If you love animals and see yourself working with them as a career, check out our 20 accredited online veterinary colleges and find a degree perfect for you.
Did you know that the latest estimate is that there are about 8.7 million species on this earth? Humans are just one species, and you guessed it: animals make up the rest! When you think of veterinary science, you may think of, well, cats and dogs, 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, but with advancements in distance learning, you can go to veterinary school online!
What Will you Learn With an Online Veterinary Degree?
What you learn in an online veterinary degree will depend 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, and each program differs.
Regardless of the specific program, you will take quite a few science and math courses, so if you are strong in these subjects, even better. You will also take courses such as Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology; Veterinary Pharmacology, Anesthesia and Surgical Assistance; and Canine and Feline Clinical Management, to name a few.
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.
You could spend days researching the best accredited online colleges in veterinary, but you don’t have to. We have done the busy work and are ready to present you with the 20 Best Accredited Online Veterinary Colleges.
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. 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. To learn more, visit our methodology page.
Founded in 1869, Purdue University is public research university full of rich history and tradition and currently ranked as the #5 most innovative school 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 are already employed with a veterinarian and want to become a veterinary technician. The program follows the same one on campus and includes 70 credit hours divided into online didactic courses and clinical mentorship experiences. You can move through this degree at your own pace and may complete this program in 3-5 years.
San Juan College, a two-year higher education institution, spans five campuses and six schools. Students can choose from over 130 degree and certificate programs, including the Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This online program is for students who want to become credentialed veterinary technicians, technician assistants, or practice managers.
Like many online programs, San Juan’s veterinary technology program is flexible. You can start in January, May, or August and complete between one to four courses each semester. After completing the required 76-80 credits, you are eligible to sit for the National Veterinary Technology Examination. San Juan’s veterinary graduates score 15% to 20% above the national average!
The University of Florida is a highly-ranked research institution that includes UF Online, allowing 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 courses. You can earn this degree in two years and choose either a thesis or a non-thesis option.
Founded in 1927, St. Petersburg College was originally Florida’s first two-year college and then the first state college in the state to offer bachelor’s degrees (SPC “About”). Today, with more than 180 degrees and certificate programs, SPC has something for everybody. The online Bachelor of Applied Science in veterinary technology gives you the knowledge and skills to further your veterinary career.
UF’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, and Leadership in Veterinary Technology. You can begin UCF’s program in January, May, or August after you complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in general education coursework.
Opened in 1969, Barton Community College was created to allow 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 where you can earn 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, naturally, and includes 60 credit hours and includes courses like Chemistry, Physics, and Zoology. Graduates are ready to pursue further education in the veterinary field, including the pathway to become veterinarians. Perks to attending Barton are that the cost per credit is $150 regardless of state residency and many financial aid options are available.
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, including Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, and Principles of Animal Science. With a strong background in science, graduates are ready to further their 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 total 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 and are required to video and record yourself completing essential tasks under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or credentialed veterinary technician. This program can be completed in two to three years, depending on whether you are a full or part-time student.
Founded in 1919, Siena Heights University is a Catholic institution that offers associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees through the main campus in Adrian, Michigan, alongside eight other satellite campuses and online. SHU is a leader in online education and is currently ranked #1 for Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
SHU offers a pre-veterinary undergraduate program that will prepare you for further veterinary studies. While you can major in any discipline through the pre-veterinary program, most students major in biology since the required courses for admission are plenty of science courses. SHU reports that its biology graduates have a 95% acceptance rate into medical, veterinary, and graduate school.
University of Nebraska Online is the virtual branch of the University of Nebraska where you can earn more than 150 degrees: bachelor’s, master’s, PhDs, certificates, and more from the same faculty and with the same rigor and support as earning the degrees on campus. Through UN Online, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in applied science with a minor in animal science.
The animal science minor is for students who are interested in careers involving veterinary medicine, farming and agriculture, fisheries and wildlife, food safety, and other related jobs. You will complete 12-18 credit hours in courses such as Swine Breeding and Gestation, Animal Products, and Fundamentals of Animal Biology and Industry. This program accepts applications on a rolling basis, so you can apply anytime during the year.
A member of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton State University offers nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees across seven 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, and once admitted, the program takes 2+ years to complete. Notable courses include Radiology and Clinical Imaging, Veterinary Microbiology, and Veterinary Forensics, and the curriculum is designed so that you can complete the coursework at your own pace.
It’s no surprise that Oregon State University’s Ecampus is ranked #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, with four start dates per year. Requirements include courses from biological sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, mathematics, physics, physiology, and statistics. All courses are designed by leaders in multimedia, and 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 that can be completed part-time in nine semesters (three years).
To be admitted to this 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, along with a coordinated externship of 350 hours of work in a veterinary hospital between years two and three.
Dallas College is one of the largest community colleges in Texas and includes seven campuses and 14 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 technicians.
This program is flexible, and courses are offered three times each year, so you can begin in the fall, spring, or summer semester. Notable courses include Veterinary Radiology, Anesthesia and Surgical Assistance, and Canine and Feline Clinical Management. Admission to this program is limited, and you should complete the prerequisites, Composition and Biology for Science majors, before applying.
Established in 1839, the University of Missouri, fondly known as “Mizzou,” boasts a lot of firsts, including the first university west of the Mississippi River, the world’s first journalism school, and the first tradition of homecoming (UM “About”). Mizzou Online offers a handful of veterinary degrees, including an undergraduate certificate in veterinary biomedical technology.
The undergraduate certificate in biomedical sciences is for pre-veterinary medical students or pre-professional students in the medical field and includes 16 credit hours (13 hours of required courses and 2 hours of electives). You will take courses in biomedical technology, cell biology, anatomy, and physiology. Designed for veterinary professionals, this program is completely online: no campus visits are required.
The State University of New York College of Technology at Canton, known as SUNY Canton, houses SUNY Canton Online, where you will find more than 450 online courses and 19 degrees. One of these programs is the Associate in Applied Science in veterinary science technology that will pave the way for a future career as a veterinary technician.
The online program entails 64 credit hours in courses like Animal Anatomy and Physiology, Veterinary Clinical Pathology, and Animal Health and Disease. While the coursework is online, you are required to complete two 120-hour preceptorships 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.
Foothill College is known as one of the most beautiful and successful community colleges in the country (Foothill “History”). Currently, there are 180 degrees and certificates to choose from, and along with the Veterinary Technology program, you can earn a three-course, online veterinary assistant certificate that can be applied to any medical or professional field.
Foothill describes this certificate as spanning the “essential knowledge and skills from the ‘front’ of the veterinary clinic to all areas in the ‘back!’” The three required courses are Veterinary Assisting I and II and Clinical Preceptorship I. 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 and boasts a rich history of excellent academics through bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees (LMU “About”). LMU’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers a handful of veterinary degrees, including an online Master of Veterinary Education—perfect if you are looking to teach.
The MVEd curriculum can be completed in two years if you’re a full-time student or three years if you are part-time. Courses include Theories of Learning Instruction, Assessing Student Learning in Veterinary Medicine, and Educational Leadership in Veterinary Education. This program requires a capstone project or thesis. LMU evaluates prospective students on a holistic basis, and you can check out the admission requirements 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 (USU “About”). In fact, USU Online is top ranked in Best Online Programs in four categories from U.S. News & World Report. You can earn an online Master of Public Health in veterinary public health that completely mirrors the on-campus program.
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, and you will receive the same instruction (from the same professors), as well as other virtual support resources to aid you in your studies.
With more than 75,000 students and 2,600 faculty and staff, Northern Virginia Community College is not only the largest public institution in Virginia but the second-largest community college in the country (NOVA “About”). NOVA’s Associate in Applied Science in veterinary technology is a flexible way to begin your career as a vet technician.
This program is offered online in a part-time format, and students must also be working 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 and can be completed in three years.
Founded in 1965, Jefferson State Community College offers 150 transfer, career, and professional programs across four campuses and online. JSCC’s Veterinary Technology program is online, but students are required to work or volunteer at least 20 hours each work for a veterinarian in Alabama and 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, and Clinical Procedures and Pathology. JSCC reports that 100% of its veterinary technology graduates receive job offers after graduation and pass their board exams (JSCC Veterinary Technology).
What Will I Need to Apply to an Online Veterinary Program?
The answer to what you need to apply to a veterinary program depends, of course, on the specific program. When applying for an associate or bachelor’s degree, you will need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with the prerequisites for the program. Common prerequisite courses include general education courses and science and math. Some bachelor’s degrees require that you already have an associate degree in veterinary technology, while others do not.
For veterinary master’s and doctoral degrees, the requirements are obviously going to be more in depth. You will typically need GRE or GMAT scores, a bachelor’s degree in science, at least a 3.0 GPA, recommendation letters, 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 a Veterinary Degree?
The good news is that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for veterinary fields is growing rapidly at 16%, which 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.
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 work in advanced research-related jobs in a laboratory setting.
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. Becoming a veterinarian entails earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) at an accredited college of veterinary medicine and passing both the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination as well as a state licensing exam.
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 technologists and technicians earn an average annual salary of $36,260 or $17.43 per hour. The highest 10 percent earn over $52,410, while the lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,520.
Veterinarians earn an average of $99,250 per year or $47.72 per hour. The highest 10 percent bring in more than $164,490, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $60,690. Keep in mind that these statistics are average across the country, and salaries will vary depending on your job role, education, and geographical location.
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, but some factors to consider are the following:
- 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?
- Do you mind getting dirty?
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!).
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. Being self-motivated is also a must when you are pursuing an online program. You will need to set a time to commit to your studies, and because some of the programs require that you also work at a veterinary office, you will be busy. So, the question is: is an online veterinary degree right for you? Only you know, and deep down, you do know.
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!