Fall 2021

Featured Courses

This semester, discover important topics in shelter medicine by taking one or more of our featured courses.

VME 6816

The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health

Animal shelter professionals play an essential role in protecting community and public health.  There is increased recognition that collaboration among professionals from multiple disciplines is necessary to protect the health of both human and animal residents of a community. This course enhances the ability of shelter medical professionals to serve as informed and active protectors of human and animal health in their communities.

VME 6934

Communications and Marketing for Animal Welfare Organizations

Marketing and external communications have the power to shape behavior within our community; to drive awareness; and to inform future decisions. No matter the size, budget and mission of the organization, marketing helps establish and maintain connections within the community and across diverse stakeholders and service recipients. By the end of this course students will understand the role that marketing plays in animal sheltering and the methods and strategies they can use as veterinarians and leaders to leverage external communications, impact and inform the community.

VME 6939

Topics in International Shelter Medicine

The rapid expansion of veterinary outreach programs into international environments has given rise to complex dilemmas on how to shelter and provide adequate veterinary care to animals in need, often with minimal resource investment. Traditionally, the focus of most shelter medicine training has been on the health of animals in brick and mortar shelters.  This course is designed to address the unique challenges shelters face internationally, in addition to providing practical recommendations, protocols, and helpful tips for delivering high quality medical care under challenging circumstances.


Please view the Course Tracker document to see the full list of courses, course requirements, and access syllabi.


I. Core Courses – Required 15 Credits

These courses are required for both the Master of Science and the Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine.

VME 6810: Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems (available for Fall 2021)

VME 6811: Shelter Animal Physical Health (available for Fall 2021)

VME 6813: Behavioral Health for Shelter Dogs and Cats (available for Fall 2021)

VME 6815: Population Management by the Metrics (available for Fall 2021)

VME 6816: The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health (available for Fall 2021)

II. Additional Requirements for Master of Science

VME 6950: Capstone Project (available for Fall 2021) (required in student’s final semester and can be taken for variable credit of 1-3 hours) 

A course or prior publication that documents ability to write in the sciences, such as VME 6951  Communicating Research About Shelter Medicine (available for Fall 2021), or OpenEdX Writing in the Sciences (0-1 credit)

 Non-thesis students are expected to (1) meet with their online advisor  at least once annually to review progress, (2) keep an e-portfolio to document their learning and professional growth, and (3)  to develop a “Capstone Project” approved by their advisor before the final semester of their program.

 Thesis students are expected to (1) meet online with their committees at least twice annually to review their progress, (2) document teaching efforts, (3) attend online national rounds, and (4) develop and defend their thesis. 

III. Electives – Required 15 credits or more for Master of Science

III-a – Electives in Shelter Medicine

VME 6812: Problem-Oriented Approach to Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare

VME 6814: Principles of Teaching in Animal Shelters

VME 6817: Humane Euthanasia Practices for Animal Shelters

VME 6818: High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter

VME 6819: Principles of Leadership in Animal Shelters

VME 6820: Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response

VME 6934: Fundraising and Development for Animal Welfare Organizations (starting Spring 2022)

VME 6934: Communications and Marketing for Animal Welfare Organizations (starting Fall 2021)

VME 68xx: Principles of Management in Animal Shelters (starting Fall 2022)

VME 6934: Life-Enhancing Strategies of Animal Welfare Organizations

VME 6XXX: Infectious Disease Management for Animal Shelters (starting Spring 2022)

VME 6934: Principles of All-Hazard Responding in Animal Welfare (starting Summer 2021)

VME 6939: Topics in International Shelter Medicine (available for Fall 2021)

VME 6951: Communicating Research about Shelter Medicine

To see a full list of available Shelter Medicine electives, please review the Course Tracker document.

III-b – Electives counted towards Certificate in Veterinary Forensic Sciences

Electives that count toward a Certificate in Veterinary Forensic Sciences can also count as your elective credits for your Master of Science in Shelter Medicine. To learn more about Veterinary Forensic Sciences courses, please visit the program website.

IV. Thesis-based Degree Requirements – 10-14 Credits

Students can choose to complete a thesis if they have outside funding. To learn more about completing a thesis with outside funding, please contact Dr. Terry Spencer.

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Courses and schedule are subject to change based on demand and availability.

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