Veterinary experience

Veterinary experience may be voluntary or paid, but must be done with a supervising veterinarian in placements such as clinical practice, research laboratories, animal shelters, animal rehabilitation facilities, public health settings or another related industry where a veterinarian is employed.The aim is to provide the candidate with an understanding of the veterinary profession. It is expected that this category of experience will involve job shadowing/assisting the veterinarian(s) and not just reception or other administrative duties.

Although there are no required number of hours needed for application, it is strongly advised that applicants log as many hours as possible. Try working with different species, too, such as swine, cows, horses, exotics, dogs, cats, etc.

Experience within Canada and the USA is recommended.

Animal experience

Animal experience includes working with livestock, breeding/showing various species, working in a pet store, equestrian activities and any other animal related hobby/experience where a veterinarian is not always present, or does not supervise you. Animal experience does not include pet ownership or college/university courses that involve animals. Animals are defined as vertebrates for this purpose.

Extracurricular experience

So much of veterinary medicine involves working with people and as part of a team. Jobs and volunteer activities that hone your communication, interpersonal and organizational skills are important. These experiences do not involve animal contact. These experiences are ones you are actively involved in and have a role in, unlike conferences or activities where you are attending lectures.

Referee assessments

Your three confidential referee assessments must include an evaluative grid and a letter. Reference letters should be on letterhead, addressed to the Chair, OVC Admissions Committee and signed. Assessments must be done on the official form for the cycle in which you are applying for. Forms from previous cycles will not be considered further.

It is important that all your referees understand what is required of veterinarians in a Canadian/US context. Two of your referees must be veterinarians with whom you have obtained veterinary and/or animal experience. The Admission Committee strongly suggests that they be from different clinics or workplaces. The goal of having the two veterinary references is to allow those already in the profession to assess whether you are a suitable candidate to become a member of the profession.

All of your referees have to be qualified to give an unbiased, informed and critical assessment of you as an applicant. They should be individuals who know you in a supervisory or professional context and are able to assess you objectively. None of your referees can be family members, or long standing friends of you or your family, or be employed by you or your family, even if they are veterinarians. Applications from candidates with referee assessments which the Admissions Committee does not consider to be appropriate will not be further considered. 

If you are a graduate student (from a Master's or Doctoral degree program) we require that you submit an additional letter of reference, for a total of  four referee assessments. Two letters of reference should be from veterinarians who can assess your skills and knowledge of veterinary medicine and the other two letters of reference should be from persons familiar with your performance as a graduate student


The Application Process


The application process for Canadian applicants, including those with dual citizenship, to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program depends on which school the candidate attended for undergraduate studies.


  • Current or former University of Guelph students: Apply to the DVM program by applying for transfer or readmission with the University of Guelph Internal Transfer/Reapplication Form. You do not need to fill in the activities section or provide any personal support letters - these will be part of the Background Information Form due in March.
  • Students or graduates from universities other than the University of Guelph: If you attend a post-secondary institution other than the University of Guelph, you may apply to the DVM program using the OUAC 105D form online at the Compass website and can be found under the University of Guelph undergraduate degree programs page.
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores: Released online EACH TIME you apply to the program. 

Upon receipt of these application materials candidates will receive a University of Guelph email account and access to our WebAdvisor notification system.

Any applicants that submit the above documents after the January 1st deadline, including those whose documents arrive after the deadline, will not be considered further.


- Background Information Form (BIF)
- Referee Assessments 3 letters (4 for graduate cohort applicants) should be on company letterhead and signed. Applicants must use the form dated the year of the application. Previous versions of the Referee Assessment Form will not be accepted.
- Transcripts
Additional Information Form for Graduate Cohort Applicants [for those applying as part of the graduate cohort (those from master's or doctoral degree programs)]

Any applicants that submit the above documents after the March 1st deadline, including those whose documents arrive after the deadline, will not be considered further.


Non-Canadian applicants who have fulfilled the academic requirements for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph should apply using the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS). Please visit the VMCAS website for more information:

Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) Toll Free: 1-877-862-2740

Your VMCAS application must be postmarked no later than September 15, 2015 @ 12 Midnight, Eastern Time. If you are applying through VMCAS, your supplemental application form must be submitted separately.

If you are an international student already attending the University of Guelph please apply using the Application for Internal Transfer/Readmission Form.

Alternatively, if VMCAS is not accessible for you please apply directly to the University of Guelph using the application form. Information is gathered through the Background Information Form (BIF), References, and Transcripts.

If in addition to a bachelor's degree you have graduate training and would like to profile this in your application, you may also submit the Graduate Cohort Information Form. This form should be submitted directly to the address below.

Documents should be submitted to:

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program
Admission Services UC L3
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

If you have questions about the application procedure or a current application in progress, please email

*If this date is on a weekend then the closest Monday at 4:30PM is the deadline for documents not submitted electronically. The Background Information Form is due on March 1st, and will close at 11:59 pm and will not be accessible from that point on. We will accept References and other paper documents on the Monday up to 4:30PM. Please know that University offices are NOT open on weekends. If you have not submitted your references by the Friday at 4:30PM, you need to wait until Monday. They must be dropped off in person to the Admission Services reception desk, Level three, University Centre. Hours are 8:30-4:30.

Once your BIF, References and other documents have been received and processed, you will see them posted to your WebAdvisor account. Ensure you check the "Applicants" tab and not the "Students" tab. Due to the volume received at the deadline, it will take time for all to be processed. Your patience is appreciated.