You have chosen a very interesting and important career in the field of veterinary medicine. Our program is designed to prepare you for a career as a licensed veterinary technician by helping you develop skills in many areas including: animal handling and nursing, the diagnostic laboratory, anesthesiology and radiology, practice management, as well as critical thinking and decision making skills. With these skills and a thorough knowledge base, you will be ready to take your place as a member of the veterinary health care team by providing high quality assistance to a veterinarian and by providing professional nursing care and compassion to your animal patients.
This program is NOT a stepping-stone to veterinary school. If your main objective is to become a veterinarian, you need to make an appointment to talk to a college advisor regarding pre-veterinary course work and applying to veterinary school.
The Pierce College Veterinary Technology Program is approved by the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, the Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians and is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The program is a full-time course that requires 21 months to complete. Classes start in September and run through June; the program is closed during July and August, then classes resume in September until graduation the following June. During that time you will be taking a “full load” class schedule. In our experience it is very difficult to maintain a job and complete this program at the same time. Unless the job is very part-time and your employer will allow you a great deal of flexibility in your hours, the time constraints of this program will make it hard for you to continue working while attending classes as a full-time student. Financial aid is available through the Financial Aid Office for those who qualify and, in addition, various scholarships are available specifically for veterinary technology students. Most of the scholarship monies do not cover all of your costs, but they may lessen the need to work while attending classes. The total two-year program cost for a Washington State resident is approximately $14,000. This includes tuition, student fees, lab fees, textbooks, uniforms, etc.
Students in the Veterinary Technology Program are in class or on campus up to 30 hours per week. A typical week for fall term first year students would be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students should expect to be on campus the full day, as there are independent-study projects and assignments that need to be completed outside of scheduled class time. Parking is in short supply, so students must give themselves ample time to find a parking place before class. These hours do not include the time students are doing “ward care." Because the program maintains a kennel for dogs and cats and a barn for farm animals, first year students are responsible for the care and feeding of these animals, and cleaning of their housing area. On a rotating basis you will need to arrange your schedule to be on campus from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. or stay late in the afternoon, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., during the week and weekend that you have ward care. Your scheduled ward care times are given to you during the first week of class.
In 2022, our program’s accrediting body (the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities - CVTEA) implemented a requirement that veterinary technology program students be vaccinated against rabies virus infection or that the program implement a mitigation plan to guarantee that all animals handled by the students have been vaccinated against rabies. While our program does not require students to be vaccinated against rabies, students are encouraged to get vaccinated prior to the last quarter of the program when clinical externships take place as some externship sites will not be able to accept students who have not been vaccinated against rabies.
The Veterinary Technology Program and the field of veterinary medicine are very mentally and physically challenging. Successful candidates must be able to multi-task, solve challenging mathematical problems correctly and efficiently, complete tasks in a thorough, sequential manner, and remain calm in an emergency situation. The Veterinary Technology Program is designed as a professional vocational program. Therefore, all students are expected to work with classmates and animals in a respectful and cooperative manner. Typical live animal laboratory sessions require lifting and/or carrying of small animals up to 50 pounds from floor to waist level. In addition, students must have the flexibility to bend over animals on examination tables, or on the ground, and the manual dexterity and strength to safely restrain them. These movements are physically demanding and a necessary part of the curriculum. Applicants with disabilities seeking accommodations to meet the requirements of the Veterinary Technology Program should contact the Access and Disability Services (ADS) Office at 253-964-6526 or FSDS@pierce.ctc.edu.
The information and forms on this page are provided to help guide you through the application process for admission consideration into the Veterinary Technology Program at Pierce College. Because our enrollment is limited to 32 students per year, we want to help you submit a complete, accurate and on-time application packet.
Failure to submit a complete application packet by 3 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2023 will make you ineligible for admission to the program.
Associate in Veterinary Technology Courses
Effective Fall 2020
Fall Term (17 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT *100||Introduction to Veterinary Technology||2|
|VT 101||Animal Nursing I Lecture||2|
|VT 102||Animal Nursing I Lab||2|
|VT 107||Medical Dosage for VT||2|
|VT 110||Ward Care Laboratory I||1|
|VT 125||Animal Anatomy & Physiology I||6|
|VT 160||Applied Behavior Techniques I||2|
Winter Term (16 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT 104||Animal Nursing II||5|
|VT 111||Ward Care Laboratory II||1|
|VT 123||Large Animal Nursing||4|
|VT 126||Animal Anatomy & Physiology II||3|
|VT 155||Nutrition & Complementary Therapies||2|
|VT 161||Applied Behavior Techniques II||1|
Spring Term (15 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT 105||Animal Nursing III||3|
|VT 112||Ward Care Laboratory III||1|
|VT 150||Clinical Microbiology & Public Health||6|
|VT 162||Applied Behavior Techniques III||1|
|VT 166||Hematology for VT||4|
Fall Term (15 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT 250||Radiology for VT||3|
|VT 251||Pharmacology for VT||3|
|VT 266||Veterinary Clinical Pathology & Parasitology||5|
Winter Term (16 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT 215||Animal Hospital Office Procedures||2|
|VT 224||Veterinary Clinical Laboratory Principles||2|
|VT 240||Animal Diseases||3|
|VT 260||Emergency & Critical Care||3|
|VT 265||Clinical Techniques Laboratory||3|
Spring Term (14 credits)
|Course Number||Course Title||Credits|
|VT 233||Veterinary Clinical Practice (Clinics)||14|
Total Credits Required: 90
*VT 100 is open to all interested students, not just to those enrolled in the Veterinary Technology Program.
Admission into the Veterinary Technology Program at Pierce College is a competitive admission process. In other words, there are typically more applicants for the program than we can admit. The complete application packet must be submitted on or before 3 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2023 for fall term admission. The selection process begins on April 16.
All students must activate their Pierce College student email accounts as this is the official means of communication between Pierce College and program applicants. To set up your student email account, please visit the student email page. If you have any other problems with setting up your student email account, please call the Help Desk at 253-964-6373.
Requirements for Admission Consideration Into Veterinary Technology Program
The following items must be included/completed as part of your Application Packet. Missing items will invalidate your application.
Submit all required application documents together to the Pierce College Admissions Office on or before 3 p.m. on Monday, April 17, 2022. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit the completed application packet. No postmarks accepted.
- Pierce College Admissions. If you are not currently taking classes at Pierce College, you are required to submit an admissions form online for Fall 2023.
- Activate student email account.
- Copy of receipt for the non-refundable Veterinary Technology Program Application Fee of $30. This fee must be paid in advance to the Cashier Office. Include a copy of the receipt in your Application Packet.
- Veterinary Technology Application and Checklist Form (in packet)
- Course Completion Form (in packet)
- TEAS Scores
- Task Observation Form (in packet)
- Recommendation/Reference Form (in packet)
- Discussion Topics (in packet)
- Completion of all prerequisite courses
- Sealed Official Transcripts from ALL SCHOOLS where prerequisite course work was completed through Winter Term 2023. If you have taken your exact prerequisites at Pierce College, complete a written transcript request form from the Forms page and submit it with your application packet.
- All applications must submit official transcripts. Failure to do so will make the application invalid.
- Approved Course Exception Form(s), if applicable: If you do not take the exact Pierce College courses listed (MATH 98, CHEM& 100, BIO& 100, ENGL& 101, BTECM 150), you will need to submit a Course Exception Form to determine which courses will be accepted by the Veterinary Technology Program Director.
Five prerequisite courses must be completed to be eligible for admission consideration into the Veterinary Technology Program. A prerequisite course in chemistry, biology, English, medical terminology, and algebra must be completed with a satisfactory grade (2.0/“C” grade or better). All prerequisite courses must be completed at an accredited college. Classes that satisfy these requirements at Pierce College are:
- Intermediate Algebra (MATH 98)
- Preparatory Chemistry (CHEM& 100)
- Survey of Biology (BIOL& 100)
- English Composition I (ENGL& 101)
- Medical Terminology I (BTECM 150)
High school biology and high school chemistry completed with a 3.0/”B” grade or better may be accepted as the biology and chemistry course prerequisites for one year after high school graduation. A Course Exception Form must be submitted if using high school biology or chemistry as a prerequisite.
All prerequisite courses must be completed within five years of applying for admission to the program. For 2022 applicants, prerequisite courses must be no older than 2017. If a prerequisite course has been taken more than once, the most recent grade will be used when processing your application packet.
It is the responsibility of every applicant to submit a sealed official transcript documenting completion of the prerequisite courses with the application packet. Prerequisite courses taken at Pierce College do not require an official transcript from Pierce College but do require an Official Written Transcript Request form, which must be included in the application packet.
Course Exception Form
If you do not take the exact courses that are listed above, you will need to submit a Course Exception Form to determine which courses will be accepted by the Veterinary Technology Program Director. The Program Director will respond to the submitted Course Exception Form via email. Print the email of the Approved Course Exception Form and submit it in your application packet. All applicants (Tier I and Tier II) must submit and then print the email of the Approved Course Exception Forms for all prerequisite courses (completed or to be completed) by the application deadline of April 15, 2022. Failure to submit approved Course Exception Forms by the application deadline will result in the application being invalid.
Tier I Applicant
Applicants who have completed ALL prerequisite coursework and submit a completed application packet by April 17, 2023 will be classified as Tier I applicants
Tier II Applicant
Tier II applicants must submit a completed application packet by April 17, 2023
To be considered a Tier II applicant, a student must have 2 of the 5 prerequisite courses completed or be currently enrolled or a combination of these by the April 17, 2023 deadline. Tier II applicants must show proof that they have met this minimum admission requirement by submitting official transcripts for prerequisites completed, registration receipt confirming enrollment in prerequisite courses, or a combination of the two with their application packet. Pierce College students do not need to submit an official transcript from Pierce College, but a Transcript Request Form must be included in the application packet. For information about additional documents that must be submitted by Tier II applicants, see Official Transcripts.
Course Exception Form(s) must be submitted before the April 17, 2023 deadline (if applicable).
Tier II applicants must complete prerequisite coursework by August 31, 2023 (Summer Term).
The Veterinary Technology Program selection process is a competitive admission process with two rounds of applicant selection. In the first round, Tier I applicants with higher application scores will be admitted into the program. In the second round, Tier I applicants who were not admitted in the first round and all Tier II applicants will be considered for admission.
The Checklist Form can be found in the application packet. This form must be completed, signed and turned in with completed Application Packet. This form is to aid the student to make sure all application materials are submitted.
Task Observation Form
The Task Observation Form can be found in the application packet linked above. You are required to accumulate a minimum of 20 hours of observation experience at a local veterinary hospital/clinic of your choice. Observation experience acquired through a shelter or rescue organization will not be accepted.
The Task Observation Form lists the tasks that you are required to observe and/or discuss. You do not have to see all of them, but you must observe at least 18 of these tasks and have at least 20 hours of observation. If this cannot be completed in the hospital at which you started, then switch to a different hospital to complete the tasks. Remember, these tasks are to be observed and/or discussed. You are not in any way required to participate in performing these tasks. Some hospitals may allow you to participate, but others will not due to insurance liability concerns. It can be a small animal or large animal hospital/clinic. It should be a hospital/clinic that employs veterinary technicians because part of your requirement is to discuss the veterinary technology profession with technicians currently employed in the field. If they do not employ technicians, you can probably get most of your information from one of the doctors.
If you do not know where to go, we suggest that you start with your own veterinarian (if you have animals) since they already know you and is probably more willing to help you with your assigned task. If you do not usually use the services of a veterinarian, then start with the practices that are relatively close to where you live and just stop in and ask. The application packet includes a letter of introduction for you to complete. Address it to the doctor or veterinary technician explaining why you have come to them asking for this experience. Fill in your name. Be sure to read the letter so you understand it then present it to the hospital/clinic where you want to get your experience. If you are already employed in a private practice, have a doctor or technician initial the tasks you have seen and be sure to have them sign the form.
Shelters and rescue organizations are not acceptable.
The Recommendation/Reference Form is in the application packet and needs to be completed by a person who will attest to your personal traits and/or work ethic. This could be a veterinarian or veterinary technician. Additional recommendations can be submitted by making copies of the form and having the rater submit them.
NOTE: You must fill out the top half of the form before giving it to the rater. The sealed Recommendation/Reference Form is then to be submitted with your completed application packet.
Sealed official transcripts from all schools where prerequisite coursework was completed through Winter Quarter 2023 must be included in your Veterinary Technology application packet.
Pierce College students must submit a Written Transcript Request form with your application packet.
Tier II applicants must submit an official transcript or a registration receipt, or a combination of these two items, to confirm that they have completed, or are currently taking, at least two of the prerequisite courses by the April 17, 2023 deadline.
To remain a valid applicant, Tier II applicants must submit official transcripts for spring and/or summer terms showing completion of all prerequisite courses by the 3 p.m., Thursday, August 31, 2023 deadline. If you attended Pierce College, ANOTHER transcript request form must be submitted to show completion of prerequisite classes for spring and/or summer terms by the 3 p.m., Thursday, August 31, 2023 deadline.
Test of Essential Academic Skills
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) evaluates an applicant’s knowledge in the subject areas of reading, comprehension, mathematics, science, and English language usage.
The TEAS V can be taken at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Testing Center or any other official testing site prior to April 17, 2023 by appointment. Call Pierce College Testing Center at 253-964-6521 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment. There is an administration fee of $65 for the TEAS V. Request official sealed test scores from the Testing Center then submit official TEAS V test scores in the application packet.
TEAS study guides and practice tests are available online. The following websites contain TEAS study guide and practice test information:
Discussion Topics Form
The Discussion Topics Form can be found in the application packet. The Discussion Topics Form is a list of questions that you need to answer in short, essay-type answers. Submit your answers along with the completed application packet and any other application materials to the Admissions Office.
- There is a $30 non-refundable Veterinary Technology application fee. This fee may be paid online, by mail or in person
- Contact the Veterinary Technology Program for information on how to pay online at firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy of the receipt must be included in the application packet.
- Veterinary Technology Application Fee Form can be found in the Application Packet. A check made payable to Pierce College may be mailed to the address provided below. A copy of the receipt must be included in the application packet.
- The application fee may be paid in person at the Cashiers Office at the address provided. A copy of the receipt must be included in the application packet
- TEAS exam administration fee: $65
Pierce College Cashiers Office
Attn: Cashiers Office
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom
9401 Farwest Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98498
Re-applicant to the Veterinary Technology Program
For students that have applied for the Veterinary Technology Program at Pierce College in a previous year and would like to use the Task Observation Form, Recommendation/Reference Form or Discussion Topics, please contact the Program Director for approval:
Dr. Salvador Hurtado, Director
Veterinary Technology Program
Re-applicants must resubmit all other application materials (i.e. official transcripts, official TEAS test scores, etc.).
- By January 1, 2023: Students applying for financial aid should submit their FAFSA application. Students should follow up with the Financial Aid Office before May 2023 for any additional financial aid requirements.
- April 17, 2023 at 3 p.m.: Deadline for completed application packet
- April 16, 2023 through May 31, 2023: Applications will be reviewed to determine each applicant’s status
- Early June***: Round One of applicant selection. All applicants will be notified of their status through their Pierce College student email. Please make sure that you have set up your Pierce College student email account as this will be the official means of communication.
- August 31, 2023 at 3 p.m. - Tier II Applicants: Deadline for receipt of sealed official transcripts showing completion of all remaining prerequisite courses. Pierce College students need to submit another transcript request form. Students may contact the Veterinary Technology Program at email@example.com to confirm their official transcripts have been received.
- Early September: Round Two of applicant selection. Applicants will be notified of their admission or non-admission into the program through their Pierce College student email. Please make sure that you have set up your Pierce College student email account as this will be the official means of communication.
***ADVANCED TUITION DEPOSIT DUE: If you are accepted into the Veterinary Technology Program in Round One of the selection process, you will be required to submit a non-refundable advanced tuition deposit of $100. Upon registering for fall term classes, this deposit will be applied toward your tuition. Failure to submit this deposit may result in your offer of acceptance being rescinded.