Equine Science Master's Degree Program Information

Master's degree students who want to focus on horses in their study can pursue a degree in animal or agricultural science with a concentration in equine science or enroll in one of the few U.S. programs that focuses specifically on equine science.

Essential Information

An equine science education encompasses equine physiology, nutrition, reproduction, genetics and facility management. Some programs are connected with community organizations, such as 4-H and adult education programs, through which students have opportunities to teach during the summer.

Prerequisites include a bachelor's degree in equine science or a related animal science subject. Program concentrations include physiology, equine industry management, breeding and nutrition. Horseback riding teams and programs may be available in some degree programs.

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Master's Degree in Equine Science

Master's degree programs in equine science generally provide interdisciplinary studies with other departments, with thesis and non-thesis options available. Courses are taught in a laboratory, the classroom and in the field, and emphasize analytical thinking and research. Depending on the area of specialization or focus, topics may include:

  • Equine facility and event management
  • Competition coaching
  • Equine reproductive systems
  • Equine genetics and breeding
  • Forage issues and management
  • Equine exercise and advanced nutrition

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

There are several employment prospects for those with a master's degree in equine science, including ranching, horse training and academics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that salaries for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers averaged $69,880 in May 2015, but employment opportunities are projected to decline 2% from 2014-2024.

The BLS also notes that the average annual salary for animal trainers was $33,600 in May 2015, with an employment growth rate of 11% from 2014-2024. Opportunities for postsecondary teachers of agricultural science were expected to increase 6% between 2014 and 2024, with an average yearly salary of $95,280 reported for May 2015.

Continuing Education

Graduates who are interested in a veterinarian career may consider a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree program as well as state licensure. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in equine nutrition, equine medicine or animal science are also available for students pursuing research or academic careers in equine science.

Master's degree programs in equine science cover courses ranging from equine reproduction and genetics to competition coaching and equine event management. Graduates can pursue employment opportunities in animal training, breeding and agricultural science teaching, as well as go on to Ph.D. programs in animal science or veterinary medicine.

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