University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Admission Requirements

Submitted by srtariqu on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 2:45pm
◄ Return to Admissions Menu

Admission Requirements

The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine accepts 30-32 DVM students per year. The Admissions Committee recommends students for admission to the program on the basis of academic and non-academic factors. Students are assessed academically on performance in their last four full undergraduate terms and in ten required courses (see “Eligibility – Minimum Academic Requirements”). Selected applicants are invited for an interview where non-academic factors are assessed. On interview day, applicants are required to complete an on-site essay and participate in a series of interviews.

Students must be Alberta residents, as defined by the Province of Alberta. To be eligible for admission to UCVM, you must be an Alberta resident. The Alberta Government Guidelines within the Student Financial Assistance Regulations will be used to determine residency status. Details of these requirements can be found on the Alberta Government website at: Proof of Alberta residency will be required with your application. If you do not meet these criteria, you are not eligible for admission to UCVM.

Consistent with UCVM's mandate, preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate the attributes for successful careers in veterinary practice that support rural development and sustainability, and for careers related to our areas of emphasis. While no specific animal or veterinary-related experience is required, such experience is an asset. Understanding of the veterinary profession and animal industries relevant to the applicant's career interests is expected. This can be obtained through practical experience or through other means.

Applicants to the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine should ensure they have read the current year's Application Manual. The Application Manual details the latest requirements, processes and timelines for admissions.

If you have any questions regarding the UCVM admissions process, please email:

1. Eligibility

In selecting veterinary medicine students, no consideration shall be given to factors irrelevant to performance such as gender, age, race, religion, or the vocation of an applicant's parent, guardian, or spouse.

UCVM considers applicants from a variety of educational backgrounds. No preference is given to any particular program, college or university. However, UCVM will not normally accept applications from students who have withdrawn, who have been required to withdraw, or who have been expelled from any school or college of veterinary medicine.

Physical and learning disabilities must not prevent the applicant, upon graduation, from demonstrating competency in the skills and procedures expected of an individual who has completed a DVM degree in an accredited institution.

2. Minimum Academic Requirements

Normally, minimum academic requirements from undergraduate studies to receive consideration for admission are as follows:

(a) A minimum overall average of 3.00 ("B" or its equivalent) with a passing grade in each of the following required courses (See Table Below). Once this requirement has been met, the average GPA from the required courses will not be used further in the admissions process. You must have completed or be in the process of completing the TEN (10) required courses (listed below) with at least SEVEN (7) of the TEN (10) required courses being completed before December 31, 2016. All courses (including in-progress, online or distance learning courses) must be completed by the end of the Winter term preceding admission (April 30, 2017). No exceptions will be made.

(b) A minimum combined grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 ("B" or its equivalent) over EACH of the last four full-time terms of undergraduate academic years. Applicants may use the average GPA of all courses from the most recent graduate program to count towards their most recent full-time term, provided that the graduate degree will be completed in the year of application prior to registration in the DVM program.

You must have completed or be in the process of completing four or more terms (semesters) of full time post-secondary undergraduate education at a recognized university or at a college providing university-equivalency in coursework. UCVM defines a “full time” term as a minimum of FOUR (4) ‘first-attempt’ courses per term (semester), taken between the months of September – December (Fall term) and January – April (Winter term) for a total of 16 half-course equivalents. The third and/or fourth term(s) may be in progress at the time of application, but at least four terms of undergraduate education must be completed by the end of the Winter term preceding admission (i.e. April 30, 2017).

Required Undergraduate Course

e.g. University of Calgary Equivalent Course

Two Introductory Biology Courses
(a lab component is required for each course)

BIOL 241 and BIOL 243

Two Introductory Chemistry Courses
(a lab component is required for each course)

CHEM 201 and CHEM 203

One Introductory English Course
(must contain a writing component)

ENGL 201

One Introductory Organic Chemistry Course
(a lab component is required)

CHEM 351

One Introductory Statistics Course

STAT 205

One Introductory Biochemistry Course
(a lab component is optional)

BCEM 341 or BCEM 393

One Introductory Genetics Course
(a lab component is optional)

BIOL 311

One Introductory Ecology Course
(a lab component is optional)

BIOL 313

**The University of Calgary courses shown in the table (above) serve as examples of the required courses against which courses from other university are compared for equivalency. Equivalent courses to each of these suggested courses are obtainable from many, but not all, post-secondary institutions in Alberta. Please refer to the Alberta Transfer Guide website ( or our UCVM Admissions website ( to determine if your courses have been established as being equivalent. The UCVM Admissions committee recommends that you contact the academic program counsellor at your post-secondary institution to ensure that you have all of the required equivalent courses. Online or distance-learning courses may be used, but they MUST be completed within a four-month period similar to courses taken at other institutions. Documentation to support this (i.e. start and end dates) will need to be provided, if requested.

Albertans who are enrolled at post-secondary institutions outside of Alberta should consult with the academic program counsellor for their program of study to identify 10 equivalent courses. These courses will require review by the UCVM Admissions committee to determine their acceptability, and will normally only be reviewed after an application for admission has been received by the UCVM Admissions Office. For any course in question, please send a copy of the course syllabus and the university’s Calendar description to after you have submitted your application. The UCVM Admissions committee may request additional documentation. If you have questions regarding the suitability of the program in which you are currently enrolled, you should contact the UCVM Admissions Office.

Courses completed more than 10 years prior to the application date will not normally be considered in the admissions process. Rare exceptions may be made for applicants who have continued to work or study in a health-sciences related field following completion of an undergraduate degree. If you have not continued to study or work in a health-science related field, any required courses that are more than ten years old must be repeated.

Applicants are advised to monitor the UCVM website for any exceptions or changes to these requirements. Students requesting an exception to any aspect of the minimum academic requirements must do so at the time of application by completing the necessary section of the application form. Such requests will only be considered on submission of a complete application.

3. Alberta Residency Requirements

To be eligible for admission, you must be an Alberta resident, as defined by the Province of Alberta. As such, you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or have protected person status under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Criteria are outlined in the Alberta Government Guidelines (within the Student Financial Assistance Regulation) and are used to determine residency status. Details of these residency requirements are detailed below, or they can be accessed on the Alberta Government website (

To determine your residency, you first need to know if you are considered a “dependent” or an “independent” student.

Independent student (one or more of the following applies to you): 

  • 23 years of age or older;
  • Have been out of high school for at least 4 years;
  • Have been available for full time work for at least two years since leaving high school;
  • Are married or common law;
  • Are divorced, separated, or widowed;
  • Have at least one dependent child of your own.

Definition of residency for “Independent students”

  • Alberta is the province in which you have most recently lived for 12 consecutive months while not a full time post-secondary student, or
  • You have never lived in any other Canadian province for 12 consecutive months and are attending a post-secondary school in Alberta.

**If you do not meet at least one of the criteria for being an independent student, you would be considered a “dependent” student.

Definition of residency for “Dependent students”

  • At least one of your parents must live in Alberta.

Proof of Alberta residency will be required with your application. If you have any questions regarding your residency status, please email

For admission to Veterinary Medicine, the Province of Alberta determines residency as follows:
a) the Residence of an applicant remains that of his/her parent(s) unless a new Residence has been established in accordance with clause (b);

b) the Residence of an applicant shall be considered to be Alberta, if the applicant has last resided in Alberta for a period of twelve consecutive months (without including any period during which the applicant was attending a college or university) prior to enrollment;

c) a Canadian citizen who is resident outside of Canada and intends to re-establish residence in Canada shall be considered a resident of the province or territory of Canada where he/she last resided for a period of twelve consecutive months before leaving Canada; and

d) a person who is a permanent resident as defined in the Immigration Act ( Canada) shall be considered to be a resident of another province or territory of Canada pursuant to clause (b)

In interpreting these guidelines, reference will be made to the residency sections within the Student Financial Assistance Regulation (Alberta). Proof of residency within Alberta for twelve consecutive months may be required. If you have questions regarding your residency status please email

4. English Language Proficiency

English language proficiency must be demonstrated for all applicants for whom English is not their first language. English language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

(a) Completion of at least two full years within a degree program offered by an accredited university in a country which the University of Calgary recognizes as English language proficiency exempt.

(b) A minimum score of 92 on the Internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and a minimum score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE); or a minimum score of 237 on the computer-based TOEFL and a minimum score of 50 on the TSE; or a minimum score of 580 on the paper-based TOEFL and a minimum score of 50 on the TSE.