Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Equine Studies Overview

Are you ready to turn your love of horses into a rewarding career? The Mari Hulman George School of Equine Studies at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College prepares students to meet the challenges of an expanding equine industry. As an equine studies major, you will experience a solid academic foundation for your career by choosing from four equine concentrations. With your professional advisors helping you along the way, you can mix and match majors and minors to get the perfect degree tailored to you and your career aspirations. Plus, you’ll graduate with a strong foundation in liberal arts.

Our curriculum lets you choose from several concentrations in order to help you get the exact experience you want, along with plenty of minor programs as well!

Major curriculum – 36-40 credit hours

Associate curriculum – 31 credit hours

Minor curriculum – 22 credit hours


Equine Business Management

Equine Business Management is essential for students wishing to own or work in an equine-related business. In addition to horse care, you will focus on business management skills, including business plans, marketing strategies, financial and legal initiative, management and professional development.

Equine Training and Instruction

Equine Training and Instruction prepares students for a rewarding career teaching equitation and for those interested in working as a professional instructor in the Western and Hunt Seat disciplines. While the primary emphasis is on training the instructor, students may also avail themselves of various courses designed to develop the foundational skills in training and schooling horses in various disciplines.

Equine Science

Equine Science educates students in the scientific aspects of the equine industry. Students can pursue various careers such as veterinary technology, pharmaceuticals, nutrition, breeding management and barn management. This concentration will also prepare students for graduate school in the science-related industries.

Equine Communication

Equine Communication prepares students to enter fields of journalism, photography, mass/digital media, advertising or public relations as they relate to an equestrian career. Courses include digital imaging, digital video and audio production, photography, advertising, professional writing and public speaking.


Consider one of these minors if you want to combine equine with another career field.

Equine Studies

Equine Studies provides courses in general equine health, stable management, equine nutrition and feeding and equine operations.

Equine Science

Equine Science minor provides a foundation for the pre-veterinary student wishing to specialize in equine practice.

Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine Assisted Therapy combines elements of education, mental health and organizational leadership. This helping profession minor is applicable to a wide variety of careers in health and human services.

Equine Breeding Management

Equine Breeding Management will teach you the basics of equine nutrition, genetics and endocrinology. You will also learn about equine reproductive physiology, equine-assisted reproductive technologies and artificial insemination.

Equine Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding is an equine activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation and leisure.


What is equine studies?
Equine studies prepares individuals to manage the selection, breeding, care and maintenance of horses that are work, athletic and show horses. It also highlights how to manage horse farms, stables and related equipment and operations.

Why get a degree in equine studies?
You can turn your passion for horses into a career to become a barn manager, trainer, riding instructor, professional groom, equine salesperson or work at horse show barns or racetrack barns.

What can you do with a degree in equine studies?
There are many career opportunities for graduates with an equine studies degree.

  • Barn Hand
  • Breeding Manager
  • Cooperative Extension Agent
  • Equestrian Event Planner
  • Exercise Rider
  • Horse Care Technician
  • Horse Trainer
  • Program Director
  • Reproduction Specialist
  • Stable Manager

Check out our blog: 10 careers you can have with an equine studies degree

What is the average annual salary of someone with an equine studies degree?
As you look at starting salaries, keep in mind that the cost of living and opportunities to move with a career or industry sector should also factor into your decision. According to ZipRecruiter, in 2023, the average annual salary for a person with an equine studies degree is $52,459 a year.

What support and resources are provided at SMWC?
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides exceptional, personalized learning resource services to encourage student success. The LRC offers help with a range of academic support services, including a writing center, tutoring, college success courses and more.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is routinely ranked by US News and World Report among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and the Best Value Schools. Our departments are also routinely ranked for their individual degree programs.
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