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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid may be available for students who qualify. If you are a veteran seeking financial aid, visit UF’s Veterans Office of the University Registrar: Information for Veterans web site. Some shelters are willing to raise funds from private donors to sponsor advanced training for shelter veterinarians. Click here to view more about employer reimbursement. You might also be eligible for private education loans. We recommend that you do an Internet search for “private education loans” to find out who will fund part-time graduate students. You can also contact the University of Florida’s Office for Student Financial Affairs for more information.

Are students only accepted in the Fall semester?

Students are accepted year-round, so you can apply for the semester that is most convenient for you.

Do you need to be a veterinarian to complete the Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a Concentration in Shelter Medicine?

No, but many of our students are veterinarians. The program is also open to anyone working in or interested in animal welfare and sheltering who meets the minimum admission requirements.

How do I log into the courses?

After you complete the application and course registration process, you can access online courses by logging into UF’s e-Learning website at any time. Go to and select “e-Learning Login” to enter your Gatorlink username and password.

You will not be able to access your course until the start date listed in the course registration materials. Some course content will not be immediately available to you. Instructors may open and close access to lessons according to the schedule posted in the course syllabus.

How does online learning work?

Courses will be delivered via a blended/hybrid mechanism (both synchronously and asynchronously). Content will be delivered within modules that are conceptually grouped. Some modules, due to the complexity of the content, will be longer than other modules.

Assignments will be given during each module and are due by the completion of the module on a designated date. The course will be completed within a semester time frame. Modules will include a combination of readings, recordings, webinars, group discussions, and student research projects. Experts in shelter medicine will be available as resources to students by use of asynchronous and/or live chats.

How long does it take to complete my degree?
  • Students average 2 – 3 years to complete the master’s degree, but have up to seven years to complete coursework. Coursework taken as a nondegree or certificate student is also part of the seven year time-frame. If the degree is not completed within seven years the coursework taken prior will expire.
  • Students average 1 year to complete the certificate program but have up to seven years to complete.
Are there any technology requirements?

The courses will be delivered using the University of Florida (UF) centrally supported learning management system, Canvas.

    • You will need a GatorLink ID to access this e-learning site
    • You will need access to high-speed internet
    • You will need a desktop or laptop computer (tablets and mobile devices are not fully compatible with these courses). In addition, you will need a headset with a microphone to participate in online discussions.
    • Internet Explorer is not compatible with our courses; please use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari.
      To download Firefox, visit:
      To download Google Chrome, visit:
    • You will need Microsoft Word and Excel, which you will be able to download for free as a UF student. Also, as a UF student, you will have access to software training from

Recorded Lectures

You may need to install a free copy of Silverlight to access recorded lectures. You can download Silverlight from the Microsoft Website:

File Naming Conventions

You will need to use Microsoft Office compatible file extensions to save project files that will be submitted to the instructor. For example:

Save text documents with a .doc or .docx file extension before uploading:

      • this-is-a-text-document .doc
      • this-is-a-text-document.docx

Save PowerPoint presentations with a .ppt or .pptx file extension before uploading:

      • this-is-a-presentation .ppt
      • this-is-a-presentation .pptx
Do these courses require any travel to Florida? Do I need to log in to the course at any specific times?

Courses for the graduate certificate and master’s degree do not require any travel to Florida. The shelter medicine program is fully online. For some courses, you will need to attend Adobe Connect webinar sessions where you can speak with an instructor or view a classmate’s presentation. Adobe Connect sessions are always recorded so you can listen at your convenience if a live session is scheduled at a time that is inconvenient for you.

How much time should I expect to spend on a course each week?

Students report spending between 6 to 9 hours a week on course activities. Each course has different requirements and due dates indicated in the course syllabus. You may want to note these key due dates on your calendar at the beginning of the semester and plan accordingly.

Who should I contact regarding technical assistance during a course?

On the left-hand menu of the e-Learning login page ( there are links to tutorials to get you familiar with the Canvas course management system which houses all the content for our online courses. If you need technical assistance during the course, please contact the UF Computing Help Desk. You will need your Gator Link ID. You can access the UF Help Desk when you log into the e-learning website. You can reach them seven days a week (hours vary and they are closed on holidays),

Once enrolled in a course, do I have access to the UF library services?

Enrolled non-degree seeking students have full access to UF library services just like degree-seeking UF students. This includes the digital catalog of books, scientific journals, and other library services designed specifically for online learners. You can access UF’s Online Library when you log into the e-learning website with your Gator Link ID.

Are there any prerequisites for these courses?

There are no specific prerequisite courses, but you must meet admissions requirements. Please click here to view admissions requirements.

I am not a University of Florida (UF) student. Will the credits be transferable to my home institution and count toward my degree there?

Each university has their own policies regarding credit transfer or dual enrollment. Therefore, it is your responsibility to check with your home institution to complete any paperwork that may be required to transfer the credits and ensure that they can be applied toward your degree. (Note: UF requires students to complete paperwork BEFORE they register at another university and this may be the same for your home institution.) The University of Florida is a public university in the State of Florida and credits should be accepted by other universities in the United States. If you need a letter, signature, or form completed, please contact the course coordinator.

After completion of the course you can have an official transcript with your grade sent to your home institution. Official, sealed transcripts can be ordered and mailed to you or your home institution for a small fee (approximately $6.00) using the Student Self Service system. Non-official transcripts can be printed through Student Self Service for free.

Will these courses count toward the continuing education hours I need to renew my veterinary license?

Veterinarians licensed in the state of Florida should be able to count these graduate course credits toward veterinary continuing education contact hours. Contact the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for details. A 3-credit hour course should be the equivalent of 45 contact hours for veterinary continuing education in Florida. For license renewals in other states, contact your licensing board for guidance.

How are accommodations for students with disabilities handled?

If you are a student with a disability and would like to request disability-related accommodations, please contact the instructor and the Disability Resource Center as soon as possible. The Disability Resource Center is located in 001 Building 0020 (Reid Hall). Their phone number is 352-392-8565, (711 TTY/FRS). For more information, see the Disability Resource Center website at The Disability Resource Center will begin the process to assist you.

What email address should I use for course communication?

All course communication is done through your UF webmail account, powered by Office 365.

  • To check your UF webmail account, go to and use your GatorLink Username and Password to log on.
  • Please make sure you are checking your email regularly for course updates and messages.
  • You can find more information about UF webmail powered by Office 365 at the following website:
What about student services?

As an online student, you will be granted the same services and entitlements as resident students, including:

  • Student complaints and concerns
  • Student counseling and advising
  • Student organizations
  • Technology assistance