Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine is in Harrogate, TN. It is one of the accredited US Veterinary Colleges.

Kelli had to apply to vet school 6 application cycles before getting into Lincoln Memorial Universtiy College of Veterinary Medicine. She is proof that if this is something that you really want then you must keep trying. She strengthened her application by going to grad school just like a few of the other people interviewed did. If you have any questions on their admissions criteria you can follow this link.



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Name, Veterinary School attended, and year that you started.

Kelli Luttman, Lincoln Memorial University CVM, 2016

 Lincoln Memorial


Who are the animals that you currently share your life with?

3 dogs (Copper, Bernie, & MJ) and 3 cats (MB, Cowboy, & Torti)


Where did you attend undergrad and what was your major?

Purdue University; Animal Science


At what age did you first apply to vet school? 



How many schools/application cycles did you apply to before being accepted?

6 application cycles, applied to 2-3 schools each time


During those years when you were applying so many times did you have a back up plan?
No, for awhile I continued working full time at a vet clinic as an assistant.  After while I realized I had multiple degrees and was still  working my high school job. So I went on to work at an engineering firm for 2 years which was a great paying job but I had no passion for it. I still worked at the vet clinic part time because I loved it so much.  Working elsewhere just gave me more drive to keep pursing my dream job as a veterinarian. To be honest I have no clue what I would be doing right now if I hadn’t gotten accepted.
Do you know what about your 6th time applying got you accepted?

LMU reviews their applicants with holistic approach instead who has the highest GPA and GRE scores.  I had worked in a vet clinic for several years, went on to get my masters, and was still applying after being rejected so many times.  I feel like they looked at the whole picture and not at just one test score.  I will be forever grateful to LMU for giving me the opportunity.


Were you waitlisted at any schools?



How many schools invited you for an interview? 

1- Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine


How many of those gave you an acceptance letter?

1- Lincoln Memorial University



Do you remember any specifically challenging interview questions at Lincoln Memorial?

“Tell me about yourself” I remember thinking where do I even begin……..


What was your GPA (in undergraduate)?



What was your GRE score?

I don’t remember the exact scores but I was average in all departments
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Did you attend grad school?

Purdue University; Masters in Biology


Did you go to grad school in order to strengthen your application for vet school? 
Yes I went on to get my Masters in Biology from Purdue University.


How many extracurricular activities did you list on your application?

1; that I was a TA in undergrad


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

Tons of small animal and some large


What types of paying jobs did you have before going to veterinary school? 

Veterinary Assistant for 15 years at small animal clinic

Sales & Marketing Coordinator for 2 years at an engineering firm


Did you volunteer? If so, where? 

Yes; Steuben County Humane Shelter


How many people read your personal statement before submitting it?



When did you decide to become a vet?

As far back as I can remember, I never wanted to be anything else.


Did you interview any vets before starting the application process? If so how did you approach them? 

I did ask my boss about her interview process but it was very casual and not too detailed of a conversion.


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

Pre-Vet Club


Did you join student clubs in your DVM program at Lincoln Memorial? If so, which ones? Are they helpful?



Behavior Club

Companion Animal

Guest speakers and wet labs make the clubs so worth it.


Who gave you your letters of recommendation? Did you know them well?

2 vets at the vet clinic I had worked at for years and 1 college professor that I did my thesis with. I knew all of them very well.


Did you find the application process stressful? Why or why not?

Just when the decline letters came in, haha.


How did you stay motivated to keep applying after so many rejection letters?
It is hard to look good on paper especially when you’re up against the best of the best.  Instead of feeling rejected, I focused on what I could do to be better for the next application process.  This was my passion, it was confirmed every time I went to work at the vet clinic, and confirmed when I tried working else where.  Thank goodness I didn’t give up because look where I am today!

Did you apply to or think about any of the Caribbean schools? Why or why not?
It crossed my mind and if I wouldn’t have gotten into LMU I’m sure I would have tried the Caribbean veterinary schools the following application cycle.

Are you happy that you chose this career? What makes you most happy about this career choice?

Absolutely. This career has so many different options whether its private practice, research, or teaching. The opportunities are endless.


Do you have any advice for students, once accepted?

Remember there are people out there that would love to be in your shoes, so don’t take the opportunity for granted.


Any study tips that have helped you at Lincoln Memorial or your previous colleges? 

Don’t get stressed if you feel behind with your studies, just keep chugging along.


What have been some of your favorite classes, within your DVM program at Lincon Memorial?

Immunology and Infectious Diseases


What has been the most challenging class, in your DVM program so far?

Anatomy along with its lab.


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?

Yes but I am not concerned. It will all work out in the end.


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

I love everything about LMU. Our clinical/professional skills course is so helpful. The facilities are excellent with amazing scenery around. The staff and other students are so supportive.


Do you have any advice for students thinking about attending your University?

You will get more hands-on experience here, which is priceless.


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

No, only because I am older (33 yrs old), if I was younger I would probably have taken that route.


As a student have you had any challenging cases yet?

Went on a trip to Thailand through Loop Aboard in a vet program. A goat had been attacked by dogs and was in bad shape. We needed to amputate her mammary glands because they were mangled but we did not have the proper equipment to do so. We ended up treating with fluids and antibiotics. We knew what needed to be done but just didn’t have the proper equipment which made the case very challenging.


Have you read or listened to anything worth sharing? 

Oogy the dog only a family could love by Larry Levin.


Do you have any last words of wisdom?

Don’t give up!


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