Veterinary technology

University of Missouri-Columbia
Bachelor of science
Veterinary tech on farm
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Bachelor of science

You embarked on a path to care for animals. After earning an associate degree and becoming a registered veterinary technician (RVT), you’re looking ahead — both for your career and the treatment you provide.

The University of Missouri’s (Mizzou) online bachelor of science in veterinary technology matches your drive and curiosity. Intended for both newer and experienced RVTs interested in growing their skills, flexible course work expands upon your knowledge of animal anatomy, behavior and disease and further covers case management, communication, ethics and business management. Complete your degree around existing professional demands to move into a leadership role or pivot to a position in education, research, industry, pharmaceuticals or with a regulatory agency.

The online bachelor’s in veterinary technology is ideal for those who already have an associate degree from an AVMA or CVMA-accredited program. It can also help you develop proficiencies to complement a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) certification.

Not ready to dive into a bachelor's program? We offer an online undergraduate certificate in veterinary sciences and an online undergraduate certificate in biomedical sciences.

Top-ranked programs

Mizzou's online bachelor's programs ranked among the nation's finest in U.S. News & World Report 2024.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of science in veterinary technology


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Veterinary Medicine

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

Transfer credit hours


Transfer estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Why earn a bachelor’s in veterinary technology from Mizzou?

The University of Missouri-Columbia is the first College of Veterinary Medicine to offer a bachelor’s degree completion program in veterinary technology that is entirely online and asynchronous. The program was developed in response to a nationwide shortage of veterinary technicians and to provide a clear, flexible and accessible pathway toward advancement. Total program credit hours are based on courses already completed for an associate degree in veterinary technology.

For earning a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, this program:

  • Emphasizes practice management, communication and business skills alongside animal health care to position you for leadership roles
  • Is taught by Mizzou’s community of outstanding veterinary scholars and professionals, whose insights shape the curriculum and class discussions
  • Helps you develop mastery in veterinary sciences, anesthesia, clinical pathology, the human-animal bond, animal welfare, ethics, veterinary specialties and other advanced topics
  • Presents the opportunity to build or grow your network of professional connections
  • Prepares experienced and newer RVTs for a broader scope of practice
  • Lets you transfer associate-level veterinary technology credits, as well as general education courses, toward a bachelor’s degree and benefits from Mizzou’s articulation agreements
  • Allows you to meet increasing treatment demands for service and farm animals and pets
A young female veterinarian gently examines a dog in the clinic

Career prospects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified 20% more positions for veterinary technicians and technologists between 2021 and 2031. The online bachelor’s in veterinary technology equips you to not only seize these opportunities but make an impact through leadership, management or another advanced role in: 

  • Animal behavior and nutrition
  • Clinical pathology
  • Equine and farm animal nursing
  • Lab animal medicine and research
  • Small animal dentistry, neurology and rehabilitation
  • Surgical veterinary nursing
  • Veterinary toxicology, clinical practice, emergency and critical care

Common job titles for graduates include:

  • Registered veterinary technician
  • Vet tech supervisor
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Employment growth
2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
Mean salary

Program structure

Delivery of this program is 100% online: No campus visits required, and all courses are held in an asynchronous format. 

The online bachelor’s in veterinary technology is divided between 24 credit hours of required courses and variable electives introducing more advanced animal health care areas. The sequence exposes students to multiple veterinary specialties, research opportunities and potential career paths and is based upon previously completed subjects. 

The typical student transfers 39–43 credit hours of veterinary technology courses, in addition to general education courses, toward their bachelor’s degree at Mizzou. Students are then able to use remaining credit hours required to pursue higher-level subjects in veterinary technology and complete University general education and University graduation requirements.

All courses are semester-based. Students typically finish the program in 2-3 years.

Core courses cover

Required courses for the online bachelor’s in veterinary technology go over:

  • Biomedical pathophysiology for veterinary technicians
  • Veterinary anesthesia for all domestic species
  • Comparative anatomy for species commonly encountered in veterinary practice
  • Animal welfare and ethics, with emphasis given to horses and companion and farm animals
  • Veterinary pharmacology for both large and small animal organ systems
  • Domestic animal behavior, including communication, aggression and development
  • Cytology, with a focus on inflammatory and neoplastic diseases
  • Leadership, communication, critical thinking and care delivery in the veterinary profession

Review all required courses for the online bachelor’s in veterinary technology.


100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length

3 years

Typical course load

1 or 2 classes each semester

Further your education

If you choose to continue your education, this program offers a seamless transition to a master’s in veterinary sciences (MS).


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Cindy Cravens, DVM

Dr. Cindy Cravens is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and practiced for 11 years in small animal private practice before returning to Mizzou as director of the bachelor of science in veterinary technology program. She works with veterinary students as a general practitioner in the Community Practice service at Mizzou's Veterinary Health Center and teaches veterinary anatomy and physiology and clinical math for veterinary technicians in Moberly Area Community College's veterinary technology program. She also spends time with workgroups that focus on raising the profile of the veterinary technology profession and emphasizing the importance of team-based patient care delivery. As director of the BSVT program, she focuses on curricular development, fair and appropriate transfer of veterinary technology credit to Mizzou and methods for improving non-traditional student success. Dr. Cravens is passionately committed to providing access to quality advanced veterinary technology education and establishing national standards for scope of practice and skills utilization aligned with the level of education in the profession.

Cindy Cravens, DVM
BSVT Program Director
Stephanie Gilliam

Stephanie Gilliam earned her associate’s of applied science in veterinary technology from Jefferson College in 2005. She began working at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou) Veterinary Health Center as the neurology/neurosurgery technician in 2007. She earned her certification in canine physical rehabilitation from the University of Tennessee in 2008 and her bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology from St. Petersburg College in 2011. She earned her veterinary technician specialist certificate in neurology from the Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians in 2013. She earned her master’s degree in biomedical sciences with an emphasis in veterinary sciences through the University of Missouri in 2019. She is currently the director of the veterinary technology program at Moberly Area Community College. She teaches clinical veterinary neurology and small animal physical rehabilitation.

Stephanie Gilliam, RVT
Adjunct Instructor in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery
Tamara Hancock, DVM, PhD

Dr. Tamara Hancock is a graduate of Iowa State University and is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist. She earned a master’s degree in veterinary patholobiology and a PhD in learning, teaching and curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). She teaches clinical pathology in the didactic and clinical Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum and teaches communications and professional skills in various courses within the College and across Mizzou’s campus. She oversees the assessment of students in the College and coordinates activities within academic affairs. Her research focuses on the social context of learning, becoming and the belonging of veterinarians.

Tamara Hancock, DVM, ACVP Diplomate (clinical), PhD
Director for Academic Success and Coordinator of Curriculum and Student Outcomes
Marie Kerl, DVM

Marie Kerl earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University and master’s degrees in public health and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). She completed specialty training at the Animal Medical Center in New York, and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Her duties include ensuring the highest quality veterinary care through education and support of hospital teams by providing medical guidance within our hospitals. Additional professional activities include online teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and veterinary disaster response. Dr. Kerl has received the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award from the students at Mizzou, and the Ira Zaslow Service Award from the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.

Vice President of Medical Operations and Chief Medical Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals
Keith Branson

Dr. Keith Branson graduated from Kansas State University in 1985 and practiced in a mixed animal practice for four years. Dr. Branson then completed an anesthesia residency at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine where he taught clinical anesthesiology until his retirement as an anesthesiology assistant teaching professor.

Keith Branson, DVM, DACVAA
Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor, Veterinary Online Programs
Laurie Wallace, director of veterinary programs and associate teaching professor accepts the award from UPCEA Board President, Lisa Templeton.
It was a top priority for us to create a pathway that would allow these students to bring their associate degrees in veterinary technology to Mizzou.

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the College of Veterinary Medicine