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Master’s Degree

  • What is this program?

    The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Veterinary Forensic Medicine is open to qualified local, national, and international professionals who work in forensic science and veterinary medicine.

    This program is offered through UF’s Maples Center for Forensic Science, with a grant from the ASPCA and a partnership with the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Students are prepared for real-world situations in veterinary forensic medicine by faculty members who have years of experience in the field working with law enforcement and animal protection organizations.

    The MS in Veterinary Forensic Sciences is comprised of five 3-credit core requirements plus 15 elective credits. Master’s degree students may choose between a thesis and non-thesis option. Complete courses from the comfort of your home, on your own time.

    Upon completion of the program, graduates will earn a Master of Science with a major in Veterinary Medical Sciences and a concentration in Veterinary Forensic Science issued by the Graduate School of the University of Florida. The student’s transcript will read Master of Science, graduation date, major Veterinary Medical Sciences, concentration Veterinary Forensic Science. The student’s diploma will read Master of Science with a major in Veterinary Medical Sciences issued by the Graduate School of the University of Florida.

    Thesis/Non-Thesis Option

    Non-Thesis Option

    The non-thesis option only requires students to complete the minimum number of degree hours to earn their MS degree and take a comprehensive examination of the courses covered in the program.

    Thesis Option

    The thesis option requires a minimum of 6 hours of research, a completed thesis project, a thesis defense, proof of thesis submission to a peer-reviewed journal, and a 1-credit special topics course. This course track is optimal for students who are interested in conducting research in an area that interests them, who would like to be published, or who want to eventually pursue a Ph.D.

    Who is this program for?

    A master’s degree can increase employment opportunities as well as wage-earning potential. Professionals in forensic science and veterinary medicine fields will benefit the most from this program. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Practicing veterinarians and veterinary technicians
    • Criminal justice professionals
    • Individuals involved in shelter medicine operations
    • Animal control officers
    • Law enforcement officials
    • Forensic investigators
    What will students learn?

    The master’s degree focuses on advanced animal forensic investigations. This includes, but is not limited to:

    Admission Requirements
    • Bachelor’s degree in a natural science subject (If the student does not have a degree in a natural science subject, email Dr. Jason Byrd at, as they may still be eligible for admission.)
      A DVM degree
    • An upper-division GPA of a 3.0 or better
    • GRE examination with a minimum score of 153 Verbal and 144 Quantitative (500 each prior to August 2011)

      • Official scores must be sent directly to the UF Office of Admissions at code 5812 from the Education Testing Services (ETS)
      • If you have earned a graduate or professional degree from an accredited university in the U.S., such as a DVM, you are exempt from this requirement and do not need to submit GRE scores.
      • If you are earning a graduate level degree but will not have it completed by the application deadline for the term you applied for, you are not exempt from the GRE.
    How much will it cost?

    Tuition is $525 per credit hour. An approximate cost of the master’s degree is $15,750, plus fees and textbooks.

    Learn more about financial aid and tuition reimbursement opportunities.

    Course List and Schedule
    Non-Thesis Option
    (Unless otherwise noted, all courses are assigned a letter grade.)

    Veterinary Forensics Courses Credits Spring Summer Fall
    VME 6052 Animal Crime Scene Processing 3   x  
    VME 6054 Scientific and Legal Principles of Forensic Evidence 3 x    
    VME 6051 Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence 3 x    
    VME 6575 Veterinary Forensic Medicine 3     x
    ENY 6706 Forensic Entomology 3     x
    VME 6053 Skeletal Trauma Analysis in Animals 3   x  
    VME 6056 Animal Law 3 x    
    VME 6574 Aquatic Animal Pathology (Description: TBD) 3 x    
    VME 6578 Forensic Veterinary Osteology 3     x
    VME 6577 Veterinary Pathology in Practice 3     x
    VME 6579 Veterinary Forensic Radiology and Imaging 3 x    
    VME 6570 Wildlife Conservation and Forensic Science 3   x  
    VME 6571 Forensic Applied Animal Behavior 3     x
    VME 6572 Forensic Aspects of Agricultural Animal Welfare 3 x    
    VME 6576 Veterinary Forensic Pathology 3   x  
    VME 6573 Wildlife Forensic Genetics 3 x    
    VME 6615 Veterinary Forensic Toxicology 3 x
    VME 6616 Critical Thinking and Environmental Monitoring of Veterinary Agents 3 x
    VME 6617 Risk Assessment and Mitigation for the Use and Management of Veterinary Agents 3 x
    VME 6934 Seminar in Veterinary Pathology 1 (8 max) TBD TBD TBD
    VME 6905 Problems in Veterinary Medical Sciences 1-4 x x x
    WIS 5562 Conservation Medicine 3 x
    WIS 6557 Wildlife Conservation Laws and Legislation 3 x
    WIS 6559 Contemporary Issues in Wildlife Protection and Conservation 3 x
    WIS 6561 Wildlife Crime Scene Processing 3 x
    WIS 6934 Working Dogs in Conservation and Forensic Sciences 3 x
    WIS 6576 Human-Wildlife Conflict 3 x
    WIS 6421 Wildlife Toxicology: The Ecohealth Perspective 3 x
    WIS 6553 Wildlife Forensic Pathology 3 x
    WIS 6425 Carrion Ecology & Evolution 3 x
    VME 6580 Cybercrime in Wildlife Investigations 3 x

    Thesis Option: Includes all of the Non-Thesis courses in addition to the following.
    (Unless otherwise noted, all courses are assigned a letter grade.)

    Veterinary Forensics Courses Credits Spring Summer Fall
    VME 6934 Special Topics in Veterinary Forensic Sciences 1-4 x x x
    VME 6910 Supervised Research 1-5 (S/U) x x x
    VME 6971 Masters Research 1-6 (6 max) (S/U) x x x

    At a Glance