Agriculture & Natural
Registered Veterinary Technology Program Co-Directors
Lu Dao, DVM
Rebecca Yates, DVM
Registered Veterinary Technology General Questions and Vet Tech Student Counseling
Angela Killips, RVT (Instructional Assistant and Adjunct Professor)
Pre-veterinary Medicine Program Director
Lu Dao, DVM
Horse/Equine Science Faculty Advisor
Please contact Department Chair for information
Savanah St. Clair Senn, MS, Plant Science
Pierce College’s Pre-Veterinary Program prepares you for direct transfer into a graduate school of Veterinary Medicine, saving you two years of college!
LA Pierce College
Licensing Exam Passage Rates
Pierce College Average
Veterinary Technician National Exam
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022
US and Canada Average
Veterinary Technician National Exam
July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2022
Number of first time candidates that have taken the exam
Three year pass rate for first time test takers
Last testing window of 2021 passage rate
(July 15, 2021-December 15, 2021)
VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY - Associate of Science Degree
Associate Degree requirements must be completed with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) or better.
Earning an AS degree in Veterinary Technology from Pierce College qualifies a student to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The comprehensive scope of the Veterinary Technology major provides the student with the skills and knowledge necessary for employment as a Registered Veterinary Technician in many different capacities and settings. The curriculum integrates lecture classes with hands-on lab classes and outside clinical experiences, and meets or exceeds all American Veterinary Medical Association standards. Students are given ample opportunity to work with a wide variety of domestic animals here on campus. The coursework is separated into three categories: general education, entry-level, and advanced classes. Prior to being permitted to enroll in advanced classes, students must complete all prerequisites and submit prerequisite verification forms to the RVT Program Director. Students must earn at least a “C” in all categories of classes. The advanced-level coursework can be completed in two years, (including summer sessions), but many students take longer to complete the program. The Veterinary Technology Major is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Academic counseling is strongly recommended prior to starting the RVT program. Please see the FAQ section below for more details.
Completing the Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology does not necessarily meet the university-admission requirements for transfer. An Associate Degree is not a requirement for transfer to either the CSU or UC campuses. Private and out-of-state colleges and universities have unique transfer requirements. However, if you would like to transfer to a university and earn an associate degree, early educational planning can make this goal achievable. You should meet with a counselor early in your studies to develop an Educational Plan that fulfills both transfer requirements and associate degree requirements.
Students must complete one of the following General Education Plans:
- LACCD GE LACCD General Education Plan (21 units)
- CSU GE CSU GE Breadth Certification Plan (39 units)
- IGETC Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (34-37 units)
GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS (to be completed prior to graduation)
- Humanities - 3 units
- Health - 2 units
- PE - 1 unit
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (B1 and B2)
- Math (intermediate algebra)
*It is strongly recommended that the English and Math requirements be met prior to beginning the Advanced-Level Program, as these skills will be utilized regularly.
ENTRY-LEVEL REQUIREMENTS UNITS (Prerequisites - to be completed prior to beginning the Advanced-Level Program)
- VETTECH 180 Animal Care Experience
- ANML SC 181A Field Work
- VETTECH 401 Intro to Vet Tech
- ANML SC 501 Principles of Animal Science
- ANML SC 510 Animal Health & Disease Control
- ANML SC 511 Anatomy and Physiology of Animals
- ANML SC 512 Anatomy/Physiology of Animals Laboratory
- BIO 3 Introduction to Biology
- Chemistry 51
- Microbiology 20
ADVANCED-LEVEL VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY COURSES:
- VETTECH 410/411 Small Animal Nursing I Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 412/413 Small Animal Nursing II Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 435/436 Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 420/421 Clinical Procedures I Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 422/423 Clinical Procedures II Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 424 Dentistry for Veterinary Technicians Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 430/431 Clinical Pathology Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 441 Large Animal Nursing Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 470 Lab Animal Care Lecture and Lab
- VETTECH 480 and 481 Clinical Experience for Veterinary Technicians
APPROVAL PROCESS FOR ADVANCED-LEVEL PROGRAM
Students must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better. All prerequisites must be completed or in-progress at the time of approval; in other words, they must be completed by the end of the Spring semester in which you are applying, not during the following Summer. Prerequisite Verification Forms may be submitted during the semester in which prerequisite courses will be completed. Forms are available online on the VTSSR Canvas site in April of each year. To self-enroll in the VTSSR site, please click here: VTSSR self-enrollment. Due dates and further instructions are printed on the form; no late submissions will be accepted for any reason whatsoever. All qualified students who submit Verification Forms by the due date are approved to enroll in the Advanced-level courses. There is no wait list to enter the RVT Advanced Program. However, because we generally have more applicants than we have space for in our classes, approval to take Advanced-level courses does not guarantee enrollment in any particular class, registriation priority is what determines if you can register for a course. If a course becomes full, approved students may have to wait until the next offering of the class to attempt to enroll in the course again. All applicants meet with program faculty when submitting their forms and will be given guidance on scheduling of coursework. Students who have taken courses at schools outside of LACCD must have their previous coursework approved for credit through the Academic Counseling Office prior to submitting Verification Forms. Students must provide proof of credit along with their Prerequisite Verification Forms during their meeting with the program faculty. Obtaining credit may take several weeks and should be done well in advance of meeting with the faculty.
Deadline to submit forms to start the advanced program in Fall 2022 is April 28, 2022.
Registration priority is determined by the district and scheduled using the following tiers.
- Tier 1: Cal/Works, DSPS, EOPS, Foster Youth, Active Duty/Veterans.
- Tier 2: Athletes, Promise, Completion.
- Tier 3: Continuing and new students, starting with 60-100 completed units, then 45-59 completed units, then 30-44 completed units, then 15-29 completed units, then 1-14 completed units, then 0 completed units.
- Tier 4: Students who lost priority.
- Tier 5: Open enrollment.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a veterinary technician?
Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), also referred to as Veterinary Nurses, provide nursing care for animals under the direction of a veterinarian. They perform a variety of tasks, such as drawing blood, taking x-rays, monitoring anesthesia, and administering medications. By law, only licensed technicians can perform certain tasks, such as placing sutures in the skin, inducing anesthesia, placing splints and casts, and extracting teeth. They are NOT allowed to diagnose, prescribe treatment, or perform surgery -- these tasks can only be performed by a veterinarian. More information on Veterinary Technicians can be found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:
How do I become a student in the RVT Program?
- Enroll as a student at Pierce College.
- Complete the Entry-level Courses that are required for the program with a grade of C or better.
- Complete the verification forms and meet with the Program Director/faculty during Spring semester to ensure that all requirements have been met. You will also discuss scheduling of the Advanced-level courses.
Students who successfully complete all of these steps will qualify to enroll in Advanced-level courses. However, understand that qualifying for the program does not guarantee a spot in any advanced-level course. Enrollment is dependent on registration priority and demand for the course.
How many students can enroll in the RVT Program?
The Advanced-level Program can accommodate up to 32 incoming students per year.
Is there a wait list for the RVT Program?
No. The online registration system has wait lists for individual courses, however, we do not maintain a wait list for the program as a whole. If a student is unsuccessful in obtaining a spot in the first-semester courses, they will need to attempt to enroll again in the next Fall semester.
Do you offer an online program?
No. Two Advanced-level Courses, VETTECH 480 and 481, typically have an online component. However, the majority of coursework for the Veterinary Technology degree must be completed on campus. Classes generally take place during daytime hours, although evening courses are occasionally available.
Do you have to be enrolled full-time?
No. The Advanced-level program generally requires between 6 and 9 units per semester. Students can take more units by taking classes in other disciplines if they like, or in order to meet additional requirements such as minimums needed for financial aid or international student status.
What is the cost of the program?
The cost for RVT courses is the same as other classes at Pierce College, $46 per unit. The major has 58 required units, plus general education requirements of approximately 20-30 units.
How long does it take to complete the program?
Entry-level coursework can be completed in one year, but most students will need about 2 years to finish it. The Advanced-level program will require 5 semesters, including 1 summer session, to complete if all courses are taken as recommended. Total time to complete the degree is typically between 3-4 years, however, this is dependent on how many units the student chooses to take each semester and availability of classes.
Do I need to complete the general education requirements before starting the Advanced Program?
No. Only the Entry-level requirements must be completed or in-progress at the time of application. GE courses can be taken at any time prior to graduation. Students may choose to take them with their Entry-level courses or while taking Advanced-level courses, or both.
Will this program qualify me to become licensed and earn the title of Registered Veterinary Technician?
Yes. The program at Pierce College is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Students who complete the program and obtain the Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passage of this exam is required to become licensed.
I’ve taken classes at another school. Will my previous coursework be transferable?
Classes that might satisfy the Animal Science prerequisite requirements can be assessed by the Program Director to determine whether they are likely to be accepted for credit, however, students will need to meet with an Academic Counselor in order to obtain official approval. For all other courses, students are advised to consult the Counseling Office. General Education courses will be solely evaluated by the Counseling Office.
I have already completed courses through another RVT program. Can I transfer my coursework to the program at Pierce?
While all programs must cover the same information, they may arrange it among their courses differently. In order to obtain credit, there must be a one-to-one match between courses in the material and skills that are covered. This is frequently not the case, and students are often surprised to find that they are not able to transfer as much credit as they were expecting. Meeting with the Program Director to evaluate transcripts and course descriptions is recommended, but credit will ultimately be conferred by the Counseling Office.
My ultimate goal is to become a veterinarian. Should I complete the RVT Program first?
None of the advanced level courses required for the RVT Program will satisfy the prerequisites needed to apply to veterinary school. While experience working as an RVT may provide some advantage, the added time it will take to complete the degree is a definite disadvantage. The two years that it would take to complete the Advanced-level courses could be used to complete the Pre-veterinary Medicine Associate of Science Degree, which would make an individual a much more competitive candidate. Completing the RVT Program will delay your ability to apply by several years, without significantly increasing your chances of being accepted.