Contemporary Animal Services Pathways

Signing of SUU and BFAS Partnership

To our contemporary animal service friends, we welcome you to Southern Utah University and the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Program! We offer a graduate emphasis in Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL) through our Master of Interdisciplinary Studies Degree. A first ever in the nation!

We are so excited to partner with Best Friends Animal Society, and our University Community & Workforce Development Office to bring you several contemporary services leadership educational pathways for those either in the contemporary animal service field, or those wanting to be in it.

Four Learning Pathways

Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification (BFELC)
  • A vetted leadership training program run by BFAS.
  • BFELC graduates can earn six (6) SUU graduate credits and apply them toward the MIS degree under the Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL) emphasis.**
  • If you were selected by BFAS to be in their BFELC, apply through Southern Utah University's Community and Workforce Development Office to learn how to earn your 6-graduate credits and apply them toward the MIS degree.
Best Friends Professional Development Symposium
Principles of Contemporary Animal Leadership (POCAS)
Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MIS) Emphasis in Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL)

You can earn 9-18 graduate credits in contemporary animal services leadership (CASL). See coursework below. The first track is for those not in the Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification. The second track is for those who are graduates of the BFELC.

**Note: Only nine (9) 5000-level graduate credits can be applied to the MIS degree.

Visit the SUU Catalog for information about classes and block requirements.

Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL) - 18 credits
  • Students are able to complete this learning block in place of two 9-credit learning blocks.
Contemporary Animal Services Leadership (CASL) - ELC Graduates - 9 credits
  • For Best Friends Animal Society Executive Leadership Certification (ELC) program graduates.

To enroll in the MIS degree with CASL emphasis, contact MIS Program Enrollment Advisor, Jackson Riedlinger at or (435) 865-8659, or simply complete the online MIS Application.