If you have an aspiring vet, they’ll likely be filling their academic schedules with science, science, and more science, but don’t forget that animal lovers want to study animals too! These courses are worth high school credit for homeschoolers (not college credit) and can be taken by any student of any age. None of these require placement tests or transcripts!
A word about certificates: In my opinion, non-credit certificates will have very limited utility. To be clear- these are not worth college credit. Since homeschooling parents can award high school credit for any learning, it’s totally up to you. For all of the Coursera courses below, your teen’s experience in the classes is exactly the same whether or not you buy the certificate… but, if your teen is motivated by certificates and awards or wants to add a little something to their young resume, these these offer a really great opportunity to print and frame.
A word about high school credit: The hours posted below is only a guideline. Since the courses are self-paced, your student may complete the course faster or slower than the range posted. If your student works quickly, you may wish to enhance their experience by adding in a research paper, PowerPoint presentation, speech, persuasive article for a blog, or even a visit to meet with a local professional. Without question, if your student completes all of the courses on this page you should confidently award 1-2 high school credits in Animal Science. The individual course credit suggestions following each course are entirely at your discretion.
University of Boulder Colorado: Animals in Society
This is a 3-course specialization offered by the University of Boulder Colorado and Coursera. The courses are FREE but if you want the printable certificate, you’ll have to pay.
This specialization is ideal for individuals employed in animal welfare including animal sheltering, veterinary medicine, trainers, rehabilitators, and animal control officers. This specialization is also excellent for learners interested in deepening their knowledge of how individuals and society treat and regard animals, from the common house pet to livestock, animals held in captivity, and animals in the wild.
Courses are self paced, but estimated amount of time to completion is included as a guideline. You’ll need to allow more time for students who complete all the extra activities, quizzes, and reading.
There are 3 Courses in this Specialization (take one or all)
COURSE 1: Animals, Self, and Society (5-10 hours)
COURSE 2: Animals and Institutions (5-10 hours)
COURSE 3: The Changing Status and Perception of Animals (5-10 hours)
Suggestion for high school transcript: 0.25 cr., Animals in Society, elective credit
EDIVET: Do you have what it takes to be a veterinarian?
This course is for anyone interested in learning more about Veterinary Medicine, giving a “taster” of courses covered in the first year of a veterinary degree and an idea of what it is like to study Veterinary Medicine.
This course takes approximately 9-12 hours to complete. (enrich this experience with the 3 United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook links for additional research and comparison for finding the right kind of vet work that is the best fit!)
Suggestion for high school transcript: 0.25 cr., Career Exploration, elective credit
1. What do Vet Techs do?
Get the real information from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
2. How to become a Veterinarian
Get the real information from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.
3. Animal Care and Service Worker
Get real information from the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
Duke University: Dog Emotion and Cognition
Dog Emotion and Cognition will introduce you to the exciting new study of dog psychology, what the latest discoveries tell us about how dogs think and feel about us, and how we can use this new knowledge to further strengthen our relationship with our best friends.
Time to completion: 20-40 hours
Suggestion for high school transcript: 0.25 cr., Animal Psychology, elective credit
University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Equine Welfare
This unique course was developed by veterinarians at the world-renowned University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The course will address horsemanship from a welfare perspective, within the context of “The Five Freedoms” of animal welfare. We’ll explore equine physiology, behavior and basic needs including housing, nutrition, hygiene and disease management. You’ll learn how to perform basic tasks to assess the overall condition of the horse and identify problem areas. We’ll also examine the specialized needs of the equine athlete and the major responsibilities we as owners, handlers or competitors must assume in order to ensure the health and welfare of our equine companions. Finally, we’ll look several special topics in equine welfare including disaster planning and the international welfare efforts now in place to protect working horses and other equids in key industries such as racing, international competition, tourism and even mining. By the conclusion of the course, you will be well equipped to develop a comprehensive welfare plan for any horses in your care.
Time to completion: 20-40 hours
Suggestion for high school transcript: 0.50 cr., Equine Welfare, elective credit