University of Guelph

Admissions, Office of Registrarial Services
University Centre, Level 3
University of Guelph
Guelph Ontario N1G 2W1
Telephone: (519) 824-4120, ext. 56060


The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph is a world leader in veterinary health care, learning and research. We work at the intersection of animal, human, and ecosystem health.

Founded in 1862, OVC is the oldest veterinary school in Canada and the United States. OVC is located in Ontario, at the University of Guelph, and is a short drive from one of Canada’s largest and well-known hubs of activity and culture, Toronto. A drive north takes you to the first of Canada’s many popular lakes, known for clear waters and havens of nature.

Academically, OVC is consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top universities. In fact, we’re renowned worldwide for excellence in teaching, research and service, with graduates of the program practicing veterinary medicine, conducting research or working in related industry across the globe.

With faculty and administration sharing like-minded ideas on furthering animal care, research and innovative teaching methodologies, OVC offers a rich and intense learning environment to students. Our health sciences centre and facilities specialize in large and small animals, with dedicated intensive, primary, and oncology care, mean the potential for hands-on and applied learning are endless.

Researchers at OVC conduct innovative, collaborative research aimed at improving the health and well-being of animals, humans and ecosystems. This work covers a broad range of disciplines ranging from basic laboratory investigation to epidemiological field studies to applied clinical research on companion and food animals as well as wildlife. Research at OVC is performed within a framework of the following guiding principles: Excellence, Uniqueness, Collaboration, Innovation, Communication and Training. DVM students can work on summer research projects with OVC faculty and participate in our Summer Career Opportunities and Research Exploration Program.

One of five veterinary colleges in Canada, OVC is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Canadian and American Medical Associations and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons of the United Kingdom. OVC grads can be licensed in these countries, giving graduates a spectrum of opportunities.


Each year, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) accepts up to 15 U.S. and international (non-Canadian) students. This year, you could be one of those students!

International applicants must not hold Canadian citizenship (this includes dual citizenship) or Permanent Resident status. Students can apply as early as the summer after their sophomore year provided they have a GPA of 3.2 or above and have completed the following 8 prerequisite courses:

• 3 Biology
• Genetics
• Biochemistry
• Statistics
• 2 Humanities/Social Sciences

Applicants who receive an offer of admission should be aware that they must meet federal immigration requirements for entry into Canada as a student.

Non-Canadian applicants who have fulfilled the academic requirements for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program should apply using the Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS).

Summary of Admissions Procedures

Checklist for non-Canadians applying to the University of Guelph DVM program

Note: if you hold dual Canadian citizenship you MUST apply as a Canadian.


Complete 2 years of university and the 8 prerequisites within full-time semesters.

Application (September)

Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) online application including:

• 3 referee assessments (from 2 veterinarians and 1 professional)

• Background information

• Application fee (to VMCAS)

• The Academic Background form must be submitted separately:

• If you are already attending or have attended the University of Guelph please apply using the Application for Internal Transfer/Readmission Form.

Information is gathered through the Academic Background Information Form (ABF), References, and Transcripts.


• Academic Background Form with Course Descriptions (syllabus)

• Supplemental fee

You will be assigned a University of Guelph email account with which you can access your WebAdvisor account for updates on your application status.


If selected for an interview, you will be contacted by email. Interviews are 45 minutes long with two members of faculty and are usually held at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph. Virtual interviews using Skype are offered for those who cannot visit us in person.

On the day of your on-site interview you will be provided with a tour of the college led by a current DVM student.

Applicants will then be notified by email and letter of the final decision regarding their application.

*Application directly to the University of Guelph is also available and forms can be obtained by emailing

If you have questions about the application procedure or a current application in progress, please contact: Kelly Hunter, Admission Services, 519-824-4120 Ext. 58711



Complete at least two years (4 semesters) of full-time studies in an accredited college or university. Full-time is usually 12 credit hours at a US school.

All prerequisite courses must be completed in any year of their post-secondary studies. Courses should be completed within an academic program. Courses taken during professional programs or certificate programs are not acceptable.

Students from the US should take a minimum of 12.00 credit hours per semester. Courses must be taken/studied at the same time to ensure an appropriate work load. Field courses or any courses that are pursued over one semester and credited in another semester do not count towards the latter semester’s courses for this purpose.

You can study at any accredited college or university and take any major that interests you. You can apply to the DVM program after completing two years of university. If accepted, you do not need to finish your four-year degree program and can simply transfer to the DVM program.

A course that runs the full year will have the credit weight divided equally and half applied to each of the two semesters the course is taken.

Please note that the GPA from your last two full-time semesters, and the average from your 8 prerequisite courses must both be 3.2 on a 4 point scale or higher in order for you to be considered further for entry to the DVM program.

Important Regulations Regarding Acceptable Courses

Only prerequisite courses must be completed at the college / university level before admission to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program will be considered. Courses do not need to be completed in a designated Pre-Veterinary program.

Courses will not be acceptable if they are repeats of previously passed courses, or if they are taken at the same level or a lower level in a subject area if they have significant overlap of content.. This includes courses with significant overlap in content. Students should consider their institution’s course sequencing in determining if a course is considered the same level.

The DVM Admissions Committee cannot evaluate Honours, Pass-Fail, and Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory grading systems. Applicants should obtain a numerical or letter grade for all required courses and the grades should be certified by the Registrar of the university attended.

A person’s semester/year level is determined by the number of credits that have been completed successfully in his or her degree program plus those that are in progress. Once a person has reached 48 credit hours, he or she is considered a third-year student.

Candidates who hold a non-science bachelor’s degree in which they did not take some of the prerequisite courses because they were not part of their program may return to university as part of a non-degree semester(s) to gain the prerequisites. These courses must be assessed by the University of Guelph Admissions Office for content. Applicants with a degree who have a documented commitment, such as work or family responsibility, can present their case to the Admission Committee requesting the option of completing their academic requirements on a part-time basis. This should be done before starting the return to classes. See below for the process.

Failure to comply with the course level rules will result in the exclusion of all coursework from the ineligible semester(s) toward a DVM application.

Course Evaluation Request

If you are not studying at the University of Guelph, you must submit up to two options for the courses that you want to use as prerequisites for approval prior to application.

Requests must include:

  • A transcript of university courses completed to date - a photocopy is fine. Please know that some schools report courses by year only on their transcripts so a breakdown of which were done in which semesters must also be included.
  • A list of proposed courses for any future semesters you are planning. Be sure to break down your proposed courses by semester. We cannot assess by year.
  • A list of the eight courses to be presented as prerequisite courses and detailed course descriptions for each. You may present one or two choices (no more) for each of the eight. Do not submit full syllabi with your request. If further information is required, we will contact you. Please ensure to include course codes, pre/anti-requisites, course titles and clearly identify which course is being presented as which prerequisite. Word or PDF documents are preferred.
  • A maximum of two attachments: one for the course evaluation and one for your transcript. If you have attended multiple institutions, you may include additional attachments.
  • Your email address and contact information

    Please email the information to; indicate Course Evaluation Request with your name in the Subject line. You will be sent an email confirming the receipt of your course evaluation request.

Please email course evaluation requests to and indicate Course Evaluation Request with your name in the Subject line. 

Appeals Process/Request to Study the Prerequisites During Part-Time Semesters

There are two deadlines to submit an appeal: November 1st and March 1st. Appeals will only be discussed at the OVC Admissions Committee meetings in those months and decisions will apply to the next year's admissions cycle and beyond. 

Further instructions can be found on our website:

Individuals wishing to appeal decisions related to admissions eligibility may submit a letter detailing their individual circumstance and any letters/documentation of support to: Chair, Admissions Committee, Ontario Veterinary College c/o Kelly Hunter, Admission Services UC L3, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1

Fax: 519-766-9481


Please note that appeals are due March 1st of the year of application, and submitting an appeal in no way guarantees a positive response.


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.

Although there is no minimum 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 service 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 and a letter are required for each DVM applicant.

The referees must 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 and may include DVMs in such areas as government, industry, and research. The goal of having the veterinary references is to have those within the profession assess whether you 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 col-leagues 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 masters or doctoral degree programs) may request an additional form to highlight their accomplishments while within their graduate program.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree Required? no

Is this an International School?yes


Course Description Number of Hours/Credits
Biology (one must have Cell Biology content) 9
Biochemistry 3
Statistics 3
Genetics 3
Humanities/Social Science* 6
*Consider topics such as ethics, logic, critical thinking, determinants of human behaviour and human social interaction.


Estimated Tuition Resident: n/a

Estimated Tuition Non-Resident:$61,330 Canadian Funds per year


Resident: 105

Non-Resident (International): 15



VMCAS Participation: full

Accepts International Students? yes


Application Deadline: 9/17/2018