Program Requirements

As soon as possible, students interested in earning the Maddie’s® Certificate in Shelter Medicine while they earn their DVM degree should join the shelter medicine track and meet with an advisor from the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program (Contact us) to develop a plan for completing all requirements prior to graduation.

In addition, students should apply to the University of Florida to receive the Maddie’s® Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine during the fall semester of their senior year. Students are expected to remain in good academic standing. Also check in with a student services coordinator from Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program every semester to ascertain that you remain on track to earn the Maddie’s® Certificate in Shelter Medicine by completion of your 4th year.

Certificate Course Requirements

Students earn 15 credit hours by successfully completing the following electives with a passing grade during their 3rd and 4th years at UF-CVM. Complete details can be found in the student handbook on pages 43-46 by visiting this link:

Course #



Usually offered

VEM 5321 Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems (Web/Blended) 3 Required Summer semester only; suggested enrollment: between years 1 and 2
VEM 5320 Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare
3 Required Spring semester only
VEM 5381 Shelter Animal Physical Health
3 Required Fall semester only
VEM 5892 Shelter Medicine Externship 2 Required Variable
VEM 5892 Spay/Neuter Externship 2 Required Variable
**VEM 5891
OR VEM 5863
Veterinary Community Outreach Clerkship, OR Shelter Practice Clerkship (limited space) 2 Required 5891: Year-round block
5863: Two blocks yearly (limited space)

TOTAL = 15 credits

Certificate students do not receive enrollment preference when requesting VEM 5891 Veterinary Community Outreach Program Clerkship.
You must rank VEM 5891 #1 when you request to register for clerkships. There are no guaranteed placements.

Extracurricular Activities Expected for 1st and 2nd Year UF Veterinary Students

Beginning with 1st year, students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Shelter Medicine are expected to:



Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) are $5 per year.)
ASPCApro “Shelter’s Edge” blog
*UF Student Chapter of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (UFscASV).
Maddie’s Institute “Chew on This” blog
Shelter Vet Community Forums
Login to, click on “Member Center” tab, choose Community Forums
*Must remain in good standing with UFscASV (current on dues and actively participating)

Such experiences provide early exposure to the field of Shelter Medicine through wet labs, foster care opportunities, faculty mentoring, discussions of shelter medicine topics, field trips to shelters, and opportunities to meet with other students, residents, interns, and faculty who share an interest in Shelter Medicine.