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Students must meet the following minimum requirements before applying to the program. You must be a high school graduate/GED, with completion of the following high school units (or equivalent) a “C” letter grade or better as a minimum (a C-minus does not meet this requirement):

  • 1 unit of algebra
  • 1 unit of biology
  • 1 unit of chemistry 
  • Proficiency in high school English

If you are missing any of these courses at the high school level, then a college course can be used to meet any of these minimum requirements. For example, some students applying to the program may not have taken Chemistry in high school. In this case, the student must then show a college-level Chemistry course (4-credits with a lab) before applying to the program in order to meet the minimum requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to submit an application to NOVA and register to complete any missing courses needed to meet these required courses as soon as possible. Students applying for the Fall semester should start taking required general education courses in the preceding Spring and Summer sessions.  

General Education Requirements

We are committed to accepting students who show the strongest academic foundation.  We expect our students to enter the program with excellent skill sets in writing, math, critical thinking, communication, team work, interpersonal/social skills, study skills, organizational skills and adept at time management.  All program applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application submission. The required curriculum for Veterinary Technology students includes some Liberal Arts courses. These courses can either be taken prior to entering the program or after being accepted to the program.  Preference for admission is given to those applicants who have already completed these fundamental general education courses or already have a degree.  Preference is especially given to applicants with a degree in a related field, such as animal science, or any of the natural sciences. Your transcripts are evidence of your academic preparedness and an indicator of your readiness to complete the rigorous veterinary technology coursework. Thus, in the admission review process, we will be considering the number of college credits and fundamental general education courses already completed and your cumulative grade point average (GPA). We will also note the number of withdrawals and failures you may have earned over time; they may indicate a student’s inability to persist and we would be concerned about our ability to retain you through to degree completion.

Review the most current academic NOVA Advising Sheet for a checklist of program requirements that fulfill the Applied Associates of Science degree in Veterinary Technology (A.A.S.). Students who have been most successful in our program are those who have already completed the following fundamental coursework toward degree completion:

CST 110

Introduction to Communication (Speech)
*CST 126 may be substituted

BIO 195

Special Topics in Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals

Students must complete BIO 195 with ‘C’ or better by end of 1st program semester. *This is a 4-credit lab course. The student will become familiar with the concepts of function and structure of the body of major domestic species including histology, embryology, and genetics. The student will gain knowledge of basic animal anatomy through comparative studies of various animal skeletons, anatomical models and a systematic dissection of a feline cadaver. NOTE: On-Line program students who have completed VET 111 do not need to take BIO 195.   

CHM Elective

Introduction To College Chemistry with Lab (CHM 101 or 111) 

Students must complete CHM with ‘C’ or better by end of 1st program semester. *This course is a 4-credit lab course that prepares you for the Veterinary Technology Pharmacology course. Make sure to note that there are prerequisite courses required before taking any of these Chemistry courses. Check the current NOVA catalog for the prerequisite courses needed before being allowed to register.

ENG 111

College Composition
*This course requires a satisfactory placement test score suitable for English 111. Placement tests can be taken at any test center on any NOVA campus. The Loudoun test center is located in room LR-251.

Humanities Elective

Refer to the current printed or on-line NOVA course catalog for the list of courses that can count toward the humanities elective course or check the list of acceptable humanities elective courses.

Social Sciences Elective

Refer to the current printed or on-line NOVA course catalog for the list of courses that can count toward the social science elective course or check the list of acceptable social science elective courses.


SDV 101

Student Development: Orientation to Veterinary Technology

The Veterinary Technology program offers its own 8-week career orientation course during the Summer and Fall semesters as SDV 101. Topics include Profession of Veterinary Technology, Externship/Preceptorship information, Resume Prep Skills, Student Success Skills, Test Anxiety, Time and Stress Management, and more.  

MTH 126

Mathematics for Allied Health
Students must complete MTH126 with ‘C’ or better by end of 1st Program Semester. *This course requires a satisfactory Math placement test score. Placement tests can be taken at any test center on any NOVA campus. The Loudoun test center is located in room LR-251. The course is a 2-credit drug dosage calculation course that prepares students for the Veterinary Technology Animal Anesthesia course.  

Advanced Standing Policy

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 Chemistry elective (4-credits with a lab), Biology 195 Animal Anatomy and Physiology (4-credits with a lab), MTH 126 (Math for Allied Health) and SDV 101 (Orientation to Veterinary Technology). 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 either before applying to the program (if you did not take Chemistry in high school) or during the Spring or Summer session prior to entry or during first semester of the program.

For the Math 126 requirement, you may either take this course or take a challenge exam and receive credit-by-exam after being accepted into the program. The challenge exam can be taken at the Loudoun campus test center located in LR 251. NOTE: Before requesting to take the Math 126 challenge exam, you must have taken a college-level transferable math course with a 'C' or better. This college math course must also be documented on an official NOVA college transcript to facilitate student request to your faculty advisor for initiating the course substitution process.

Please note, due to the schedule of courses offered, two years for the full-time On-Campus program and three year for the part-time On-Line program are the shortest periods of time possible to complete the NOVA Veterinary Technology Program.

Veterinary Technology Course Requirements

Once accepted into the program, students are program-placed by the Loudoun campus then they will be E-mailed instructions regarding when to register for the veterinary technology specific (VET-prefixed) sequence of courses. Review the chart in the current Program of Study and scroll to end of the page to see how the 68 total credit, full-time, 5-semester curriculum is sequenced.

Veterinary Technology Program Guide and Technical Standards