How to Apply
To apply to the VMD-PhD Program, two applications are needed: the VMD-PhD Program application, and the Vet School application. The VMD-PhD application is due November 1 of each year for admission the following fall. The Vet School application is due September 15 for admission the following fall.
The strongest applicants to the VMD-PhD program will possess outstanding academic qualifications as reflected by their undergraduate transcripts and GRE scores. The program seeks applicants with a significant level of research experience, outstanding letters of reference, and evidence of a commitment to a career in scholarly investigation. In addition, applicants should be well-rounded, with a history of involvement in interests and activities outside of the classroom and laboratory.
The criteria that go into admissions considerations for the VMD-PhD program are:
- Undergraduate GPA: There are no cut-offs, but obviously the higher the better. Average GPA of recent matriculates is 3.69 (range 3.5 to 4.0)
- GRE scores: Again, there are no cut-offs, but the higher the better. Average verbal and quantitative GREs of recent matriculates are 166 and 164, respectively (range 153-168 and 150-166).
- Research experience: It is imperative to have considerable research experience. Students usually have multiple, in-depth research experiences.
- Letters of recommendation: The most important letters are from those who have seen your research skills up close. Letters sent to the School of Veterinary Medicine through VMCAS are not received by the VMD-PhD Program. Separate letters must be sent directly to the Program.
- Interviews: During interviews, applicants meet with Penn faculty and discuss their past experiences and future goals. Applicants also meet with current students in the program.
- Goodness of fit: Can the program deliver the training to achieve your goals?
Applying After Beginning Veterinary School
Many students enter the Combined Degree Program at the same time that they start Veterinary School. However, some students apply to the Combined Degree program after initiation of the Veterinary School curriculum. Students can apply during the fall semester of either their first or second year of Vet School. On occasion, students apply as late as their third year of Vet School. Similarly, it is possible to apply to Vet School and the VMD-PhD program after enrollment in one of Penn’s Biomedical Graduate Groups.
Please note: You may be accepted to the School of Veterinary Medicine even if you are not accepted into the VMD-PhD Program. Likewise, you may be accepted into Biomedical Graduate Studies without acceptance into the VMD/PhD Program or the School of Veterinary Medicine. However, to be considered for Biomedical Graduate Studies exclusive of your Vet and VMD-PhD applications, you must apply directly to BGS.