Veterinary Medical College Application Service
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) is a centralized application service for students applying to veterinary school. Created by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) in 1995, VMCAS handles applications for most of the veterinary schools in the United States, as well as several in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.
Participation in VMCAS
As of March 2010, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, and Tuskegee University do not use VMCAS at all. Additionally, the University of Missouri partially participate in that they only require non-residents to use VMCAS,  The list of veterinary schools using VMCAS changes over time, as does the degree to which a school may utilize VMCAS.
VMCAS is the primary source of information on the veterinary medical school applicant pool in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The VMCAS process
Applicants fill out an online application, which is submitted to VMCAS. The application and accompanying materials pass through a quality inspection cycle and are forwarded to the colleges of veterinary medicine selected by the students. The centralized process considerably lightens student workloads since they may only have to submit one application rather than several. However, many of the schools using VMCAS may require applicants to submit supplemental applications in addition to the VMCAS application. Colleges also may require that some documents, like transcripts (for example) be sent to them directly.
The application cycle typically opens in June of each year.
The Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR) book also contains admission requirements and contact information for all 32 U.S. and Canadian and International veterinary schools. A new edition is published every year.
VMCAS and its host organization, AAVMC, have undertaken several initiatives to increase the number of applicants to veterinary school. Applications to veterinary colleges using VMCAS remained flat over the 2002-03 to 2003-04 application cycles while other medical professions experienced 5 to 8 percent growth in applications. Colleges participating in VMCAS generally receive only two applications for every available student slot.
At least one group of scholars conclude that VMCAS should begin assessing non-technical competencies and including this assessment in the application process.
- American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Web site
- About the Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements (VMSAR). Purdue University Press.
- Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) website
- Lori R. Kogan and Sherry L. McConnell, "Gaining Acceptance Into Veterinary School: A Review of Medical and Veterinary Admissions Policies and Practices," Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Winter 2001.
- Robert E. Swope, Opportunities in Veterinary Medicine Careers, 1st ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN 0-658-01055-7
- AAVMC General Information Chart
- Daniel R. Ilgen, James W. Lloyd, Frederick P. Morgeson, Michael D. Johnson, Christopher J. Meyer, and Michael Marrinan, "Personal Characteristics, Knowledge of the Veterinary Profession, and Influences on Career Choice Among Students in the Veterinary School Applicant Pool," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, December 1, 2003.
- Mary Price Lee and Richard Lee, Opportunities in Animal and Pet Care Careers, 1st ed., McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN 0-658-01043-3
- AAVMC | VMCAS | VMSAR Publication
- Phillip Nelson, "Diversity: A Professional Imperative," Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Winter 2004, p. 404.
- James W. Lloyd, Lonnie J. King, Jeffrey S. Klausner and Donna Harris, "National Workshop on Core Competencies for Success in the Veterinary Profession," Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, Fall 2003.