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Online Shelter Medicine Program

Online Shelter Medicine Program

Welcome to the University of Florida’s online Shelter Medicine Program. We offer an online master’s degree and an online graduate certificate in shelter medicine.

The goal of this program is to fill an existing curriculum gap in shelter medicine by providing quality online courses for veterinary professionals, animal welfare professionals, and students. Even career changers interested in getting a start in shelter medicine or assisting local shelters with non-profit leadership issues can transition into the program as a non-degree seeking student. Demand continues to grow for qualified professionals in this ever-expanding field.

Learn how to recognize and manage infectious diseases in a shelter, collect forensic evidence in a current investigation, and prevent behavioral and welfare problems in large populations of animals.

“This course is phenomenal and I can assure you many of us are grateful for it. I am using things I have learned on a daily basis and I feel I can make a difference now. The resources are great and I did not know they existed before.”

“I loved the video of the terrier promoting himself to potential adopters! It made me think of many other creative ways to promote our adoption animals, which I have shared with my fellow online students in the discussion forum.”

“My staff is starting to utilize the methods in the lessons not only for our adoption animals but for our patients. This is a win-win situation.”

Master’s Degree

The 30-credit Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine is the first of its kind to be offered online. Ideal for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students, this degree can be completed from anywhere in the world. This degree can be completed in as little as 2 years.

Core courses include:

Shelter medicine continues to grow and evolve as a field, and there is a need for skilled professionals. Stay on the cutting edge with an online Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine. Learn how to prevent and manage infectious disease; diagnose behavior and welfare issues; assess shelter practices against ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters; and much more.

“I think that overall, this course was an excellent and completely worthwhile experience. While I often stretched myself very thin between 4th year clinical rotations, completing a VIRMP application, studying for boards, and studying for this course, I am very glad that I have had the opportunity to participate this semester. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and now have great notes from experts in the field on the topics I care most about!” — Ken Sieranski, Texas A & M University Class of 2013

Graduate Certificate

Gain credentials and move your career forward with our online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine. This graduate certificate consists of five online courses, and it can be completed in as little as 1 year. This graduate certificate is ideal for veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, shelter operations staff, and kennel staff.

The graduate certificate teaches students about the physical and behavioral health of sheltered animals, as well as the critical role that veterinarians play. All 15 credits from the graduate certificate can be transferred toward the online Shelter Medicine Master’s Degree, if admitted. The graduate certificate is an excellent way to start advancing your career in the growing field of shelter medicine.

“As I think about the concept of decreasing length of stay, I realize our shelter workers will need to change their view of how the shelter is supposed to work. By setting concrete short- and long-term goals, I believe the workers will better understand and appreciate how the program is working and how it is benefiting both animals and people.”

How much does it cost?

All students who enroll in the online Shelter Medicine Program courses will pay in-state tuition for University of Florida graduate-level courses.

Tuition and Fees

(Based on rate of $525/ credit plus $13.32/ credit for student fees) **

  • $1,575 tuition plus $39.96 fees = $1,614.96/ each three-credit online course
  • $7,875 tuition plus $199.80 fees = $8,074.80/completed certificate (five courses)
  • $15,750 tuition plus $399.60 fees = $16,149.60/completed master’s degree
  • Masters Degree Tuition ranges from $525 to $650 per credit hour depending on elective choice.

**Additional costs for required textbooks. Fees are approximate.

Registration costs follow the standard tuition and fee rates for the University of Florida. Registration includes access to the course materials (e.g., lectures, reading material, discussion sessions, etc.). Students may be responsible for other optional costs as well.

At a Glance