Veterinary Degrees and Training Programs
Explore the educational requirements for becoming a veterinary technician or a veterinarian. Read about the coursework and clinical training in these degree programs, and check the online availability of veterinary programs.
What Veterinary Undergraduate Degrees Are Available?
There are a few types of undergraduate veterinary degrees available. A 2-year associate's degree program in veterinary technology can prepare you for entry-level employment as a veterinary technician or for transfer to a 4-year bachelor's degree program in an area like animal science. You'll need to complete prerequisite classes in algebra, biology and chemistry before taking on topics in small and large animal technology, animal anatomy and physiology, veterinary nursing techniques, animal nutrition and pharmacology.
A 4-year bachelor's degree program in veterinary technology is also available and often includes additional courses in radiology, laboratory techniques and clinical pathology. These programs are for students who want to become veterinary technologists, although some programs may offer a pre-veterinary track for aspiring vets. Other pre-veterinary options include Bachelor of Science programs in areas such as pre-veterinary medicine, biology or veterinary science.
|Undergraduate Program Options||Associate's and bachelor's degree|
|Undergraduate Common Courses||Biology, animal anatomy and physiology, chemistry, laboratory techniques, animal nutrition|
|Graduate Program Options||Doctor of Veterinary Medicine|
|Graduate Common Courses||Zoological medicine, immunology, clinical dermatology, toxicology, human-animal relationship|
|Online Options||Hybrid associate degree programs|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$93,830 (for veterinarians)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||19% (for veterinarians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Graduate Degrees Can I Earn?
If you're interested in becoming a licensed veterinarian, you'll need to complete a 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) program. Prerequisites for a D.V.M. program may include coursework in general biology, biochemistry, physics and genetics. Program curriculum includes lectures, research labs and clinical rotations. You may also have the option of completing a research thesis prior to graduation. Some of the classes you may take include:
- Human-animal relationship
- Diagnostic imaging
- Clinical dermatology
- Zoological medicine
Can I Earn a Degree Online?
Hybrid associate's degree programs are available at some schools. You can take classes from the comfort of home. However, clinical mentorships must be completed in a vet's office. In fact, some programs require applicants to be employed by a veterinary practice prior to admission. You may also need to take exams and complete review sessions on campus. Due to the comprehensive hands-on training required of bachelor's degree and D.V.M. programs, online options are not available.