Site Search:

A browser that supports JavaScript is required to submit the NOVA site search form and to display search results.

Audience Navigation:

Topic Navigation:

Breadcrumb Navigation:

Home >   Academics > Degree & Certificates

NOVA 2012-2013 College Catalog: Programs of Study

Associate of Applied Science Degree LO

Purpose: The curriculum will prepare the student for a career as a veterinary technician. Satisfactory completion of the curriculum will make the student eligible to take State Board and National Board examinations for certification as a veterinary technician. The curriculum is broad based and includes both practical and theoretical course work which prepares the student for employment in various areas of animal health care, including veterinary hospitals and research and diagnostic laboratories. There is a part-time online and a full-time on-site option.

Special Curriculum Admission Requirements: The Veterinary Technology program accepts 30 students each year to both the onsite program and the online program. To be admitted to the Veterinary Technology program, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Admission to NOVA in the Veterinary Technology program must be at the Loudoun campus.
  2. Be 18 years of age or older, or have assistant dean approval.
  3. Satisfactory scores on NOVA placement tests for reading, writing, and mathematics.
  4. Completion of one unit of high school level algebra or equivalent.
  5. Completion of at least one unit of high school biology and one unit of high school chemistry.
  6. Past academic achievement in the above course requirements must reflect a C or better. Deficiencies may be corrected in the College's developmental program before entering the Veterinary Technology program.
  7. A student may elect to take general education courses listed in the program's curriculum prior to seeking acceptance to the Veterinary Technology program. These courses may be taken at any of the College's campuses and may be transferred to NOVA from other accredited post-secondary institutions. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better is required in all required general education courses taken preceding admission to the Veterinary Technology program, unless waived by the division dean upon the recommendation of the assistant dean.
  8. Students seeking admission to the Veterinary Technology program must indicate if they are applying to the onsite or the online program. Applicants must arrange to have an interview with the assistant dean for the online program ONLY prior to entering the program.
  9. Students must send separate copies of their transcripts to both Student Services Center at the Loudoun Campus and the Veterinary Technology Program:

    Northern Virginia Community College
    Veterinary Technology Program
    1000 Harry Flood Byrd Hwy.
    Sterling, VA 20164

  10. Priority in the admissions process will be given to students currently working in the field, Virginia residents, students with a GPA of 3.0 and higher and who have completed support courses.

Responsibilities of Veterinary Technology Students: The following are responsibilities of students in the Veterinary Technology program:

  1. Students in the Veterinary Technology program incur a variety of additional expenses. These include, but are not limited to, the cost of uniforms, rabies pre-exposure vaccinations, lab fees, accessories, and travel to clinical assignments. Students are also responsible for state licensure and national accreditation application and testing fees.
  2. A strict dress code is required in the clinical setting. Students may be dismissed if they fail to comply with this dress code.
  3. Students are required to complete learning experiences at local hospitals and/or other agencies. Students may be required to attend both day and/or evening clinical assignments.
  4. Students must provide their own transportation to clinical assignments. Strict attendance is required at clinical sites.
  5. While enrolled in clinical courses, students may not replace or take the responsibility of "qualified" staff in affiliated facilities. However, after demonstrating proficiency, students may be permitted to perform specified procedures under careful supervision. Veterinary Technology students may be employed in clinical facilities outside regular education hours provided that such work does not interfere with academic responsibilities.

Veterinary Technology Program Continuation Requirements: The following continuation requirements govern students in the Veterinary Technology program:

  1. All courses in the program major must be completed with a grade of C or better before taking the next course in the sequence, unless waived by the division dean upon the recommendation of the assistant dean.
  2. All courses in the major must be taken in the sequence prescribed in the NOVA Catalog, unless otherwise approved by the assistant dean.
  3. Students must pass both the theoretical and the clinical/lab portions in order to pass a course.
  4. Program faculty and clinical affiliates reserve the right to recommend, through appropriate channels, withdrawal of any student who either fails to exhibit safe performance or fails to adhere to prescribed clinical affiliate policies and procedures.
  5. Satisfactory physical and mental health must be maintained for continuance in the program. Applicants must be free of any physical and/or mental condition which might adversely affect their acceptance or performances in the program. The College reserves the right to require medical examinations to verify continuing compliance.

Program Re-Enrollment Requirements: Any student who has voluntarily withdrawn or who has been withdrawn due to unsatisfactory academic or clinical performance may apply for re-admission the following academic year. Acceptance will be based upon space availability, successful fulfillment of any contingencies agreed to in writing at the time of withdrawal, and assistant dean approval. An interview and medical examination may be required.

Special Accreditation Status: Both the on-campus and online programs are fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

Delivery Method Options: The program may be completed full-time on campus, or by program placement in the online program.

Online Veterinary Technology Program: Courses are internet based. Students will use class notes from the internet and textbooks for the didactic portion of the class. Students will participate in online class discussions and meet regularly with faculty online and by e-mail. Formal examinations will be taken at testing centers at the student’s local community college. Many methods of evaluation of clinical skills will be employed including: on-site evaluation by faculty and mentors, product evaluation (i.e. radiographs and blood slides, etc. done by student), videotaping, e-mail assignments, task list check-off, visits by college faculty, and student journals.

Special curriculum admission requirements (1-10 above) and Veterinary Technology Program Continuation requirements (1-5 above) also pertain to the online program.

The following requirements apply to students in the online veterinary technology program in addition to the requirements listed for the on-campus program:

  1. Students must work at an approved veterinary facility, an average minimum of 20 hours per week.
  2. Students must have a veterinary mentor; this person must be a licensed veterinarian and will be designated as an adjunct clinical professor after verification of credentials. The mentor will work with the student and NOVA faculty members to complete specific educational objectives with the student. Mentors will meet with the students on a regular basis and stay in touch with the college faculty by phone or e-mail. The mentor has the option of appointing an assistant mentor who must be another veterinarian or licensed technician to assist the student and supervise clinical tasks as required for each course.
  3. Students must attend the Loudoun Campus at least two or three times per semester for laboratory session and practical examinations.
  4. The online program requires three years (8 semesters) for completion. Students enroll in two or three veterinary technology courses per semester for 8 semesters, including two summers. Classes must be taken in the sequence laid out on the Veterinary Technology website at

The following curricular layout shows the sequence of courses for the on campus program.

Two Years Credits
1st Semester
ENG 111 College Composition 1 3
MTH 126 Mathematics for Allied Health 2
1SDV 100 College Success Skills 1
VET 105 Introduction to Veterinary Technology 3
VET 111 Anatomy/Physiology of Domestic Animals 4
VET 116 Animal Breeds & Behavior 3
VET 211 Animal Diseases I 2
Total   18
2nd Semester
2CHM Elective 4
3___ Social Science Elective 3
VET 121 Clinical Practices I 3
VET 131 Clinical Pathology I 3
VET 135 Anesthesia of Domestic Animals 2
VET 212 Animal Diseases II 2
Total   17
3rd Semester
VET 290 A Preceptorship in Veterinary Technology 4
Total   4
4th Semester
4___ Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
5PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness 1
VET 122 Clinical Practices II 3
VET 132 Clinical Pathology II 3
VET 216 Animal Pharmacology 2
VET 221 Advanced Clinical Practices III 4
Total   16
5th Semester
6CST 110 Intro to Communication 3
VET 133 Clinical Pathology III 3
VET 217 Intro/Lab /Zoo/Wildlife Medicine 2
VET 235 Animal Hosp. Mgt. /Client Relations 3
VET 298 Seminar & Project 2
Total   13
Total credits for the Veterinary Technology A.A.S. =68

1 Students can take the SDV 101 Orientation section related to their particular program.

2 Choose CHM 101, CHM 121, CHM 111, or other CHM courses approved by your academic advisor.

3 The social science elective may be selected from the social/behavioral sciences courses listed under General Education Electives.

4 Humanities/fine arts elective may be selected from the humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives.

5 The PED requirement may be met by one of the following options: PED 116, 2 cr.; PED 220, 2 cr.; PED 116, 1 cr. plus a PED activities course, 1 cr.; or PED 116, 1 cr. plus RPK activities course. PED 116 is offered as both a 1-credit and a 2-credit course.

6 CST 126 may be substituted.