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Frequently Asked Questions: Veterinary Technology Program

The Veterinary Technology program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The program is located on the Loudoun Campus 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 relatively new 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 and Anesthesiology. Students also participate in clinical practice situations in the veterinary hospital on campus, visit veterinary clinics and participate in a 12-week internship at a veterinary facility. 

Q: If I already have an associate's or bachelor's degree, do I still have to take general education courses?
A: 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 under the Program Requirements (add hyperlink to this area) section of this website—with the exception of the Chemistry elective and the Math 126 course. If you have taken a chemistry course as part of your degree curriculum then you are exempt from taking the chemistry course as well, but if not, then you will still need to take this requirement either before entering the program (if you did not take chemistry in high school) or after entering the program.

For the Math 126 requirement, you may either take this course or take a challenge exam and receive credit-by-exam. The challenge exam can be taken at the Loudoun Campus Test Center in LR 251.

Q: If I have taken a college course(s), which appear to be similar to the degree requirements for the curriculum do I need to take the same course again?
A: 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. Print out and complete a transcript evaluation form [provide link to this information in under the Apply Here section] then submit with your unopened college transcripts to Student Services Office [at room # and phone #]. Evaluation takes a minimum of six-eight weeks and you must be enrolled in at least one NOVA course for the transfer credits to post on an official transcript.

Q: Does the program always have to be completed in two years?
A: 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 permitted. However, students are encouraged to take the required general education support courses (e.g. English, Math, Chemistry, etc.) prior to entering the Veterinary Technology program if they want to spread out their credit hours in order to minimize their academic load. 

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, online through NOVA's Extended Learning Institute, or at another community college. You can discuss this further with a Loudoun Counselor or your faculty advisor.

Q: How do you get into the Veterinary Technology program?
A: Follow the application procedures listed in under Apply Here link on this website. Students are accepted into the program based on credentials such as previous grades, current experience in the field, and completion of support classes. Please see the Profile of Accepted Students section of this website 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 compete with that particular year’s qualified applicant pool. For profile information on the current accepted Fall class, 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 by college. Most 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 they plan to transfer to discuss this further. Alternately, make an appointment to meet with a transfer counselor at the Loudoun Campus Counseling Center, LR 253.

Q: What is the employment outlook for graduates of the program?
A: There are many job openings in this 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. The most updated job outlook information can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Most of our Veterinary Technology students secure employment before they graduate. 

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 visit: http://www.nvcc.edu/future-students/paying-for-college/tuition-fees/index.html.

The total number of credits required for the program can also be found under Courses for either the on-campus or online 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 include a parking pass, expenses associated with campus commuting, course textbooks, lab supplies and equipment, required clothing for clinical labs and travel to field trips.

Q: Where can I obtain the required pre-exposure rabies vaccinations?
A: You can obtain the vaccinations from most county health departments and will need contact them directly for specific information about cost. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain this information through your current healthcare provider. 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 proof to the Program.

Q: Is financial aid available?
A: A financial aid counselor on any NOVA Campus can help you. Financial aid counselors at the Loudoun Campus are located in LR 253. Call to confirm walk-in appointment hours before coming to the office, 703.450.2571. You can find the information for all NOVA Financial Aid Offices at: http://www.nvcc.edu/future-students/paying-for-college/financial-assistance/financial-aid-staff/index.html

For timely financial aid questions, make sure to see a financial aid counselor well before the annual Federal and NOVA priority FAFSA application deadlines. Additional information can be found at Financial Aid FAQ.

The six-digit identification code for NOVA is 003727. This code must be included on the FAFSA in order for the application data to be released to the College. Failure to include the code on the FAFSA on the Web application or the paper version of the FAFSA may delay the processing of your application.

Q: If I have further questions about the requirements or application process- who should I contact?
A: If you need help or have other questions regarding the Veterinary Technology program requirements or the application process, contact us.