May 25, 2024  
2020-2021 UMA Catalog 
2020-2021 UMA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Veterinary Technology

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Admissions: 1-877-UMA-1234 ext. 3465 or (207) 621-3465
Advising Center: 1-877-UMA-1234 ext. 3149 or (207) 621-3149
Coordinator: Jennifer Freese, DVM


The Bachelors of Science in Veterinary Technology provides technical training and experience for careers in the veterinary technology field. The curriculum provides specialized courses in animal care, handling, anatomy, physiology, and laboratory clinical work. The final semester of the program is spent in an externship. This field experience consists of seven weeks at a practicing veterinary facility, plus seven weeks at a laboratory facility or a second veterinary clinic. The program provides the opportunity for students to prepare for a challenging and rewarding career in the field of veterinary technology. Graduates enjoy positions as veterinary or laboratory technicians in veterinary clinics, biological and medical research laboratories, commercial testing laboratories, or pharmaceutical and feed industries. Successful completion of this program enables the student to apply for the national examination required by the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine to become a licensed veterinary technician.

Learning Outcomes

The faculty and staff are committed to fulfilling, developing and improving skills, tasks, and decision-making abilities in preparation for sitting for the veterinary technician national exam with the following curriculum goals and philosophies in mind:

  • developing and improving office and hospital procedures, client relations and communication
  • enhancing decision-making abilities to perform safe and effective administration and dispensing of pharmacological drugs and pharmacy related tasks and skills
  • preparing students to demonstrate and perform assessment techniques in a variety of animal species
  • preparing students to demonstrate and perform basic patient care, husbandry, dentistry, nutrition and therapeutic techniques appropriate in a variety of different species
  • preparing students to safely and effectively manage patients in all phases of anesthetic procedures
  • preparing students for safe and effective selection, utilization and maintenance of anesthetic delivery and monitoring instruments and equipment
  • preparing students with the basic knowledge of routine surgical procedures
  • preparing students to properly package, handle, and store specimens for laboratory analysis
  • preparing students to properly obtain and analyze laboratory specimens
  • preparing students to safely and effectively produce diagnostic radiographic and non-radiographic images
  • preparing students to safely and effectively handle common laboratory animals used in animal research
  • providing students with a means to understand an approach to providing safe and effective care for small and large animals as well as exotics
  • guiding students toward an understanding of how to carry out tasks, skills and decision-making abilities
  • guiding students in following and upholding applicable laws and the veterinary technology profession’s ethical codes in order to provide high quality care to patients
  • providing students with the opportunity to explore the broad diversity of the profession and instilling in them a passion for lifelong learning


The Veterinary Technology Program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

Admissions Requirements (see UMA general requirements)  

To be considered for admission to veterinary technology, all applicants must have the following (emphasis is placed on the math and science grades in admission decisions):

  • a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma
  • grades of “C” or better in algebra I, algebra II, biology with lab, and chemistry with lab
  • demonstrated proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics
  • SAT testing is preferred
  • All accepted students must provide proof of rabies pre-exposure vaccine and proof of health insurance when required
  • Early Decision Plan: Applicants who apply to the Veterinary Technology program before November 15 will be notified by December 15 of the early admission decision

Pre-VET Program

Students who do not meet admission requirements or who wish to complete the General Education Requirements prior to enrolling in VTE course work are offered admission to the Pre-VTE track of the Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies degree. This allows students to enroll in a degree program, a requirement to qualify for financial aid, and to be assigned to a pre-vet tech advisor. Enrollment in the Pre-VTE program does not guarantee admission to the veterinary technology bachelor of science degree program.

Academic Progress:

Students enrolled in the Veterinary Technology Program are required to maintain a “C” (not C-) in all foundation courses (VTE, MATH, biology, and chemistry) to remain in the program. A student receiving a failing grade in any of the foundation courses must repeat that course; upon receiving a second failing grade, within the foundation courses, the student will be dismissed from the program and has the ability to appeal for readmission into the Veterinary Technology program.

Students who have been dismissed from the Veterinary Technology program twice will not be eligible for readmission to the Veterinary Technology program. An overall grade point average of 2.0 must be maintained to remain in the program. All course work must be completed prior to the student going on externship (VTE 330 ).

Career Opportunities

UMA’s Veterinary Technology program is one of two in the state of Maine and one of only 25 BS degrees in the whole country! This degree program prepares students for careers as veterinary technicians or laboratory animal technicians in a variety of settings. Along with basic, core education requirements, students in this program complete coursework in animal care and handling, anatomy and physiology, and clinical procedures and techniques. Field experience and laboratory experience provides Veterinary Technician students with a solid foundation in basic animal care and laboratory techniques. Upon successful completion of this program, students can apply for the required National Examination conducted by the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine to become a licensed Veterinary Technician.

Transferable Skills & Competencies

Veterinary Technicians primarily function as professional technical support to veterinarians, biomedical researchers, and other scientists. Examples of the skills and responsibilities qualified veterinary technicians are educated to assume include:

  • Taking x-rays
  • Understanding veterinary terminology
  • Providing animal care and handling
  • Performing clinical laboratory procedures
  • Understanding animal nutritional requirements
  • Monitoring biological vital signs
  • Calculating drug dosages
  • Operating and maintaining diagnostic equipment
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Inventory control
  • Bookkeeping and practice management
  • Admitting and discharging patients
  • Compiling data
  • Managing operating room and medical facilities
  • Owning a veterinary hospital
  • Restraining animals of all species
  • Maintaining and using medical equipment
  • Placing intravenous catheters
  • Maintaining fluid therapies
  • Performing dental prophylaxis
  • Preparing for surgery and assisting
  • Monitoring (induction, maintenance) of anesthesia
  • Administering vaccinations and medications
  • Providing grief counseling for clients
  • Writing business letters
  • Developing client education handouts
  • Explaining after-care and doctor’s orders
  • Handling phone contacts and making appointments
  • Educating about animal care


Here is a list of some of the jobs past Veterinary Technology graduates have held. Some positions may require additional education or specialized knowledge:

Medical Services
  • Veterinarian Technician
  • Laboratory Animal Technician
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Technician in Exotic Animal Practice
Research & Education
  • Biomedical Research Laboratories
  • Commercial Testing Laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical Research Firms
  • Cooperative Extension (4H)
  • Veterinary School/Technician Program Instructor*
  • Veterinary Technician at a Veterinary College Hospital
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Herd Health Manager
  • Barn Manager, Equine Facility
  • Horse Trainer
  • Kennel Manager
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Pet and Livestock Product Marketer
  • Veterinary Medical Supply Company Rep.
  • Animal Control Officer
  • Wildlife Biologist*
  • Natural Resources Wildlife Technician
  • State Dept. of Agriculture Representative
  • Humane Society Director
  • Police/Armed Services Dog Trainer
  • Animal Shelter Staff Member
  • Military Service


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