STARKVILLE — The number of non-Mississippians applying to Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has more than doubled in three years as the total number of applications continues to grow, defying a national trend.
Dr. Rich Meiring, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine and director of admissions for the college, said, “Nationally, the number of students in the applicant pool has remained fairly constant and actually was down 1 percent in 2009. Our numbers were up. That tells a lot about our program and our graduates.”
In 2006, 340 nonresidents out of 392 total applicants sought admission to CVM. The number of nonresidents grew to 425 in 2007 and almost 700 in 2008. In 2009, 763 nonresidents applied for admission, bringing the total number of applicants to 830.
There are two routes to gain admittance to CVM. The traditional process requires applicants to earn a minimum 2.8 GPA in college and take the Graduate Record Exam. Students submit an online application through the national Veterinary Medical College Application Service, which includes references, extracurricular activities and work experience, and a personal statement about why the student wants to pursue a veterinary degree.
A 10-member committee of faculty from each of the College’s three departments evaluates applicants to decide who is admitted. Each committee member serves a three-year term.
Applications are gathered in October, and by December, the committee has reviewed all qualified applications. Students are selected for interviews and notified before Christmas. Interviews are conducted in late January and February by a three-person team consisting of one admissions committee member, one CVM faculty member, and one private practitioner.
The second way to gain entry to MSU-CVM is through the Early-Entry Program, which is open to high school seniors with an ACT of 27 or higher and grades of at least 90 percent. In addition to reviewing applicants’ academic qualifications, the committee also evaluates their personal statements and letters of recommendation.