Courses & Programs

Veterinary Technician

What will you learn?

Learn to care for and handle animals in a variety of settings.

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge in the care and handling of animals, in the basic principles of normaland abnormal life processes, and in routine laboratory and animal health care procedures.
  • Assist in the practice of veterinary medicine under the direction and supervision of veterinarians.
  • Exhibit knowledge of underlying principles of animal care, normal values, and basic disease processes of the different species.
  • Apply appropriate techniques in performing animal restraint and care.
  • Utilize, operate, and maintain medical instruments, and equipment.
  • Exhibit knowledge of pharmacological substances and maintenance of a pharmacy. Fill, properly calculate, label, and dispense prescription medication.
  • Prepare and assist in surgery, patient monitoring, and demonstrate knowledge of common surgical procedures.
  • Calculate and administer anesthetics. Maintain anesthesia and monitor the recovery of patients.
  • Collect laboratory samples and specimens through venipuncture, fecal collection, cystocentesis,and skin scraping. Use appropriate technique for collection, handling, and identificationof specimens.
  • Follow oral and written instructions.
  • Report results and keep accurate records according to established procedures.
  • Lean to deal appropriately with clients.
  • Perform radiographic imaging techniques.
  • Retain composure and efficiency under stress.
  • Demonstrate initiative - when work is done, offer assistance for helping with other tasks.
  • Abide by the ethics of all medical professionals in the matter of confidential information regarding patients and test results.
  • Demonstrate professional attitudes in the area of: appearance and hygiene, attendance, punctuality,telephone technique, acceptance of constructive criticism, and dealing with people.
  • Admissions requirements are changing, students interested in this program should contact the Admissions Department, 413.552.2321, for details.

Over the past 3 years (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2016) HCC had 34 first time candidates take the VTNE with a pass rate of 79%.  Fifty-two graduates were eligible to take the exam in this time period.

What will you do?

Upon completion of the Veterinary Medical Technology Program the student will be able to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to become a credentialed veterinary technician. Veterinary technicians work in animal clinics, hospitals, shelters and veterinarian laboratories.

67 total credits

23 credits General Education Requirements + 44 credits Program Requirements

This degree has limited online course options


General Education Requirements

23 CREDITS
This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217
Less than 150 years ago in the United States, abusing or beating an animal to death was, in most cases, legal and acceptable. Today, by contrast, both state and federal laws mandate the humane treatment of companion animals, circus animals, food animals, laboratory animals, and wildlife, and a vibrant animal advocacy movement boasts thousands of organizations and millions of members. How did this dramatic change occur? Who were the early activists and how did they fight cruelty and change the laws and attitudes of this nation? This course explores and debates the roots, identities, struggles, and successes of the American Animal advocacy movement since 1865. As we examine its growth and evolution, we will locate the movement within the context of larger social forces such as industrialization, science and technology, consumerism, and environmentalism. We will reveal the connections between past and present thus demonstrating the relevancy of animal advocacy to our society and our own lives.
Select from the following courses: ANT 101, ANT 103, ANT 110, ANT 114, ANT 120, ANT 130, ANT 150, ANT 250, COM 212, CRJ 110, CRJ 117, CRJ 200, CRJ 208, CRJ 209, CRJ 210, CRJ 217, ECN 100, ECN 101, ECN 102, ECN 104, ECN 105, ECN 120, ECN150, ECN 250, GEO 110, GRT 110, HON 206, HSV 120, HSV 205, HSV 208, HSV 212, HSV 226, HSV 230, LAW 215, POL 101, POL 110, POL 120, POL 125, POL 126, POL 140, POL 150, POL 230, PSY 110, PSY 202, PSY 203, PSY 210, PSY 215, PSY 216, PSY 217, PSY 218, PSY 220, PSY 222, PSY 224, PSY 225, PSY 226, PSY 230, PSY 233, PSY 240, PSY 242, PSY 250, PSY 260, PSY 265, PSY 270, SOC 110, SOC 130, SOC 150, SOC 204, SOC 208, SOC 213, SOC 214, SOC 215, SOC 216, SOC 220, SOC 240, SOC250, SSN 120, SSN 230, WST 100, WST 215, WST 217
Intended for students in the Veterinary Technician program, or other individuals in the health professions who have the responsibility for the preparation and administration of medications. Mathematical fundamentals will be covered along with systems of measurement and their equivalents, unit conversions, dosage measurement equipment, interpretation of the medication order, calculation of oral, parenteral and intravenous drug dosages, percentage preparations and dilution and concentration. Prerequisite: MTH 095 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better or SM18, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
Covers the anatomy and physiology of the animal cell and various mammalian tissues, as well as the gross and microscopic anatomy and physiology of the following vertebrate types: equine, bovine, ovine, porcine, canine, and feline. The systems to be covered are: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine, as well as cellular aspects of metabolism and the digestive system. Provides sufficient knowledge of normal physiologic processes to understand the responses to drugs and disease processes discussed later in the veterinary science curriculum. Dissection is required. Prerequisite: Eligibility for MTH 095 and a grade of C or better in BIO 100 or BIO 107 or a passing grade on the challenge exam. Restricted to Veterinary Technician and Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science students.
Continuation of Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals I (BIO 133). The digestive, respiratory, circulatory, urinary, and reproductive systems are covered. Dissection is required. Restricted to Veterinary Technician and Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science students. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in VET 133

Program Requirements

44 CREDITS
A prerequisite to all-clinical laboratory or veterinary science courses. Introduces routine nursing procedures such as correct animal restraint; routes of administration of medications; and the temperature, pulse, and respiration of both large and small animals. Presents the history and scope of the veterinary profession. Discusses breeds of small and large animals. A primary objective is to familiarize students with nursing procedures and the collection of samples in order to eliminate wasted time in later courses. Prerequisite: Restricted to Veterinary Technician students.
Introduces basic medical terminology. Concentration will be on terms commonly used in veterinary medicine. This will facilitate and enhance students' comprehension of the material presented in subsequent medically oriented courses.Prerequisite: Restricted to Veterinary Technician students.
Preparation for the business aspects of working in a veterinary practice. Provides information about veterinary practice ethics, communication skills, marketing, accounting systems, veterinary practice computer systems, and the laws of the veterinary profession. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisite: VET 282
A study of the cause, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, and control of diseases of domestic animals from the following groups: porcine, ovine, canine, feline, equine, caprine, bovine, and avian. The public health significance of these diseases and the function of the veterinary profession in controlling and monitoring them are covered. Restricted to Veterinary and Animal Science students. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 134; or BIO 107 and BIO 229
The course will cover representative species of the helminths, arthropods, protozoa and bacteria which are a veterinary importance to the domestic animals. Morphology, life cycles, pathology, clinical signs, treatment, prevention and control of disease, and zoonotic importance will be discussed. The laboratory sessions will consist of culture and staining techniques, fecal exams, hematology, examination of fresh material, prepared slides and preserved specimens.Prerequisites: C or better in VET 133, VET 140, VET 145Prerequisite or Corequisite: VET 134
Covers the common laboratory procedures performed routinely by technicians in veterinary health care facilities. The need for and basis of the procedures will be discussed, but emphasis will be placed on clinical proficiency during laboratory periods. Walking on field trips and working with large animals required. Current rabies and tetanus vaccinations required. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 133, VET 134, VET 140 and VET 145, VET 160
Lecture and discussions by guest speakers on current literature and special topics of interest in the veterinary and animal sciences. Prerequisites: VET 165 and VET 247
Primarily concerned with non-surgical animal nursing practices. Designed to familiarize the student with the principles of good nursing. Emphasis is placed on management of simple fractures and wounds, fluid therapy, and various types of emergency procedures. The purpose of the course is to enable the student to deal with these procedures as they are encountered in most veterinary practices. Walking on field trips and working with large animals required. Prerequisites: Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. VET 133, VET 134, VET 140, VET 145, VET 160 with a C or better and MTH 130. Pre/Co-requisite: VET 165Additional Course Fee: $15.00 malpractice Insurance (The fee is subject to change.)
This course provides the theoretical knowledge and practical experience necessary to assist in anesthesia, surgery, and dentistry. Areas of concentration include injectable and inhalation anesthesia, dentistry, preparation and monitoring the small animal surgical patient in anesthesia, surgical assistance, maintaining the surgical suite. Current rabies and tetanus vaccinations are required.Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 247 and VET 264
A clinical course designed to provide hands-on training for veterinary technicians. It offers an opportunity to use and perfect skills learned in other courses in a controlled situation under the direction of faculty. Graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. Dissection, walking on field trips, and working with large animals are required. Current rabies and tetanus vaccination required. Prerequisites: Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. VET 134, VET 165, VET 247, and VET 261 with a C or better. Prerequisite or Corequisite: VET 248 and VET 270
Principles of routine small animal husbandry. Small animal practices found in association with scientific facilities are also considered. Lab will require the daily care of animals. Current rabies and tetanus vaccination required. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 134 and VET 160
Provides knowledge and experience with exotic animals and unconventional pets. Emphasis is on the handling of animals, husbandry practices, diseases, types of medications used, and any unique biological factors of the animals--all of, which are essential to the technician. Walking on field trips required. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BIO 107
Introduces the drugs used in veterinary medical practice, including their actions and possible interactions and side effects. Provides the knowledge needed to calculate drug dosages, administer treatments, dispense drugs to clients as prescribed by the veterinarian, and instruct clients about drug administration and precautions. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisites: MTH 130 and a grade of C or better in VET 133 and VET 134
Introduces the principles of radiation as a diagnostic tool. X-rays and their production, differences in film types and intensifying screens, technique charts, position of the patient for radiographing, use and care of equipment, darkroom procedures and film storage, special radiographic procedures, and radiation poisoning and protection from radiation are covered. Proper methods of radiographing patients in order to produce a good quality radiograph with a minimum of risk are stressed. Current rabies and tetanus vaccination required. Students will be required to participate in radiographing animals. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students.Prerequisite: C or better in VET 133, VET 140 and VET 145Prerequisite or Corequisite: VET 134
Covers the principles of veterinary obstetrics and gynecology. Provides a working knowledge of normal reproductive cycles, pregnancy, gestation, and parturition, as well as of problems encountered in animal breeding. Current rabies and tetanus vaccination required. Restricted to Veterinary Technician students. Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in BIO 107
Provides the opportunity to exercise and expand students' skills as veterinary technicians. Co-op students work in a local veterinary practice, zoo, laboratory facility or similar curriculum-related center. Experience will include both administrative and clinical aspects of veterinary practice. Approximately 15-20 hours of work per week plus a weekly seminar are required. Corequisites: VET 134 and VET 160 or Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 134 and VET 160 and documentation of health insurance, and current rabies and tetanus vaccinations. Depending on when the course is taken, i.e. spring semester or summer session.
Provides the opportunity to exercise and expand students' skills as veterinary technicians. Co-op students work in a local veterinary practice, zoo, laboratory facility or similar curriculum-related center. Experience will include both administrative and clinical aspects of veterinary practice. Approximately 15-20 hours of work per week plus a weekly seminar are required. Corequisites: VET 153 and VET 248 or Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in VET 153 and 248 and documentation of health insurance and current rabies and tetanus vaccinations. Depending on when the course is taken, i.e. spring semester or summer session.


The Veterinary Technician Program has selective admissions. One class is admitted per year beginning in the fall.  The application deadline is February 1 for admission the following fall. 

Attendance at an Information Session is also required. Contact Admissions for more information.

Biology 107: Students must earn a "C" or better and eligibility to take college math are requirements for admission. 

An "A" is required in MTH 130 in order to take VET 264.

A rabies vaccination is strongly recommended but not required. Observation in a veterinary facility is also recommended but not required for admission.