Academic Criteria
Academic Criteria

Academic Criteria

When evaluating an applicant, the CVM Admissions Committee considers both academic and non-cognitive qualities. Committee members ask themselves: How likely is it that the applicant will be able to successfully complete our rigorous, science based veterinary curriculum? Answering this question begins by considering the applicant's academic indices including cumulative GPA, science GPA, math GPA, last 45 semester hour (or last 60 quarter hour) GPA, prerequisite GPA, grades in upper division science courses, course load per semester, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and record of academic honors, scholarships, etc.


The Admissions Committee views a solid and broad undergraduate experience as crucial preparation for the DVM program. While a bachelor’s degree is evidence of such experience, if a degree has not been earned by the time of application, the Committee will still base its decisions on the strength and breadth of the applicant’s educational background. The Committee will look for evidence that courses from the categories on the prerequisites page have been satisfactorily completed.

Ensuring that all prerequisites have been completed prior to entry into the DVM program is solely the responsibility of the applicant.

Graduate Record Examination

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test is a computer-based comprehensive knowledge exam. The Educational Testing Service administers the GRE. For convenient scheduling of the test visit the ETS website. Examination results must be reported directly to the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine by entering school code 4984 on the test form. GRE scores must be received by September 15 of the year of application. Please note: test scores that are more than five years old on or after September 15 of the year of application will not be accepted. Only the general GRE exam is required. Subject tests are not considered.

Five GPAs

The Admissions Committee considers five GPAs including:

Cumulative GPA - GPA of all courses from all institutions

Science GPA - GPA of physical and biological science courses

Math GPA - GPA of all math courses

Last 45 semester hour/60 quarter hour GPA

Prerequisite GPA - GPA of all prerequisite courses

Advanced Placement/Running Start Credits

Please use the WSU AP credit chart or IB Credit Chart to determine if your score will transfer in as the equivalent WSU course number listed in our prerequisite course descriptions. Scores that will transfer in as the appropriate WSU course will be accepted. While Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Running Start credits might be acceptable for some prerequisites, applicants are encouraged to view such credits as an opportunity to qualify for and enroll in upper division physical and biological science courses, rather than simply as a means for "testing out" of prerequisites. The goal of the applicant should be to prepare as best they can for our rigorous, science based, veterinary curriculum. Upper division science courses are deemed to be highly preparatory for the DVM program.


Students spending more than two years in pre-professional programs have time to take a number of elective courses. Highly recommended, but not required, electives include mammalian or comparative anatomy, physiology, embryology, microbiology, immunology, computer science, physics II, and animal science courses, including nutrition.


Completed applications are immediately placed into one of three categories, or tiers, based upon the chart below. These tiers are used as a guideline for the admissions committee when assessing an applicant's academic criteria. All applications are reviewed by the admissions committee regardless of tier.

Tier I

Cumulative GPA* > 3.500
Science GPA** > 3.700
GRE%*** > 75%

Tier II

Cumulative GPA* 3.200 - 3.500
Science GPA** 3.500 - 3.700
GRE%*** 60-74%

Tier III

Cumulative GPA* < 3.200
Science GPA** < 3.500
GRE%*** < 59%

* Cumulative undergraduate GPA.
** Science GPA will include all physical sciences and biological sciences courses (see Prerequisites).
*** GRE percent is calculated by averaging the percent rank from the three sections of the general test (composite score). If an application contains more than one set of GRE scores, the committee will consider the highest section score. Only GRE scores received by the admissions office at the time of initial academic evaluation will contribute to tier assignment.

  • Tier I applications contain excellent academic records based upon these GPA and/or GRE criteria. Initially, we assume that, generally speaking, a student with a previous record of academic excellence is more likely to be able to successfully complete our program than one with a less excellent record. Many Tier I applicants tend to be invited to participate in a personal interview.
  • Tier II applicants have good academic records based upon their academic indices. In deciding whether a given Tier II application warrants further review, the academic record is thoroughly evaluated to determine if factors, such as academic rigor, work responsibilities, and family commitments, might have contributed to a more modest performance. Fewer Tier II applicants are invited for an interview.
  • Tier III applications are those in which the GPA and GRE score do not support a presumption of academic success. While these records are very closely scrutinized for evidence to support an argument for extenuating circumstances, fewer Tier III applicants tend to be invited for an interview.