Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

A Passion for Animals

Veterinary Technician program student holding a cat

Playing with animals is easy. Maintaining their health and well-being is not. Contrary to popular belief, veterinary technicians may not only work in animal clinics but may also work with animals in research, a zoo, parks or wildlife preserves, animal shelters, animal control companies, and in many other places. A technician may also work in a facility providing services to animals but may not have exposure to animals (a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, for example). Whatever the role, a passion for working with animals or in a science-based health profession is required.

Veterinary technology broadens the world we know from animals as pets to animals that aid society. While many of us only see animals as pets, animals serve several roles. Veterinary technology ensures that our roles and relationships with animals further our knowledge of animal health while seeking to improve their lives and maintain their habitat and dignity. Becoming a veterinary technician can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to work towards the greater good of animals and to prepare you to begin working to understand their unique contribution to all of our lives.

IMPORTANT: New Vet Tech Prerequisites

Please note that both Chemistry and Math prerequisites have changed and are not reflected in the 2014-2015 catalog. Completion of CH 151, Preparatory Chemistry, and MTH 95, Intermediate Algebra, with a grade of "C" or higher, are now required prerequisites for all students applying for Vet Tech admission for fall 2015. However, students who completed Chemistry 100 at PCC prior to fall 2013 have met the above Chemistry prerequisite requirement.

In summary, the Vet Tech program prerequisites are: WR 121, MTH 95, MP 111, BI 112, and CH 151. All of these classes must be passed with a "C" or higher grade by the May 1st application deadline each year. This means that spring term is too late to be enrolled in prerequisite courses.

You may take prerequisite courses at PCC or any other accredited college. For courses that you have taken, or plan to take at other colleges, you must email the course description to Dr. Ragan Borzcik at vet@pcc.edu for approval.

Degrees and Certificates

In this program you can earn the following:

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree

See the catalog for information regarding program requirements.

Higher Standards, Higher Demand

PCC’s Veterinary Technology program is the only program of its kind in the state of Oregon, and only one of four in the Pacific Northwest. The program prepares students to become certified veterinary technicians and to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam, administered by the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

Since 1993, graduates of PCC’s Veterinary Technology program have exceeded the national average on the national licensing exam (VTNE). Over the past three years 97% of our graduates pass the national exam, that data is outlined below. In general, there are three to four jobs available per graduate. In short, more jobs exist than there are people to fill them. Our higher standards mean that you will be in higher demand.

  • Average number of graduates: 26
  • Average number of graduates taking the VTNE for the first time: 26
  • Average pass rate for graduates taking the VTNE for the first time: 97%

(July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2016)

What's Next?

  1. Attend a Prospective Student Information Session to learn more about the program and admissions process. To attend a session please RSVP to vet@pcc.edu.
    • October 27 at 10am, Rock Creek Bldg 7, Rm 107
    • November 22 at 10am, Rock Creek Bldg 7, Rm 108
    • December 15 at 10am, Rock Creek Bldg 7, Rm 107
  2. Complete the steps for new students
    • The admissions form will ask you what you plan to study. Since this is a restricted entry program, you should choose Associate of General Studies for now. You can change your major once you've applied and been accepted into the program.
  3. Plan how you'll pay for college
  4. Apply for admission to the Veterinary Technology Program