For students interested in the care and wellbeing of their companion animals at home.

Students eligible: Current University of Illinois students
Offered in: Spring, Fall semesters
Program length: 9 total credit hours, potentially one semester
Format: Can be entirely online or blended online and in-person

The companion animal welfare and care certificate is offered to all undergraduate students who are interested in learning more about the dogs, cats, and other animals we keep as companions. Courses will cover such topics as basic companion animal biology and care, the various roles of companion animals in our society, animal ethics, and public policy.

Students with cat.

Program Highlights


Required courses:

  • ANSC 250: Companion Animals in Society; 3 credit hours, offered Fall, Spring, and Summer

       -- and one of the following --

  • ANSC 207: The Science of Pets and How to Care for Them; 3 credit hours, offered Fall and Spring
  • ANSC 307: Companion Animal Management; 3 credit hours, offered Fall

Elective courses (choose one):

  • ANSC 255: Animal Ethics; 3 credit hours, offered Fall and Spring
  • ANSC 305: Human-Animal Interactions; 3 credit hours, offered Fall and Spring
  • ANSC 370: Companion Animal Policy; 3 credit hours, offered Spring (second 8 weeks)

Start Certificate
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Express your interest in pursuing a certificate. Once accepted, you will receive an email with further instructions for registration. 

Please note that you will need to keep track of your classes and ensure completion of the certificate on your own. There will not be an advisor or faculty member tracking your progress. Please make sure you communicate to your advisor about your desire to complete the certificate when you are planning classes and developing graduation plans.

Start certificate

Complete Certificate
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Upon completing your required coursework, you will need to submit a completion request for your certificate. The certificate coordinator will check your course work to ensure you have completed all of the requirements, and then a certificate will be either mailed to you or available for pick up. If you complete your last course in the semester that you graduate, please note that we will be mailing the certificate after grades are posted and the completion can be certified. 

Confirm completion

Program Contact

Sarah Richardson
Senior Instructor
Sarah Richardson