Go back
Agri-VetTech class

Agriculture: Concentration Veterinary Technology

ApplySearch for FacultyFind a Program

Why study Veterinary Technology

Agriculture is one of the most important areas you could choose because it addresses a basic human need—food and other natural resources. The Veterinary Technology program at APSU provides the rigorous training to prepare students for employment in veterinary technology, one of the fastest growing career fields nationwide. The U.S. Department of Labor says job prospects for Veterinary technicians and technologists are excellent. Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Students who complete this program successfully will graduate with a BS, compared to most other programs that only offer an AS, and will be prepared to take the Veterinary Technology National Exam; a passing score is required in most states for licensure.

Veterinary Technology students will have a strong interest in animal science and husbandry, animal behavior, and animal health and disease. Most will have a passion for helping animals. Important qualities for a future vet tech to possess are:

Agriculture courses are delivered in small class settings with individual attention from faculty with experience and expertise in agriculture. Students have an opportunity for hands-on learning at the 440-acre University Farm and Environmental Education Center to study livestock, crops, forestry, wildlife and natural resources. The Veterinary Technology Concentration provides intensive study of the didactic and hands-on skills and knowledge needed to work competently as a veterinary technician including anatomy, physiology, microbiology, clinical techniques, pharmacology, anesthesiology, surgical and medical nursing, dental techniques, radiology, and clinical pathology training. Our concentration is initially accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. A 1:8 faculty to student ratio for live animal handling provides a thorough and focused learning experience.

APSU Agriculture faculty who teach Vet Tech students have a wide variety of expertise in such fields as: Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Technology.

What Will I Learn

Veterinary technology students take coursework in veterinary technology, as well as agricultural, biological, and chemical sciences to prepare them for success in the veterinary technology licensure process.

Students will become proficient in these areas:

  1. Applied mathematics
  2. Biological science
  3. Communication skills
  4. Fundamentals of chemistry
  5. Anatomy and physiology
  6. Anesthesia, including induction, monitoring, and instrumentation
  7. Animal husbandry, including restraint, behavior, species and breed identification, reproduction, sex determination, and
  8. Human-animal bonding
  9. Biosecurity-safety and security issues
  10. Clinical pathology and parasitology
  11. Communication/interaction skills with clients and colleagues
  12. Diseases, preventive medicine (including dentistry), and nursing of companion animals, food-producing animals, horses, exotic species, and laboratory animals
  13. Economics in veterinary practice
  14. Ethics, professionalism, and legal applications in veterinary medicine
  15. Humane animal care and management
  16. Introduction to laboratory animal medicine
  17. Life-long learning concepts
  18. Medical terminology
  19. Microbiology and immunology
  20. Necropsy techniques
  21. Nutrition and principles of feeding
  22. Orientation to the profession of veterinary technology
  23. Pharmacology for veterinary technicians
  24. Principles of imaging, including radiography and ultrasonography
  25. Safety issues, consistent with the CVTEA Statement on Safety with course work emphasis on zoonoses and occupational safety
  26. Surgical nursing and assisting, including instrumentation
  27. Technician utilization and team concepts of health care delivery
  28. Value of professional organizations
  29. Veterinary practice management

At the completion of this program, students are expected to graduate from APSU with a B.S. in Agriculture, with a concentration in Veterinary Technology, and to be prepared to take the Veterinary Technology National Exam.

By graduating from an initially accredited concentration, and passing the VTNE, students would then be eligible for licensure in the state of TN.

Veterinary technicians often work in these places: 

Veterinary Technology Application

Current VTNE Data


Sample Course Plan and General Education Requirements

Veterinary Technology Concentration Sample 4 Year Plan

General Education Core

Donald Sudbrink

Professor, Chair of Department of Agriculture

In addition to leading the APSU Department of Agriculture and teaching classes on grounds at the University's Clarksville campus, Dr. Sudbrink also helps manage the APSU Farm and Environmental Education Center.

This 440-acre property boasts a large demonstration area showing the production of cattle and farm commodities, an observatory and other opportunities for interdisciplinary study.

"We have other departments and programs like Biology, the Center of Excellence for Biology, Astronomy and Physics, Military Science and even some Art students," Sudbrink said. "There are many opportunities at the farm for our students in Agriculture and other Austin Peay students as well."