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OVC Questions

A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Hello! I am a grade 11 highschool student wanting to become a veterinarian. I want to apply to ovc in the future and I just had some questions. Any advice would be much appreciated! 

1. Does the choice of undergrad program matter when applying to ovc? I was looking into the programs at University of Guelph but I can't decide between biological sciences/animal biology/zoology and even biomedical science. Which one would be best in terms of experience and courses if I want to apply to ovc? 

2. I know ovc requires vet and  general animal experience so if i volunteer at an animal shelter or do co-op at a vet clinic, could I include that in my experience when applying to ovc or is there a specific time limit? Also, is getting volunteering positions difficult at guelph since many pre-vet students are competing for the same positions? 

3. What would be the average required to get into one of the programs listed above? I am quite worried about that since currently my first sem average is 88%.  

4. How is the campus life at Guelph? Overall, how is Guelph compared to other universities such as western, queen's and waterloo? 

Sorry for all the questions but I am just hoping to get a better idea of path I want to pursue. Thank you for the help! 
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2 replies
A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Hi, I'm a third year biology student at Guelph, applying to OVC. 

I'd highly recommend reading everything the OVC has posted on their website about applying - they answer the majority of your questions there. 

1. They accept applications from all science degrees. No, it doesn't matter which one because they look at the overall average of your marks, not the specific classes. There are specific categories of classes you have to take, like 1 genetics credit, 1 cell biology credit, etc, but as long as you've completed those, you're fine, and as I said, it doesn't matter what your major is. Work you do in your courses cannot count as "experience" on your OVC application, but some courses certainly pertain more to vet school than others. Too many people look over their undergrad and only look to vet school. Pursue a major that you're passionate in - enjoy your undergrad, don't see it only as a way to get into Vet school. Once in university, the majority of people see how many other options there are and expand their horizons. 

2. There isn't an official cut off limit, but typically animal experience older than three years from your time of application to OVC isn't relevant. They really don't care that you volunteered in a clinic in grade 9, they want to see what you're doing now, and how you're able to do it at the same time as maintaining good grades. Obviously it's difficult to get volunteer positions in Guelph because there are so many of us interested in the same field, and everyone is just as good at it. You have to find a way to make yourself stand out, which can be daunting when your competition is so good. 

3. There aren't specific averages for acceptance to each of those majors, except biomedical science, which I'm not familiar with. The acceptance averages should be posted on the Guelph acceptance website, the same as most Biological science majors.

4. Whenever people ask us to compare our campus to others, it's obviously difficult because most people don't go to school at both, and it's hard to gauge a campus from visiting it one time. Guelph is very friendly, both the campus and city itself are very friendly. Our food is EXCELLENT, we have one of the best athletic facilities in Ontario, and we have so much unique research happening here. It's not a huge campus, which is nice because it really feels like a community - not so small that you know everyone, but you definitely recognize a lot of people.  A lot of Universities have stereotypes, and one of ours is that we're the school full of Agriculture students, farms, and hippies, which IS true, but I'd say it's the school where people are most themselves, the most unique, and has some of the most caring people out there. I am a little biased though.  
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^ Very good answer, I'll just re-iterate/add:
- It doesn't matter what your degree is, it is your GPA and fulfillment of their required courses that matter. Do something that interests you, not something that sounds better. A 3.2 with a biomed major doesn't look as good as a 3.9 in "plain ol' biology".
- anything animal-related is a bonus, but I don't think it's a requirement at OVC. Working and volunteering at animal shelters, vet clinics, and research facilities are all great choices, but you'll have to also set yourself apart from the rest of the students somehow (they're all doing the same thing as you). Don't worry about that for now- just enjoy your first year and worry about gaining experiences once you've grasped the university thing!
- things you could consider for the future are volunteering in research labs (doesn't have to be animal related, I volunteered for years in a neuroscience lab and I think that's pretty cool), doing public education and outreach (again, doesn't have to be animal-related), joining clubs. Remember that they want to see diversity and well-roundedness, and that you have to sell what you have to offer to the admissions committees. It really doesn't matter what experiences you have, it's all how you sell yourself and make it relevant to veterinary studies. (i.e. did you spend years tutoring high school students? writing articles? Then you'd be a great pet health/science educator for OVC!)
-you'll get into something, don't worry. So many people switch majors after first year, just have fun and learn what your interests are before you worry what the title of your final degree will be!
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