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. 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.

Referee assessments

Three only confidential referee assessments comprised of an evaluative grid (which is part of the on-line Background Information Form) and a letter are required for each DVM applicant. Letters should be on company letterhead and signed, and may be addressed to the Chair, OVC Admissions Committee.

The referees have to be qualified to give an unbiased, informed and critical assessment of the applicant. Two of the three referees selected must be veterinarians with whom he or she has obtained veterinary and/or animal experience. There is a strong preference for veterinarians from different clinics or workplaces. The goal of having the veterinary references is to have those within the profession assess whether your are a suitable candidate to join that profession, therefore it is important that the referees understand what is required of veterinarians in a Canadian/US context.

None of your references should be from family members, long standing friends, or your colleagues or colleagues of your family, even if they are veterinarians. These are not considered objective sources. Your referees should be individuals who know you in a supervisory or professional context and are able to assess you objectively. Applications from candidates with referee assessments from family, colleagues or friends will not be considered suitable for further consideration and will not be invited for an interview.

Graduate students (those from master's or doctoral degree programs) will require an additional letter of reference, for a total of four only referee assessments. Two letters of reference from veterinarians should assess the applicant's skills and knowledge of veterinary medicine and the other two letters of reference should be from persons familiar with the applicant's 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.
  • Canadians with Ontario residency: If you attend a post-secondary institution other than the University of Guelph OR are living abroad, 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