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Equine Studies Major (A.A.S.)

Program Overview

Students can build the necessary skills to enter the vast and multi-faceted equine industry by completing the Equine Studies Program. Employers are seeking equestrian employees who have academic credentials and certifications. By enrolling online, students are increasing their technology skills and meeting the needs of the ever-expanding equine industry. In recent years, the equine industry has embraced technology in the areas of equipment development, pedigree and breeding tracking, barn management applications, advertising, equine sales, and many more. These are exciting developments for our students! 

The equine program offers core courses to form a solid foundation in the basics of equine studies. Students may then select from two tracks to specifically tailor the program to their needs and interests. The two tracks include Commercial Equine Business Management and Equine Studies.

The Commercial Equine Business Management track focuses on students seeking self-employment as well as traditional employment. Students will develop equine business skills in the areas of leadership, law, non-profit development, employee relationships, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, business communications, facility management, event management, as well as sound business practices. Basic business skills are essential for a successful career in the equine industry. The Commercial Equine Business Management Track is well-rounded and includes computer, accounting, business, communications, and psychology courses. There are many employment opportunities for students completing the Commercial Equine Business Management Track.

The Equine Studies track focuses on student skill development in the areas of equine welfare, health and care, farm management, riding, riding instruction, equine assisted activities, and business. Core courses are offered to assist the student in building a solid foundation in the basics of equine studies.  

Students can turn their passion into a career by completing the Equine Studies degree. Students will enjoy the convenience of online courses while choosing their geographic location. The online format allows students to tailor their experiences to the areas of the equine industry they want to explore. Concentrations of horses, disciplines, sport, and recreation vary throughout regions of the world. The equine industry is global, and the online degree program supports students wherever they are.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the equine studies major, students will be able to:

  • Trace the history and evolution of the horse and its contributions to mankind.
  • Understand and evaluate equine behaviors and reactions while learning how to respond and handle them accordingly.
  • Demonstrate understanding of training techniques through experiential learning.
  • Understand career opportunities for equine professionals.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of equine anatomy, physiology, health and care, including becoming proficient in identifying and assessing issues that require urgent, veterinary care.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills required to operate an equine facility through experiential learning labs, including an understanding of business and legal requirements.
  • Identify and evaluate distinguishing and breed characteristics of the top 10 U.S. breeds.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in various riding techniques and the ability to teach riding to others.
  • Understand therapeutic horsemanship techniques and demonstrate knowledge of equine assisted activities.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy

No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission

No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

The positions our graduates will be prepared to pursue will vary with the track the student chooses. Potential positions are stable manager, farm manager, riding instructor, equine secretary or records manager, equine sales and marketing agent, horse trainer or assistant trainer, equine journalist, horse show or event manager, horse show judge, national breed association representative, and equine photographer or artist.

A study of the current equine industry reveals the following information provided by the American Horse Council:

  • There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
  • There are 4.6 million Americans involved in the horse industry (this figure does not include spectators).
  • The horse industry has a $39 billion direct impact on the United States annually.
  • The industry has a $102 billion impact on the United States economy.

Academic Catalog

The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
Academic Catalog

Program Details

Associate in Applied Science


Administrative Contact

Kelly Hall, director of equine studies/contact person