Equestrian Majors and Colleges

Equestrian bachelor's degree programs may be focused on equine veterinary science, equine management or horsemanship. Find out more about available degree programs, common coursework and potential equestrian careers by reading on. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A course of study in equestrian science can begin with an associate's degree, but several schools offer programs up to a doctorate. Classes in may range from horsemanship to genetics and can go towards a degree and career in the veterinary sciences, horse management or riding instruction.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs
Classes Equine management, industry laws, horsemanship, genetics and breeding
Colleges Schools tend to be in rural settings to facilitate stables and riding areas

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Colleges Offer Equestrian Programs?

There are more than 50 universities, community colleges and technical schools around the country that offer programs in equestrian or equine studies. These are universities with access to facilities such as barns, stables and horse riding arenas, so they are typically located away from large cities. Some of these universities only offer certificates or associate's degrees in the subject, but most also offer a bachelor's degree. Although you may find an associate's degree or certificate program that includes online courses, most bachelor's degree programs require in-class instruction because of the hands-on nature of the field.

Here's a brief list of schools to consider for your major:

  • West Texas A&M University (Canyon)
  • Murray State University (KY)
  • Becker College (Worchester, MA)
  • SUNY Cobleskill (NY)
  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (IN)
  • University of South Carolina (Aiken)
  • Ohio University (Athens)
  • William Woods University (Fulton, MO)

What Majors Are Available?

There are a variety of bachelor's degrees available in the field of equestrian studies. Some are more scientific, with a focus on equine biology and veterinary studies; others focus on the business and management aspects of owning and breeding horses, while still others are geared toward helping future horse trainers or instructors. Typical degree titles can include: Bachelor of Science in Natural Horsemanship, Equine Management, Veterinary Science or Equine Studies

What Will I Study?

In equestrian degree programs, you will study many aspects of horse management, including equine behavior and facilities upkeep. Programs with a focus on the business of equine management will include courses in general areas such as finance and accounting. These topics could also be discussed:

  • Horse judging
  • Facilities design
  • Farm administration
  • Equine lameness
  • Equine nutrition

What Additional Topics Can I Study?

For additional hands-on experience, you may complete a professional internship or participate in the school's equestrian riding and show team. Other course topics can include natural horsemanship and equine industry laws. You may find some of these courses as well:

  • Breeding
  • Genetics
  • First aid
  • Horse care
  • Ethics

What Careers Can I Pursue?

With a degree in equine or equestrian studies, you can pursue a variety of careers in the equine industry, such as becoming a horse breeder, barn manager or horse specialist. If you have a good deal of experience riding and showing horses, you may want to consider pursuing a career as a mounted guide or riding instructor. If you have a passion for veterinary science, you may want to use your equestrian major to apply to graduate school to become a specialized veterinarian. You may also consider starting your own equestrian business.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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