Frequently Asked Questions - Application Process
Share |


  • Does the requirement that applicants must have 4 years of post DVM experience change in the event the applicant completed a dual degree program (e.g. DVM/MPH)?

The ACVPM bylaws state that in order to be deemed eligible for the exam all candidates must have 4 years of experience after their DVM (or equivalent) degree is conferred. Graduate degrees obtained prior to or concurrently with a DVM degree will not count towards the required 4 years of experience, but will be considered by the committee as part of the total application review process.



  • Are there any other situations where a candidate may be permitted to take the exam prior to achieving four full years of experience?

Applicants in good standing in the final year of a College-approved formal residency or training program will be eligible to sit for the exam provided that they:


a. Graduate with a degree in veterinary medicine from a school or college of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA or possess a certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) of the AVMA or be legally qualified (licensed) to practice veterinary medicine in some state, province, territory, or possession of the United States or other country.




b. Have a history of unquestionable moral character and professional behavior.




c. Will meet the qualifying experience requirements (4 years) upon completion of the program. 


Final certification is contingent upon documentation of successful completion of the program to the EVP. There are currently two residency programs approved by the College:


  • The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine-Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine Resident Program
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine- Veterinary Public Health Resident Program 

All other applicants will need to meet the 4 years of qualifying experience requirement by the application deadline in order to be considered to sit for the exam. NOTE: This is a change from previous guidance indicating that 4 years of qualifying experience could be obtained by the exam date.



  • Please explain the reference form that is included with the application documents, it is a bit confusing.

Each applicant will need to submit references from two different individuals. References are not required to have a DVM (or equivalent degree). However, it is critical that the persons providing references know the applicant well enough that they feel capable of completely and accurately providing the requested information.


The 2 page reference form must be filled out entirely.  This includes:


  • Applicant Name pre-populated by the applicant at the top of both pages of the reference form. We ask that the applicant pre-populate their name at the top of both pages before transferring the form to the reference writer.  This will decrease errors in the process should the reference have multiple ACVPM Board Exam references to write.
  • Reference Name and Contact Information
  • How long the reference has known the applicant in years and months (this can include both personal and professional relationship).
  • The section related to Training Program Director may be skipped if it does not apply.

  • Responsibilities/ Professional Experiences that the applicant had in relation to the five areas of veterinary preventive medicine during the relationship. This should be a fairly detailed description but should fit within the spaces provided on the 2nd page of the reference form. “Not observed” can be used where applicable.

  • All references must complete the Criteria Assessment with yes, no or N/A for each row.

  • Reference must sign and date the document digitally or by hand in the box provided on the 1st page of the reference form. It is preferred that the document is converted to PDF before digital signature.

With the exception of the question that is specifically for training program directors, all other information on the reference form must be completed. Applicants with incomplete reference forms will not be approved. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their references complete the forms as required.  

The reference returns a signed form to the applicant in PDF format. The applicant includes the completed, signed reference in their application packet. Detailed instructions are provided in the application form and on the reference form. 


  • Why does an applicant need to share their references with their sponsor?

In some instances, the relationship between an applicant and their sponsor may be brief in nature. In such instances it is especially important for the sponsor to have visibility to the information provided to support the applicant’s moral and ethical character. The sponsor is encouraged to review the reference forms along with their sponsee’s application as a whole to ensure completeness.  



  • What if my chosen reference(s) aren’t able to describe my responsibilities and experiences?

A different individual should be chosen to provide the reference.



  • Is there a limit as to how much time can elapse between the professional relationship “ending” and the reference being provided?

No, there is not a defined limit. It is important that reference feels they can provide complete and accurate information. The time indicated on the reference form can include both the personal and professional relationships if applicable. 



  • Are there any alternate ways that I can provide official confirmation of my degree(s) other than a photo of my diploma?

Official transcripts from the school(s) (must be from registrar and have appropriate signatures and seals) can be substituted in place of a diploma photo, provided that the transcript states that the degree was conferred.



  • What should I do if my name has changed since my degree was conferred?

Please provide official supporting documentation that confirms the name change.  Examples include marriage license, divorce decree, etc.,  



  • What if any of the documents required for my application are in a language other than English?

A certified translation is required for any documents that are not in English. The document must be provided for the credentials committee to review in English and must be accompanied with documentation that the translation from the original document was completed by a certified individual or company.  



  • Can my sponsor also serve as one of my two references?

The sponsor may also serve as one of the three references. This topic is best approached on a case by case basis and is dependent on the nature of the relationship that the sponsor and applicant have.