Selection Criteria

Evaluation of applicants to the UNL-ISU PPVM involves three primary areas: academics, application and CASPer test. The academic review constitutes 45% of the overall score with 22.5% being assigned to the required science GPA and 22.5% being assigned to the last 45 credit hour GPA.   The application review score constitutes 45% of the overall score.  The CASPer test constitutes 10% of the overall score. 

Academic Review 45%

Required Science GPA (22.5%)
The grade point average calculated using all prerequisite science courses. In calculating GPAs, the most recent grade for a repeated course (not necessarily the highest grade) is utilized. Courses completed through the spring semester prior to application submission (or summer semester, if available) will be used to calculate GPAs.

Last 45 GPA (22.5%)
The grade point average calculated using the last 45 hours of college credit (this will include graduate coursework, if applicable). Grades for graduate seminar, thesis, research, internships and similar credits will not be used.  If repeated coursework occurs within the 45 credit hours, only the most recent grade for a course will be included in the calculation. Courses completed through the spring semester prior to application submission (or summer semester, if available) will be used to calculate GPAs.

Application Review 45%

The Admissions Committee reviews the applicant’s essays; recommendations; animal, veterinary, research, and work experiences; extracurricular and community service activities; personal development activities; diversity; and any special circumstances. Each of these items is considered and contributes to the overall impression of the applicant.

Essays & communication skills
The entire application is assessed for evidence of strong written communication skills, including but not limited to well organized essays and lack of spelling or grammatical errors. In addition, essay responses are evaluated for how well they address each specific question.

Three recommendations are required. Up to six will be accepted. Persons chosen to submit recommendations should know the applicant well and be able to speak to their personal characteristics and attributes.  Recommendations should support the applicant’s experiences and should confirm their commitment, maturity, work ethic, leadership skills, and communication skills with examples. Applicants are strongly encouraged to have a recommendation from at least one veterinarian. Evaluators cannot be related to the applicant by blood or marriage.

The Admissions committee may contact references directly if further information or clarification is needed.

Veterinary/animal/research experience
Veterinary, animal, and/or research experience may be voluntary or paid but must be completed under the supervision of a veterinarian or PhD scientist if it is research experience. The applicant is expected to have 200 hours of quality veterinary, animal, and/or research experience from which the applicant should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the veterinary profession. The diversity, level of responsibility, and breadth of the experience is considered. Diverse experiences are encouraged. This could include experiences with companion animal, equine, production animal, research, or zoological veterinary medicine. The goal of veterinary experience is to give the applicant a good understanding of the breadth and depth of the veterinary profession. Pet ownership and educational coursework is not considered under experience.

Work experience for pay
Consists of any work experience for pay, including animal, veterinary, and research experience for pay. Sustained work experiences with significant responsibilities will be given higher consideration than entry-level positions and/or employment only during summer vacations.

Community/leadership/extracurricular activities/honors/awards
The committee considers the depth of involvement and accomplishments in clubs, organizations, or activities, as well as the number of leadership roles held and the number of honors and awards.

Personal development
Personal development includes skills and activities outside of coursework and employment. Examples include, but are not limited to, study abroad, volunteering for various organizations, and striving to excel in a hobby such as particular sport or craft.

How do your life experiences contribute to the increasing diversity of the profession and student body? Factors that contribute to an applicant’s diversity include, but are not limited to, life experiences, work experiences, professional goals, geographical background (rural, urban or suburban), cultural background, disadvantaged status, and other information that may be considered as contributing to diversity. Weight will be given to qualified applicants who possess characteristics that are underrepresented in the profession and who would contribute to the overall diversity of the class.

Special circumstances
Special circumstances include factors which may have adversely affected the applicant’s academic record. These factors and how the applicant overcame them are considered.

CASPer Test 10%

CASPer is a situational judgement test which assesses soft skills and personality characteristics that are necessary for student success in our DVM program.

Note:  All selection criteria and their weight in the evaluation are subject to change without notice upon Admissions Committee review.