Before getting into CSU vet school, Yoshua’s unique experiences helped shaped him into the vet student that gained acceptance to 7 veterinary medical colleges. Find out why he ultimately chose to attend the vet school at Colorado State University.

This is An In-Depth Guide Into One Students Journey to Becoming a CSU Vet School Student!

Name, veterinary school attended, and year that you started.

While attending CSU vet school, who are the animals that you currently share your life with?

  • I currently have two dogs named Nick and Nacho. Nick is a German Shepherd Border Collie mix and Nacho is a Jack Russel Terrier mix.

Nick a border collie/GSD mix and Yoshua a CSU vet school student.

What has been the one textbook you have used the most in your classes at CSU vet school so far?

  • Dyce, Veterinary Anatomy.

Do you think there were any specific experiences or items on your application that helped to strengthen it?

  • Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel – Nativ is a 9-month gap-year program in Israel between high school and college. I believe that this experience helped me stand out most from other applicants. My time was split between living in Jerusalem and a youth village for underprivileged children in northern Israel. In the village, my job was to take care of the animals in the petting zoo and help in the dairy farm. I worked with at-risk children to teach them English, how to care for animals, and work ethic. This experience was life-changing, and I was able to add 500 hours of small animal exotic experience and 500 hours of dairy experience to my resume.
  • The Negev Zoo – During one of my winter breaks, I returned to Israel to volunteer at the Negev Zoo in Beer Sheba. I worked closely with the zookeepers to care for the animals and maintain the Zoo. I was also able to get hands-on exotic veterinary medicine experience when the Zoo Dr. visited. This experience added 100 hours of exotic experience to my resume.

Yoshua Goodman a csu vet student. meerkat named Henry he cared for in The Negev Zoo,

  • Boca Park Animal Hospital, Las Vegas, NV – Another extremely important part of my application was working at Boca Park Animal Hospital. I devoted all of my summer and winter vacations to working at BPAH. I gained about 1500 hours of hands-on small animal private practice experience as a Veterinary Assistant. This experience has contributed the most to the start of my veterinary career, and it allowed me to develop strong clinical skills. Dr. Caitlin Hill, Dr. John Ensign, and Dr. Regina Anderson have been invaluable mentors to me.         
  • Language – I am fluent in Spanish, and through my experiences in Israel, I can speak, read, and write Hebrew intermediately. I was very fortunate to be raised in a Spanish speaking household.

Where did you attend undergrad and what was your major?

  • University of Connecticut – Double major – B.S. in Pathobiology & Animal Science

Did you apply for vet school after, or during your Bachelor’s education?

  • During 

Did you attend grad school?

  • No

What was your GRE score? GRE study tips and tricks.

  • Combined 76th percentile


At what age did you first apply to Colorado State University veterinary school?

  • 22

How many schools/application cycles did you apply to before being accepted at csu vet school? Were you waitlisted at any schools?

  • I applied to 9 schools and I was extremely fortunate to be accepted to 7. I was waitlisted to 3 schools and ultimately  accepted to 2 of the schools where I was waitlisted. I chose to withdraw my application from the University of Pennsylvania. The only school that I was not accepted to was Ohio State University.
  • Nevada only funds 2 WICHE applicants per year. At first, I did not receive WICHE funding. Two months later, I was notified that someone had declined their funding and I was extremely lucky to be the next recipient on the list. CSU converted their non-sponsored offer to a WICHE offer and Washington State University called me to offer me a WICHE spot with a scholarship.
    • Colorado State University → Non-sponsored Acceptance → Acceptance to WICHE offer
    • Purdue University → Acceptance
    • University of Glasgow → Acceptance
    • Oregon State University → Acceptance
    • Midwestern University → Acceptance
    • Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine→ Waitlist → Acceptance due to WICHE offer
    • Iowa State University → Waitlist → Acceptance
    • University of Pennsylvania → Waitlist → Withdrawal of application
    • Ohio State University → Denied

How many schools invited you for an interview? How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?

  • Interview:
    • Colorado State University → Acceptance
    • Purdue University → Acceptance
    • University of Glasgow → Acceptance
    • Midwestern University → Acceptance
    • Washington State University → Waitlist → Acceptance
    • University of Pennsylvania → Waitlist → Withdrawal of application

If you were accepted to more than one school, what were some reasons for your choice in the veterinary program at CSU?

  • Ever since I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian, I knew I wanted to go to CSU. Two of my mentors, Dr. John Ensign and Dr. Caitlin hill are both excellent veterinarians and CSU Rams. The CSU vet school is known for its hands-on clinical skills and communication curriculum, and it is not hard to know why after working with them.
  • CSU is one of the pioneering leaders of innovation in veterinary medicine. Many of my professors are world-renown and leaders in their field. Furthermore, CSU has state of the art facilities and equipment that have been extremely useful as a veterinary student. When I toured CSU, I knew that I would be given all of the resources I needed to become an outstanding veterinarian. Many schools that I toured had worn-down and outdated facilities.
  • Out of all of the schools, I was fortunate enough to visit, CSU was in the best location. Fort Collins is a wonderful city in one of the most beautiful parts of the country

A csu vet student Yoshua, Dr. Anderson and I working on a tortoise at Boca Park Animal Hospital.

Do you remember any specifically challenging interview questions? What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?

  • I signed an NDA during many of my interviews, but I will share that my favorite interviews were CSU, Purdue and University of Glasgow.
  • 3.46

How many extracurricular activities did you list on your application?

  • I held leadership positions at the University of Connecticut Hillel, Huskies for Israel, and Sigma Alpha Mu.

Did you have exotic, large and small animal experience prior to applying to veterinary School?

  • Exotic – 500 hours
  • Large Animal – 500 hours
  • Small Animal – 1500 hours

What types of paying jobs did you have before going to veterinary school? Did you volunteer? If so, where?

  • Paid – Boca Park Animal Hospital
  • Volunteer – Nativ, The Negev Zoo, First 500 hours of BPAH

How many people read your personal statement before submitting it?

  • I hired a professional proofreader and I think it is absolutely worth the investment.

When did you decide to become a vet?

  • I knew I wanted to become a veterinarian since I was a little kid! I was bullied heavily in middle school, and my best friend was my dog, Pancho. He had such a big impact on my life that I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to saving animals.

Were you a member of any clubs at your undergraduate school? If so, which ones?

  • University of Connecticut Pre-Vet club, Hillel, Huskies for Israel, and Sigma Alpha Mu.

Did you join any student clubs at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine? If so, which ones? Were they helpful?

  • Student Government – Class of 2023 President
  • I co-founded the Jewish Association of Veterinary Students! We are the first and only Jewish club at a SAVMA accredited veterinary school.
  • Surgical Association of Veterinary Students – I am interested in surgery, and there are not many surgical opportunities in the first-year curriculum. SAVS has some incredible wet labs that allow us to get hands-on experience as a first-year!
  • Veterinary Business Management Association – I am interested in business and want to open my own practice one day! VBMA offers wonderful lectures and opportunities to network with others involved in the business side of veterinary medicine.

Who gave you your letters of recommendation? Did you know them well? Did you find the application process stressful? Why or why not?

  • My mentors from Boca Park Animal Hospital; Dr. John Ensign, Dr. Caitlin Hill, Dr. Regina Anderson, and Dr. Sandra Bushmich wrote me a letter of recommendation. Dr. Bushmich was my academic advisor at the University of Connecticut. She is now the Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources.
  • I had a good relationship with everyone who wrote me a letter recommendation and I still keep in contact with them. Dr. Caitlin Hill even came to my coating ceremony!
  • I found the application process extremely stressful because VMCAS gave me misleading information that caused my application to be late and un-verified to every school I had applied to. They admitted fault and added a note to the top of my application, but it was an extremely stressful time. I wrote a letter and mailed a copy to every school I applied to, explaining the situation, and fortunately, they still considered me as an applicant.

Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?

  • Never forget the feeling you had when you were accepted. Think of that moment every time you go through a stressful time in school and it will get you through.

Any study tips?

  • Work hard and learn from your mistakes! If you are struggling there are so many resources; meet with your professor, go to tutoring sessions, and don’t be afraid to ask classmates for help! Veterinary School is a team effort. You must work with your classmates to get through it, you can’t do it on your own.

What have been some of your favorite classes, within your DVM program at CSU vet school?

  • I’m so fortunate to be learning from some of the best veterinarians in the field, here are some of my favorites;
    • Dr. Anna Fails has been the anatomy professor at CSU for 20 years. I look forward to her classes every day, she is absolutely wonderful!
    • Dr. Ray Whalen teaches neuroanatomy and he is absolutely brilliant.
    • Dr. Laura Ballweber teaches parasitology, a notoriously difficult course. She has never deferred a question in class because she did not know the answer.
    • Dr. Gary Mason teaches Biology of Disease and gives great lectures. I was a Pathobiology major at Uconn and I love classes about disease.

What has been the most challenging class, in your DVM program  at CSU vet school so far?

    • Parasitology, Virology, and Bacteriology.

As a student, did you have to take out loans for your education? If so, are you concerned about the amount of debt you will have after graduation?

  • I am extremely fortunate to be a NV WICHE recipient because I am much better off financially  than many of my classmates. That being said, I am still concerned about the amount of debt I will have after graduation.

Is there anything in particular about your DVM program or the school itself that you like?

  • My favorite part about CSU is that the faculty are extremely supportive and are actually there for you. When I did not pass my first anatomy exam, Dr. Fails emailed me and we scheduled a time to meet. We spoke for about an hour, and that’s when I realized that the faculty really care about our well being. I was given the extra push I needed, and I noticed that the anatomy instructors were spending more time at my lab table. Dr. Fails motivated me to do better, and I was ecstatic to receive above average grades on the final 3 exams!

Does your school offer study/review sessions held by upperclass students?

  • Every course has tutors with weekly review sessions held by upperclass students. If you are struggling with a class, the dean will contact you to provide you with a one-on-one tutor for the course you are struggling with.

At this point do you think you will have a specialty?

  • I am currently thinking about specializing in small animal soft tissue surgery or neurology. Our professors are so incredible that every semester I am forced to think about a different specialty!

Did you work a paid job during vet school? If not did you know of anyone who did?

  • I’m very fortunate to not have to work a paid job during school. One of my classmates is an MBA DVM student who takes night classes to fulfill his MBA requirements and has two small children at home. He works full time on the weekends and I have absolutely no idea how he does it!

Do you have any last words of wisdom?

  • Nothing can prepare you for veterinary school. The most important thing is to take care of yourself, go on a hike, and take a breath every once in a while. It is OK to get a B or a C, you’re still going to be a Doctor!

How can people find you? (Social media or email)

  • I’m a CSU DVM ambassador and I’m always more than happy to answer questions about the program!
  • My linkedin and Facebook are under Yoshua Goodman



Check out another interview with a Colorado State University Student: Nora!