Maddie’s® Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine

Exposure to a Cross-Section of Opportunities

Certificate programs are unique to the University of Florida (UF), and Maddie’s® Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine is one of five certificates offered at UF, joining other intensive programs in Food Animal MedicineAquatic Animal Health, Veterinary Business Management, and the One Health initiative.

Sampling for infectious diseaseOur shelter medicine program exposes students to a cross‐section of opportunities in the field of shelter medicine including:

  • Care of sheltered animals
  • Animal disaster management
  • Cruelty investigation and forensics
  • Shelter animal behavior and welfare
  • High‐quality high‐volume sterilization surgery
  • Research in shelter medicine

A Valuable Credential for Seeking Employment

Students at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine who complete an intensive program of study in Shelter Medicine in tandem with their DVM will earn the Certificate in Shelter Medicine. The certificate indicates readiness to practice in this rewarding field and is an internationally recognized credential documenting exceptional achievement in Shelter Medicine.

Learn more about the Certificate curriculum. Complete this contact form to receive announcements about all the Shelter Medicine activities, scholarships, externship travel funds, and training opportunities. Contact us to connect with an advisor and receive additional information.

Required Shelter Medicine Certificate Courses (15 credits)

Course Number Course Name Credits When Offered
VEM 5321 Integrating Veterinary Medicine with Shelter Systems


3 Summer semester; suggested enrollment between freshman and sophomore year
VEM 5320 Shelter Animal Behavior and Welfare


3 Spring semester; suggested enrollment in junior spring semester
VEM 5381 Shelter Animal Physical Health


3 Fall semester; suggested enrollment in senior fall semester
VEM 5892 Shelter Medicine Externship 2 Variable; usually in the summer between junior and senior year
VEM 5892 Spay/Neuter Externship 2 Variable; usually in the summer between junior and senior year
VEM 5890

VEM 5891

VEM 5863


Consultations in Shelter Animal Medicine Clerkship

Veterinary Community Outreach Clerkship

Sterilization/Population Management Clerkship

2 Junior and senior clinical rotations

5890: variable several times a year

5891: year-round

5863: year-round


Click here to see more training opportunities in our selection of Shelter Medicine electives

Tuition Information:

Fees and financial assistance information:

  • Tuition: All of the courses required to complete the Certificate in Shelter Medicine are included in veterinary student block tuition.
  • Fear Free Certification: Certification fees are waived for UF veterinary students and veterinary technician students by using a coupon code.
  • Association of Shelter Veterinarians: Students will pay a discounted $10 student membership fee when joining this professional association.
  • Funds to support student travel to externships and shelter consultations are available by application.
  • Scholarships: Several scholarships are awarded each year to students who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the improvement of the lives of sheltered and homeless animals through the study and advancement of Shelter Medicine.

The Certificate in Shelter Medicine is made possible by a grant from Maddie’s Fund® and individual donors who are passionate about the training of future veterinarians in animal welfare