Featured Courses

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

VME 6934

Life-Enhancing Strategies of Animal Welfare Organizations

Explore innovative, life-enhancing programs and strategies that promote optimal animal health and welfare, ideal community and personnel involvement, and organizational success of animal welfare organizations.

VME 6819

Principles of Leadership in Animal Shelters

A survey course to introduce students to core skills relevant to leadership in a shelter setting based on theories from sociology, psychology and organizational science.

VME 6818

High Quality High Volume Spay/Neuter

Gives students in-depth knowledge of HQHVSN (High Quality High Volume Spay/Neuter) and introduces skills necessary for evaluating, improving, and developing successful HQHVSN programs based on community need.


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

VME 6811: Shelter Animal Physical Health

VME 6813: Behavioral Health for Shelter Dogs and Cats

VME 6815: Population Management by the Metrics

VME 6816: The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health

II. Additional Requirements for Master of Science

VME 6950: Capstone Project (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, 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 68xx: Fundraising and Development for Animal Welfare Organizations (starting Fall 2021)

VME 68xx: Communications and Marketing for Animal Welfare Organizations (starting Fall 2021)

VME 68xx: Principles of Management in Animal Shelters (starting Fall 2021)

VME 6934: Life-Enhancing Strategies of Animal Welfare Organizations

VME 6XXX: Infectious Disease Management for Animal Shelters

VME 6939: Topics in International Shelter Medicine

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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