Purdue University Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security

Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine presents a Graduate Certificate Program in Veterinary Homeland Security. APHIS has declared the curriculum in compliance with National Animal Health Emergency Management System (NAHEMS) Guidelines. The Veterinary Homeland Security Graduate Certificate Program is designed to meet the needs of individuals involved in animal emergency response. Individuals actively involved with emergency response teams relating to veterinary medicine, public health or homeland security are encouraged to participate.

The underlying fundamentals of responding to animal health emergencies, whether intentional or natural events, will be covered in required courses. Elective courses will allow participants to develop a specialty in a specific area of Veterinary Homeland Security. In this way, the program of study can be tailored to meet individual needs.

The program is a cooperative effort among the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Indiana Board of Animal Health, the Indiana State Police, and many others. Currently, there is a significant shortage of veterinarians to serve our nation's future needs in public health, regulatory medicine and food animal medicine. The provision of remotely accessible, quality training for existing veterinary professionals and other qualified individuals by this program would provide an immediate means of addressing the current shortage.

Specifically, participants would:

  • Enhance understanding of natural and intentional threats to animal health;
  • Strengthen skills to prevent animal health emergencies;
  • Develop problem solving expertise to be an effective member of an animal emergency response team.

For a listing of courses please see: Current Courses

Course Curriculum

Courses will be delivered by distance learning. Students can access course material on the Purdue's Blackboard website. An average grade of B or higher overall is required. If the student receives a lower grade in a course, he/she may repeat it once, or, for elective courses only, substitute another approved elective. The repetition or replacement will be allowed for a maximum of one course. 
A total of 9 credit hours is required to complete the program.

All courses are 1.0 credit unless noted.
* 0.5 Credit Course
† 1.5 Credit Course

Required (4.5 Credits)

  • VCS 640: Introduction to Veterinary Homeland Security
  • VCS 647: High Consequence Disease Review: Zoonotic
  • * VCS 648: Defining the Threat
  • * VCS 649: Understanding the Response
  • VCS 651: Biosecurity for Veterinary Responders
  • * VCS 653: The Veterinarian's Role in Community Planning

Electives (4.5 Credits)

  • VCS 642: High Consequence Disease Review: Bovine
  • VCS 643: High Consequence Disease Review: Equine
  • * VCS 644: High Consequence Disease Review: Swine
  • VCS 645: High Consequence Disease Review: Minor Species
  • † VCS 646: High Consequence Disease Review: Avian
  • VCS 654: Food Borne Illness
  • VCS 657: Crime Scene Management
  • * VCS 659: Business Continuity Management

Application Process

We are no longer accepting applications.

Common FAQ's for Current Students

What are additional fees for the courses? 
Fees for the Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Summer 2015 sessions are:
Indiana residents: $347.85 per one credit course,
Non-Indiana residents: $512.38 per one credit course. 
Each one credit course will cover 15 hours of continuing education credit.

What is the structure/layout of the courses? 
Lectures are administered online and will be available 24 hours a day. 
Each lecture will be available in video, audio, and transcript forms.

How are exams administered? 
Exams are available online or on paper. Each exam is to be administered according to the university proctoring guidelines. The proctor must meet the guidelines below and must be selected from the categories listed. The proctor my not be related in any way to the student, may not live in the same residence, and may not be a close friend or neighbor.


  1. Hold a professional position or responsible supervisory position of employment
  2. Have at least one college degree
  3. Be willing to sign a certificate of compliance


  1. Military testing, training, or education officer
  2. Military commander or two ranks above student
  3. Community or area Learning Center staff
  4. Training/testing agency staff
  5. College/school/institute education staff, including Cooperative Extension staff
  6. Human Resources staff
  7. Workplace supervisor at least two levels above student
  8. Library staff
  9. Ordained clergy
  10. Law enforcement training or education office
  11. Correctional institution educational or administration officer

Additional program guidelines can be found here.

Other Questions?

Contact us at:
Phone: 765-494-9798
Fax: 765-496-3332
Email: nbrc@purdue.edu

Veterinary Professionals 

The Gray Book

ISU Animal DiseaseOIE

Supported By

Pork Trucker Quality Assurance
Indiana Board of Animal Health

Pork Checkoff

American Veterinary Medical Foundation

Hugh & Mair Lewis Fund for Biomedical Information Resources

Purdue University Discovery Park

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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