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.

Course #Course NameCreditsTypeFallSpringSummer
VME6810*Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems*3CoreXXX
VME6811Shelter Animal Physical Health3CoreXX
VME6813Behavioral Health for Shelter Dogs and Cats3CoreXX
VME6815Animal Shelter Population Management by the Metrics3CoreXX
VME6816The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health3CoreXX

*All students must take this course in their first semester as an introduction to the field of Shelter Medicine and course technology.

II. Additional Requirements for Master of Science

Course #Course NameCreditsFallSpringSummer
VME6950Capstone Project** Presentation1-3XXX
VME6951Communicating Research about Shelter Medicine***1XXX

**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

Course #Course NameCreditsTypeFallSpringSummer
VME6100Infectious Disease Management for Animal Shelters Prerequisite: VME6810, VME6811, VME68163ElectiveX
VME6801Principles of Management in Animal Shelters (PreReq: 6819)3ElectiveXX
VME6812Problem-Oriented Approach to Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare Prerequisite: VME68133ElectiveX
VME6814Principles of Teaching in Animal Shelters3ElectiveX
VME6817Humane Euthanasia Practices for Animal Shelters3ElectiveX
VME6818High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter3ElectiveX
VME6819Principles of Leadership in Animal Shelters3ElectiveXX
VME6830Principles of All-Hazard Responding in Animal Welfare3ElectiveXXX
VME6840Life-Enhancing Strategies of Animal Welfare Organizations3ElectiveXX
VME6841Communications and Marketing for Animal Welfare Organizations3ElectiveXX
VME6842Fundraising and Development for Animal Welfare Organizations3ElectiveX
VME6905Seminar in Shelter Medicine (S/U only) by request, must be approved by Academic Advisor1-3ElectiveXXX
VME6910Supervised Research in Shelter Medicine (S/U only) by request, must be approved by Academic Advisor1-3ElectiveXXX
VME6934Non Traditional Species3ElectiveX(2025)
VME6939Topics in International Shelter Medicine3ElectiveX

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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