Veterinary Assistant

Curriculum & Courses

This technical certificate is a two semester program designed to prepare students to enter the workforce as animal handlers, veterinary assistants or laboratory animal caregivers; and to provide general knowledge of animal care, veterinary office management, and veterinary clinical procedures. This certificate is the first step for many students seeking certification as an Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) or Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM).  

A formal application is not required for admission to this program. Students must have acceptable placement scores or completed all Learning Support Competencies. Students who wish to complete the program in two sequential semesters, must meet with a Veterinary Assistant Advisor at the beginning of the first semester in which they are enrolled. 

Summary of Required Hours:

Summary of Required Hours




Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

AHC 115*

Medical Terminology


VTA 100*

Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy


VTA 120*

Veterinary Nursing


VTA 130*

Veterinary Economics





BUSN 1305*

INFS 1010

Introduction to Business OR

Computer Applications 


VTA 140*

Clinical Procedures


VTA 150*

Assistant Clinical Practicum




VET Course Descriptions

VTA       100*      Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy

This course parallels a vertebrate zoology course focusing on aspects of anatomy and physiology that have clinical relevance for animal caregivers, animal lab researchers and veterinary practice.  Companion, agricultural (large), laboratory and exotic species will be covered with reference to human physiology where applicable. Virtual dissection during the course will culminate in a dissection lab at the end of the semester. 

Prerequisites: Acceptable placement scores or completion of all Learning Support Competencies              

VTA       120*       Veterinary Assistant Nursing                   

This course begins building the skill sets required to succeed in the care and handling of animals.  Areas of emphasis will include: breeds, behavior, restraint techniques, care and feeding, basic nursing and grooming care, sanitation, zoonotic disease, and other basic skills utilized by animal caregivers, animal lab researchers and/or practicing veterinary assistants.

Prerequisites: Acceptable placement scores or completion of all Learning Support Competencies              

VTA       130*       Veterinary Economics                                

 This course is designed to emulate the front office of a veterinary facility. Students will learn client communications, office procedures, inventory control and jurisprudence in veterinary practices.   There will be an emphasis on writing skills and the development of affective client education tools.

Prerequisites: Acceptable placement scores or completion of all Learning Support Competencies 

VTA       140*      Clinical Procedures                                      

This course will cover the procedures commonly performed by veterinary assistants in a Veterinary practice. These will include: preparing, cleaning, and sterilizing surgical equipment, preparing medications to be dispensed or given in practice, laboratory procedures, and assist in taking radiographs.

Prerequisites: Completion of VTA 120* with grades of C or higher.

VTA       150*       Assistant Clinical Practicum                     

This course is a cumulative skills laboratory where students utilize the skills they have learned in VTA 120*, VTA 130, and VTA 140*.  Clinical practicum will occur on-site and/or at participating private clinics, pet facilities, rehab facilities and laboratories as scheduling permits.

Prerequisites: Completion of VTA 120* with a grade of C or higher.

Co-Requisite: VTA 140*.