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  Home > Prospective DVM Students > VetFAST


Update: Applications for VetFAST will be posted in March and accepted April 4-25, 2014.
Early Decision Program for Students Interested in a Career in Food-Animal Veterinary Medicine

Across the nation, a shortage of food animal veterinarians has emerged. Not enough veterinary students are training to work with dairy cows, beef cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, and goats. Rural areas are unable to fill vacant positions or add new staff quickly enough. Positions in the food industry are difficult to fill, and more staff with veterinary training is needed in state and federal agencies to protect the livestock industry from new diseases and help to ensure food safety. Watch the U of M Alumni Association video to learn more about this shortage:
Who's Minding the Animals?


To meet this demand, the University of Minnesota has introduced the Veterinary Food Animal Scholars Program, or VetFAST.


If you are thinking about a career in veterinary medicine, consider VetFAST.

VetFAST can allow you to:

  • Gain VetFAST program acceptance by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (U of M CVM) at the end of your freshman or sophomore year in college rather than during your junior or senior year.
  • Complete both your Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degrees in seven years rather than eight.
  • Graduate Record Exam (G.R.E.) requirement required of the traditional admission process for the D.V.M. program is waived for VetFAST.
  • Benefit from mentorships with veterinary faculty and other D.V.M. students.
  • Pursue summer veterinary and industry work opportunities.
  • Get scholarships and financial support through summer internships.
Who is Eligible?

Any freshman or sophomore student enrolled at the U of M, who is interested in food animal medicine, and is enrolled in one of the following VetFAST approved majors: 

Student must have experience with food animals, including dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, poultry, and small ruminants, such as sheep and goats. Residents from any state are eligible to apply. Undergraduate and D.V.M. tuition will be assessed according to the University's residency policies.

Applying to VetFAST

Step 1

Applicants submit one application to VetFAST during the spring semester of their freshman or sophomore year. Applications and reference forms will be available online for download, or may be obtained through the following academic advisors/faculty contacts:

Applications are submitted back to the respective academic advisor/faculty contact by the application due date. Transfer students are eligible to apply to the VetFAST program if accepted first by an approved VetFAST degree program. Acceptance into an approved VetFAST degree program is based on the receiving programs individual admissions requirements. For more details regarding transferring, please contact an academic advisor/faculty contact at the campus of your interest listed above. 


Step 2

Applications are forwarded to the U of M CVM and reviewed on the following criteria:

  • Academic standing, which includes ACT or SAT scores, high school GPA and class rank, and college GPA.
  • Competitive ACT scores are 25 or higher
  • Competitive SAT scores are 1140 higher
  • Competitive undergraduate GPA is 3.4 or higher
  • Maintained fulltime enrollment of at least 12 credits per semester with no lapse in enrollment (summer semesters enrollment is not required).
  • Pursued coursework consistent with admissions requirements for the D.V.M. program, including chemistry, biology, rhetoric, math, and introductory courses in science including agriculture and veterinary medicine.
  • Demonstrated experience related to food animal medicine. This includes experience gained on a farm, participation in 4-H or FFA, or involvement in relevant activities during first and/or second year at the U of M.
  • Three letters of recommendation. At least one should come from a veterinarian who can speak to the applicant’s potential for success within the food animal profession. Other references should be from evaluators who know the applicant from an educational or professional setting.

Step 3

Eligible applicants will be invited to the CVM for an interview with the VetFAST Program Director. Interviews will take place in late April through early May. Notification of program acceptance will be sent in late May through early June, after spring term grades are posted. Final decisions will include a holistic review of the applicant’s entire application, academic credentials, and interview.

 Students not accepted into VetFAST as freshman may reapply to the program as sophomore students. Sophomore students not accepted into VetFAST may apply to the D.V.M. program through the traditional admission process at a later date with no penalty.

Completing the VetFAST Program  

VetFAST program participants must meet the following criteria in order to gain full admission to the D.V.M. program:

  • Continue to take animal production courses; at least two of these courses are required during the last two years of the pre-veterinary program.
  • Complete all required pre-veterinary coursework.
  • Maintain a University of Minnesota cumulative, undergraduate GPA of 3.40 or higher.
  • Continue to participate in food animal related activities and experiences.

Students not meeting the criteria by the end of their junior year will be deferred by one academic year. Students not meeting the criteria by the end of their deferred year will lose program eligibility. Ineligible students may apply to the D.V.M. program through the traditional admission process at a later date with no penalty.

For More Information

Find out more about the VetFAST program and pre-approved U of MN undergraduate programs by contacting one of the three U of MN campus locations offering the program.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
College of Food, Agricultural and
Natural Resource Sciences
Admissions Office
190 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108-6074

University of Minnesota, Morris
Office of Admission
600 East 4th Street
Morris, MN 56267
320-589-6035 or 888-866-3382

University of Minnesota, Crookston
Office of Admission
170 Owen hall
2900 Univeristy Ave
Crookston, MN 56716
College of Veterinary Medicine
Academic and Student Affairs Office
108 Pomeroy Center, 1964 Fitch Ave.
St. Paul MN 55108



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