University of Sydney veterinary medicine application tips

13 March 2024

There are very few spots in Canadian veterinary programs, and because of that, admission is highly competitive. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons many Canadians choose to apply to AVMA-accredited veterinary degrees in Australia.

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Learn more about Sydney’s veterinary medicine program

We recently held a webinar with University of Sydney Associate Professor Katrina Bosward, an academic advisor of admissions at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science in New South Wales.

She had a ton of tips for anyone interested in pursuing a vet degree. She covered both the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the undergraduate Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, including admissions requirements and what they look for in a veterinary candidate!

Why Study Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney?

Sydney is ranked #1 in Australia and #23 in the world for veterinary sciences by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. Their courses in animal health and veterinary science include hands-on laboratory, field, industry or clinical experience that’s relevant to your area of study.

Their Camperdown campus offers modern lecture theatres, advanced laboratories, and a well-equipped clinical teaching hospital. The Camden campus allows you to work directly with livestock and gain experience with the large-animal industries of sheep, dairy, pigs, cattle, and aquaculture.

You’ll also have the chance to access university veterinary teaching hospitals in Camperdown and Camden, Taronga Zoo staff, facilities and animals, and do work placements with industry partners.

Sydney’s veterinary degrees will prepare you for whatever you want to do. They provide strong training across a wide range of veterinary medicine, so however you view your future as a veterinarian, you’ll be prepared to care for both small and large animals.

AVMA Accreditation
The Sydney DVM and BVB/DVM programs hold full American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accreditation, which means graduates are considered in the same category as graduates from North American veterinary schools when undertaking licensing examinations in North America. Graduates are eligible to sit the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination along with graduates from accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and Canada.

Tips for Applying to the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Programs

Do I need a letter of reference?
No. There’s no admissions requirement for a letter of recommendation, but if there are students at equal standing for a seat, a letter might help. However, this is not necessary and for the most part, the university won’t consider them.

How to make your application stronger
Assoc. Prof. Bosward says GPA is usually quite close across applicants. The biggest difference is usually the animal-handling experience requirement (28 days for DVM and 5 days for BVB/DVM) and the commitment statement. Together, these are worth a 50% of the score. If you strengthen these, this could be where you really pick up points that put you above other applicants.

Assoc. Prof. Bosward recommends working or volunteering at a variety of places with various species to get a wide range of animal handling experience. She also mentions that the experience can spread across various locations. You’re better to have diversity versus 12 months in one place working with one kind of species. They also like to see some large-animal handling, because in Australia, you don’t track to just be a small- or large-animal vet, so they want to know that you have the ability to work with both livestock/large animals and small animals.

What should I put in the commitment statement?
For the commitment statement, Assoc. Prof. Bosward encourages you to think about yourself and what you have to offer for the veterinary field. She recommends looking at the Sydney vet school’s mission statement, activities, research projects, and the like. If those things feel like a good fit for you, include that in your commitment statement. This is a great opportunity to communicate your intentions, why and how you feel you’re a good fit for the program, and why you’re passionate about veterinary medicine.

Sydney Veterinary School

What does it mean to be one of the top universities for veterinary science? It means you’ll be taught by world-leading animal and veterinary scientists from the moment you set foot on campus.

It’s studying in the latest facilities, in small groups to maximize learning, and in courses at the cutting-edge of knowledge in the field. It means leaving as a globally respected graduate with the experience and skills to make a difference to the health, welfare and conservation of animals all around the world. And it means undertaking research across a range of specializations to better tackle the big, complex issues facing the world.

Would you like to watch the full webinar? Please reach out to OzTREKK’s Veterinary Medicine Team at

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

This four-year graduate entry course is open to applicants with a completed bachelor’s degree who want to study to become registered veterinary practitioners. Teaching is research-driven to ensure you will learn from the latest developments and advances in evidence-based practice, veterinary science research, animal behaviour and welfare science and veterinary public health. You will benefit from clinical exposure, clinical skills training and animal handling commencing in the first semester and continuing throughout the course.

Location: Sydney & Camden, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Admissions requirements: Undergraduate degree; animal handling experience (28 days); and online situational judgement test (SJT) via Casper.


Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (BVB/DVM)

The Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is a 6-year combined degree and allows you to enter the veterinary program directly from high school. As it encompasses the biological sciences aspect of studies prior to the DVM portion, it is perfectly designed for recently graduated high school students who are high achieving and ready to become knowledgeable and successful veterinarians.

Location: Sydney & Camden, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Admissions requirements: High school diploma (candidate must not have any post-secondary studies); animal handling experience (5 days); and online situational judgement test (SJT) via Casper.

Start your application to Sydney veterinary school


Do you have questions about applying to the Sydney School of Veterinary Science? We’re here to help! Contact us at or call us toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.