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Equine science college programs in Minnesota

Equine science is the study of horse management, health, disease, anatomy, nutrition, riding, training, and business practices. If you have plans to own a horse business, teach riding lessons, or train horses, this is a program that you should consider. Equine science programs give students the tools they will need to succeed in the horse industry and an opportunity to network with other students and professionals. Minnesota is home to three College Equine Programs. Programs are located at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities (U of M), University of Minnesota – Crookston (UMC) and Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC).

University of Minnesota—Twin Cities

Students can now study Equine Science at the U of M in St. Paul. The Animal Science Equine Option offers a great educational opportunity for students who want to obtain a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, and would also like to sub-specialize in the study of Equine Science. For students interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, the Animal Science program has a close relationship with the College of Veterinary Medicine, and advises a Pre-Veterinary Club that brings together students with similar career goals and helps them prepare for veterinary college admission. For more information contact Maria Hathaway at or visit the website.

University of Minnesota—Crookston

UMC offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in both Equine Science and Animal Science. In addition, within those degree programs, UMC offers an emphasis in Pre-Veterinarian studies. All students participating in the degree program are also required to complete an internship in the horse industry, one of the most vital components of the degree program. Participating in an internship gives the student an opportunity to make contact with established professionals in the equine business community. Additionally, UMC offers both Western and Hunt Seat equestrian riding teams that compete within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). For more information about the UMC Equine Science program please contact Nicky Overgaard at 218-281-8126 or or visit the website.

Rochester Community and Technical College

RCTC, located in Rochester, MN, has a new equine science associate program (about 2 years to complete), and the only equine program that offers certificates (which take about 1 year to complete). The degree majors at RCTC are Horse Husbandry, Riding and Training, and Equine Business Practices. These programs offers courses in western horsemanship, hunt seat equitation, colt starting, and internship programs. Students who wish to complete a 4-year equine science degree can take 2 years of classes at RCTC and transfer directly to UMC to complete the degree in four years. For more information contact Julie Christie at 507-398-2326 or or visit the website.

Minnesota State – Fergus Falls

M State Fergus Falls features hands-on equine courses. This diploma will give students the introductory skills necessary for careers in stable management, horse training, horse judging, riding instruction or other related occupations. In addition, this program can serve as a starting point for a bachelor degree program in equine science, a pre-veterinary program or a pre-veterinary technology program. Students in this program may also wish to use it as a foundation for a life-long equine learning experience as a horse owner/rider. Courses are taught at the M State Fergus Falls campus and at Red Horse Ranch Arena, a world-class training/boarding/events facility located six miles northeast of Fergus Falls. Students will have the opportunity to learn and practice their skills at a busy, private equine business facility. This gives M State Fergus Falls students a unique advantage when entering the job market since they will possess a diploma that reflects a combination of academic learning and real-life application. For more information contact Tom Prieve at or visit

U of M, UMC, and RCTC also offer equine students the opportunity to participate in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). The IHSA has a circuit of Hunt Seat and Western shows at various campuses in the Midwest throughout the school year. As a team, students travel to horse shows and compete against riders who are at a similar level. These riders build lifelong friendships and acquire priceless competition experience.

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