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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 will review the functions of management and its role in planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling.


  • Define and correctly use business terms.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Identify the steps of managerial decision making.
  • Explain the relevance of the basic skills required by managers.
  • Describe major components of various management perspectives.
  • Discuss the ever-increasing employee diversity and the management activities required for the changing workforce.
In this course, you'll discover the necessary accounting information to understand the basic accounting information, what it means, and how it’s used; The course will also cover financial statements, return on investment, bookkeeping process, cost accounting, and report systems.


  • Define accounting and identify and describe its different classifications
  • Discuss and analyze transactions that affect current assets
  • Describe applications of valuation and matching in the case of accounts receivable
  • Discuss the significance of inventories and cost-flow assumptions
  • Explain, integrate, and interpret the basic balance sheet and the impact of those issues on net income and cash flow
  • Define variable costs, fixed costs, contribution margin, and contribution margin ratio, and use the cost formula for total cost, operating profit, and break-even points, while applying the simplifying assumptions of linearity and relevant range

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Accounting: What the Numbers Mean

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

In this course, you’ll discover the principles of marketing. You’ll 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.


  • Design and develop a marketing plan
  • Outline the implementation of the marketing mix as a means to create customer value
  • Describe the 4E framework of social media marketing
  • Identify the ethical values marketers should embrace and how ethics can be integrated into a firm’s marketing strategy
  • Articulate the steps in the consumer decision process and the factors that affect it
  • Highlight the similarities and differences between a domestic marketing strategy and a global marketing strategy
  • Recognize strategies associated with segmenting, targeting, and positioning
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary data and how they are used in marketing
  • Identify the strategies concerning product, branding, and packaging decisions
  • Differentiate between the marketing of services and the marketing of products
  • Identify the critical components of pricing strategy and the methods firms use to set prices
  • Identify and apply the principles of product, price, promotion, and distribution, through examples of real organizations
  • Indicate the importance of marketing channels and supply chain management
  • Describe the various integrative marketing communication channels
  • Describe the steps in designing and executing an advertising campaign and the different ways that advertisers appeal to consumers

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Marketing

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

Surround Sound Support

Whether you prefer chat, text, email, or phone, our faculty is here to help you achieve your goals. Penn Foster students also have access to our expert team of Success Coaches to help with budgeting for your education, career guidance, or simply some extra motivation.
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 or take an exam? 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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