Veterinary Practice Management Curriculum

Your Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate curriculum consists of 19 credit hours that can be accepted toward the formal education requirement for CVPM certification. You'll learn about business, accounting, and human resources management, marketing, business ethics, and more.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students to seek a Veterinary Practice Manager position by providing them with the education to develop strategies, procedures, policies and management skills to run the daily operations of a veterinary business and to satisfy the college semester hours required for CVPM certification.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Identify individual life goals and steps needed to fulfill them, similarities between personal financial goals and business goals, the basics of setting up a budget and starting up and maintaining a business
  • Discuss both the business environment and a manager’s role in decision making, planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and developing an ethical perspective
  • Comprehend the management of the facility's finances, such as patient fees and billing
  • Discover the importance of understanding and implementing laws and requirements in a veterinary practice.
  • Examine how to provide exceptional customer service to their clients while helping the veterinary practice to grow financially
  • Describe the human resources function as it relates to the business environment
  • Examine the factors affecting marketing plans to promote the business’s products or services through an understanding of marketing principles, consumer buying habits, and advertising strategies
  • Discover the importance and methods of marketing and promotion for a veterinary practice
  • Summarize the ethical and legal standards in the business environment
  • Analyze relevant business ethics issues when confronted with a new decision situation in a veterinary practice
Basic Skills Assessment

Applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

In this course, you’ll be introduced to distance learning; study skills and techniques; and ways to review for examinations. You’ll discover similarities between personal financial goals and business goals and examine how to determine personal financial goals; set up a budget; and recognize the elements of a business.


  • Describe how to use the Penn Foster student portal and resources
  • Discover similarities between personal financial goals and business goals
  • Identify the basics of setting up a budget and starting up and maintaining a business
This course familiarizes the student with both the business environment and the manager’s role within it. It covers decision making, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, as well as developing an ethical perspective. 


  • Summarize the functions of management and the basic steps in various planning processes.
  • Explain how to make effective decisions as a manager and a leader.
  • Describe the fundamental elements of an organization’s structure and the components of an organization’s competitive environment.
  • Explain principles for setting goals that motivate employees, why companies develop control systems, and why teamwork is beneficial.
  • Analyze why diversity is a critical organizational and managerial issue, and describe the criteria for technology decisions and managing change.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: M: Management, 6th Edition

This course meets the needs of students who need to understand accounting language but aren't planning on becoming accountants. Students will learn what accounting information is, what it means, and how it’s used. Topics covered include financial statements, return on investment, bookkeeping process, cost accounting, and report systems.


  • Define accounting and identify and describe its different classifications.
  • Analyze transactions that affect current assets, including applications of valuation and matching.
  • Interpret financial statements and describe how listed factors impact net income and cash flow.
  • Analyze cost-volume-profit relationships and apply cost accounting principles to financial decision-making.
In this course you’ll learn the importance of understanding and implementing laws and requirements in a veterinary practice. You’ll also learn the benefits of developing a professional, efficient, and knowledgeable team that provides exceptional customer service to their clients. Additionally, the course will provide you with instructions and information on how to help your practice to grow financially.


  • Identify the teambuilding, human resource management, and legal and ethical concerns involved in veterinary practice.
  • Choose the appropriate design, technology, diagnostic laboratory, and marketing strategy for a veterinary practice.
  • Develop positive, efficient, and compassionate client communication and customer service.
  • Develop proper management of appointments, medical records, inventory, logs, and controlled substances.
  • List the OSHA requirements that apply to the veterinary practice to maintain a safe and secure work environment.
  • Perform the needed calculations, conversions, and other requirements for different areas of the veterinary practice.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Front Office Management for the Veterinary Team

In this course, you'll investigate an overview of Human Resources Management (HRM), as it’s understood today. This course illustrates the dynamic interaction of the personnel functions with each other and with the objectives of an organization.


  • Describe the elements of human resource management, including labor considerations, regulation, and management of workflow
  • Explain how companies should prepare for and implement HRM to hire new employees and create training programs
  • Identify the aspects of employee, career, and turnover management
  • Summarize how employees are paid, including legal requirements, performance-based pay, commissions, salaries, and benefits
  • Describe other HRM functions including collective bargaining, labor relations, global HRM, and building a high-performance organization

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

This course covers the principles of marketing. Topics covered include assessing, analyzing, understanding, and targeting the marketplace, as well as the creation, capture, delivery, and communication of value. Students will learn how to develop a marketing plan, use social and mobile marketing effectively, integrate ethics into marketing strategies, influence the consumer decision process, perform market research, perform SWOT and STP analyses, make decisions concerning branding, packaging, and developing new products, price products and services fairly, set advertising objectives, and more.


  • Analyze marketing plans, strategies and the aids needed to catalyze it
  • Analyze the foundation of the marketing model and its emergence
  • Point out the targeted strategies and plans in marketing and globalization
  • Formulate a plan of valuing production, innovation, and product marketing
  • Develop the valuing strategies for products and services in marketing
  • Categorize the strategies for supply chain management and retailing
  • Distinguish between the various domains under IMC strategies
  • Design a marketing plan for an existing business

Textbook: M: Marketing 7th edition

In this course, you’ll explore the types of ethical issues you may encounter in your professional life and discover processes to help in determining the best response to the issue. You’ll discover how to determine a course of action with various philosophical approaches and business-related approaches to ethical issues in a professional setting; and a process for decision making in balancing different considerations. In addition, discover an overview of selected areas of business that may require particular attention.


  • Explain the importance of business ethics and decision making in terms of ethical theories and perspectives
  • Discuss how corporate culture influences business ethics and public perspectives on corporate social responsibility
  • Describe the ethical issues that arise through changes in employer responsibilities, employee obligations, technological progress, product safety concerns, and marketing methods
  • Explain how ethical corporate governance influences corporate sustainability, environmental issues, and the prevention of conflicts of interest

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Business Ethics

Additional Details

Undergraduate Certificates from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.
Over the course of the Penn Foster College Veterinary Practice Management Undergraduate Certificate program, you will have the opportunity to attend live or recorded webinars to help you better understand your lessons. The live webinars will allow you to ask our instructors questions in real time.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem - you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers - as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff - to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.
Penn Foster Student Community
Penn Foster Sample Lesson

Sample Veterinary Practice Management Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Veterinary Practice Management course would look like.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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