Veterinary Technology (A.A.S.)

Veterinary Technology (A.A.S.)

Vet Tech's taking a look at a cat

Learn everything you need to know to become a registered veterinary technician in a veterinary technology program that's ranked #2 in the country.

What is veterinary technology?

Veterinary technology, which could also be called animal nursing, prepares students to become veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in the comprehensive medical care of their animal patients and work in all aspects of veterinary care — from phlebotomy to radiography to anesthesia to dentistry. Veterinary technicians are a vital part of the veterinary team. The only things that vet techs cannot do legally are to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform surgery, all of which are the job of the veterinarian. Students can continue with post-graduate specialization in areas such as anesthesia and surgical assisting, behavior and emergency medicine

Why study veterinary technology at UNH?

The veterinary technology program at UNH is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and graduates are qualified to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam and pursue credentialing. We are very hands-on, and students work with animals from day one. UNH has extraordinary access to large animals with both equine and dairy herds on campus. Small animal clinical work takes place both on campus in the program’s full-service PAWS Veterinary Clinic and off campus in local animal shelters. After obtaining an associate degree in veterinary technology, qualified students may then transfer to the university’s four-year animal science major and obtain a bachelor’s degree in two additional years with a full-time course of study.

Potential Careers

  • Biomedical research laboratories
  • Humane societies/shelters
  • Post-graduate specialization
  • Private veterinary hospitals
  • Veterinary industry/government
  • Zoo and wildlife centers

Contact

Sarah Proctor

Program Coordinator - Vet Tech
CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-1014
Office: Thompson School of Applied Science, Barton Hall Rm 132, Durham, NH 03824
Thompson School of Applied Science
34 Sage Way
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-1025

Follow us on Facebook @UNHVTEC

  • Learning to speak for those who can’t
    Margaret Frye '20 is a veterinary technology major from New Bern, North Carolina. Her childhood dog Alice gave her the chance to see firsthand the profound impact that pets can have on the lives of their humans, and she the motivating force behind Margaret’s chosen course of study. COLSA: What has...
    Learning to speak for those who can’t
    Margaret Frye '20 is a veterinary technology major from New Bern, North Carolina. Her childhood dog Alice gave her the chance to see firsthand the profound impact that pets can have on the lives of their humans, and she the motivating force behind Margaret’s chosen course of study. COLSA: What has...
  • Preparing for a Career Caring for Animals
    Meet Lucy Williams, a veterinary technology major from Derry, New Hampshire, who knows that veterinary nurses play a significant role in animal care and well being.
    Preparing for a Career Caring for Animals
    Meet Lucy Williams, a veterinary technology major from Derry, New Hampshire, who knows that veterinary nurses play a significant role in animal care and well being.
  • An Introvert No More
    The once-reserved Zach Beckwith '19 is a different person than he was when he arrived on campus, thanks to a newfound confidence.
    An Introvert No More
    The once-reserved Zach Beckwith '19 is a different person than he was when he arrived on campus, thanks to a newfound confidence.
  • A Change that Made Everything Clear
    Alyssa Wilson didn’t grow up planning to become a veterinary technician. In fact, she says, she hated the idea.  Find out why she changed her mind.
    A Change that Made Everything Clear
    Alyssa Wilson didn’t grow up planning to become a veterinary technician. In fact, she says, she hated the idea.  Find out why she changed her mind.
  • A Sailor at the Helm
    This well-rounded student from Boston is will be graduating with her associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology in May and entering COLSA's four-year Animal Science program in the fall. 
    A Sailor at the Helm
    This well-rounded student from Boston is will be graduating with her associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology in May and entering COLSA's four-year Animal Science program in the fall. 

Curriculum & Requirements

Veterinary Technology

The primary goal of the veterinary technology program is to provide students with exceptional technical and clinical reasoning skills and knowledge in veterinary technology such that graduates will be prepared to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and to be immediate and valuable members of a veterinary medical team. Additionally, the program aims to develop a firm foundation in both farm animal and companion animal veterinary practices. Courses in the program cover basic sciences, veterinary nursing, and veterinary practice management, with a strong focus on hands-on practical knowledge throughout the curriculum. Students gain basic knowledge and skills for the major domestic animal species (dog, cat, horse, and cow). Integration of knowledge in communication, veterinary ethical and legal issues, veterinary practice management, clinical reasoning skills, and hands-on technical skills allow students to become complete veterinary technicians, capable of providing high-quality, compassionate, and expert care to animals both small and large.

Practical learning experience is provided at the PAWS Veterinary Teaching Clinic, the UNH Equine Facilities and the Thomas P. Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center. The program has a number of animal-related educational partnerships, including those with the New Hampshire SPCA in Stratham, N.H., the Cocheco Valley Humane Society in Dover, N.H, and the Pope Memorial SPCA in Concord, NH.

The program is accredited by the AVMA. Students who graduate from an accredited program are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and pursue credentialing. 

 

 

Veterinary Technology Program of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
AAS 428
428B
Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals
and Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals Lab for VTEC majors
4
CHEM 411 Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
VTEC 424 Introduction to Veterinary Technology 2
VTEC 430 Companion Animal Behavior and Handling Techniques 4
 Credits18
Spring
CMN 500 Public Speaking 4
VTEC 449 Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques I 4
VTEC 435 Animal Health and Laboratory Diagnostics 4
Quantitative Reasoning 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
AAS 421 Large Animal Behavior and Handling Techniques 2
VTEC 497 Veterinary Technology Work Experience 0
VTEC 550 Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques II 4
VTEC 565 Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians 4
VTEC 575 Veterinary Anesthesia and Surgical Assisting 4
VTEC 579 Small Animal Practicum I 4
 Credits18
Spring
VTEC 580 Small Animal Practicum II 4
VTEC 583 Large Animal Practicum 2
VTEC 595 Veterinary Technology Internship 3
VTEC 599 Comprehensive VTNE Review 4
Social Science 4
 Credits17
 Total Credits69

Veterinary Technology Curriculum Requirements

Students must demonstrate all of the following for retention in and graduation from the veterinary technology program:

  1. A minimum grade of C+ in all AAS and VTEC courses, and CHEM 411.
  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 in the courses listed above.

Students may repeat a major course only one time before dismissal from the major.  Courses must be completed in proper sequence, according to prerequisites as listed in the course catalog.

All coursework in the veterinary technology curriculum should be completed within five years of matriculating into the program. If this cannot be accomplished, the student may be required to retake major courses where AVMA essential skills have changed significantly.

Students must successfully complete all required skills listed in the Veterinary Technology Essential and Recommended Skills List developed by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the accrediting body for this program.  

Students must show proof of pre-exposure rabies immunization or adequate rabies titer prior to enrollment in practicum and internship coursework. Transportation is provided to students for practicum coursework. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation during internship experiences. 

Required Program Courses

AAS 421Large Animal Behavior and Handling Techniques2
AAS 428
428B
Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals
and Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals Lab for VTEC majors
4
CHEM 411Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences4
CMN 500Public Speaking4
VTEC 424Introduction to Veterinary Technology2
VTEC 430Companion Animal Behavior and Handling Techniques4
VTEC 435Animal Health and Laboratory Diagnostics4
VTEC 449Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques I4
VTEC 497Veterinary Technology Work Experience0
VTEC 550Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques II4
VTEC 565Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians4
VTEC 575Veterinary Anesthesia and Surgical Assisting4
VTEC 579Small Animal Practicum I4
VTEC 580Small Animal Practicum II4
VTEC 583Large Animal Practicum2
VTEC 595Veterinary Technology Internship3
VTEC 599Comprehensive VTNE Review4
Total Credits57

Discovery requirements

Students must complete 20 credits within the Discovery program; with at least one course in the following categories: Writing Skills, Quantitative Reasoning, Biological Science, Physical Science, and Social Science. 

Writing Skills - Required Course
ENGL 401First-Year Writing4
Biological Science - Required Course
VTEC 435Animal Health and Laboratory Diagnostics4
Physical Science - Required Course
CHEM 411Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences4
Quantitative Reasoning Recommendations4
BIOL 528
Applied Biostatistics I (Recommended for students pursuing ANSC 2+2 articulation)
MATH 420
Finite Mathematics
MATH 424B
Calculus for Life Sciences (Option for students pursuing ANSC 2+2 pre-vet track)
MATH 439
Statistical Discovery for Everyone
PAUL 450
Personal Finance
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology
SOC 402
Statistics
Social Science Category Recommendations4
NURS 535
Death and Dying
OT 520
Happy and Healthy at Work: Promoting Wellness, Diversity and Inclusion
PSYC 401
Introduction to Psychology
SOC 400
Introductory Sociology
SOC 450
Contemporary Social Problems
SW 444
You've Got Your Troubles, I've Got Mine
SW 550
Human Behavior and Social Environment I
SW 551
Human Behavior and Social Environment II

Explore program details

Not yet a UNH student?
 

Ready to apply to the University of New Hampshire, a top-50 public university in the U.S., located on one of the safest and greenest campuses? Good choice.
 

Currently a UNH student?
 

Students who wish to transfer into the veterinary technology program from another degree program at UNH must submit an internal transfer application. It is recommended to begin the program in a Fall semester due to the required sequencing of courses.

A complete application includes:
 

  • Change of Program Form
  • Internal Transfer Application
  • A typed, double-spaced essay (maximum 500 words). The essay should address the following:
    • Explain your reasons for applying to this program.
    • How do you feel about your coursework and/or how your life experiences have prepared you for this program?
    • What does being a Vet Tech mean to you?
  • One or two letters of reference discussing your interpersonal and animal-related abilities. Each letter must be submitted in a sealed envelope signed across the back by the individual(s) who wrote the reference. Letters should address the following:
    • Length of time the student has been known by the person writing, and in what capacity
    • Academic ability
    • Analytic ability
    • Oral and written communication skills
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Animal interaction skills

Admission decisions are based on several factors, including:

  • academic achievement (especially in animal science-related courses),
  • the applicant’s understanding of veterinary technician responsibilities,
  • evidence of an informed decision about entering the field, and
  • references who can attest to the applicant’s academic potential for completing the program successfully and to the applicant’s personal qualities that relate to success in the animal health field.

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is recommended for application. All applicants will be notified via email of the decision regarding their application.

Submit your completed application packet to:

Sarah Proctor, Veterinary Technology program director
Barton Hall room 132
(603) 862-1014
sarah.proctor@unh.edu

  • Deadline for Fall admission: May 1st
  • Deadline for Spring admission: Dec 1st

Direct any questions about the program or the application process to Sarah Proctor (information above) or Deborah Pack, (603) 862-2874, deborah.pack@unh.edu>, Smith Hall Room G21 (check-in at the reception desk).

To become a certified veterinary technician (CVT) in NH, you must complete these steps:

  1. Graduate from an AVMA accredited program. (Like ours!)
  2. Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).*
  3. Apply for certification from the NH Veterinary Technician Association (NHVTA).
  4. Keep your certification current by completing 12 hours of continuing education (CE), and paying the license fee each year.

Most states that offer credentialing require the first two steps.  The organization where you apply for licensure and the CE requirements differs from state to state.

From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019

52

Number of first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE

52%

Three-year VTNE pass percentage

71%

Summer 2019 pass rate

*VTNE statistics: Our graduates’ pass rate for summer 2019 was 71%. Our improved pass rate for the VTNE reflects recent changes to our program that will continue to improve our graduates’ success on the VTNE. Our current 3-year pass rate is updated once per year, per AVMA requirements.

Why Become Certified?

NH and a few other states do not legally require certification, but it distinguishes you from those who have not completed the training and requirements.  Many practices prefer to employ CVTs and usually pay more for that credential.  If you intend to work outside New England, certification is critical, because most other states require it (37 of 50 states require certification).  The certification process also helps to establish minimum ethical and educational standards for the profession.

Helpful links:

If you wish to continue beyond the 2-year associate degree in Veterinary Technology, you can transfer into the UNH Animal Science program and in just two more years, receive a bachelor’s degree.

Veterinary technology coursework transfers into the UNH Animal Science baccalaureate program as described below, making it possible to complete the Animal Science B.S. degree in 2 additional years of study. It is a simple process to transfer to the Animal Science program. In the final semester of the veterinary technology program, complete the following application: https://unh.tfaforms.net/218158. For students interested in pursuing graduate/veterinary school the pathway will require three additional years to fit in the required extra coursework.

VTEC courses

Counts for ANSC requirement:

Credits

AAS 428 Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals

ANSC 512 Anatomy & Physiology

4

VTEC 424 Introduction to Veterinary Technology

ANSC 406 Careers in Animal Science

1

VTEC 430 Companion Animal Behavior and Handling

ANSC elective

4

VTEC 435 Animal Health and Lab Diagnostics

AAS 439 Fundamentals of Animal Health & Biological Sciences Discovery category

2

VTEC 449 Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques

ANSC 402 Animal Agriculture Today

4

VTEC 550 Clinical Animal Nursing Techniques II

ANSC elective

4

VTEC 565 Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians

ANSC 625 Disease course

4

VTEC 575 Anesthesia and Surgical Assisting

ANSC elective

4

Recommended Discovery coursework

BIOL 528 Biostatistics

Quantitative Reasoning category

4

ENGL 401 First-year writing

Writing category

4

Social Science course

Social Science category

4

Total major and Discovery credits accepted:

39

Students learn in a real-life setting working in the PAWS Veterinary Clinic, rotating through reception, general nursing, laboratory, and surgical areas of the clinic during their second year in the program. Clinical work takes place on campus in our full-service teaching clinic and off-campus, providing wellness clinics in local community centers.

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