Length of Program:  16 MonthsProgram Intakes:  July, October, and FebruaryMarch 2020
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Animal Health Technology Diploma

Applications Open: October, December, March

Length of Program: 16 months

Program Status: Open

If you love caring for animals and their people, the Animal Health Technology diploma program is for you! Learning from faculty boasting over 150 years of accumulated veterinary experience, you will gain the confidence and skills needed for a successful career in the animal health industry.

As part of this 16-month accelerated program, you will become proficient in handling, treating and caring for cats, dogs, sheep and cattle, at the on-campus animal clinic and working farm. You will learn about diagnostic laboratory procedures, animal disease, anatomy and physiology, surgery and anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, dentistry and client communication. You will also learn alongside Veterinary Medical Receptionist and Veterinary Technical Assistant students in the animal hospital, providing a real industry environment scenario. 

Work-Integrated Learning: As part of the Animal Health Technology program, you will complete a six-week industry practicum, working directly with industry professionals. 

Accreditation: Upon graduation from the Animal Health Technology (AHT) Diploma you are eligible to write the Registered Veterinary Technologist/Technician (RVT) provincial licensing exam to become a RVT. You will be taught a Canadian Veterinary Medical Association accredited curriculum.

Program Intake: Three intakes per year: Winter intake (February/ March program start), Summer intake (July program start), Fall intake (October program start).

Applications Open:

  • Summer Intake: First Wednesday (9 a.m.) in October

  • Fall Intake: First Wednesday (9 a.m.) in December

  • Winter Intake: First Wednesday (9 a.m.) in March

Length of Program: 16 months (offered in an accelerated format with minimal breaks)

Method of Delivery:  Blended. The program will begin with two online courses which will be completed prior to arrival on campus. Upon completion of the online courses, students will be on campus for three back to back four-month semesters, delivered over 12 months. Students complete this program with a six-week industry practicum. View Delivery Chart

Credentials: Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive a diploma in Animal Health Technology.

Apply Now!

Admission Requirements

  • 65% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 65% or better in Math 30-1 or 30-2
  • 65% or better in Biology 30
  • 65% or better in Chemistry 30
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement
  • Complete 40 hours of job shadowing and/or employment and must submit a Verification Form signed by your employer, verifying the hours have been completed. PLEASE NOTE: Your application will remain "pending" until the Verification Form has been completed and submitted.
  • Competitive Admission program. Applicants offered admission typically have an overall average in the required courses of 80% or higher.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants offered admission typically have an overall average in the required courses of 80% or higher.

Verification of Job Shadowing/Employment: The Verification Form must be signed by the Veterinarian, AHT, or person who most closely supervised the applicant in the location where the job shadowing and/or employment hours were gained. This form may only be signed and submitted after the minimum of 40 hours of job shadowing and/or employment hours have been completed. 

Job Shadowing/Employment Verification Form

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: It will be necessary to provide proof of enrolment in any required 30-level courses not yet completed (ie. a timetable, list of courses signed by the counselor/principal or letter from institution or staff/instructor) AND a final mark of 65% or better in the corresponding 20-level courses.  

Alternate Admission: Prospective applicants who do not meet the academic requirements for the Animal Health Technology Diploma program may be eligible for alternate admission to the AHT Diploma program if:

  • they have a 50% or higher in the four academic requirements for the Animal Health Technology Diploma program (English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2, Math 30-1 or 30-2, Biology 30 and Chemistry 30); AND

  • successfully complete the Veterinary Medical Receptionist Certificate program with a 3.5 GPA or higher

Directed Field Study Required: 6 week practicum in the industry to be completed at the end of the program (can be completed at a location of the student’s choosing).

Transfer Options: Olds College has developed agreements with other educational institutions to allow for transition to Olds College, or to another institution to continue your education. Articulations & Agreements

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from International Applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency.

Tuition & Fees

  • Year 1: Tuition: $9,640 / Fees: $1,695 / Books & Supplies: $1,100

  • Year 2: Tuition: $6,210 / Fees: $1,370 / Books & Supplies: $1,500

Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Scholarships & Student Awards

Olds College offers over 450 awards, valued at $500,000+ in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Thanks to our industry partners, alumni, and friends of Olds College we are fortunate to offer a generous student awards program to students.

For additional information on scholarships, bursaries and prizes at Olds College, visit Scholarships & Awards

Entrance Awards Available!

Entrance awards range from $250 - $1,500 for students applying for the upcoming academic year and have paid the tuition deposit by the deadline.

Awards are selected randomly from those that have applied and qualify based on the criteria.
Award will be applied as a tuition credit to the student's account after the add/drop course deadline, confirming full-time attendance.
Not all that apply will receive an entrance award.

Student Funding

For information on how to apply for government student loans, financial aid or for help with financial planning, visit our Student Funding page.

Course Details

For course descriptions and requisites, view the Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar: Animal Health Technology

Term 1
  • Completed the following:
    • COM1020 - Workplace Communication (3-0-0 hrs)
    • AHT1050 - Introduction to the Veterinary Profession (3-0-0 hrs)
Term 2
  • Completed the following:
    • AHT1040 - Animal Behaviour and Handling (3-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1080 - Animal Nutrition and Terminology (3-0-0 hrs)
    • AHT1110 - Animal Wellness (3-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1140 - Veterinary Practice: The Team Connection (3-0-0 hrs)
    • AHT1160 - Veterinary Elective Equipment and Procedures (0-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1170 - Introductory Pharmacy and Preventative Care (3-0-0 hrs)
Term 3
  • Completed the following:
    • AHT1150 - Hospital Procedures (0-3-3 hrs)
    • AHT1210 - Investigating the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems (3-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1220 - Investigating the Urinary, Reproductive and Endocrine Systems (3-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1230 - Investigating the Digestive and Integumentary Systems (3-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT1240 - Investigating the Musculoskeletal, Neurological and Sensory Systems (3-0-0 hrs)
    • AHT1130 - Anesthesia and Analgesia (3-0-0 hrs)
Term 4
  • Completed the following:
    • AHT2150 - Small Animal Surgery, Dentistry and Anesthesia (0-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT2140 - Large Animal Procedures (0-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT2120 - Small Animal Clinical Procedures (0-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT2110 - Clinical Skills (0-3-0 hrs)
    • AHT2850 - Professional Skills Development (3-0-0 hrs)
Term 5
  • Complete 1 of the following
    • Completed the following:
      • AHT2950 - Industry Directed Field Study (1-0-0 hrs)
    • Pre-requisite : Students must successfully complete all other required courses and have a GPA of 2.0.

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Veterinary Clinics
  • Diagnostic/Research laboratories
  • Livestock operations
  • Industry/sales
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centres
  • Zoos
  • Educational programs

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Students Information


Admitted students should be aware of occupational programs where potential for exposure to animals with disease/infection is high. Please read more about program specific Immunization Information.

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A laptop is preferred

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to portal.office.com
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

The following items are required to be purchased prior to the start of your program:

  • Coveralls (long sleeve/washable/no Carharts or TuffDuck brands)
  • minimum of two sets of scrubs (can be any color or pattern)
  • Rubber boots (we recommend a regular pair and an insulated pair)
  • Indoor shoes to be worn in hospital areas
  • Soft leather gloves to be worn during large animal labs (optional)

The following items can be purchased from the Olds College Campus Store:

  • Stethoscope
  • Penlight
  • Thermometer
  • One wrap around coat (blue)

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Other Important Information:

  • Dress Code: You are required to adhere to a dress code that includes wearing scrubs and wraps in the hospital areas and laboratories, coveralls on the farm, and no revealing, torn, or dirty clothes worn during classes.
  • Time Requirements: As this programs involves learning with animals, you will be actively involved in the animal care throughout the program. This requires you to perform duties in the evenings and on weekends and holidays. You will be involved in the chores and day to day care of the animals that are required for the program. Students are scheduled to complete animal care rotations on a weekly (Wednesday to Tuesday) rotational basis (including weekends).
  • Physical Program Requirements: The AHT program is physically demanding and students must be in good health and be physically capable of performing the program requirements. This includes week long rotations in teams (including weekends) caring for our cats, dogs, exotics, horses, and cattle. Examples include lifting up to 25 lb dogs onto examination tables, jogging beside haltered horses, moving quickly in cattle and sheep pens and being able to scale a fence, walking medium to large size dogs in all weather conditions, and looking into a microscope for 1-3 hour labs.
  • Student Clubs: Animal Health Club
  • Immunization Requirements: This program requires specific immunization requirements. Learn More

Student Membership

Special requirements for students registered in an Animal Health Technology Program within the Province of Alberta now require that all students have an active student membership with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) under the Province of Alberta’s Veterinary Act and General Regulation.  https://abvma.in1touch.org/site/mainapplicant/applicant?nav=applicant

For More Information

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study. 

☎ 403.556.8281
☎ 1.800.661.6537
Inquire about this program

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