Master’s Degree Schedule

UF Shelter Medicine Course Schedule

Master’s Degree

The online Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine consists of five 3-credit core requirements and 18–21 additional elective credits, for a total of 30 credits. All courses are offered conveniently online and can be completed from the comfort of your home. Through course modules and interactive activities, you will gain the knowledge necessary to run shelter operations and better care for sheltered animals.

I. Core Courses – Required

Course # Course Credits Semester
VME 6810 Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems 3 Spring/Summer/Fall
VME 6815 Animal Shelter Population Management by the Metrics 3 Spring/Fall
VME 6811 Shelter Animal Physical Health 3 Spring/Fall
VME 6813 Behavioral Health of Shelter Dogs and Cats 3 Spring/Fall
VME 6816 The Role of the Animal Shelter in Protecting Community and Public Health 3 Spring/Fall

Notes: Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program in order to graduate.

II. Additional Requirements

A course or prior publication that documents ability to write in the sciences, such as VME 6951  Communication in Shelter Medicine, or OpenEdX Writing in the Sciences (0-1 credit)

Non-thesis students are expected to (1) meet with their online advisors 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 advisors 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.

Course # Course Credits Semester
VME 6951 Communicating Research about Shelter Medicine (formerly titled Scientific Poster Writing Workshop) *Can meet the requirement to document ability to write in the sciences in other ways, but this course is recommended once you have an approved Capstone Project proposal to develop. Capstone project must be approved before registering for this course. 1 Spring/Summer/Fall
VME 6934 Scientific Poster Writing Workshop (or other course or workshop) 1 Spring/Summer/Fall

Notes: Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program in order to graduate.

III. Electives

Choose 15 (or more) credits of elective courses. Students can choose to complete an optional certificate in Veterinary Forensic Sciences to fulfill the elective credit requirements.

The below courses are available as electives regardless of completion of the corresponding certificate.

III-a. Certificate in Veterinary Forensic Sciences Credits Semester
VME 6051 Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence 3 Spring
VME 6052 Animal Crime Scene Processing 3 Summer
VME 6054 Scientific and Legal Principles of Forensics Evidence 3 Spring
ENY 6706 Forensic Entomology 3 Fall
VME 6575 Veterinary Forensic Medicine 3 Fall
III-b. Other Electives in Shelter Medicine (*Electives that count toward a certificate in Animal Shelter Leadership) Credits Semester
VME 6814 Principles of Teaching for Animal Shelters 3 Spring/Summer/Fall
VME 6939 Topics in International Shelter Medicine 3 Fall
VME 6818 High Quality High Volume Spay Neuter 3 Spring
VME 6817 Humane Euthanasia in Animal Shelters 3 Spring/Fall
VME 6812 Problem-Oriented Approach to Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare (Prerequesite of VME 6813 Behavioral Health for Shelter Dogs and Cats; Recommended for Medical Staff Only) 3 Fall/Spring
VME 6XXX Infectious Diseases of Shelter Felines 3 TBD
VME 6XXX Infectious Diseases of Shelter Canines 3 TBD
VME 6XXX * Principles of Leadership in Animal Shelters 3 TBD
VME 6XXX * Principles of Animal Shelter Management 3 TBD
VME 6XXX * Shelter Fundraising and Development 3 TBD
VME 6XXX * Shelter Marketing and Communications 3 TBD
VME 6XXX * Coaching Animal Shelters toward Life Saving 3 TBD
VME 6820 Introduction to Veterinary Disaster Response 1 Summer
VME 6934 Topics in Veterinary Medical Science 1 Intermittently
VME 6905 Problems in Veterinary Medical Sciences 1-3 Intermittently

IV. Thesis-based Degree Requirements (10-14 credits)

Thesis option is available only with outside funding.

Courses below are required for students pursuing the thesis-based degree requirements.

For the thesis-based degree, students must take VME 6971, VME 6910, & EITHER PHC 6050 or VME 6771.

Course # Course Credits Semester
VME 6971 Research for Master’s Thesis (2-3 credits required last semester) 6 (max) Spring/Summer/Fall
VME 6910 Supervised Research 1-5 Intermittently
PHC 6050 Statistical Methods for Health Science 1 3 Spring
VME 6771 Veterinary Epidemiologic Research 3 Summer

Notes: Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program in order to graduate.



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