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Master’s Degree in Shelter Medicine

MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine

What is this program?

The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a concentration in Shelter Medicine is an exciting new program created to meet a need for qualified shelter professionals.

This master’s degree is offered through a partnership with UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Maddie’s Fund®. The program is the first of its kind to be offered fully online, and it provides comprehensive training for students and professionals in the growing field of Shelter Medicine. This 30-credit master’s degree can be completed in as little as 2 years, completely online. There is no campus visit requirement, and you can complete classes from anywhere in the world.

Who is this program for?

This program is created for veterinary professionals. That includes: veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, shelter professionals, and animal welfare professionals. Enhance your career opportunities and your knowledge base with this master’s degree program.

All courses are fully online and tailored for working professionals. The convenience of this degree program makes it ideal for busy veterinarians, vet techs, shelter professionals, and more.

What will you learn?

This master of science degree focuses on the advanced knowledge required to successfully practice evidence-based medicine or manage operations in a shelter environment. Interactive online courses teach you how to:

  • Prevent and manage infectious diseases common to animal shelters
  • Conduct a veterinary forensic investigation
  • Prevent and modify behavior and welfare issues
  • Assess shelter practices against ASV Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters
  • Review the scientific literature to determine whether shelter practices are evidence based
  • Protect public health and safety due to dangerous animals and zoonotic diseases
  • Evaluate the adequacy of a business plan created for a non-profit organization
  • Communicate effectively with shelter stakeholders about best practices for shelter operations

Overall, you will learn best practices and become more qualified to work in a shelter environment in any capacity.

Why Shelter Medicine?

Shelter medicine is a new specialty area recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The current demand is great for well-trained veterinarians to address the health and welfare issues affecting animal shelters. Few opportunities currently exist for students to immerse themselves in graduate-level coursework within this emerging area of expertise.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $525 per credit hour plus fees for all students, regardless of location. Our program does not accept the UF EEP or Florida State Tuition Waiver. We are an off-book program and do not receive funds from these programs. Nondegree and Certificate students will pay Capital Improvement/Technology fees. MS students will pay Capital Improvement/Technology/Financial Aid fees. Please click here for more information.

All students who enroll in the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program will pay in-state tuition for the University of Florida for graduate courses. Financial aid is available for students who qualify. Please click here to learn more about financial aid opportunities.

What is Maddie’s Fund®?

Maddie’s Fund® is a foundation dedicated to achieving and sustaining a no-kill nation by providing solutions to the most challenging issues facing animal welfare. Maddie’s works toward this goal by providing grants, hands-on animal care, research, and education. The Maddie’s Fund® mission is to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals.

The University of Florida received a grant from Maddie’s Fund® to create a comprehensive shelter medicine program that will enhance support for local animal rescue operations, improve disease control and adoption rates among shelter animals and expand professional training to fill the current shortage of skilled providers in this area. Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program is focused on enhancing the health and welfare of homeless animals through education, innovation, and advancement of the lifesaving goals of shelter programs.

At a Glance

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