If you love animals and see yourself working with them as a career, check out our 20 accredited veterinary schools online and find a degree that’s perfect for you.
Scientists estimate that there are about 8.7 million species on the planet. Humans are just one species, of course. Other animals far outnumber us in terms of the sheer volume and types of organisms that call Earth home.
Of course, humans have domesticated some animals, and those animals require appropriate medical attention to stay healthy and to address illnesses and injuries.
When you think of veterinary science, you may think of a small animal like cats or dogs or a large animal like horses and cattle. But our furry friends only make up part of this profession. This is why the world needs veterinary professionals to take care of not only cats and dogs but the myriad of diversity in the animal kingdom.
Even 20 years ago, to earn a veterinary degree, you had to attend class every day in person. However, with advancements in distance learning, you can now go to veterinary school online!
What Will you Learn in Online Veterinary School?
What you learn in online veterinarian schooling depends on the specific program. For example, you will see in our ranking that we review veterinary degrees ranging from associate to bachelor’s to master’s. Each program differs.
For example, an associate of science degree in veterinary science serves as an introduction to the field. Conversely, a master’s degree in veterinary science is an advanced degree that gives you the opportunity to conduct research and specialize in working with particular types of animals.
Regardless of the specific program, you will take quite a few science and math courses. If you’re strong in these subjects, even better! You will also take courses such as:
- Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology
- Veterinary Pharmacology
- Anesthesia and Surgical Assistance
- Canine and Feline Clinical Management
Earning a veterinary degree online may sound tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Most programs require you to take courses online and gain clinical experience in a veterinary facility. Some programs require you to already work at a veterinarian facility and complete the degree part-time. In either case, your school will work with you to find locations nearby where you can complete clinical hours.
What are the Best Veterinary Degrees?
Accredited Online College uses the most recent data from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics to develop these rankings.
Each program is scored individually. It’s then compared to all other universities offering that degree to determine the final score you see by each ranking. Accredited Online College considers the affordability, student-to-faculty ratio, and the number of programs offered on-campus and online as critical factors in the ranking. To learn more, visit our methodology page.
You could spend days researching the best accredited veterinary degree online, but you don’t have to. We have done the busywork for you and are ready to present you with the 20 best accredited veterinary online degrees.
At the top of our list of online veterinary school accredited programs is Purdue University.
Founded in 1869, Purdue University is public research university full of rich history and tradition. It consistently ranks ranked as one of the top most innovative schools in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report.
Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the country’s top institutions and one where you can earn an Associate in Applied Science through the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning (VNDL) program.
Purdue’s VNDL curriculum is designed for students who might already be employed with a veterinarian and want to become a veterinary nurse.
The veterinarian nurse program allows you to work at your own pace. There are no set class meeting times, though 18 clinical mentorships are required.
Still, you can complete this degree in as little as three years of study. You can even do some of your studying abroad!
You can get your veterinarian degree online from San Juan College, a two-year higher education institution. San Juan College includes five campuses and six schools. Students can choose from well over 100 degree and certificate programs. This includes the Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.
This program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It’s designed for students who want to become credentialed veterinary technicians, technician assistants, or practice managers.
Like many online programs, San Juan’s vet tech program is flexible. Enrollment occurs several times each you. You can complete between one to four courses each semester. After completing the required 76-80 credits, you are eligible to sit for the veterinary technician national exam, which is called the National Veterinary Technology Examination (VTNE). Since San Juan’s veterinary graduates score 15% to 20% above the national average, it’s a great choice for getting educated and advancing your career.
The University of Florida is a highly-ranked research institution that includes UF Online. The online campus allows you to experience life as a Gator and earn the same degree as if you were on campus.
The online Master of Science in veterinary forensic medicine is perfect for professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in science and want to accelerate their career options in the veterinary forensics field.
UF’s MS in veterinary forensic science medicine focuses on crime scene processing, handling and interpreting forensic evidence, and ensuring justice for animal cruelty victims. The program includes five 3-credit core courses and 15 elective credits. Elective course options include:
- Animal law
- Forensic animal behavior and welfare
- Wildlife conservation and forensic science
You can earn this degree in two years. The timeline is the same whether you choose the thesis or non-thesis option.
Founded in 1927, St. Petersburg College was originally Florida’s first two-year college. It then became the first college in the state to offer bachelor’s degrees.
Today, with dozens and dozens of degrees and certificate programs, SPC has something for everybody. The online Bachelor of Applied Science in veterinary technology is just one option that gives you the knowledge and skills to further your veterinary career.
Like many vet tech schools, SPC’s BAS in veterinary technology offers tracks in clinical techniques, hospital management, or a combination of the two. Core courses include:
- Veterinary Pharmacology
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Veterinary Technology
- Leadership in Veterinary Technology
You might also study critical care, laboratory procedures, and diagnostic imaging.
SPC’s program requires that you complete 120 semester credits to graduate.
Opened in 1969, Barton Community College allows students in Barton County to earn a high-quality education at a low cost. Today, Barton serves more than 15,000 students across four campuses and, of course, online through BARTonline.
This vet tech program culminates in an Associate in Science in veterinary medicine.
As a part of Barton’s pre-professional program, the AS in veterinary medicine is heavy on the sciences. It includes 60 credit hours and requires you to successfully complete courses like Chemistry, Physics, and Zoology.
Graduates are ready to pursue further education in the veterinary field, including the pathway to become veterinarians. One of the perks of attending Barton are that the cost per credit is $155 for online learning regardless of state residency. Many financial aid options are available to reduce that cost even further.
Become a Red Devil at Allen Community College, and you will be a part of a diverse community that serves all students from those still in high school to adult learners looking for another career.
At Allen, you can earn an Associate in Science in pre-veterinary medicine, the perfect transfer degree that provides a foundation in animal, physical, and life sciences.
This AS program includes 64 credit hours of general education, science, and pre-veterinary courses. You will take classes that include:
- Organic Chemistry
- Principles of Animal Science
- Agriculture Economics
- Animal Science and Industry
With a strong background in science, you’ll be ready to further your studies in veterinary medicine. Applying to Allen is simple and free with their open-admissions policy.
Established in 1964, Colby Community College has flourished into a dynamic academic institution for both on-campus and online students all over the globe through ColbyConnect.
Colby’s online Distance Learning Veterinary Nursing Program is affordable, flexible, and includes 82 credits to earn an Associate of Applied Science in veterinary nursing.
You will complete didactic and mentorship courses, along with veterinary clinical hours. You will work with veterinary hospitals in your area to learn hands-on skills, too. You’re also required to video and record yourself completing essential tasks under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician.
This veterinary technician program can be completed in two to three years, depending on whether you are a full or part-time student.
The online bachelor of science in veterinary technology program from Appalachian State University offers a flexible pathway for you to earn your degree. You can study full-time or part-time, right from the comfort of your own home!
As part of the core vet tech curriculum, you’ll take more than 70 credits of classes in topics that include:
- Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia
- Principles of Veterinary Pharmacology
- Introduction to Veterinary Nursing
- Professional Communication Skills in Veterinary Medicine
This program’s curriculum was built using the requirements of the American Veterinary Medical Association as a guide.
To tailor your educational experience to your interests, you can choose from one of three focus areas: one health, practice management, or companion animal.
The University of Nebraska Online is the virtual branch of the University of Nebraska where you can earn more than 150 degrees. Nebraska Online offers bachelor’s, master’s, and PhDs. There are many certificates available, too.
Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll learn from the same faculty and with the same rigor and support as earning your degree on campus.
Through UN Online, you can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in applied science with an emphasis in animal science.
The animal science concentration is for students who are interested in careers involving:
- Veterinary medicine
- Farming and agriculture
- Fisheries and wildlife
- Food safety
You will complete 120 credit hours in courses such as Biotechnology, Science and Decision-Making, and an applied science internship.
If you’re a Nebraska resident, this program is very affordable at just $259 per credit hour. Out-of-state tuition is significantly more expensive at $830 per credit.
A member of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton State University offers around 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees amongst its colleges.
Through Tarleton Online, you can earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in veterinary technology and choose between a companion animal track or a veterinary practice track. Additionally, Tarleton offers a certificate in shelter animal medicine.
Before applying to this program, you should hold an AAS in veterinary technology. Once admitted, the program takes around two years to complete. Notable courses include:
- Radiology and Clinical Imaging
- Veterinary Microbiology
- Veterinary Forensics
The curriculum is designed so that you can complete the coursework at your own pace.
Tarleton State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
It’s no surprise that Oregon State University’s Ecampus has been ranked as high as #4 in the country for online education by U.S. News & World Report. After all, OSU was a pioneer for distance learning, dating back to the early 1900s when they offered correspondence courses by mail!
You can earn the prerequisite courses for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine online through OSU.
Earning the veterinary medicine prerequisite courses from OSU is flexible and simple. There are multiple start dates per year. Requirements include courses from:
- Biological sciences
All courses are designed by leaders in multimedia. You can get a sneak peek of sample courses here.
Founded in 1967 and located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Blue Ridge Community College offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates remotely and in person. One of these online programs is an Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology. It can be completed part-time in nine semesters, which is three years.
To be admitted to this 72-credit-hour program, you should be employed at least 20 hours a week as a veterinary assistant. While this program is online, you are also required to travel to the BRCC campus three times a semester for laboratory work.
Additionally, this program requires a coordinated externship of 350 hours of work in a veterinary hospital between the second and third years of the program. The externship takes place in the summer, that way you can concentrate on your field experience without having to worry about a full load of other classes.
Dallas College is one of the largest community colleges in Texas. It includes seven campuses and 12 centers, as well as a distance education platform.
You can earn an Associate in Applied Science in veterinary technology through the distance education program at the Cedar Valley campus. Graduates are eligible to take the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Exam to become registered veterinary technicians.
This program is flexible, and courses are offered multiple times each year. This means that you can begin in the fall, spring, or summer semester.
Notable courses include:
- Veterinary Radiology
- Anesthesia and Surgical Assistance
- Canine and Feline Clinical Management
Admission to this program is limited. You should complete the prerequisites, Composition and Biology for Science majors, before applying.
14. University of Missouri
Established in 1839, the University of Missouri, fondly known as “Mizzou,” boasts a lot of firsts. This includes being the first university west of the Mississippi River. It also has the world’s first journalism school. Mizzou was the first university to start the tradition of homecoming as well!
Mizzou Online offers a handful of veterinary degrees. This includes an undergraduate certificates in veterinary sciences.
The undergraduate certificate in biomedical sciences is for pre-veterinary medical students or pre-professional students in the medical field. It includes 16 credit hours. There are 13 hours of required courses and two hours of electives.
You will take courses in:
- Biomedical technology
- Cell biology
Designed for veterinary professionals, this program is completely online: no campus visits are required. If you’ve already completed coursework at a regionally-accredited school, it’s likely that you can transfer some or all of those credits to apply towards this certificate or a degree from Mizzou.
The State University of New York College of Technology at Canton, known as SUNY Canton, is home to SUNY Canton Online. There, you’ll find hundreds of online courses and dozens of associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
One of these programs is the Associate in Applied Science in veterinary science technology. This degree will pave the way for a future career as a veterinary technician.
The online veterinary technician program entails 64 credit hours in courses like:
- Animal Anatomy and Physiology
- Veterinary Clinical Pathology
- Animal Health and Disease
While the coursework is online, you are required to complete two 120-hour preceptorships. These field experiences occur under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician.
You also have the option of continuing your education at SUNY Canton through the BBA in veterinary service administration.
16. Foothill College
Foothill College is known as one of the most beautiful and successful community colleges in the country. Currently, there are hundreds degrees and certificates to choose from, including the Veterinary Technology program. This program offers multiple tracks, including Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Assistant. Both tracks culminate in an Associate of Science degree.
You can also earn a three-course, online veterinary assistant certificate. The three courses comprise 12.5 credit hours and include studies in Veterinary Assisting I, Veterinary Assisting II, and a Clinical Preceptorship.
Foothill describes this certificate as spanning the “essential knowledge and skills from the ‘front’ of the veterinary clinic to all areas in the ‘back!’” To complete the certificate, you should already be working in a veterinary clinic at least 7.5 hours each week and be enrolled in a preceptorship.
Lincoln Memorial University was founded on February 12, 1897, as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. It boasts a rich history of excellent academics through bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees.
LMU’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers a handful of veterinary degrees. This includes an online Master of Veterinary Education degree. This is a perfect option if you want to teach future generations of veterinary workers.
The MVEd curriculum can be completed in two years if you’re a full-time student. It will take three years if you study part-time.
- Theories of Learning Instruction
- Assessing Student Learning in Veterinary Medicine
- Educational Leadership in Veterinary Education
This program requires a capstone project or thesis in order to graduate as well.
LMU evaluates prospective students on a holistic basis. To learn more about the specific admissions requirements, you can check them out here.
Since Utah State University began providing digital education in 1995, more than 150,000 students from all 50 states and 55 countries have taken courses from USU Online. In fact, USU Online ranks among the Best Online Programs in seven categories according to U.S. News & World Report.
Utah State offers an online Master of Public Health in veterinary public health that completely mirrors the on-campus program. In other words, you take the same classes from the same professors as students that attend school on campus in Logan, Utah.
According to the program website, the 42 credit hour MPH combines “knowledge of public health, veterinary medicine, and ecology to monitor and control public health, food safety, and environmental threats.” USU replicates this on-campus program for online students as closely as possible. Additionally, you get virtual support resources to aid you in your studies.
With an estimated annual tuition under $8,000, this is an affordable masters-level veterinary program. And with two yearly start dates and 100 percent online courses, it’s a flexible degree, too!
With more than 80,000 students and 3,400 faculty and staff, Northern Virginia Community College is one of the largest community colleges in the country.
Given its size, Northern Virginia Community College is a great option for online studies in veterinary science. In fact, NOVA’s Associate in Applied Science in veterinary technology is a flexible way to begin your career as a vet technician.
This vet tech program is offered online in a part-time format. To enroll, you must work at least 20 hours a week as a veterinary assistant.
While the majority of the coursework is online, on average, you are required to visit the Loudoun campus at least twice each semester.
This part-time program requires eight semesters of study. It can be completed in three years. The program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to that the VTNE.
Rounding out the list of vet schools online is Jefferson State Community College.
Founded in 1965, Jefferson State Community College offers dozens of transfer, career, and professional programs across multiple campuses and online.
JSCC’s Veterinary Technology program is online, but you’re required to work or volunteer at least 20 hours each week for a veterinarian in Alabama. Additionally, you have to travel to campus at least 1-2 times each semester.
You will take your theory classes online and perform clinical skills where you work or volunteer. Courses include:
- Anatomy and Physiology of Mammals
- Vet Tech Emergency and First Aid
- Clinical Procedures and Pathology
JSCC reports that 100 percent of its veterinary technology graduates receive job offers after graduation and passing their board exams.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Will I Need to Apply to Online Veterinarian Colleges?
The answer to what you need to apply to online colleges for veterinarians depends on the specific program.
For example, when applying for an associate or bachelor’s degree, you will need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. You will likely also need to fulfill prerequisites of the program. Common prerequisite courses include general education courses like physical education and humanities. You’ll need basic science and math courses under your belt, too.
Additionally, some bachelor’s degrees require that you already have an associate degree in veterinary technology or a related area. Other programs omit this requirement. You’ll find that some programs require applicants to work in a veterinary clinic. Sometimes this requirement can be fulfilled by volunteering at a clinic.
For veterinary master’s and doctoral degrees, the requirements are obviously going to be more stringent given the more advanced nature of these degrees.
You will typically need GRE or GMAT scores and a bachelor’s degree in science field. You should expect that programs require you to have at least a 3.0 GPA, recommendation letters from professors, and an essay that describes why you want to apply to the specific program.
Regardless of the veterinary program, you should have superb communication skills, keen attention to detail, and, of course, a love for animals and their well-being.
What Can I Do With an Online Veterinary Degree?
The good news is that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook for veterinary fields is growing rapidly at 15%. This is much faster than average. The most common careers in the veterinary field are veterinary assistants, technicians, technologists, and of course, veterinarians.
First, let’s discuss veterinary assistants. A veterinary assistant is an entry-level job in the veterinary field and typically requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. This job requires short-term training and entails handling routine animal care to help veterinarians. Veterinary assistants typically work in clinics or animal hospitals. Some also work in zoos.
Veterinary technicians (also known as Vet Nurses) work alongside veterinarians and perform clinical tasks such as administering medical tests to help diagnose animals’ injuries or illnesses. Job duties may include preparing animals for surgery, administering medications, and collecting and recording animals’ case histories. While veterinary technologists perform similar roles to veterinary technicians, the latter usually work in advanced research-related jobs in a laboratory setting taking care of laboratory animal subjects.
Veterinarians diagnose and treat medical conditions in all types of animals, like pets and livestock. Duties include examining animals to assess health and diagnose conditions, performing surgery, and educating animal owners about care and treatment. In other words, you’re responsible for the general healthcare of animals.
Becoming a veterinarian entails earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at an accredited college of veterinary medicine. You must also pass both the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination as well as a state licensing exam. Once you have the licensure and credentialing processes complete, you can begin your career!
How Much Can I Earn With a Veterinary Degree?
Again, the amount you can earn with a veterinary degree depends on the program and career you are seeking. Veterinary technologists and technicians earn a median annual salary of $36,850, or $17.71 per hour. The highest 10 percent of earners make over $48,100. The lowest 10 percent of earners make less than $28,370 per year.
Veterinarians earn a mean of $100,370 per year, or $48.26 per hour. The highest 10 percent of earners bring in more than $165,600. The lowest 10 percent of earners make less than $60,760 each year.
Keep in mind that these statistics are compiled from locations across the country. The location in which you work can significantly impact how much money you make.
Additionally, salaries for jobs in this field vary depending on several other factors. Your job role, for example, is a major part of how much you earn. As we just discussed, veterinarians earn six figures a year. Veterinary technicians, meanwhile, earn just under $37,000 per year.
Your level of education and training also affects how much money you earn. If you have a master’s degree, it stands to reason that you’ll make more money than someone with an associate degree. That’s because you’ll have advanced knowledge and training that the other person doesn’t possess. Likewise, you can use your knowledge and training to qualify for higher-paying positions.
How Do I Know if an Online Veterinary Degree is Right For Me?
Only you can know if an online veterinary degree is right for you. Perhaps the best course of action is to consider some essential questions that relate to working in the veterinary field. So, consider the following questions to help you decide if this is the right educational path:
- Are you passionate about the well-being of animals?
- Are you detail-oriented?
- Do you have superb communication skills?
- Are you good at science?
- Do you embrace learning?
- Are you self-motivated?
- Are you aware that while the veterinary field is fulfilling, it can also be physically and emotionally draining?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you’re on the right track with a future career in the veterinary field!
One thing to realize is that working with animals all day is fulfilling. But, because you will be with animals when they are sick and injured, you will need to emotionally prepare yourself for bad days. In other words, veterinary careers are not snuggling and loving on animals all day long (although that’s a big part of it, too!). You will experience grief and loss, and you will have to help the humans who love their animals through some very difficult times.
Because veterinary programs are heavy in sciences, you should already have a solid grasp of this subject. There’s really no way around it: if science is one of your worst subjects, you may want to reconsider this career. Or, you can enroll in basic science courses to try to build up your skills. Doing so might help you meet the prerequisites for admission to a vet tech program.
Being self-motivated is also a must when you attend online vet schools. You will need to set a time to commit to your studies and stick to your study schedule. Without in-person courses, it’s up to you to sit down and do your classwork in a timely manner.
Furthermore, because some of the programs require that you also work at a veterinary office, you will be busy, so be prepared for a lot of reading, writing, studying, and work!
So, the question is: is an online veterinary degree right for you? Only you can answer that question. Taking a few minutes to think about the questions listed above will help you determine if this is the path for you. If you’re not sure, seek the advice of your admissions counselor or academic advisor. They can help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and interests, which will help inform you of the direction your education should go.
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out 30 Most Affordable Accredited Online Associate’s Degrees and The Best Colleges for Military and Ex-Military Students!