University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Animal Sciences
Give to Animal Sciences

Companion Animal Nutrition Certificate

The Companion Animal Nutrition Certificate program is an online non-degree program that gives industry professionals, veterinarians, animal scientists, pet breeders, and pet enthusiasts the opportunity to take in-depth courses on various aspects of companion animal nutrition. Course topics include canine and feline metabolism, nutrient functions and requirements, pet nutrition and disease, pet food ingredients, principles of diet formulation, pet food processing technologies, good manufacturing practices, pet food regulations, and market trends.

If you are interested in applying to the Companion Animal Nutrition Certificate program, please fill out our form. Course enrollment for Fall 2020 begins July 6th.

Information Request Form  Enroll Now

For in-depth instructions on how to enroll in a course, visit this page

Program Requirements

In order to be accepted, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree. No specific discipline for this bachelor’s degree is required.

In order to obtain the certificate, students will need to successfully complete ANSC 422, Companion Animal Nutrition, and two additional courses of their choosing from the list below.

Fees and Logistics

The non-degree certificate program is currently a three semester program with all courses offered entirely online. For those who need them, continuing education (CE) credits will be provided after the successful completion of each course.

All courses are priced at the same rate. The cost will be $712/credit ($2,136 for each 3-credit course). The certificate, which requires three courses of three credits each, would cost a total of $6,408.

Program Offering Schedule

Fall 2020

  • ANSC 422 (August to October)
  • ANSC 424 (October to December)
  • ANSC 526 (October to December)

Spring 2021

  • ANSC 526 (January to March)

Fall 2021

  • ANSC 422 (August to October)
  • ANSC 424 (October to December)
  • ANSC 499

Course Instructors

Dr. Kelly Swanson with a small dog

Dr. Kelly S. Swanson
Professor and Certificate Program Coordinator
Department of Animal Sciences
1207 W. Gregory 
162 Animal Sciences Laboratory
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 333-4189

Dr. Maria de Godoy with a golden retriever

Dr. Maria R. C. de Godoy
Assistant Professor
Department of Animal Sciences
1207 W. Gregory 
164 Animal Sciences Laboratory
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-0226

Course Options

Companion Animal Nutrition (ANSC 422; 3 credits)

Required for certificate and pre-requisite for ANSC 526 - This course will cover the digestive physiology and basic nutritional considerations of companion animals, with primary focus on dogs and cats. Topics will include macronutrient and micronutrient digestion, metabolism, and function, nutritional idiosyncrasies of dogs and cats, unique nutritional needs throughout the life cycle, nutrient needs during exercise, common pet food ingredients, and nutritional sustainability.

Pet Food & Feed Manufacturing (ANSC 424; 3 credits)

Integrates principles of animal nutrition with various aspects pertaining to pet food and animal feed manufacturing. Topics discussed in this course include processing technologies (e.g., extrusion, retorting, baking) involved in the manufacturing of pet foods and animal feeds, principles of diet formulation and nutritional guidelines, and an overview of regulatory affairs, quality control, and good manufacturing practices.

Advanced Companion Animal Nutrition (ANSC 526; 3 credits)

Students will learn how to effectively apply advanced concepts related to pet nutrition and disease, including the metabolism within healthy and diseased dogs and cats, how nutrition may aid in preventing and treating disease, and the science behind pet food formulation and production.

Pet Food Formulation, Regulations, and Market Trends (ANSC 499; 3 credits)

Provides information on the principles of diet formulation, nutritional guidelines and recommendations, regulatory affairs, and recent market trends of the pet food industry.

Course Reviews

  • "The content was organized very well and presented clearly and concisely."
  • “The videos for the modules were of good quality and the modules themselves were easy to follow.” 
  • “Very comprehensive coverage of the topic, with relevant information for the intended students. The instructor was good about responding to questions posted online in a timely manner.”
  • "This was an excellent course and well taught."