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This certificate is an innovative approach to equipping students with knowledge and skills that may be applied in a variety of companion animal careers as well as in their personal lives. You will be able to develop practical solutions and management plans for needs related to training, nutrition and management of companion animal species.

Program highlights:

  • The certificate meets the demands of many exciting opportunities in veterinary medicine and the animal science industry.
  • The certificate is offered at graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • The certificate requires a total of 15 credit hours for completion.

Who should pursue this certificate?

This program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students who wish to delve deeper into concepts related to companion animals.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition per credit hour $558.50
Instructional Support Fee per credit hour $25.00

Tuition and fees listed are subject to change and do not include all possible charges. Additional fees may apply. Please refer to the master class schedule for individual course charges.

As a student in this program, you will learn to:

  • Understand anatomy and its relationship to function in evaluating companion animals
  • Apply psychological principles to train animals for specific activities
  • Discover the fundamentals of companion animal nutrition
  • Become adept at selection, nutrition, reproduction and marketing of companion animals
  • Grasp the social, physical and emotional benefits of the human-animal bond
  • Communicate effectively on the topic of animal health and welfare

What are some potential careers?


Program Structure

The Companion Animal Management Certificate at Mississippi State University requires the completion of six courses and a total of 15 credit hours.

Core Curriculum Courses
Course Number Course Title Hours
ADS 2202 Companion Animal Evaluation 2
ADS 2313 Animal Behavior & Training 3
ADS 3413 Companion Animal Nutrition 3
ADS 4513/6513 Companion Animal Management 3
ADS 4511/6511 Companion Animal Management Lab 1
ADS 4713/6713 Human-Animal Bond Shelter Management 3
Total Hours: 15

Admissions Process

Undergraduate Admissions

If you have never attended Mississippi State University, please complete the online Undergraduate Admissions Application.

  • You will choose Special Non-Degree as your major and Online Education as your campus.
  • Request that official ACT or SAT scores be sent to MSU.
  • Request that your high school send your official transcript. Faxed transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Submit a separate official final transcript from each college or university attended; faxed transcripts will not be accepted. An applicant may not ignore previous college attendance and must list all colleges attended on the application for admission. You must be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
  • If you are able to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them to
  • If you are unable to submit official transcripts and other documentation electronically, you may send them via U.S. Postal Service to:


In general, students who are not admitted into a degree program are not eligible for student financial aid funds. For more information please visit Student Financial Aid to see if you will be eligible or not while taking courses for the Companion Animal Management Certificate.


ADS 2202 Companion Animal Evaluation
Four hours laboratory. Individual evaluation of companion animals with an in-depth study of anatomy and its relationship to function, plus methods used in evaluating companion animals in competition.

ADS 2313 Behavior & Training
Two hours lecture and two hours laboratory. Animal behavior and application of psychology principles for training animals. Systematic approaches to training emphasizing learning principles and training methods for specific animal activities.

ADS 3413 Companion Animal Nutrition
Three hours lecture. Discovery of fundamental principles of companion animal nutrition through applied learning.

ADS 4513/6513 Companion Animal Management
Three hours lecture. Focus on various aspects of companion animal management including breed selection, nutrition, reproduction, and marketing.

ADS 4511/6511 Companion Animal Lab
Two hours laboratory. Management practices for companion animals. The selection, handling, and care techniques for various types of companion animals.

ADS 2202 ADS 4713/6713 Human-Animal Bond/Shelter Mgt
Three hours lecture. Overview of the social, physical, and emotional benefits to humans through the human-animal bond with a closer look into the therapeutic roles of animals. Learn practical concepts for animal shelter management.

Contact Information

Photo of Mindy Wolfe

Mindy Wolfe

Enrollment & Onboarding Coach

  • General Program Questions
  • Assistance with Admissions Process & Requirements
Photo of Anusha Rijal

Anusha Rijal

Retention & Engagement Coach

  • Current Student Inquires
  • Academic & Support Services Assistance
Photo of Erica Carroll

Erica Carroll

Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

  • Undergraduate Coordinator & Instructor
Photo of Dr. Molly Nicodemus

Dr. Molly Nicodemus

Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

  • Associate Professor