Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
Bachelor of Veterinary Science Degree Programs with Course Info
Students who earn bachelor’s degrees in veterinary science are prepared to become veterinary technologists and help veterinarians by performing tests to diagnose illnesses, providing dental care and administering treatments prescribed by the vet. Extra classes provide students with training in exotic animal care, disease research, nutrition and husbandry. These classes expand students’ knowledge and enable them to find jobs in areas such as ranching, zoology, animal nutrition and research. Prerequisites include proof of medical insurance, physical and medical fitness, immunization shots, and regulation attire. Some programs require clinical experiences, one year of residency training or internships.
After earning a veterinary science degree, students may take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org.). Though licensing requirements vary by state, many states use the VTNE exam to license vet techs. The exam tests academic and practical knowledge through questions demanding written, oral and practical responses.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Veterinary Science
In this course of study, students receive hands-on experience in addition to their regular book-centered and lecture-based classes. Many programs require clinical experience and offer apprenticeship-style internships with professionals in the field. Students need to be able to devote at least one year to resident training. Some typical classes students may take include:
- Care of laboratory animals
- Infectious diseases and common ailments
- Nutritional needs
- Clinical procedures and management
- Pre- and post-surgical nursing
- Research methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for veterinary technologists will grow about 16% between 2019 and 2029 (www.bls.gov). This growth rate is much faster than average. One reason for this is the growing number of pet owners and the increasing demand for veterinary care. Also expected to increase are venues for animal care such as shelters, kennels, animal control and humane societies.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage of vet techs was $36,260 in May 2020. Veterinary technologists and technicians who worked for the government, with employment services or in research tended to earn a higher salary than those who held other positions.
Bachelor of Veterinary Science programs help those interested in becoming veterinary assistants or technicians learn how to provide support in treating illnesses and providing care for ailing animals in a number of settings. This training is available in both a classroom setting and clinical environment. Students can take certification exams after earning this degree.
Veterinary Science Degrees
Animals have played a crucial role in the lives of humans for thousands of years, and ensuring that our furry (and not so furry) friends are happy and healthy has become a firmly established field
What do veterinary degrees cover?
Veterinary science was formalized as a discipline in the 18th century, when a host of specialized colleges were established across Europe. Since then, it’s evolved into a complex and advanced field, requiring a relatively long and demanding period of study in order to become a qualified practitioner. Much like human medical care, veterinary science is competitive and demanding, yet also highly regarded; it promises the rewards of social status, attractive employability and salary prospects – and of course the satisfaction of contributing to animals’ quality of life.
If you study veterinary science, you will cover many of the same topics found on a medical degree, but with a focus on animals instead of humans. Course modules may include anatomy, animal behavior, animal husbandry, cell biology, nutrition, physiology, genetics, epidemiology, pharmacology, infectious diseases, pathology, parasitology and public health. You may also have the opportunity to study veterinary science modules which are less scientific but all part of the preparation for veterinary careers, including communication skills, law and ethics, business management and others.
Entry requirements for veterinary degrees
In order to study veterinary science, you will be expected to demonstrate a very strong academic record in science subjects, especially chemistry and biology. You’ll need to show excellent grades from your previous studies in these two subjects and have an overall good diploma. Good grades in mathematics and physics are usually not obligatory, but they may be an asset to your application. As veterinary degrees are often highly competitive, applicants are also expected to show evidence of their longstanding interest in the field, perhaps through completion of some relevant work experience or voluntary work.
Course structure and assessment methods
Like medicine, veterinary science education and training follows a different system depending on the country. In some countries, you can study veterinary science at undergraduate level, while in others the subject is only offered at postgraduate level, after completion of a relevant undergraduate program such as biology or animal science. In either case, you can expect your studies to last at least five years, and often longer.
During the first few years of your studies, you will be introduced to the main background knowledge and theory required to become a veterinary practitioner. During the next stage, you’ll have opportunities to choose to specialize in certain areas you are most interested in. Towards the end of the program you will usually complete a work placement, which may include working in a clinic, farm, zoo or another organization in which animals are inspected and cared for.
At the end of the course you will typically be expected to carry out a research project on a topic you have chosen yourself. Assessment methods include in-class exams, essays, short projects and practical examinations.
Veterinary science skills
Most veterinary science degrees are designed to prepare you for a specific career path – either as a veterinary physician, or as a researcher in the field. At the same time, you should accumulate a range of transferrable skills, which will serve you well beyond the clinic or laboratory. These include:
- Diagnostic skills (without the aid of the patient being able to speak to you!)
- Laboratory research skills
- Clinical skills
- Understanding of scientific literature
- Solid grounding in biological sciences
- The soft skills necessary for dealing with upset owners
- Team-working skills (vets work with a team of support staff)
- Learning to work with the advanced technology used in modern practices and research facilities