Q&A: What Are Competitive GRE Scores for Out Of State Applicants

Hi Sharon,

First off, I love your blog and feel like my experience is shaping up to be similar to yours – a few years working post undergrad has led me back to my childhood dream of wanting to become a vet. I am looking to enroll in a post-bac program in January and just took my GREs this morning. And that brings me to my question: despite some thorough google searching, I cannot find any information on how much higher GRE scores should be to get into a state vet school (such as UC Davis) as an out of state applicant. I live in Massachusetts and am eager to pursue admission at both UC Davis and Colorado State. But I am not sure if my GREs are good enough (unofficially, as of a few hours ago, I scored a V: 670 and Q: 790). The schools websites post average accepted applicant scores and number of out of state applicants accepted out of the total out of state pool (a dismal and intimidating low percentage), but do not break down scores based on out of state or in state. I am scheduled to take them again in 3 weeks before the test goes through a makeover on August 1 and I might (stress ‘MIGHT’ there) be able to bump up my verbal by 30 points or so and possibly achieve an 800 in math. But I also could very well get the same of a little worse. So, my question to you – any insight on how much more competitive an out of state applicant should be in terms of GRE scores? I know the GRE scores are not the whole application, but they are the step I am in a position to work on right now.

Many many thanks!




First of all, congrats on such fantastic GRE scores — you should definitely be proud of them! And don’t worry, they are definitely competitive for any veterinary school. For out of state applications to Davis, I (fortunately) cannot say that you need to be the smartest or the best candidate in the entire applicant pool to gain admission because I know people who were seemingly average students who got accepted, perhaps simply because they caught the admissions committee’s eye. I believe out of state applicants at Davis are all reviewed by the Dean of Students, so he may or may not be the only person to have a say in who gets interviewed from the out-of-state pool. You are definitely competitive, so my suggestion is to demonstrate passion and uniqueness in your personal statement (and experiences) to grab the Dean’s attention.

As you know, getting into UC Davis as an out of state student is considered an extremely difficult task, but a few people do it every year. I think you have competitive GRE scores, so I don’t think you will be “weeded out” based upon scores (not that I know for sure that Davis or any school does that).

Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions!

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