Academic Catalog

Veterinary Technology

Program Description

The Foothill College Veterinary Technology program is an academically challenging two-year, AVMA-accredited course of training that prepares the student for employment as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). The program focuses on building competency in essential skills through hands-on training and personal attention to students. Graduates receive an Associate in Science Degree in Veterinary Technology and are then eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination to become licensed. The program is not a pre-veterinary medicine or a veterinary medicine curriculum. General program information, admission criteria, and the application for admission can be found at the Veterinary Technology program website.

The Veterinary Technology department also offers an online Veterinary Assisting program. This program results in a Certificate of Achievement and starts each fall. Details can be found at the Veterinary Assisting program website.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • The student will demonstrate entry-level competency in the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the practice of veterinary technology in a wide range of practice settings.
  • The graduates will demonstrate entry-level clinical skills competency in accordance with accreditation requirements.

Career Opportunities

The demand for Registered Veterinary Technicians is high nationwide. There is a very high demand for RVTs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Graduates can find employment in many sectors including small and large animal practice, specialty practice, clinical laboratories, education, government, research, and the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. Starting salaries for entry-level licensed technicians in the Bay Area range from $22.00-$27.00/hr plus benefits, with some practices offering signing bonuses. A Registered Veterinary Technician with 3-5 years of experience generally earns $27.00-$32.00/hr in the Bay Area. Highly skilled and licensed RVTs with advanced specialization training, management ability or those employed in large specialist hospitals, the biomedical industry, or as educators commonly earn in excess of $28.00/hr. Benefits vary widely, with larger veterinary practices and corporations providing the most attractive packages.

The Veterinary Assisting courses are separate from the Veterinary Technology program courses, and are not accredited by the AVMA. Veterinary Assisting offers entry-level courses for those students interested in starting a career in the veterinary field and for those students who are currently working in the field who want to upgrade their knowledge and skills. The Veterinary Assisting courses are offered online along with a preceptorship component. Students are expected to find their own preceptorship locations. Students who complete all three Veterinary Assisting courses earn a certificate, which appears on their college transcript.

Award Type(s)

  • AS = Associate in Science Degree
  • CA = Certificate of Achievement

Units Required

  • Major: 92
  • Certificate(s): 12.5

Program Application

Application for admission to the program is required and all students must meet the program's technical standards. Important program information, technical standards, admission criteria, and the application for admission can be found at the Veterinary Technology program website.

Information about the online Veterinary Assisting program can be found at the Veterinary Assisting program website.

Program Prerequisites

Must be completed with a grade of "C" or better at the time of application (no "in progress" courses will be accepted; applications are due April 21 of each year).

A GPA of 2.5 is required for all science prerequisites. 

  • Cumulative college GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • High school graduation or a valid GED
V T 51INTRODUCTION TO VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY2
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or MATH 105 INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA
or equivalent college level course
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5-8
or ENGL 1AH HONORS COMPOSITION & READING
or ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
or equivalent
BIOL 10GENERAL BIOLOGY: BASIC PRINCIPLES (or equivalent general college biology course with a laboratory)5
BIOL 41MICROBIOLOGY (or equivalent general college microbiology course with a laboratory)6
CHEM 30ASURVEY OF INORGANIC & ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (or equivalent college chemistry course with a laboratory)5

Additional Information

  • Full-time enrollment is required.
  • The state of California and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards prohibit students with a felony record to sit for the licensing examination.
  • The student is strongly advised to complete all of the general education requirements before starting the program to avoid excessive course load during the program.
  • A valid Adult CPR certificate is required at time of graduation.

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (92 units)
  • A valid Adult CPR certificate is required at time of graduation.


Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken in sequence and for a letter grade. A grade of "C" or better is required for all core courses used for the degree. In addition, a GPA of 2.5 is required for all science prerequisites.

Core and Support Courses 

Note: All courses must be taken in sequence and completed with a grade of "C" or better.

Core Courses

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Summer SessionUnits
AHS 50A INTRODUCTION TO ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS 1.5
 Units1.5
Fall Quarter
V T 51A FRESHMAN SEMINAR 1
V T 53A VETERINARY MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY 2
V T 54A COMPARATIVE VETERINARY ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY FOR THE VETERINARY TECHNICIAN 5
V T 55 SMALL ANIMAL NURSING I 4
V T 75A ANIMAL CARE SKILLS I 2
 Units14
Winter Quarter
V T 51B CURRENT TOPICS IN VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY II 1
V T 53B MEDICAL CALCULATIONS FOR VETERINARY NURSES 2
V T 54B COMPARATIVE VETERINARY ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY FOR THE VETERINARY TECHNICIAN 5
V T 56 SMALL ANIMAL NURSING II 4
V T 60 VETERINARY OFFICE PRACTICE 2
V T 75B ANIMAL CARE SKILLS II 2
 Units16
Spring Quarter
V T 51C SERVICE LEARNING & LEADERSHIP FOR VETERINARY NURSES 1
V T 53C INTRODUCTION TO LARGE ANIMAL NURSING 2
V T 75C LARGE ANIMAL SKILLS LABORATORY 1
V T 81 CLINICAL PATHOLOGY METHODS 5
V T 86 LABORATORY ANIMAL NURSING 4
V T 89 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP I 3
 Units16
Second Year
Fall Quarter
V T 51D SENIOR SEMINAR 1
V T 57L ADVANCED SMALL ANIMAL NURSING 1
V T 61 ANIMAL DISEASES 6
V T 70 FUNDAMENTALS OF VETERINARY DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING 4
V T 91 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP II 3
 Units15
Winter Quarter
V T 51E CURRENT TOPICS IN VETERINARY TECHNOLOGY V 1
V T 58L SURGICAL ASSISTING FOR THE VETERINARY NURSE 1
V T 72 PRINCIPLES OF VETERINARY DENTISTRY 2.5
V T 83 PHARMACOLOGY FOR VETERINARY NURSES 4
V T 85 VETERINARY EMERGENCY & CRITICAL CARE 4
V T 92 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP III 3
 Units15.5
Spring Quarter
V T 51F CAREER EXPLORATION FOR VETERINARY NURSES 1
V T 66 EXOTIC ANIMAL CARE 2
V T 84 ANESTHESIOLOGY FOR TECHNICIANS 4
V T 84L VETERINARY ANESTHESIA LABORATORY 2
V T 93 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP IV 3
V T 95 VETERINARY TECHNICIAN PROFICIENCY 2
 Units14
 Total Units92

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting

  • Units: 12.5
V T 52AVETERINARY ASSISTING I5
V T 52BVETERINARY ASSISTING II5
V T 88ACLINICAL PRECEPTORSHIP I2.5
Total Units12.5


Note: It is recommended that any student entering this program be able to read and write proficiently in English and perform mathematical computations at the high school graduate level. This program is delivered entirely online for the first two quarters. Different academic and technical skills are needed for success in the online learning environment. Students are directed to the following website for help in determining if they are prepared to be an online learner and if taking a program entirely online is right for them: foothill.edu/onlinelearning/students/new-online-learner.html