Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Team College Learners
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers 3 Veterinary Science degree programs. It’s a very large, public, four-year university in a small city. In 2019, 142 Veterinary Science students graduated with students earning 137 Doctoral degrees, and 5 Master’s degrees.
Tidewater Community College offers 1 Veterinary Science degree programs. It’s a large, public, two-year college in a midsize city. In 2019, 11 Veterinary Science students graduated with students earning 11 Certificates.
Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) in Weyers Cave—a charming area northwest of Charlottesville— offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. BRCC boasts both on-campus learning as well as a distance education option.
Both programs include courses such as anatomy and physiology of domestic animals; laboratory techniques; clinical practices; applied veterinary surgical nursing; animal diseases and microbiology; and more. Facilities on campus include two labs, a surgery, radiology suite, a treatment area, and small and large animal facilities.
The on-campus program takes five semesters or two years to complete, one of those being a summer semester. Students complete an externship during the summer between the first and second year which includes 350 hours of veterinary hospital work.
The Blue Ridge Community College distance education option is for Virginia residents only or those who are engaged in a preceptorship in the state of VA, therefore it is not listed on the CVTEA-accredited distance-based learning programs page.
Students must work a minimum of 20 hours in a veterinary hospital preceptorship during the entire three-year program. In addition, campus visits include at least three, all-day labs that typically take place on Fridays. Online courses are delivered twice a week for a total of about six hours per week.
Students in the online program must have a web camera equipped computer with high-speed internet access where they intend to be during scheduled class times, as a live connection is mandatory. For its on-campus graduates, BRCC had an outstanding 98 percent first-time passing rate on the VTNE between 2016 and 2019. For its web-based students during the same time period, the rate was a perfect 100 percent.
Northern Virginia Community College-Loudoun (NOVA) in the Potomac Falls area also offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. With convenient on-campus and distance-based learning formats, courses at NOVA include animal breeds and behavior; anesthesia of domestic animals; animal dentistry; clinical pathology; and more. Students complete the program with a vet tech preceptorship.
The on-campus program is full-time and takes two years to complete. It begins in the fall and covers five semesters consecutively including a summer semester. The online program is part-time and takes three years to complete, and is AVMA-accredited just like the on-campus program. Again, for the online program here, students must make a minimum of two to three visits to the Loudoun Campus per semester. In addition, online students must work at least 20 hours per week in a veterinary practice, supervised by a licensed veterinarian, for the entire three-year program.
For its on-campus program graduates, the first-time passing rate on the VTNE was 83.3 percent between 2016 and 2019. During the same time period, the rate was 83.7 percent for its distance learners.
Tidewater Community College offers an associate of applied science (AAS) in veterinary technology at their Virginia Beach campus that is designed for professionals who are already veterinary assistants working a minimum of 20 hours per week. Courses in this 63-credit six-semester program meet twice per week. Students must participate in all-day labs three to four days per semester for study and testing.
Coursework in the program includes animal breeds and behavior, anatomy and physiology of domestic animals, introduction to laboratory, zoo, and wildlife medicine, and animal pharmacology. Students will also be expected to complete 13 credit-hours of general education courses prior to being admitted to the vet tech program. Tidewater is still in its initial accreditation phase at the time of this writing, which means that VTNE first-time pass rates are not currently available.