Registered Veterinary Technician

Veterinary tech stock image

Program Overview

The Registered Veterinary Technician Program is a two‐semester program, held evenings and Saturday afternoons. Its goal is to provide the educational requirements which, in conjunction with the required practical experience in a clinical setting, will qualify veterinary assistants to sit for the RVT exam under the Alternate Route category. We strongly advise applicants to be currently employed as veterinary assistants because of the Veterinary Medical Board's five-year timeline for both the educational requirements and the directed clinical experience.

Additionally, to be eligible to take the examination to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in California, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age. A grade of “C” or better in the veterinary technician classes is required to progress in the program.

Alternate Route

Under the Alternate Route, a candidate must complete a combination of at least 4416 hours of directed clinical practice in no less than 24 months under the direct supervision of a California-licensed veterinarian and 300 hours (or 20 semester or 30 quarter units) of specific education. RVT candidates must document their proficiency in specific areas of their clinical experience by submitting a Task List signed by a supervising veterinarian. Both the RVT specific courses and the directed clinical practice must have been completed no more than five years prior to applying for the licensing exam. General subjects such as chemistry, math, and biology may have been completed any time prior to applying.

Program Requirements

Applicants to the Registered Veterinary Technician program must have completed the following prerequisite classes (or equivalent) with a grade of "C" or better.

  • CHEM 120 (or the equivalent)
  • BIOL 100 (or the equivalent)

Fall semester – 10 units
RVT 301 Veterinary Anatomy/Physiology & Terminology - 3 units
RVT 302 Veterinary Office Procedures - 2 units
RVT 303 Veterinary Pharmacology - 2 units
RVT 304 Clinical Pathology & Microbiology - 3 units

Spring semester – 10 units
RVT 305 Medical Nursing and Animal Care - 4 units
RVT 306 Surgical Nursing & Dentistry - 4 units
RVT 307 Veterinary Equipment and Radiography - 2 units
RVT 308 Seminar for Registered Veterinary Technicians - 1 unit (optional)

Allan Hancock College will offer a Certificate of Achievement once the student has completed the program.


To apply for the Registered Veterinary Technician Program, submit a completed RVT program application. RVT program applications are available starting in February of each year. Students will be notified by email regarding acceptance into the program. An alternate list will be maintained, from which available openings will be filled.

The completed application packet is due in the Life & Physical Sciences office (bldg. M, rm 207) by May 1, 2015.  No exceptions will be made!

Program Application requirements:

    • Apply online for admission to Allan Hancock College 
    • Complete the RVT Program Application PDF
    • Submit any post-secondary transcripts needed to satisfy the program course requirements (or the equivalent). Only official transcripts are accepted.
    • Send official transcripts to:
      Allan Hancock College Transcript Evaluator
      Admissions & Records Office
      800 South College Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454-6399
    • Submit course outlines or descriptions of any courses used as prerequisite equivalents.
    • Your AHC email address will be used to notify you regarding your application status. All updates will be emailed to the address provided, including your wait-list status.


Richard Seidenberg, DVM
RVT Program Coordinator
805-922-6966 ext. 3480

Life & Physical Sciences Office Hours

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

closed during the summer.

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Eric Mason

Eric Mason
"As an instructor it is a privilege to work with such a great group of students. I love getting up in the morning and going to work. It is very rewarding to pass on my knowledge of the auto body trade to my students and see them progress through the program. I have a lot of fun teaching at Allan Hancock College and believe that our staff is second to none!"
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Last Modified Sep 11, 2014