly competitive process and having your undergraduate degree will serve to strengthen your application.

    Question 2: Do you require a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) to apply?
    Yes. The minimum overall GPA is 2.75, and the minimum science GPA is 3.0. You must also achieve a C or higher in all prerequisite coursework (C- or lower will not be accepted). Admission is a highly competitive process and most applicants have between a 3.3 and a 4.0 GPA.

    Question 3: What are the prerequisite courses for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program?
    Please visit the view requirements web page for details.

    Question 4: Can I have prerequisite classes in progress at the time of application?
    You may have no more than two of the specified prerequisite courses in progress after the completion of the Fall term immediately prior to starting at WesternU-CVM. It is recommended that you complete as many of the prerequisites as possible by the end of the Fall term so that those grades can be reviewed by the admissions committee when making interview and admissions decisions.

    Question 5: Can I take outstanding prerequisites at WesternU?
    No, at this time WesternU does not offer undergraduate coursework.

    Question 6: Where can I take my prerequisite coursework?
    Prerequisite coursework can be taken at any regionally accredited U.S. institution. Courses completed outside of the U.S., including French-Canadian institutions, must be evaluated by an approved foreign coursework evaluation service. U.S. institutions accredited by one of the following agencies will be acceptable for WesternU-CVM prerequisite coursework:

    MSA-Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
    NASC-Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
    NCA-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    NEASC-CIHE-New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. / Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
    NEASC-CTCI-New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. / Commission on Technical and Career Institutions
    SACS-CC-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges
    WASC-ACCJC-Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
    WASC-ACSCU-Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

    Question 7: What is considered an upper division/advanced course?
    This varies from institution to institution. Check with your undergraduate academic advisor for clarification. Upper division/advanced courses are typically taken in your junior and senior year, are not offered at community or junior colleges, and require one or more lower–division courses to be taken prior to enrollment. Please visit the prerequisite database for a listing of approved upper-division courses offered at various institutions.

    Question 8: Can I substitute life experience for any of the prerequisites?
    No, prerequisite courses are all essential to an applicant’s preparation for veterinary school and future career as a veterinarian. Therefore, we require that you take all of these classes without exception.

    Question 9: Do you accept College Level Equivalency Program (CLEP) or Advanced Placement (AP) credit?
    Yes, we will accept CLEP and/or AP credits that are listed on an undergraduate transcript from an accredited institution. If you choose to use CLEP and/or AP credits you must submit a letter from the school’s registrar in which you received those credits. This letter must explain what the CLEP and/or AP credits are earned in (i.e. English, Math, etc.).

    Question 10: Why do different colleges of veterinary medicine require different prerequisites?
    The prerequisite coursework, exams, and experience have been designated by the WesternU-CVM admissions committee in order to maximally prepare the pre-veterinary student for the WesternU curriculum and a successful career in veterinary medicine. The prerequisites vary by institution because each college of veterinary medicine has a different admissions committee and curriculum. WesternU-CVM has a unique student-centered, problem-based learning curriculum and recognizes the importance of graduating veterinarians who are adequately prepared to immediately contribute to the profession. Stellar performance in these prerequisite courses will not guarantee admission nor will it guarantee successful completion of the curriculum; they do however, provide the basis for a student to become a well-rounded, scientifically grounded student with the skills and knowledge to participate actively in his or her learning experience at WesternU-CVM.

    Question 11: May I use a single course to satisfy more than one prerequisite?
    No, you may not use a single course to satisfy multiple prerequisites. Each prerequisite must be satisfied by a unique course.

    Question 12: May I speak with a counselor about my coursework?
    If you’d like to find out whether the courses you’ve taken or plan to take will satisfy the DVM prerequisites you can:

    1. Search the prerequisite database by institution
    2. If your courses aren’t listed in the database and you have numerous course questions, or simply wish to lay out your coursework you may instead print and submit an academic worksheet (available on the requirements page March-August).

    By laying out your coursework in relation to our prerequisites, you will be able to determine the courses you may still need to complete. In addition, you will be able to assess your academic performance in the courses (prerequisites) our admissions committee believes are of greatest importance. If the course name does not match the prerequisite title, you must submit a course syllabus for review.

    Once you receive our assessment, feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.

  • Other

    Question 1: Is WesternU-CVM accredited?
    Yes, CVM received full accreditation in March 2013. Please review the accreditation message for more information.

    Question 2: What type of medicine can I practice when I graduate from WesternU-CVM?
    WesternU graduates will be capable of immediate, positive participation in the professional field of their choosing; small animal/exotic/equine/large animal/zoo clinical and/or ambulatory practice; production (dairy, poultry, aquaculture) practice; shelter medicine; wildlife medicine; federal/state/local government; basic/clinical research; international consultation and more!

    Question 3: Can I complete my bachelor’s degree while attending WesternU-CVM?
    We will be developing a program to facilitate those who wish to finish their BS degrees; however, we cannot provide any details of that plan at this time. If you choose to pursue the completion of your BS, you will need to understand the significant workload you will be taking on to accomplish both. It usually takes students two-three semesters to adjust to the intense workload in a professional program, making it a challenge to split your time between your undergraduate and professional coursework. Ultimately, the decision is yours and will require careful consideration and planning.

    Question 4: Is it advisable to work while in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program?
    We recommend that you do not work while you are a student as WesternU has a rigorous veterinary medicine curriculum. In addition to 17-21 hours of regularly scheduled lecture, PBL group and lab time, you will spend an additional 30+ hours per week doing self-directed work; additional lectures and labs, library, case research and reading. You should expect to dedicate a minimum of 50 hours per week to class time and studies.

    Please see time commitments for additional information.

    Question 5: What does it mean that WesternU-CVM has a “reverence for life philosophy”?
    Our reverence for life philosophy extends to humans and animals. It “governs” how we interact with each other. With reference to humans, we treat each other with respect and kindness in our daily interactions and professional endeavors. With reference to animals, we treat all animals with respect, not just those deemed valuable (owned or “worth” a lot of money). Our curriculum will thus employ a non-detrimental use policy with regard to animals. Cadavers used in our program will be obtained through our Willed deceased Animals for Veterinary Education (WAVE) program (animals who have died naturally or been euthanized due to a medical condition). Live animal use will either not harm the animal (pet/animal volunteers) or directly benefit the animal (needed treatments, etc.)

    Question 6: Are students required to have laptop computers?
    Yes, students are required to have laptops that meet certain computer specifications that change annually. Computers will be used extensively for accessing information (online databases, journals, texts, etc.), learning concepts (software and Web-based programs in physiology, etc.), communicating with fellow students and faculty, managing schedules for lectures/labs/other experiences, preparing documents, critiquing data (on research projects), test taking, etc. Your experience with the computer during school will allow you to create a valuable, custom tool for immediate use in your professional career upon graduation.

    Question 7: What does it mean that WesternU-CVM has a “problem-based learning” (PBL) curriculum?
    At WesternU-CVM, students learn within a problem-based learning curriculum. The theory behind this paradigm is that there is more to learning than just “the facts.” As a prospective veterinarian, one must learn facts and principles, quality communication skills, problem solving and reasoning, literature retrieval and interpretation, time management, interpersonal skills, confidence, self-control… the list goes on. The traditional “teacher centered” lecture-style curricula often fall short in areas other than the facts and principles and do not allow students to participate in learning. Thus, when you leave school, you may have the current list of facts and principles on hand, but you may not have the skills to keep that list current or participate in the many other components of the profession. So, PBL is termed “learner centered” learning. The responsibility for learning is firmly placed on the student’s shoulders from day one. The faculty are there to monitor, push, prod, direct and occasionally provide expert information.

    Question 8: What does a typical day in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum look like?
    Students are divided into groups of seven (7) individuals; groups meet three times per week for two hours in their PBL rooms. Each room is designated for that group for an eight-week block; it is a secure room to be used exclusively by the assigned group. Each room is equipped with a large table, chairs, whiteboard, video player, X-ray view boxes, reference library, and individual computer network ports. Each group has one faculty facilitator present during all scheduled meetings. There is also one one-hour summary session per week. At the beginning of the week, a problem is presented in the form of an animal signalment and chief complaint. Students must draw on past experience, logic, common sense, etc. to develop “learning issues” that will be subsequently pursued after the session. Students may request pertinent information (blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, etc.) as the case develops. There may be role-playing exercises or simulated clients/patients. Outside the scheduled sessions, students spend time working through the learning issues established during the previous session. They attend scheduled lectures and laboratories and may request additional lectures/laboratories. Their resources include faculty, WesternU library or other library, the Internet, any veterinarian, any friend, their pets, all university and associated facilities, etc. Each person is responsible for bringing his or her work back to the next session. The faculty facilitator in these sessions dances the fine line of allowing students to explore and discover ideas on their own versus directing the discovery in the direction pre-determined for the problem. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into preparing the cases/problems for use in this curriculum. There is an over-riding plan with guidelines for case selection; then the case is “shaped” to allow the natural development of required learning issues during its use. At first glance, people assume the goal of this exercise is to come to a diagnosis. This is a tiny part of the picture! The big picture demands that the students discover the “why” behind all learning issues, to become adept at finding current facts and principles, to coordinate the discovery process with all seven group members, to role-play the “real-life” interactions, to find real-life examples and experience them, to learn the clinical skills associated with facets of the case, etc. The job of the student is huge.

    Question 9: During the first two years of classes, where, and in what capacity, will I work with live animals?
    Students will work with animals in several settings:

    • Volunteer pets participate in non-invasive skills laboratories (such as physical examination and bandaging, etc.).
    • Students learn basic animal handling and husbandry and provide primary veterinary care on an ambulatory basis in our Veterinary Ambulatory Community Service (VACS) program (serving homeless and homebound clients and their pets, animal shelters, and small animal/exotic animal rescues) and our Veterinary-Equine Rescue Goodwill Enterprise (VERGE)(serving equine rescues in the surrounding areas).
    • Students participate in the Inland Valley Humane Society-WesternU-CVM Veterinary Education program (wellness and vaccination clinics, accession triage, temperament testing, humane euthanasia, and pet responsibility seminars).
    • Students participate in and observe large animal procedures on the California Polytechnic University-Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) campus including anesthesia demonstrations, castration events, prophylactic surgical procedures and more.
    • Students provide wellness and non-routine primary care to contract clients/patients in our full-service Companion Animal Primary Care Clinic on campus (four clients/patients per student with visits every three months).

    Question 10: How can I learn more about available financial aid?
    For more information regarding tuition, financial aid and scholarships, please visit the Financing My Education Web page.

    Question 11: How can I request an information packet?
    Information packets may be requested online. However, for the most up-to-date information we encourage you to visit our requirements page.