FAQs: Animal Studies

» What is the difference between the bachelor degree in veterinary science and associate degree in veterinary technology programs?
» What is the distinction between the two associate degree programs – animal care and veterinary technology?
» What differentiates Becker College's veterinary science programs from other colleges’ pre-vet programs?
» Can you explain the difference between the various concentrations available for bachelor of science in veterinary science students?
» As a graduate of the veterinary technology program, am I eligible for certification?
» As a graduate of the animal care and/or laboratory animal management program(s), am I eligible for national laboratory animal technician certification?
» How many students are being accepted into schools of veterinary medicine post-graduation?

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Q: What is the difference between the bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and associate degree in veterinary technology programs?

The veterinary science program is built on the foundation of the veterinary technology program. The two-year (four-semester) veterinary technology program is an associate degree program that serves as the curriculum for the first two years of the bachelor of science in veterinary science. The four-year veterinary science program allows students to hone their clinical skills, investigate various aspects of careers in veterinary medicine, pursue the study of various subjects in more depth and prepare for graduate study. Both the veterinary technology and veterinary science programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Q: What is the distinction between the two associate degree programs of animal care and veterinary technology?

The animal care program concentrates on the management and husbandry of the healthy companion animal. The students in the animal care program are preparing for careers as groomers, kennel assistants and kennel managers, or as animal care technicians in life sciences research.

The veterinary technology program is more clinically oriented with a focus on nursing procedures, clinical techniques and diagnostic procedures used in assessing healthy animals and in caring for sick and injured animals. The students in the veterinary technology program are prepared for entry-level positions as veterinary technicians in private companion, exotic and large animal practices. The students are also qualified to serve as veterinary technicians in the clinical service departments of biotechnical companies, academic institution lab animal care department, zoos, aquariums, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and similar facilities.

Q: What differentiates Becker College's veterinary science programs from other colleges’ pre-vet programs?

Our bachelor of science in veterinary science degree program provides our students the option to choose a field of concentration that will prepare them for a specialty area within veterinary sciences, one of which is our pre-veterinary program. Like other colleges' pre-vet programs, our pre-vet concentration is designed to provide the student with the common prerequisite courses needed to apply to veterinary school. Biology, chemistry, mathematics and other general science courses are requirements of Becker College’s pre-veterinary program. A unique quality of the Becker College pre-vet program is that it incorporates the coursework of the veterinary technology program, which will prepare you to enter the workforce with marketable skills as a veterinary technician. Given the competition for veterinary school acceptance, you will be prepared to immediately step into a career, while applying to veterinary school or in the event you choose not to pursue a career as a veterinarian or are not admitted.

Q: Can you explain the difference between the various concentrations available for bachelor of science in veterinary science students?

The clinical and laboratory medicine program, like the pre-veterinary program is built on the two-year associate degree program in veterinary technology. Students who choose the clinical and laboratory medicine concentration have more technical coursework and less general science coursework than those choosing the pre-vet concentration. However, these students can still apply to veterinary school after graduation, although they may need to take some additional courses outside the college. The laboratory animal management program, on the other hand, is built upon the two-year animal care degree. These students will not become veterinary technicians but will find careers working directly with animals in a research-oriented setting. The equine studies program is uniquely devised with a focus on horses.

Q: As a graduate of the veterinary technology program, am I eligible for certification?

Depending on the direction you’d like your career to take, graduates of an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program are eligible to apply for certification in clinical practice and/or research. Clinical practice certification in Massachusetts for veterinary technicians is voluntary. If you wish to become certified, you will need to achieve a qualifying score on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Similarly, the Certification and Registry Board (CRB) of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) certifies technicians working in the biomedical research sector. After graduation from a veterinary technology program and 6 months of full-time employment in a research setting, you may be eligible to sit for the first of the three levels of AALAS certification.  Information about the AALAS technician certification program is available at the AALAS website.

Q: As a graduate of the animal care and/or laboratory animal management program(s), am I eligible for National Laboratory Animal Technician certification?

After graduation , if you are employed in biomedical research and/or the lab animal care profession and achieve six months of full-time employment, you may be eligible to sit for the first of the three levels of AALAS certification. Click here to learn more about the AALAS technician certification program.

Q: How many students are being accepted into schools of veterinary medicine post-graduation?

Becker College is proud to report that we have been averaging about 3 students per year over the past several years, however, in 2010 and 2011 we had 5 students each being accepted into colleges of veterinary medicine. Given that we are a very small program overall, these numbers fully support the quality education we at Becker are providing to prepare our students for an advanced doctoral degree in veterinary medicine.

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