Studying Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University

What is so Special About Studying at LSU? 

Studying at Louisiana State University is a unique and rewarding experience that helps set students up with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers. The School of Veterinary Medicine was one of the first veterinary schools in America. 

The rich history and knowledge have been passed down through the generations of professors to students. If you are considering studying to become a doctor of veterinary medicine, Louisiana State University may be the perfect fit for you.

If you are still not convinced after reading this article, then visit our blog for overviews on other veterinary medicine schools such as Veterinary Universities in Western Asia, to name one!

The History of Louisiana State University

The Lousiana State University first opened its doors to students in 1973. They welcomed the first class of 36 Louisiana residents as the original students of the university. In the years that followed, the number of students enrolled each year has grown dramatically, with many Louisana residents attributing their careers to having studied at Louisiana State University. 

The school has also admitted a limited number of highly qualified individuals that reside outside of Louisiana under the school’s special admission policy and provide limited spaces for qualified candidates from Arkansas. 

Founded in 1968, The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine was the 19th veterinary school in the United States. The first class of students consisting of 35 men and women from Louisiana was admitted in 1973, receiving their DVM degrees in 1977. 

Since then, over 3,200 DVM degrees have been granted by the school of veterinary medicine, as well as 450 MS and Ph.D. degrees. In addition, the school is a participant of the Southern Regional Education Board’s program for veterinary medicine.

Facts, Research and Outreach of Louisiana State University


The Veterinary Medicine Building is located on the west side of the scenic campus, overlooking the Mississippi River. It has been located there since 1978 and is home to three academic departments. The building also contains the Veterinary Medicine Library, the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and the Veterinary Teaching Clinics & Hospital. 

The facilities in this state-of-the-art faculty are modern and up to date, adapting to the ever-changing field and discoveries within Veterinary Medicine. The students can take full advantage of all facilities within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital & clinics. In addition, they are introduced to clinical cases using the laboratory when diagnosing animal disease problems. 

Working closely with their teachers and mentors, the students can learn methods and techniques to sharpen their skills while solving their clinical cases. A wide variety of cases at the hospital, herd health programs, and in-field services allow students to gain a broad spectrum of skills essential in graduating as a complete veterinarian.

To further their own research, the school library is equipped with extensive resources that students will find more than sufficient to support their studies in research, instruction, and service.


The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine receives extramural funding for its vital research programs, which comes to over $40 million each year. The funding is mainly sourced from the federal government, state, foundation, and industry funds. 

Funding is so important to the school of veterinary medicine as the Department of Pathobiological Sciences is currently ranked as number one in research productivity at Louisiana State University. 

The emphasis of the research at this facility is on infectious diseases specializing in viral and bacterial pathogenesis, vector-borne diseases, immunity, the use of Geographic Information Systems to study disease distribution and risk factors, and resistance to infectious agents.


Each year the Veterinary Teaching Hospital sees over 28,000 cases each year. This provides the students with a wide variety of issues to expand their caseload. In addition to these cases, the Wildlife Hospital treats approximately 1,000 patients each year, with the goal of this hospital being to treat and release injured wildlife back to their homes in the wild.

Each year the Annual Open House will see an additional 5,000 visitors. This takes place in January or February annually. This event is free and open to the public, serving a significant role in the Louisiana community.

All You Need to Know About Louisiana State University DVM Admission Requirements

General Requirements

Veterinary Medicine is an exciting and challenging career path. However, to succeed, students must be motivated to succeed by a sense of desire to serve the community, deep respect for animals, aptitude in the biological and medical sciences, interest in promoting health within animals and humans. On top of all the traits listed, a veterinarian must be the highest standard of moral and ethical character. 

Before commencing a veterinary medicine course, it is vital to have a foundation in not only biological and physical sciences but also a broad knowledge of the arts and humanities. Therefore, a prospective student should gain this knowledge during high school and college. 

As a candidate for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, prospective students must complete a minimum of six years of a college education. This includes two years (or more) of undergraduate or pre-veterinary coursework with an additional four years of veterinary school. 

LSU requirements state that the pre-veterinary studies may be completed either at LSU or any accredited college or university that offers the courses and content of the standard outlined in the LSU General Catalog.

During the minimum two years of pre-veterinary studies–a minimum of 66 semester hours and 20 hours of elective courses must be completed before acceptance into the LSU SVM’s DVM program. 

Although a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement for acceptance into the course, applicants are encouraged to follow an undergraduate degree path as it broadens their pathways in the event of not being accepted into the DVM program. 

While it is a prerequisite of acceptance, completing the pre-veterinary program successfully does not guarantee admission to the school. As there is a higher number of qualified applicants than there are spaces in the course each year, there is a limited number of spaces for new students. 

Over the four-year program, instruction is only available through the SVM at LSU. In consideration to acceptance, the prospective student’s achievement is measured by the scholastic achievements in the pre-veterinary programs. A grade-point average of 3.0 (A = 4.00) is the minimum requirement to be considered for admission. 

As evaluating an applicant’s record is made strictly according to the LSU procedures, no exceptions will be made due to additional work experience or degrees. Physical education activity courses as electives will not be accepted as a pre-admission requirement. Although credit earned via advanced standing is acceptable, it is not used to calculate a grade-point average. 

Credit will not be granted in the completion of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). However, if a student’s test scores show they meet the minimum acceptable scores required by each department, credit may be granted for CLEP subject examinations in subjects recommended by university departments. 

Course Requirements 

It is crucial as a pre-veterinary student that you familiarize yourself with all admission requirements to the DVM program of LSU. It is advised to work with a pre-veterinary advisor to prepare you for enrollment. 

To be considered for admission into the program, a minimum of 66 semester hours is required, including 44 semester credit hours for courses listed below & a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (A=4.00). In addition, the minimum passing grade for prerequisite coursework is C or higher (C- is considered a pass). 

No foreign prerequisite coursework will be accepted as they must be completed at an accredited institution within the United States or Canada. Any further questions regarding prerequisite coursework may be directed to the Student Affairs Office at; or via phone: 225-5789537. 

Course Prerequisites Links

Typical Application Dates and Deadlines 

The required documents must be submitted before the stated deadlines, as failure to offer them promptly will result in the applicant being removed from the applicant pool. Acceptance into a professional DVM program is highly competitive, so the application process requires students to follow every guideline strictly and carefully. 

Mid – Late JanuaryVMCAS Application Open. The specific date can be checked with VMCA directly.
Mid-JulyRecommended time to take the GRE to ensure the scores will be delivered on time to VMCAS (School code 2281). This is important as LSU SVM does not accept GRE scores directly. (School Code 6381).
15th SeptemberThe applications for VMCAS close. Again, check directly with VMCAS for a specific date. LSU SVM will only review applicants fully verified by VMCAS, so all required documents should be submitted by this date. This includes transcripts, GRE Scores, Letters, and evaluations.
October 1st The processing fee for LSU SVM is due. This is a non-refundable fee and is preferred to be paid online using a debit or credit card using the payment portal. If you need to request alternative payment methods, please contact Please do not mail cash. 
October – NovemberThe rolling application process begins, and committee reviews for eligible applications. At this time, no final decisions will be made. 
Fall/TBDThe Admissions Committee for LSU SVM reserve the right to conduct or not hold interviews. The decision of the committee will be shared via the status check by late December for the applicant. 
4th February The final deadline for fall transcripts to be submitted directly to LSU SVM. It is preferred that transcripts are mailed electronically to Transcripts will also be accepted via mail at the following address:
Attn: Admissions & EnrollmentOffice of Veterinary Education & Student AffairsLSU School of Veterinary MedicineSkip Bertman Drive, Room 1213Baton Rouge, LA 70803
June 1st or first business day in JuneThe final deadline for Spring transcripts to be submitted directly to LSU SVM. It is preferred that transcripts are mailed electronically to Transcripts will also be accepted via mail at the following address:
Attn: Admissions & EnrollmentOffice of Veterinary Education & Student AffairsLSU School of Veterinary MedicineSkip Bertman Drive, Room 1213Baton Rouge, LA 70803

* All dates are tentative and subject to change if necessary.

Applicant Selection Program

Admission into the School of Veterinary Medicine will only be granted on a full-time basis and for the fall semester of each school year. The Admissions Committee is responsible for selecting the class and determining the application procedure for the course. 

The deadline for the pre-professional requirements to be completed is the end of the spring semester, before fall matriculation in the LSU SVM. The documents to be submitted include the VMCAS application, all undergraduate/graduate transcripts from every institution attended, GRE scores, SVM-specific sections, and letters of recommendation. 

For matriculation into the fall semester, these documents must be submitted to VMCAS no later than the due date. 

The Admissions Committee may or may not choose to conduct interviews. However, if executed, the discussions will impact the selected candidates’ overall scores. Therefore, the selection of admission will be based on the sum of objective and subjective scores. 

The combination of these components to the final score of the applicant will vary slightly each year but will be determined solely but the admissions committee and the dean.

Objective Evaluation 65%

This section of the evaluation is based on standardized test scores and academic achievement. The official transcripts submitted of college course grades will determine scholastic achievement, with the total score coming from:

  • Required Course GPA (29%)
  • Last 45 Credit Hour GPA (18%)
  • General GRE Score (18%)

Subjective Evaluation 35%

This evaluation element will focus on the non-academic qualifications that could be considered relevant in determining future performance in veterinary medicine. Personal characteristics such as motivation, maturity, attitude, and interest will be considered when assessing an applicant. Other relevant skills such as work experience, handling and knowledge of animals, and reference letters will be considered.

Two separate panels are acting under the authority of The Admissions Committee that evaluates these qualities. The first panel will review supporting documents (letters of recommendation, work experience, autobiography), while the second panel evaluates the individual through an interview (if the committee chooses to commit an interview).

These appraisals will result in an average subjective score and will then be added to the objective form, providing the committee with a final numerical value evaluating the candidate. The final decision of recommended students for a class comes from the professional judgment of several faculty members. The total subjective score will comprise of:

  • Folder Reviews (15%)
  • Interviews (10% if conducted)
  • Admissions Committee Holistic Assessment (10%)

Every Louisiana and Arkansas residents’ application folders will be reviewed subjectively, but only the Top Out of State applicants will have their folders reviewed. The Out of State Top Applicant List will be based on an overall score from the objective components above.

Final Evaluation/Selection

The Dean of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine will make the final decision on each applicant and their offers of admission. The dean consults the reports submitted and screens the recommended candidates for admission. They will also identify additional candidates who have holistic strength and should be considered for admission.

How To Apply For The DVM Program

  • Meet the strict application deadlines. Early submissions are strongly encouraged due to the high number of applicants. All requested material must be submitted, and exceptions will not be considered.
  • Complete the VMCAS application. The VMCAS application should be the first step you begin as your VMCAS ID number will be necessary for the following reasons:
    • Letters of recommendation (eLORS) will need to be submitted via the VMCAS service.
    • To pay the LSU SVM’S processing fee, you must have a valid VMCAS ID number.
    • In all email correspondence, you must include your VMCAS number with the admissions office.
    • Complete the VMCAS Application now!
  • Ensure you submit a minimum of THREE and a maximum of SIX electronic letters of recommendation (eLORs). At least one letter must be from a veterinarian, although it is advised when possible to have at least two of your eLORs written by a DVM.
  • Enter all undergraduate/graduate coursework EXACTLY as seen on your transcripts from every institution you have attended, even if a course has been repeated. Use the correct PreReq code as failure to follow the instructions directly can result in the application being removed from the pool.
  • You must send all coursework that you received course credit for. This includes high school courses in which one may have gained college credit. 
  • Transcripts are recommended to be submitted electronically to VMCAS However, if this is not possible, please mail them directly to VMCAS – Transcripts P.O. Box 9126 Watertown, MA 02471.
  • If a student has an international transcript, please contact VMCAS directly to determine how these transcripts should be submitted.
  • Summer Classes: To have these grades count towards the Required Courses GPA and Last 45 Credit Hour GPA, please wait to finalize and submit your VMCAS application until the final, official grades earned can be listed in the coursework section of the VMCAS application. 
  • Please note that there will be LSU DVM-specific questions to be submitted via VMCAS. These sections will include questions about the following areas: Family, Supplemental Essays, Prior Application, Residency Classification, and the LSU SVM Processing Fee Agreement. These questions/essays will be completed electronically in your VMCAS application. Ensure you select Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine as one of your desired schools.
  • Ensure you pay the non-refundable application processing fee before the due date.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must be received by the due date. This is only excepted via electronic transfer from ETS. The VMCAS Code for LSU SVM is 2281. Applicants are encouraged to list all of their requirements using the school code to track their progress.
  • All official transcripts for Fall must be directly submitted to the LSU SVM’s Admissions Office by the due date, at the latest. Although not all students must submit transcripts, you will be notified via the Online Status Check System if this is a requirement for you.
  • If you can submit electronically, please email
  • You are encouraged to use regular mail (USPS) or via FedEx (do NOT use UPS). The address is as follows:

Attn: Admissions & Enrollment

Office of Veterinary Education & Student Affairs

LSU School of Veterinary Medicine

Skip Bertman Drive, Room 1213

Baton Rouge, LA 70803

For any following questions about the VMCAS application and/or eLORS please contact the VMCAS Student and Advisor Hotline at 617-612-2884 or by email at

DVM Curriculum & Course Descriptions

Throughout the four-year DVM degree at the School of Veterinary Medicine, students will experience a wide variety of courses that will help to ensure they have a complete and well-rounded knowledge of veterinary medicine. 

In your first and second year, you will be offered courses ranging from Anatomy and Physiology of Marine Mammals, Raptor Medicine and Surgery, Veterinarian’s in the Community, to Integrative Medicine. For the complete list of courses offered throughout the four-year degree, please see the DVM Curriculum.

For a detailed description of courses offered, key course information, as well as a guide to the course numbering system, please see the DVM Course Descriptions.

List of Centralized Facilities at LSU

School of Veterinary Medicine

  • Gene Probes & Expressions systems Laboratory
  • Veterinary Computer Resources
  • BioMMED
  • Flow Cytometry Core Facility
  • Statistical Services Unit
  • Diversion of Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine Library
  • Louisana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • Equine Health Studies Program
  • Raptor & Wildlife Rehabilitation unit 

Louisiana State University

  • LSU Protein Facility
  • LSU Biological Science Facility
  • NMR Facility
  • Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • Information Technology Services
  • LSU Libraries
  • Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (Synchrotron)

Available Services at The Veterinary Teaching Hospital

  • Anesthesiology – for pets, exotics, horses, and farm animals
  • Cardiology – for pets and horses
  • Clinical Pathology – for exotics, pets, and farm animals
  • Community Practice – primary care for pets
  • Counseling services – Best Friend Gone Program
  • Dermatology – for pets and horses 
  • Diagnostic Imaging – for exotics, horses, and farm animals
  • Diagnostic Lab – for all animals
  • Emergency Medicine and Critical Care – for pets, small exotics, horses, and livestock
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – for pets
  • Integrative Medicine and Rehabilitation – for pets and horses
  • Intensive Care – for pets and horses
  • Internal medicine – for pets, horses, and food animals
  • Oncology – Cancer Treatment Unit for pets
  • Ophthalmology – for pets and horses 
  • Physical Rehabilitation – part of the integrative medicine and rehabilitation science 
  • Surgery – pets, exotics, horses, and farm animals
  • Theriogenology (reproduction)  – for dogs, horses, and farm animals
  • Wildlife – part of the Zoological Medicine Services
  • Zoological Medicine – for birds, reptiles, wildlife, and small exotic mammals

FAQ’s on Studying at LSU

My GRE scores are more than five years old. Do I need to retake the exam?

All GRE scores must be obtained in the past five years, so you would need to retake the exam in this case. However, you are able to retake the General GRE exam as many times as you need – the highest score from a single test will be used.

Can I take the VCAT or MCAT instead of the GRE?

No. The General GRE is the only form of exam we accept.

Can I re-apply if I don’t get accepted on my first application?

If your application is not accepted, we encourage you to make improvements and re-apply. Application reviews are available in May only for the preceding application cycle. To discuss ways to improve your application, please make an appointment with the Director of Admissions at

Do I need to submit a new application the next year I wish to apply?

Yes. For each year applicants wish to be considered for admissions to the LSU SVM, they must submit a current application with all supporting documents using the current year’s forms.

Am I required to have health insurance to be in the DVM program?

Yes. It is a requirement for all students to obtain sickness and accident insurance protection. This can be through enrollment in the Student Accident & Sickness Insurance Plan or with an equal program – proof of coverage must be provided at orientation. 

Activities for College Students to do in Louisiana

Louisiana is an exciting state for college students, with extensive colleges and universities scattered throughout the state. There is a tremendous amount of culture and experiences for students in their downtime with such a significant student presence. Here is a list of 14 of the best activities for college students in Louisiana. 

Northgate Music and Arts Fest – Baton Rouge, LA 

A festival celebrating music and arts is a hot spot for students from all over the state who come to Baton Rouge to promote business, art, and music. 


Camping out before a big game (at LSU, usually football but can be baseball or basketball too) on campus with friends just before a big game. 

Attend a Concert

Crawfish Boils

During the cool, sunny spring months in Louisiana, everyone welcomes the return of the tasty party favorite – Crawfish! So invite your friends and family for a massive feast of crawfish!

Visit Mike the Tiger, Baton Rouge, LA

How many other students can say their mascot is a real, live tiger? LSU is the home to Mike, the sleepy tiger who spends his time lounging about the LSU campus.

LSU’s Free Speech Alley, Baton Rouge, LA

Have something on your mind? Any weekday citizens are welcome to come to LSU in the alley leading to the Student Union Building and speak their mind. 

Lagniappe Week, Lafayette, LA 

A great option if you fancy a road trip to mix with another university, make some friends, and experience a fun-filled week of activities by the lake. 

Bayou Classic, New Orleans, LA

Witness the legendary rival game between Grambling University and Southern University that has been around since the 1970s. 


Tiki Tubing, Denham Springs, LA

While you can enjoy plenty of water activities around Louisiana, such as kayaking and canoeing, a fun experience for those students of age is tiki tubing.

Tulane Crawfest, New Orleans, LA 

Every year in April, students flock to Tulane University in New Orleans for the Crawfest.

A Beach Trip 

Attend a Jam Session

Bar Crawl


As the only veterinary university in Louisiana, Louisiana State University has a very competitive DVM program. However, prospective students don’t give up hope because following the prerequisite instructions carefully and the strict due dates will enhance your chance of gaining acceptance into the course. And what better place to study with your friends than Louisiana?

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