Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:


FAQ - Loudoun - Vet Tech On-Campus Full-Time

The Veterinary Technology program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The program is located on the Loudoun campus in Sterling, Virginia and includes a small animal veterinary teaching clinic, laboratory, radiology, and surgery areas, classrooms and kennel facilities.

Below are some commonly asked questions concerning the Veterinary Technology program: 

Q: What is Veterinary Technology? 
A: Veterinary Technology is a hands-on, applied medical field in which people are educated to assist in veterinary practice, biological laboratories, animal research and other areas requiring knowledge of medicine and animals. 

Q: How does someone become a Veterinary Technician?
A: Most people become a Veterinary Technician by completing a formal two-year college program, receiving an Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) degree and then successfully completing a national and state board examination to become legally certified.

Q: Describe the Veterinary Technology program at NOVA.
A: The program begins in the fall semester and continues for five consecutive semesters until graduation after the spring semester. The program is a combination of basic medical science and practical hands-on courses conducted on-campus as well as at off-campus sites.

Q: What type of classes are offered?     
A: Some of the classes offered include: Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals, Pharmacology, Hematology, Diseases of Domestic Animals, Microbiology, Radiology, Animal Behavior, Clinical Pathology, Advanced Clinical Practices, Anesthesiology.  Students also participate in clinical practice situations in the veterinary hospital on campus, visits veterinary clinics, and a semester-long preceptorship at a veterinary facility. 

Q: I really want to become a veterinarian. Is this the best place to start?
A: No. While some graduates of the veterinary technology program have in fact continued their education and became licensed veterinarians, the classes required for both disciplines are completely different. The veterinary technology program prepares graduates to start a career providing excellent nursing skills as a licensed veterinary technician and the courses do not transfer as credit for vet school.

Q: If I have taken a college course(s) which appears to be similar to the degree requirements for the curriculum, must I take the same course again?
A: A. This will be determined after you compare courses taken with the program of study advising sheets available from the NOVA main website. If you are seeking advanced standing and want your previous college courses to be recognized as transfer credits, you will need to have your college transcript(s) properly evaluated by NOVA Loudoun campus. Submit a Request for Evaluation of Transcript Form (Form 125‐049E) which must be completed online (click here) for transfer credit purposes. Paper transcript evaluation request forms will no longer be accepted.  You must submit a separate request for each transcript you would like to be evaluated. All international high school and international college transcripts must first be evaluated for course‐by‐course credit by an evaluation agency. Transcript evaluation takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks and you must be enrolled in at least one NOVA course for the transfer credits to post on an official transcript.

Q: If I already have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, must I still take general education courses?
A: Those students who have completed an Associate's or Bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution will automatically be given credit for fulfilling all of the general education courses listed above with the exception of the CHM101 or CHM111(4 credits with a lab), VET111 Animal Anatomy and Physiology (4 credits with a lab), MTH133 and SDV 101 Orientation to Veterinary Technology course. These four courses are program-specific requirements for degree completion in veterinary technology. If you have taken a 4-credit Chemistry course with lab as part of your degree curriculum and achieved a letter grade of C or better (C-minus grades and lower do not transfer to NOVA) then you are exempt from taking the Chemistry course as well. If you have not taken a 4-credit Chemistry course or did not achieve the minimum transfer credit grade then you will still need to take this requirement before applying to the program.

Q: Does the program always have to be completed in two years?

A: Yes, due to the course sequencing and schedule of classes. The specific veterinary technology courses within the degree curriculum are designed to be completed in sequence and are only offered in a particular semester. Acceleration through the program courses is not possible as would result in student course scheduling conflicts. However, students are required to complete prerequisite course (SDV101 Orientation to Veterinary Technology, ENG111, CHM101 or CHM111, MTH133, VET111) prior to applying to the Veterinary Technology program. 

Q: Do I have to take general education support courses at the Loudoun Campus?
A: No, you may take your non-veterinary technology course at any of the six NOVA campuses, or through NOVA Extended Learning Institute (on-line), or at another community college. You can discuss this further with a Loudoun counselor or your faculty advisor.

Q: How do I get into the Veterinary Technology program?
A: Follow the application procedures listed in under Apply Here section on this website. Students are accepted into the program based on such credentials as previous grade patterns, overall GPA, current experience in the field, completion of support (general education) classes and residence within the commonwealth of Virginia. Please see the Profile of Accepted Students section for more information.

Q: How likely is it that I will be accepted into the Veterinary Technology program the first time I apply?
A: Although the Veterinary Technology program has set minimum requirements for application, all candidates applying actually compete with that particular year’s qualified applicant pool. For profile information on the currently accepted Fall semester class of full-time students, please see the Profile of Accepted Students section of this website.

Q: Do credits earned in the Veterinary Technology program transfer to four-year colleges?
A: The courses that will transfer vary with the college.  Most VET-prefixed courses are very content-specific and are designed only for completion of the applied science degree in Veterinary Technology. Individuals interested in transferring should contact the college or university to which they plan to transfer to discuss this further. Alternately, make an appointment to meet with a transfer counselor located in the campus Student Counseling office at any of the NOVA campuses.

Q: What is the employment outlook for graduates of the program?
A: There are many job openings in the field locally and in other parts of the country. Prospective employers often contact NOVA regarding employment and a job board is maintained at the Veterinary Technology Department. Most of our Veterinary Technology students secure employment before they graduate. The current job outlook information can be found in link below to the Occupational Outlook Handbook

Q: How much will the total program cost?
A: The total program cost will depend on whether you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition. It will also depend on how many course credits you will already have earned before entering the program. For the most current tuition rate per credit hour information, click here.


The total number of credits required for the program can also be found on the program of study or academic advising sheets searchable from main NOVA website for either the on-campus or on-line program. Count the number of credits for any classes you have not yet taken and multiply the number of credits needed by the current tuition rate per credit hour.

Examples of other potential expenses will be in the form of a campus parking pass, transportation expenses associated with campus commuting, course textbooks, lab supplies and equipment, required clothing for clinical labs, and travel to off-campus sites such as field trips/rotations/preceptorships.

Q: Where can I obtain the required pre-exposure rabies vaccinations?
A: You can obtain the Rabies vaccinations from most county health departments; contact them directly for specific information on cost and appointment scheduling. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain this through your current healthcare provider or national retail pharmacy vaccine clinics for travelers. The pre-exposure Rabies vaccine is a series of three vaccinations which must be completed prior to starting your fall Veterinary Technology courses. You will be required to submit original proof to the program of Rabies vaccination. If you have a previous Rabies series, you must obtain proof of current protective Rabies titer if it has been more than two years since vaccine from your Health department or Healthcare provider.

Q: Is financial aid available?
A: A financial aid counselor on any NOVA campus can help you. The Loudoun Campus financial aid counselors are located in the LR building (Reynolds), Room 249 for the Loudoun campus. Call toll-free to 1-855-323-3199 first to confirm their weekday walk-in hours before you visit. You can find the information for financial aid offices at all NOVA campuses here.

More information about financial aid can be found under the Financial Aid FAQ.

The six-digit identification code for Northern Virginia Community College is 003727.

Q: If I have further questions about the requirements or application process, who should I contact?
A: If you need help or have questions regarding the Veterinary Technology program requirements or the application process, submit them using the Contact Us form.