Vet Tech Program FAQ

About the program

Banfield Pet Hospital®. Banfield was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1955 and today is a pioneer in preventive veterinary care with more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in 42 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

More than 3,600 Banfield veterinarians and more than 1500 veterinary technicians are committed to providing high-quality veterinary care to three million-plus pets annually. As part of the Mars Veterinary Health family of brands, Banfield is committed to its purpose — A Better World for Pets™ — because pets make a better world for us.


App State and Banfield have entered into a sponsored contract agreement to support the university’s development of a Veterinary Technology program. Banfield has made a multi-million dollar commitment to the university to support the development of a rigorous, four-year online program. 


The program’s first class is expected to begin in the fall of 2022. 


Yes, except for clinical externships (i.e. practical experience) placements.


This is a new program that is under development.


Dr. Virginia Corrigan joined App State as of September 2021. She comes to Appalachian with a wealth of prior experience in veterinary medicine. Since 2016, she has been an assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) in the Departments of Community Practice and Rehabilitation. She graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010.


The App State Online program will be housed in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of Rural Resilience and Innovation. It will combine Bachelor of Science credentials with preparation for professional credentialing as a veterinary technician. 


App State will become the first program in the country to offer a fully online Bachelor’s program in Veterinary Technology according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.


The university has assembled an interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff and external collaborators to develop a curriculum, program of study and courses that will become a model for developing veterinary professional talent. 


App State has a proven history of developing visionary academic programs that help advance industry standards while addressing shortages of demand for professional services in rural areas, with graduation and licensure achievement rates that far exceed national averages. 

The university combines its innovative approach to academic excellence with a strategic focus on recruitment and retention of rural students and regional economic development. With 75% of the nearly 135,000 App State alumni currently living in North Carolina and contributing to the state’s economy. 


According to PR newswire, Banfield has the following goals:

  • Increase representation within Banfield by ensuring 30% or more of its veterinarian and paraprofessional population are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) by 2030.
  • A $1 million investment over the next year in equity, inclusion and diversity efforts to increase representation, offer training and support industry efforts to improve the diversity pipeline.
  • Banfield is also announcing a new coalition – the "Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition" – to ensure efforts to increase equity, inclusion and diversity (EI&D) among veterinary professionals are ongoing and industry-wide.

Prospective students

Fill out this short form to be added to our email list for updates as this program is developed. 

Students will be eligible to apply beginning in August 2021. Fill out this short form to be added to our email list for updates.

Applications for Fall 2022 programs will be available on August 1, 2021. Links to first-year and transfer applications are available at www.appstate.edu/apply.

The general education portion of this program will include 44 hours of foundational subject areas including science (biology and chemistry), math and communication skills.


Active listening, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, public speaking, reading comprehension and animal care.

App State is committed to continuing support for all transfer and continuing education students. If you are interested in transferring into the program, please fill out this short form for more information. 

Yes, the Office of Online and Transfer Services will evaluate your prior coursework and award all applicable credit approved by the department.


In addition to core clinical skills, the four-year degree will also:

  1. Provide increased confidence in the core clinical skills.
  2. Marked expansion in the non-clinical knowledge, skills and competencies that should be successful as team leaders upon graduation such as communication, critical thinking skills, leadership and ethics.
  3. Focused expansion of the core clinical skills including recognized veterinary technician specialties.
  4. A career path to leadership positions in veterinary practices.

The B.S. program will be a fully-online, 120-credit hour degree program consisting of 44 hours of general education requirements and 76 hours within the veterinary technology major.

General Education
The first 44 hours allow students to obtain a science, math and general education background and develop college-level study skills prior to entering the intensive clinical portion of the curriculum.

In the Major
Within the 76 hours required for majors, there are core veterinary technology courses that students will take. The program also includes three advanced 15 credit hour tracks, where students can select their concentration.

While this program is fully online, every student will complete clinical hours in a veterinary setting for course credit towards their degree. The clinical courses provide veterinary technology students with additional practical experience in a clinical setting.

Topics covered include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Obtaining medical histories
  • Collecting specimens and performing laboratory procedures
  • Providing specialized nursing care
  • Preparing animals, instruments and equipment for surgery
  • Administering and monitoring anesthesia
  • Performing diagnostic and medical procedures
  • Assisting in surgical procedures
  • Performing diagnostic imaging
  • Educating clients
  • Supervising practice personnel
  • Performing dental prophylaxis

Professional opportunities or involvement

Fill out this short form to be added to our email list to receive more information as it becomes available.


There will be many opportunities to be involved with App State and the Veterinary Technology program whether you would like to be an externship host while our students are enrolled or as an internship site once students complete their course work.

There will also be opportunities to speak with classes, provide professional advice and mentoring to our students and even possibly engage in teaching or co-teaching a course. Use the same form linked previously to share your areas of interest.


An externship is an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience by shadowing professionals in the industry, as well as performing projects or conducting research relevant to the work they observed.

An internship bridges the gap between a student’s education or training and the professional world and helps them transition into a full-time role.


Externships are typically shorter than internships, ranging from a day to several weeks. 


App State Career Development offers employers the opportunity to connect with our students through career fairs, post job and internship positions, coordinate event sponsorship and more. Learn more about ways to get involved at careers.appstate.edu/employers.  


More about Veterinary Technology

Veterinary technology is the science and art of providing professional support to veterinarians. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, programs in veterinary technology graduate veterinary technicians and/or veterinary technologists.


This designation depends on the geographic location of the program and the accreditation of the program. Typically a veterinary technologist is a graduate of an accredited program in veterinary technology that grants a baccalaureate degree.

There is a high demand for credentialed veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians have been educated in the care and handling of animals, the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and in many laboratory and clinical procedures.  

Veterinary technicians work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or other scientists. While a veterinary technician can assist in performing a wide variety of tasks, they cannot diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery or engage in any activity prohibited by a state’s veterinary practice act.  

Most commonly, veterinary technicians find rewarding careers in private companion animal veterinary practice; expanded career opportunities for students with Bachelors-level credentials include: 

  • Academia
  • Practice management
  • Research and laboratory animal medicine
  • Government and public health organizations
  • Veterinary industry and corporate partners
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoo and wildlife care
  • Livestock and production animal management
  • Telehealth and virtual care
  • Mobile and end of life care practices

Veterinary technologists usually complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program and technicians complete a two-year associate’s degree. Both technologists and technicians must take a credentialing exam and become registered, licensed or certified, depending on the requirements of the state in which they work.


Most state and provincial agencies use the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE®) to evaluate the competency of entry-level veterinary technicians and require a passing score for a veterinary technician or technologist to be credentialed. 

The VTNE® is administered during three exam windows each year. The exam is computer-based and is given at PSI testing centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Yes, this program will prepare students to take the VTNE® exam. 


Although the Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology prepares students for working in the veterinary field, the program is not designed to prepare you for veterinary school.

When enrolled in a veterinary professional education program, practical experience is considered an externship. Externships are an opportunity to get hands-on clinical experience before moving into the workplace. When a student has completed their degree, they can seek internships for continued experience and often as paid positions.

There is a demonstrated need not only for more credentialed Veterinary Technicians but also to expand the capacity of licensed veterinary care professionals, particularly in rural areas. Data shows pet care demand is greater than supply. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that at least 40 million pets in the U.S. do not receive routine veterinary care. 

A recent study from Banfield reveals an estimated 75 million pets in the U.S. may not have access to the veterinary care they need by 2030. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data show that in 2020, there were more than 110,000 credentialed Veterinary Technician jobs in the U.S., and project an increase of nearly 20% in the next five years.  


  1. National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) www.navta.net
  2. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) www.avma.org
  3. Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) information www.aavsb.org/VTNE