Veterinary Technology

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates
Department: Veterinary Technology
Institute: Health & Biosciences
College: PAC

What is a licensed veterinary technician?


A veterinary technician is an integral part of the veterinary hospital staff, which is composed of individuals who are dedicated to ensuring high quality medical care for animals. At Palo Alto College, students will receive formal schooling from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited Veterinary Technology program and gain the skills necessary to become a licensed veterinary technician.

If you are interested in science, research in public health, as well as helping animals, Veterinary Technology is the career for you. Personal attributes that contribute to a successful career as a veterinary technician include:

  • A strong science background and good basic math skills
  • Ability to work well with people and animals
  • Good communication and decision-making skills


Program Highlights

  • One of only five veterinary programs in Texas to be fully accredited by AVMA 
  • Dedicated 15,000 square-foot facility at Palo Alto College
  • Hands-on experience in the Clinical Pathology lab, Anatomy/Physiology lab, Parasitology lab, large animal facilities, surgery prep room, surgery suite, and recovery room
  • All courses taught by Licensed Veterinary Technicians and Licensed Veterinarians 

Career Areas & Employment Positions

  • Companion Animal Veterinary Technician
  • Laboratory Animal Technician—research and development
  • Large Animal Technician—equine or food animal
  • Military or Government Veterinary
  • Animal Technician
  • Veterinary Technician in a zoo or aquarium facility
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Teaching
  • Specialty or Referral practice

Degrees Offered

Associate of Applied Science - Veterinary Technology

Fields of Study Offered

Veterinary Assistant Level 2 Certificate



This program is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).


Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) Pass Rate

Total* July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2018


Number of eligible first time candidates


Number first-time candidates that have taken the VTNE


VTNE pass rate annual percentage

 *Three-year pass percentage    
Admission Requirements

It is recommended that applicants submit their application packet with all supporting documents once all requirements have been completed. The completed application packet deadline is June 3, 2019, before 5 p.m. and can be turned in via the following methods:

In Person  Veterinary Technology Building
By Fax 210-486-9171
By Mail Palo Alto College Veterinary Technology, 1400 W Villaret Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78212
By Email to Leanna Ruiz, L.V.T., at
  1. Apply to Palo Alto College: Apply to Palo Alto College at and declare the specific major of “Veterinary Technology” under the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) option. 
  2. Submit official transcripts to the Admissions and Records office: All courses taken at alternate colleges or universities must be proven by official transcripts. The student is responsible for acquiring/submitting official transcripts to Palo Alto College.
  3. Complete required prerequisites: ENGL 1301 (Composition I), BIOL 1406 (Biology for Science Majors l), MATH 1314 (College Algebra), and PSYC 2301 (General Psychology) must all be completed with a “C” or better, prior to admission into the program.
  4. Submit unofficial transcripts to the Veterinary Technology Program: Previous courses taken at any college/university must be turned into the Veterinary Technology program. This transcript does not need to be an official copy; these can be printed from an online student account. 
  5. Complete clinical experience hours: A minimum of 80 hours of documented clinical experience is required for admission into the Veterinary Technology program. The hours should be completed under the supervision of a D.V.M. or L.V.T.  Acceptable proof of clinical hours should include a printed time sheet from the clinic with the D.V.M. signature. The “Proof of Clinical Experience” form should also be signed by a D.V.M. or L.V.T. Shelter hours are acceptable as long as the hours are obtained in the clinic area and with a D.V.M. supervisor.
  6. Request for Reference: Each student is responsible for procuring a signed request of reference. The Request for Reference form must be completed by a D.V.M. or L.V.T. from the location the 80 hours were obtained. The form should be returned to the applicant in a sealed envelope with a signature over the seal; if these instructions are not followed, the form will not be accepted.
  7. Apply to Palo Alto College Veterinary Technology Program: Applying to Palo Alto College and declaring a Veterinary Technology major does not automatically submit a students application to this program. Students must turn in the application to the program to be considered for admission. Every student applying must be a student in good standing and have a minimum total GPA of 2.0.
  8. Submit Application Packet: The completed application packet deadline is June 3, 2019, before 5 p.m. and can be turned in via one of the methods listed above. 
Applicant Selection Process

Candidate selection will be based on the applicant’s successful completion of Palo Alto College and Veterinary Technology program admission requirements, the applicant’s level of college education, total GPA from all institutions, number of clinical experience hours earned, and the DVM/LVT reference form. 

Following the selection process, applicants are ranked accordingly. Each applicant will be classified in one of the following four statuses: 

Accepted: top 50 completed applicants.

Alternate: select number of ranked completed applicants invited to attend orientation.

Pending Alternate: any remaining completed applicants not chosen for orientation or still lacking/pending application requirements after June 3 or turned in after the June 3 deadline.

Denial: any applicant who did not meet the cut off of being chosen to attend orientation or did not meet application requirements. An explanation to the applicant will be stated in the status letter.

All Accepted and selected Alternate applicants will receive a Reply Form. On this reply form, the student must accept or forgo their status by the deadline provided and return via fax, email, or in person by deadline provided. If an applicant fails to reply by the given deadline, it will be assumed that the applicant has chosen to forgo their status, and the next completed alternate will move up in rank.

All documents will be kept on file should an applicant decide to re-apply the following year.

Alternate Protocol
If an accepted student forgoes their acceptance, a position in the Fall semester will become available. The order of occurrence for which alternates will be offered an “Accepted” status is below:

  • The highest ranking alternate will be offered the position and must respond by the given deadline. If that applicant declines, or if additional positions become available, admission will be offered to the alternates listed in order of highest to lowest ranking.
  • Pending Alternate applicants will not be considered for acceptance until their application requirements have been completed, regardless of rank. As pending alternate applicants complete their application requirements, their status will be re-evaluated.

Returnee Applicants

Returnees (part-time): 

Fall Applications due June 1 | Spring Applications due December 1

Selection of students to be re-admitted into the program will be made by ranking students by number of veterinary technology courses needed. The number of students re-admitted will vary each semester pending the number of seats available in each course. 

Returnees (full-time):

Returning applicants will be treated like a brand new applicant. Returnees needing all classes may only re-apply as a new applicant one time. Any student applying to the program for the third time (needing all courses) will automatically be given alternate status.


Other Information

What makes a competitive application?

  • Total GPA: A student's total GPA will be calculated by ALL college courses completed throughout his/her college career. Maintaining the highest GPA possible is recommended for a stronger application. All application points will be added to the total GPA.
  • Degree: Applicants with proof of a completed degree will be awarded additional points depending on level of degree. 
  • Total number of Clinical Experience hours obtained: Applicants who complete more than the 80 required clinical experience hours will be awarded additional points for additional hours worked.
  • Reference form: Students will be awarded points based on the evaluation by the DVM/LVT after obtaining clinical experience hours. Better performance equals a better reference from the DVM/LVT.

What will be needed once I’ve been accepted?

  • Physical Exam and Current Tetanus: Once accepted into the program, students will be required to provide a copy of a current physical exam and immunization record showing proof of current tetanus, within 10 years, prior to being enrolled in the program.  
  • Complete required paperwork prior to orientation: Required paperwork will be included in the orientation packet that will be mailed and acceptance and will be due at the mandatory orientation.
  • Attend the mandatory orientation: All accepted applicants, as well as a select number of alternates, will be invited to attend a mandatory orientation. If students do not attend the orientation, Palo Alto College will assume the student will forgo acceptance and the position will be offered to the highest ranking Alternate. 
  • Order scrubs and other equipment: Full uniform(s) and related equipment (see Handbook under accessories) are not optional and must be ordered at orientation. Students must have a uniform in possession prior to classes starting.
  • Order textbooks: Students must have all required text books in possession prior to classes starting. Textbooks are not optional and are necessary for success in the program. Discounted bundles may be offered at orientation.                             
Program Information and Tour Sessions

Monthly information sessions and tours of the Veterinary Technology building are available for prospective students to learn more about the program and/or admission process. It is highly recommended for prospective students to attend one of these information sessions. To attend a session, please email Leanna Ruiz, L.V.T., at

Upcoming Information Sessions and Tours

Friday, May 24, 2019
9 a.m.



Laurie Pawelek, A.A.S., L.V.T.
Director of Veterinary Technology

Veterinary Technology (VT–100)



Elena Garza
Administrative Services Specialist

Veterinary Technology (VT–100)



Leanna Ruiz, A.A.S., L.V.T.
Academic Laboratory Technician

Veterinary Technology (VT–109)