Your vet school personal statement is more important than you might realize. It’s the part of the vet school application where you tell your story, share your values and goals, and introduce the person behind the transcripts. Think of your veterinary personal statement as an opportunity. It’s a chance to tell your story and to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Applying to an accredited veterinary school—such as Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine* (Ross Vet)—can seem a bit daunting at times. But with a few helpful hints here, you may feel more confident to begin your vet school personal statement—a single but crucial element of the application package.
VMCAS PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLES & TIPS
1. Give yourself time. Students apply for vet school through the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS), but you should prepare your VMCAS personal statement well in advance. Communication skills are an important part of how applicants are evaluated. After all, while vets care for pets and other animals, they must work with owners and a care team. You want to give your VMCAS essay careful consideration, so get started long before it’s time to submit.
2. Proofread. Check your vet school personal statement for errors several times. You might be surprised how often students undermine their VMCAS essay with misspellings and grammatical errors. Take care with medical and technical terminology. To cite one of the most common VMCAS personal statement examples, students often misspell caesarean while trying to describe valuable experience observing c-section delivery. Misspellings reduce your credibility.
It can help to have someone else proofread your VMCAS personal statement, especially if you have pored over the text many times. So, one of our vet school personal statement tips is that a fresh set of eyes can spot mistakes that may have slipped by you.
3. Avoid repetition. Make good use of space in your vet school personal statement. There is room elsewhere in the VMCAS application for work experience, academic work, and extracurricular activities. Going over the same information again wastes space and time. Instead, the statement is the opportunity to highlight your values and personal story. It’s not that you should never mention information listed elsewhere. Rather, it’s that the information should be a springboard to a fuller story about how it defines you as a person and an applicant.
4. Remember your audience. While you want to make your VMCAS essay personal, remember your audience. You want your veterinary personal statement to stand out against a crowded field of applicants. So writing that you have wanted to be a vet ever since you were a kid is too ordinary and superficial. Remember that your VMCAS essay won’t be read in isolation—it will be compared to many others. You may need to dig deeper to write a memorable essay.
5. Avoid generalizations and assumptions. Remember your audience, but be careful not to make unwarranted assumptions. Let’s look at another of our VMCAS personal statement examples: “It’s rare to find a vet applicant who has a background in engineering.” But is it? How can you possibly know?
In this example, the writer would be better off letting the reader decide how “rare” an engineering background may be. Instead, the writer should explain how engineering informs their thinking about veterinary medicine, and how it might contribute to their career as a vet. Let the reader decide that you are, indeed, a rare and exciting candidate.
6. Demonstrate your maturity and growth. Think of your VMCAS personal statement as a story about your own personal journey. Maybe your interest in veterinary studies began when you were a child, but now you have grown into a young adult who has proven your maturity and growth. Telling a story about your progress can provide the theme that helps pull your VMCAS essay together.
You do not have to confine yourself to vet-related experiences. Any history that demonstrates your responsibility and maturity can help make the case for your application. Experiences that show strong people skills are also a plus. This is another place where you can show the breadth of your experience and add personality to your vet school personal statement.
7. Write your values and goals. Above all else, use your VMCAS personal statement to illustrate your passion, commitment, and values.
At Ross Vet, a personal essay is required as part of your application. If applying through VMCAS, the personal statement will be accepted as your essay. Although there is no set of rules mandating what a strong personal statement should include, here are a few tips to help you successfully craft an effective personal statement:
- Discuss how you would contribute to the profession and patient care, all of which will help you stand out from other applicants.
- Explain why you are a good candidate for veterinary school—in a pile of 100 applications, would you enjoy reading your statement?
- Convey your passion for veterinary medicine.
- Avoid repeating information from your transcripts or reference letters.
- Ask yourself if this essay is a good representation of your character, ideals, and aspirations.
Notice how the prompts focus on your values, goals, and individual qualities. Vet school is a formidable academic challenge that requires perseverance and drive. Highlight your personal values, your dedication, and the contributions you hope to make to veterinary medicine and the larger world. But do not just talk about your values. The best VMCAS personal statement examples show how values have been lived through experiences, volunteer work, and relationships.
Now that you’ve read our vet school personal statement tips, get to work on that essay! When you’re ready to start your journey to vet school, apply for admission to Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Ross Vet provides an accelerated, broad-based curriculum that integrates unique research opportunities, classroom study, and hands-on clinical training.
- Tips for Preparing a Strong Vet School Application
- Request More Information About Ross Vet
- Vet School Admissions Requirements
*Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine's (RUSVM) Veterinary Clinic is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC, www.aaalac.org) as a school. The accreditation focuses on animals used in teaching and research environments.
RUSVM received full accreditation on July 16, 2019, from AAALAC International, an organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine confers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree which is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (AVMA COE), 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173, Tel: 800.248.2862. For more information please visit https://www.avma.org/education/accreditation-veterinary-colleges.
The next comprehensive evaluation will occur in 2025.
AVMA COE Accreditation Resources
Accreditation Policies and Procedures of the AVMA Council on Education