Master’s Degree
MS in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine

veterinary professional with black and white dog

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.

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.

The 30-credit Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine is the first of its kind to be offered online. Ideal for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary students, and other animal shelter professionals, this degree can be completed from anywhere in the world. There is a thesis and non-thesis option, and courses are interactive with synchronous and asynchronous components. This degree can be completed in as little as 2 years.

Shelter medicine continues to grow and evolve as a field, and there is a need for skilled animal welfare professionals. Stay on the cutting edge with an Online Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine. Learn how to prevent and manage infectious diseases; diagnose and treat behavior and welfare issues; assess shelter practices against Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters; and much more.

Who is this program for?

This program is created for practicing and aspiring animal shelter professionals. That includes: veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, shelter operations 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
  • 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
  • Conduct a veterinary forensic investigation

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

Core courses include:

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 and other shelter professionals 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 UF Veterinary Shelter Medicine online 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.

Master’s Degree Minimum Requirements

Admissions requirements: 

  • A baccalaureate degree in any subject from an accredited institution
  • An upper-division GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Three recommendation letters by academic or professional contacts speaking of the applicant’s experience and expertise (optional, but not mandatory)
  • No GRE required!
  • Note: Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program

If you are an international student whose native language is not English or who earned a bachelor’s degree from a non-English speaking country, you must take the TOEFL examination. Click here to learn more about requirements for international students.

Apply now