1) High School

In high school, choose the academic stream and take all the science, math and English prerequisites necessary.

2) College or University

Complete at least two years (4 semesters) of full time studies of a Bachelor's degree program. Full time is a minimum of five one-semester courses, for example 2.5 credits at the University of Guelph  or 15 credit hours at a US school. The prerequisite courses listed below must all be taken in a full-time semester.

You can study at any accredited College or University and take any major that interests you. Courses from College degree programs are acceptable but courses from College certificate and diploma programs are not acceptable. You can apply to the DVM program in your third year, after finishing tow years of a bachelor's degree. If accepted, you do not need to finish your four-year degree program and can simply transfer to the DVM.

Prerequisite Courses

  • 2 Biological Sciences = 1.0 credits (with recommended emphasis on animal biology) 
  • 1 Cell Biology = 0.5 credit
  • Genetics = 0.5 credit
  • Biochemistry = 0.5 credit
  • Statistics = 0.5 credit
  • 2 Humanities/social sciences = 1.0 credit (Consider topics such as ethics, logic, critical thinking, determinants of human behaviour and human social interaction.)

Applicants choose which courses they put forward as prerequisites when they fill in the Background Information Form.

Download the list of University of Guelph courses acceptable as prerequisites.

All prerequisite courses must be completed in acceptable full-time semesters in any year of their college or university studies including graduate degrees. Courses taken during professional programs and technical/certificate programs are not acceptable. A limit of one undergraduate course per semester is allowed during full time graduate studies.

An undergraduate full-time semester (full course load) is minimum 2.50 credits at the University of Guelph. This is typically five courses at 0.50 credits each per semester but may be 4 courses where one course has a double credit weight. While 2.00 credits may still be considered full-time status, 2.50 credits are required for DVM purposes.  For universities that use the 3.00/6.00 credit system, students must have a minimum total of 15.00 credits per semester. Courses must be taken/studied at the same time to ensure an appropriate work load. Field courses or any courses that are pursued over one semester and credited in another semester do not count towards the latter semester's courses for this purpose.

Candidates from institutions other than the University of Guelph may submit one semester of four one-semester courses for consideration provided that the other semester in the same academic year has a course load of six one-semester courses, or the equivalent. At least three of the four courses must be at the third or fourth year level (or four of the six). Candidates must provide a letter of support from their academic advisor stating that this is the normal structure of the program.  "Normal structure" means that all students in this program take this schedule of studies and that it is not a matter of choice.

A course that runs the full year will have the credit weight divided equally and half applied to each of the two semesters the course is taken. 

Please note that the GPA from your last two full-time semesters, and the average from your 8 prerequisite courses must both be 75% or higher in order for you to be considered further for entry to the DVM program.

If you are a mature student, or changing your career path but are lacking some of the prerequisites, download our Changing Career Path document. 

Important Regulations Regarding Acceptable Courses
  • Prerequisite courses can be from any acceptable semester.
  • Courses will not be acceptable if they are repeats of previously passed courses, or if they are taken at the same level or a lower level in a subject area than previously passed courses in the same subject area.This includes courses with significant overlap in content. Students should consider their institution's course sequencing in determining if a course is considered the same level. Repeating a course or taking a course with significant content overlap may result in the entire semester being deemed inadmissible. Please be sure to verify beforehand (see the course evaluation request procedure below).
  • The specific course requirements listed below must have been completed at the university level before admission to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program will be considered. Courses do not need to be completed in a designated Pre-Veterinary program.

  • The DVM Admissions Committee cannot evaluate Honours, Pass-Fail, and Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory grading systems. Applicants should obtain a numerical or letter grade for all required courses and the grades should be certified by the Registrar of the university attended.
  • Any number of distance education/online courses may be included in a semester as long as the semester includes a minimum of 2.50 acceptable credits total. These courses may be taken at another accredited university than the student's primary education institution.
  • A person's semester/year level is determined by the number of credits that have been completed successfully in his or her degree program plus those that are in progress. Once a person has reached twenty half-year courses (10.00 credits at the University of Guelph), they are considered a third-year student.
  • For students in programs with more than 10 credits, 60% of credits in each full-time semester must be taken at a 3000 level (third year level) or above.  However, 40% of the credits in a full-time semester may be taken at the level of the applicant's choice.
  • Candidates who hold a non-science bachelor's degree in which they did not take some of the prerequisite courses because they were not part of their program may return to university as part of a non-degree semester(s) to gain the prerequisites for DVM. These courses must be assessed by the University of Guelph Admissions Office to ensure they are being taken at the maximum appropriate year level.
  • Applicants with a degree who have a documented commitment that is not a matter of choice, such as work or family responsibility, can present their case to the Admission Committee requesting the option of completing their academic requirements on a part-time basis. This should be done before starting the return to classes. See below for the process.              

Failure to comply with the course level rules will result in the exclusion of all coursework from the ineligible semester(s) toward a DVM application.

Course Evaluation Request


Course evaluations are a service that allows prospective applicants to confirm whether or not they have the required acceptable prerequisites for DVM admission.


If you are not studying at the University of Guelph, you may submit up to two options for the courses that you want to use as prerequisites for approval prior to application. THIS PROCESS IS NOT FOR UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH COURSES. 


Please read carefully the instructions below. Requests must include:

  • A transcript of university courses completed to date - a photocopy is fine.  Please know that schools such as Trent, York, Brock, Nipissing and Laurentian report courses by year only on their transcripts so a breakdown of which were done in which semesters must also be included.
  • A list of proposed courses for any future semesters you are planning. Be sure to break down your proposed courses by semester. We cannot assess by year.
  • A list of the eight courses to be presented as prerequisite courses and detailed course descriptions for each. You may present one or two choices (no more) for each of the eight.  Do not submit full syllabi with your request. If further information is required, we will contact you. Please ensure to include course codes, pre/anti-requisites, course titles and clearly identify which course is being presented as which prerequisite. Word or PDF documents are preferred.
  • A maximum of two attachments: one for the course evaluation and one for your transcript.  If you have attended multiple institutions, you may include additional attachments.
  • Your email address and contact information

As a point of reference, please review the suggested template

Please email the information to admdvm@uoguelph.ca; indicate Course Evaluation Request with your name in the Subject line.  You will be sent an email confirming the receipt of your course evaluation request.

If you have additional questions pertaining to the admission requirements, please send your inquiry in a separate email.

Please note that course evaluations are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Although we do our best to review evaluations in a timely manner, the turn-around can vary depending on the time of year.  Please understand we are unable to accommodate specific deadlines (e.g. add/drop dates at institutions).

Appeals Process / Request to Study the Prerequisites During Part-Time Semesters:

Individuals wishing to request consideration regarding admission eligibility, or request permission to complete pre-requisites during part-time semesters must submit an appeal to the OVC Admissions Committee.

The appeal must include the following:

1)     Personal Letter stating and supporting the request.

  • Request must be clearly stated.
  • Grounds for the appeal and consideration must be explained (e.g., medical, family, or personal challenges, extenuating circumstances). 
  • Requests for permission to complete pre-requisites during part-time studies must include an outline of proposed semesters.
  • Requests supported by employment obligations must include an overview of work commitments and hours.  Working a minimum of 30 hours per week is considered full-time employment.

2)     Documentation to support the request and extenuating circumstances.  All documentation must be independent and verifiable. Employer letters must include dates and hours worked.

There are three deadlines to submit an appeal: August 1st, November 1st and March 1st.  Appeals will only be discussed at the OVC Admissions Committee meetings in those months and decisions will apply to the next year's admissions cycle and beyond.


All appeals must be submitted by email at admdvm@uoguelph.ca addressed to:

Chair, OVC Admissions Committee

c/o DVM Admissions
Admission Services UC L3 
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Fax: 519-766-9481

 

Once the OVC Admissions Committee has reviewed your appeal you will be informed of the decision via e-mail.  Please note that submitting an appeal in no way guarantees a positive outcome.