Well, this one was tough. While students looking for vet tech schools in Washington DC can find several in the greater DC area (and beyond), there are none actually located within city limits. This is not at all surprising given that the city of 632,000 is primarily home to governmental offices and buildings, lobbyist organizations and national associations, and the educational opportunities available there are often geared toward university learning (think George Washington University, Catholic University, Georgetown University, Gallaudet University!). Thankfully, there are transportation opportunities, including the Metro system with bus and rail provisions, that provide access to several of the schools in the greater metropolitan area, including in Virginia, that comprise our list of top Washington DC area vet tech programs. As an aside, all of the schools on this list have been accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Students interested in the vet tech program at Northern Virginia Community College should find it accessible from Washington DC by about half-hour by car. The program provides both full-time and online part-time options, and leads to an associate of applied science degree. It also helps prepare students for post-graduation national licensing through the Vet Tech National Exam. Students in the 68-credit program learn about animal nursing techniques, anatomy, physiology, nutrition and animal diseases, breeds and behavior, surgical assisting and more. Students attending full time should be able to complete the program in five semesters, but those in the online program may need to make a few visits to campus. Students need algebra, biology and chemistry classes at the high school level to be eligible to apply. The campus program received AVMA accreditation in 1980 with the distance learning program receiving it in 2004.
Although significantly further from Washington DC at about 2.5 hours of driving time, Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, has a vet tech program that includes both on-campus and distance learning options. The 72-credit program on campus for full-time students can be completed in five semesters and leads to an associate of applied science degree. Students spend their time between classwork, clinical rotations and lab exercises. A four-credit 400-hour externship is required in the summer following the second semester. Classes for the distance learning program start every three years and occur through a live, two-way television connection. Students in the distance learning program must also be employed at least 20 hours per week by a veterinarian who is willing to provide supervision. The program received its initial AVMA accreditation in 1976 and the distance program in 1999.
The Community College of Baltimore County, about half-hour from Washington DC by car, teaches students how to administer medications, assist in the operating room, do clinical lab procedures and help provide education to pet owners. Students entering the program complete a two-credit internship as part of their learning and also take classes such as Animal Nutrition, Pharmacology and Nutrition, and Hospital Procedures. Although it was some time ago, the program, in 2008, was selected by the Maryland Agricultural Teachers Association/National Association of Agricultural Educators (MATA/NAAE) as the state winner of that year’s Outstanding Postsecondary Program award. The school received AVMA accreditation in 1978.
Students can attend Camden County College, in Blackwood, NJ, for vet tech education and training. The school is 2.5 to 3 hours away from Washington DC, depending on driving route and traffic. It received its initial accreditation through the AVMA in 1978. Students learn about anesthesia, surgical assisting and radiology as part of their coursework and must complete a supervised summer co-op or internship of 300 hours. They should be able to complete the program within two years when enrolled full-time and taking 15 to 18 credits per semester, and receive an associate of applied science degree.
In Delaware, students can attend the vet tech program offered through Delaware Technical and Community College, in Georgetown, about two hours from Washington DC. This program prepares students to do diagnostic procedures and provide clinical assistance as well as understand humane animal care. A 2.5-GPA is required for admission. The 73-credit vet tech program also include a five-credit internship, leads to an associate degree and prepares students to sit for the Vet Tech National Exam. The school received its initial accreditation through the AVMA in 2002.