Best Veterinary Technician Programs | BestColleges

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A bachelor’s in veterinary technician program allows graduates to compete for meaningful roles and spend their days helping treat animals. These programs can provide the training needed to work in varied professional settings. The cost of a bachelor’s in veterinary technician program can vary significantly, with public in-state tuition typically costing far less than tuition at a private institution. Because of this, prospective learners must carefully review true program costs before committing to any institution.


Full-time learners typically spend four years completing degree requirements. Some schools offer part-time and accelerated options — particularly online schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that vet tech jobs will grow by 15% from 2020-2030, which could make it a great time to join this field.


Keep reading to learn more about the top bachelor’s in veterinary technician programs, where this degree can take healthcare graduates, and how much they can expect to earn.



Best Accredited Bachelor’s in Veterinary Technician Programs


Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team


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#1

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Location Pomona, California
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 69%
Accreditation Yes

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 38%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $7,438
Out of State | $19,318

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association 

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona offers a bachelor’s in animal health science that students can complete in about four years. 

Leaning on classroom learning and extensive clinical experiences, graduates gain the skills they need to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination. Core classes include topics in clinical pharmacology, large animal medicine, and clinical anatomy and physiology.

Prospective students can apply online and must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. In-state applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, while out-of-state students must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.



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#2

Michigan State University

Location East Lansing, Michigan
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 81%
Accreditation Yes

Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $507
Out of State | $1,393

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

Based in East Lansing, Michigan, Michigan State University (MSU) offers a bachelor’s in veterinary nursing that prepares graduates for professional certification. Throughout this program, students cover core classes such as veterinary medical terminology, small animal nursing skills, and healthcare development for veterinary nurses. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete extensive hands-on clinical work.

Prospective MSU students must submit an application with letters of reference, application essays, and must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.



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#3

University of Nebraska

Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes

Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $259
Out of State | $830

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

The University of Nebraska’s flagship campus is home to a bachelor’s in veterinary technology. A solid option for both first-year students and those holding an associate degree, learners tackle foundational coursework and extensive clinical experiences. Core classes include topics such as prevention of livestock diseases, introduction to veterinary anatomy, and introduction to the principles of biosecurity and disease transmission.

Prospective vet tech students must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate and typically graduate in the top half of their high school class. Applicants traditionally complete a college prep curriculum as high school students.



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#4

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Location Amherst, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes

New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $16,952
Out of State | $38,172

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a bachelor’s in veterinary technology where students complete coursework at both the Amherst campus and at their dedicated vet tech facility in Newton, Massachusetts. 

Alongside general education requirements, students complete a 68-credit vet tech curriculum that covers essential topics, including intro to veterinary technology, large animal clinical nursing, and veterinary management. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete a vet tech internship.

Prospective students can apply through the Common Application and must submit official transcripts and letters of recommendation. UMass Amherst is currently a test-optional institution.



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#5

St. Petersburg College

Location Clearwater, Florida
Graduation Rate 33%
Accreditation Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $112-$123
Out of State | $387-$426

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

Florida’s St. Petersburg College is a public institution that offers a bachelor’s in veterinary science that students can complete online. Alongside core classes like introduction to veterinary technology research, veterinary hospital management, and large animal nursing, students also gain extensive clinical experience at approved professional sites.

Applicants can apply online and must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. To gain admission into the vet tech program, prospective students must either hold a vet tech associate degree or successfully complete at least 15 credits of college-level coursework.



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#6

Tarleton State University

Location Stephenville, Texas
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 54%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $184
Out of State | $592

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

Tarleton State University is part of the Texas A&M system and is home to a bachelor’s in veterinary technology. This program is designed for individuals holding a vet tech associate degree and offers expanded career options and earning potential.

Students tackle an asynchronous curriculum and complete classes such as veterinary microbiology, shelter animal medicine, and veterinary forensics. Before graduation, degree-seekers also complete a 480-hour internship at an approved veterinary site.

Prospective students must hold an associate degree and veterinary technology and supply Tarleton State with official college transcripts.



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#7

North Dakota State University

Location Fargo, North Dakota
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 60%
Accreditation Yes

Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 40%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Academic Year
In State | $9,309
Out of State | $13,963

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

Established in 1890, North Dakota State University (NDSU) is home to a bachelor’s in veterinary technology program that degree-seekers can complete in about four years. 

NDSU vet tech students complete a 72-credit major curriculum that includes classes such as introduction to animal nutrition, veterinary surgical nursing techniques, and veterinary hematology. Before graduation, students also complete a clinical veterinary practicum.

Vet tech applicants must complete at least 12 credits at NDSU before enrolling. Prospective students must submit an application with official transcripts and a personal essay outlining career goals and interest in the field.



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#8

Morehead State University

Location Morehead, Kentucky
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $385
Out of State | $582

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

Kentucky’s Morehead State University is home to a bachelor’s in veterinary technology that prepares graduates with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need to pursue their careers. 

Morehead vet tech students tackle a deep catalog of essential coursework that covers topics such as veterinary diagnostic imaging, surgical nursing, and veterinary dentistry. Prior to graduation, degree-seekers complete a 12-credit advanced clinical practicum.

This vet tech program admits about 40 students each year. Prospective students can apply for the program during their first semester at Morehead and must include current transcripts and documentation of veterinary work experience.



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#9

Fort Valley State University

Location Fort Valley, Georgia
Admission Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 35%
Accreditation Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 13%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $169
Out of State | $616

Credits to Graduate
125

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association 

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) is a Georgia-based historically Black college that offers the state’s only four-year bachelor’s in veterinary technology. Alongside general education credits, vet tech students complete an array of major coursework, including vet clinical parasitology, veterinary pharmacology, and veterinary microbiology.

Applicants to FVSU must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate with a minimum 2.25 GPA. Additionally, prospective students must submit official transcripts and ACT/SAT scores.



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#10

Mercy College

Location Dobbs Ferry, New York
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 36%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $862
Out of State | $862

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | American Veterinary Medical Association

Located just outside New York City, Mercy College is a private institution that’s home to a 120-credit bachelor’s in veterinary technology program.

In addition to 60 credits of general education coursework, students complete another 60 credits of major concentration classes. Core classes include topics such as intro to veterinary science, applied animal behavior, and small animal diseases. Before graduation, degree-seekers complete a hands-on externship at an approved professional site.

Prospective vet tech students must gain admission to Mercy College and apply to the vet tech program during their first year. Applicants should maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA and the program prefers those with documented volunteer hours at a veterinary practice.



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Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.


How We Rank Schools


Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor’s in Veterinary Technician ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 10 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.


  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution.
  • Must offer a bachelor’s degree program in the given subject.
  • Must submit an annual report to the National Center for Education Statistics.


To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).


The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.


BestColleges’ Ranking Factors




Top Three Benefits of a Veterinary Technician Degree



Jobs are projected to grow substantially in the coming years.

The BLS reports that jobs for veterinary technologists and technicians will grow by an impressive 15% between 2020 and 2030.



Graduates can find roles in many different settings, making this a versatile degree.

Individuals with a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree can work in public or private veterinary clinics, in university settings, or in social advocacy organizations.



Top-tier veterinary technicians earn substantially more than those just starting out.

Veterinary technicians in the top 10% of earners received salaries in excess of $48,100. Meanwhile, those in the bottom 10% earned less than $28,370 as of 2021.




What Can I Expect From a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Technician Program?


Completing a bachelor’s in veterinary technician program suits learners who enjoy working with animals and providing compassionate care across their lifespan. Whether working with a premature puppy or a senior horse, veterinary technicians use their skills to support veterinarians and provide clinical and administrative services.


In addition to coursework, learners typically participate in a semester-long practicum to gain hands-on skills prior to graduating. Because these programs focus on the scientific components of the discipline, schools offer these degrees as bachelor of science qualifications.


Check Out The Student’s Guide to College Planning









Program Snapshot
Average Bachelor’s Degree Tuition Cost

Public Institution: $9,349

Private Institution: $32,769

Length 4 years
Credits 120
Program Tracks Bachelor of Science (BS)
Example Courses

  • Anesthesia and Analgesia
  • Vet Dentistry
  • Vet Diagnostic Imaging
  • Veterinary Practice Management
  • Surgical Nursing


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What Are the Admission Requirements?


Admission requirements vary from program to program, making it important for prospective students to review requirements for each bachelor’s in veterinary technician program to which they plan to apply. Some schools require college entrance exam scores from the SAT or ACT, while others have dispensed with this component.


The vast majority of programs require students to supply letters of recommendation and college application essays, providing the opportunity for both students and those who know them well to discuss their preparedness for higher education.


Explore Our Undergraduate Application Guide


How Do I Pay for a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technician?





The Student’s Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA






Financial Aid and Scholarships for Online Students






How to Appeal Financial Aid to Get More Money






What Can I Do With This Degree?


Graduates of an online bachelor’s in veterinary technician program can take their career in many directions. The BLS projects that jobs for these professionals will grow by an impressive 15% between 2020-2030, leading to the creation of more than 17,000 new roles.


Veterinary technologists and technicians earned median yearly wages of $36,850 as of May 2021, while those in the top 10% of earners took home nearly $50,000. When searching and applying for jobs, recent graduates can pursue positions in local veterinary clinics, veterinary research labs, mobile veterinary units, and universities.


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Popular Veterinary Technician Careers
Career Median Annual Salary (as of May 2021)
Veterinary Technologist or Technician $36,850
Clinical Laboratory Technologist or Technician $57,800
Surgical Technologist $48,530
Radiologic and MRI Technologist $61,980


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Veterinary Technician Licensing and Certification


Certification and licensure requirements vary across states, making it important that graduates check with their state’s licensing board to learn about specifics.


Most states require these professionals to pass a credentialing exam as part of the Veterinary Technician National Examination. This exam is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, which provides preparatory materials to help students get ready for test day.


Should I Get a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Technician Online?

When choosing a college and deciding whether to attend online or in person, it’s important to think about the pros and cons of online learning and how an online bachelor’s degree fits into your future goals.

Online vs. On-Campus Degrees


On-Campus Pros





Access to on-campus resources and support services


In-person social interaction and networking


Hands-on learning


Classroom learning environment with fewer distractions


Extracurricular clubs and activities


On-Campus Cons





May be more expensive than online programs


Set class times with less flexibility


Time/money commuting




Online Pros





Flexibility to learn on your schedule


Learn from anywhere


Network with people around the world


Save time/money on commuting


May be more affordable than on-campus programs


Access to online tutoring and career services


Online Cons





Requires more self-discipline


Not all programs are available online


More technical requirements


Potential social isolation and loneliness



How to Choose an Online Degree Program




Cost
Comparing the Costs of Online vs. On-Campus Programs







Program Format
Synchronous Learning vs. Asynchronous Learning







Accreditation
How Does Online College Accreditation Work?







Student Support
Your Guide to Online Student Services and Opportunities







Frequently Asked Questions About Veterinary Technician Programs


Is a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree worth it?


For individuals who know they want to work with animals but do not feel ready to commit to a full veterinarian doctoral program, a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree may provide entry to the field with less required education.


These programs, which typically require four years of full-time study, provide the training and qualifications needed to work under the supervision of licensed veterinarians.


These degrees help graduates compete for a variety of jobs based on their personal interests and career aspirations. Students looking to save money on their degrees can enroll at a public university in their state and complete requirements for far less than if they were at a private institution.


What can I do with a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree?


Earning a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree can train graduates to take on several different jobs. While many decide to work in private clinics or animal hospitals, these qualifications also allow them to pursue work in humane societies, for nonprofit animal welfare organizations, and even at colleges and universities.


For graduates particularly invested in the science behind the discipline, laboratory work may best suit their interests.


What continuing education is available after a veterinary technician graduates?


After completing a bachelor’s in veterinary technician and working in the field for a few years, some of these professionals may decide they want to return to school for continuing education. Individuals who want to become veterinarians must complete a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM).


Completing a DVM typically requires four additional years of schooling, but qualifies graduates to take on advanced positions. As of May 2021, the BLS states that veterinarians earned median annual salaries of $100,370 — significantly more than veterinary technicians. Admission to these programs is competitive, meaning students should adequately prepare before applying.


Maybe a DVM is not for you, but you still want to continue to grow in your field.


There are several veterinary technician specialist academies — in emergency and critical care, anesthesia, general practice, oncology, and more — that may interest you. The requirements for each of these specialties are different, and it can be a rigorous process. But the effort can be worth it.


How much money can I make with a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree?


The BLS reports that veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $36,850, as of May 2021. Those working in colleges and universities typically earn the highest pay, with median salaries topping $46,780. Meanwhile, those working at social advocacy organizations such as humane societies often earn the least with median salaries at $35,480.


Many factors influence how much a veterinary technician earns, including degree level, title, amount of experience, location, and employer. Students should carefully research salary potential to ensure it meets their professional expectations.


What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor’s in veterinary technician degree?


With a median salary ($36,850) that is lower than the median annual wage for all workers ($45,760), this may not be the best path for aspiring veterinary technicians looking to maximize their earning potential.


According to the BLS, graduates who decide to seek work as clinical laboratory technologists or technicians earned a median annual salary of $57,800, as of May 2021 — around $20,000 more than vet techs.


To earn the highest salary within veterinary medicine, individuals may want to consider continuing their education to become veterinarians.


Feature Image: FatCamera / E+ / Getty Images

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