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Business Certificate Program

The College of Veterinary Medicine offers a Veterinary Business Management Certificate to further the education of veterinary students with regards to business and personal finance, practice ownership, business and employee management and career path preparation.

Business Certificate Program Online Application

Certificate Goal

Students who complete the requirements of this certificate during their pursuit of a DVM degree will acquire business acumen and skills needed to own and operate a veterinary practice.

General Information

Certificate Program Director: Dr. Dana Zimmel
Office Location: SAH 380
Office phone: 352-294-4379

Certificate Program Coordinator: Michelle Townsend
Office Location: SAH 379
Office Phone: 352-294-4378

Certificate Description

This certificate is designed to prepare veterinary students to become business owners. Through courses and clinical experiences students will obtain significant understanding of accounting, finances, human resources, operation management, marketing and communication skills.

Certificate Learning Outcomes: Veterinary students who complete the requirements for the Veterinary Business Management Certificate will:

  1. Identify and interpret veterinary medicine industry trends, career opportunities and develop an action plan for a career path.
  2. Describe, implement and assess the components of veterinary practice management that include finance, practice operations, human resources and marketing.
  3. Demonstrate essential business skills to manage a profitable and successful veterinary practice.

Certificate Requirements

Students must complete 10 required credit hours by successfully completing the following courses, externship and clerkship with a passing grade (S) or receiving a grade of 80 or higher during their 3rd and 4th years at the UF-College of Veterinary Medicine. Complete details can be found in the student handbook:


Course#, Title, Credits, When Offered, Short Description

VEM 5894, Veterinary Practice Management Clerkship, 2 credits, Variable
Course will evaluate successful business behaviors and successful business disciplines. Students will build their observational and diagnostic skills by interviewing hospital owners and reviewing their business practices.  This clerkship is generally offered two or three times during the summer semester and is open to seniors only.  Clerkship dates for Summer of 2014 are June 16-27, July 14-25, and July 28-Aug. 8.

VEM 5730, Practice Based Equine Clerkship, 2 credits, Variable
The purpose of this course is to provide students with on-farm, primary care experience with horses in physical examinations, diagnosis, treatment, herd health, routine surgery and practice management.      This clerkship is offered to juniors in their summer or fall semesters and seniors in the first rotation of their summer semester and throughout their spring semester.

VEM 5991, Student Individualized Investigation, OR VEM 5892 Special Project, 2 credits, Variable
Students will investigate one business related topic to test a hypothesis or answer a specific question. Upon completion, students will prepare a manuscript in the style of an appropriate medical or business journal and present the results in an oral or poster presentation. This requirement may be started at any time but students shall have selected an advisor and be engaged in the project during the summer after their junior year. The project (data collection), the writing of the data, and the presenting of the data will be completed before the fall semester of the senior year. Request for approval of project may be submitted any time prior to May 5, 2014 of the junior year.

VEM 5030, Entrepreneurship for Veterinarians (NEW), 2 credits, Fall
The goal of the course is to teach veterinary students the critical aspects of finance, operations, marketing and human resource management to prepare them for successful practice ownership.

VEM 5032, Veterinary Business and Professional Development, 1 credit, Spring
The goals of this course are to explore how personal financial obligations relate to career path planning and preparation, identify communication skills for managing clients successfully and review the process and components of financing a practice purchase.

VEM 5035, Veterinary Business Management, 1 credit, Fall
This introductory course reviews veterinary law, contracts and the basic components of veterinary practice management.

TOTAL = 10 credits  View Sample Timeline / Checklist


Admission and retention in the certificate program requires good academic standing as defined by the College of Veterinary Medicine Academic Advancement Committee. Courses employ a variety of assessments to evaluate academic progress. Requirements include passing courses, externship and clerkship with an “S” satisfactory mark or by receiving a grade of 80 or better by attending lectures and completing assigned papers and projects.

Extracurricular Activities

Students must be a member in good standing with the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA).