Online veterinary degree programs are typically offered at the associate's degree level and prepare students to become veterinary technicians. While veterinary technology degrees are typically not available fully online, veterinary assistant programs can be completed entirely online.
Veterinary technology programs are typically offered in a blended format with some in-person requirements. These can include clinical mentorships, lab work and proctored exams. This article goes over the details of the veterinary technology programs offered online by two different schools.
Associate's Degree at Purdue University
The Associate of Science program in veterinary technology offered online by Purdue University is often completed on a part-time basis, which takes 4-5 years. The courses are offered through a web service, and students are encouraged to take at least three or four credits each semester.
The online degree program also requires that students complete a clinical mentorship with a working veterinarian or veterinary technician to gain the practical experience necessary to obtain employment in the field. The program is meant to work as a stepping stone to an assistant veterinary technician position.
Courses in the program cover the following topics:
- Anatomy for veterinary technicians
- Small animal nursing and health management
- Imaging for veterinary technicians
- Principles of anesthesia for veterinary technicians
- Large animal health management
Purdue University is a public postsecondary institution that has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913. In addition, the veterinary technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
School Size and Yearly Tuition
- Student population: 40,472
- Tuition (2015-2016, in-state): $10,002
Associate's Degree at Cedar Valley College
This 72-credit Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology program can be completed almost entirely online. However, some of the courses require that students complete lab work in person. Courses that can be completed online cover the following topics:
- Veterinary medical terminology
- Veterinary anatomy and physiology
- Veterinary parasitology
- Canine and feline physical management
- Veterinary office management
- Veterinary clinical pathology
Cedar Valley College is a pubic college located in Lancaster, Texas. The online program in veterinary technology at this 2-year college is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and prepares students to sit for the exam to become Registered Veterinary Technicians in Texas and many other states.
School Size and Yearly Tuition
- Student population: 5,635
- Tuition (2015-2016, in-state): $3,330
Online instruction is facilitated through virtual learning platforms, such as Blackboard. Some instructors of online programs incorporate PowerPoint slideshows and video lectures to aid students in the learning process. They also might pose discussion questions online to engage students in critical thinking on specific subjects.
For each credit-hour they are taking, distance-learning students should consider allotting 3-6 hours per week for study time and coursework completion. Assignments may combine text readings, virtual handouts, quizzes and research papers. To complete exams, online students may be required to secure an approved proctor, which could include a professor, veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician.
Aspiring veterinary technicians can pursue online programs at the associate's degree level. Curricula typically include lab work and clinical mentorships designed to teach students the terminology and techniques necessary for working in veterinary clinics.