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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Equine Science

Majors Overview April 23, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in equine science and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Equine Science

Few schools in the United States, if any, offer master’s degree programs in equine science. However, some offer programs through agricultural science or animal science departments. They offer both non-thesis and thesis options. Typically, programs are offered in equine science, horse science, and equine nutrition, and students are required to select a concentration before they can seek admittance.

Students can choose from concentration options such as breeding, industry management, education, and physiology. Research methods, analytical thinking, and statistics are emphasized in the program coursework. Opportunities for interdisciplinary studies with other departments are also available in most schools, along with connections with community organizations; these include adult education and 4-H programs that give students summer teaching opportunities.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in equine science or a related animal science discipline. Students with strong science backgrounds may be allowed to enroll in some programs. Industry-related practical experience may be equated to an educational foundation in some other schools.

Coursework

Coursework is covered through a combination of field experiences, classroom lectures, and laboratory work. Core coursework that can vary by the area of focus or specialization may cover topic areas such as:

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

Career Choices

There are various employment prospects for those armed with a master’s degree in equine science; a graduate may choose from various career options:

•Education
•Ranching
•Horse training

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a decline of nineteen percent in job growth rate have been predicted for ranchers and breeders (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $69,300. At that time, animal trainers who are expected to see a fifteen percent growth over the 2012 – 2022 decade, earned an average annual wage of $19,970. Postsecondary teachers of agricultural science, expected to witness nineteen percent job growth over the said decade, brought home an average annual wage of $68,970 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the master’s degree program that seek veterinarian careers may earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree program, in addition to obtaining state licensure. Schools also offer Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Animal Science, Equine Medicine, or Equine Nutrition that could lead to careers in research or academia.

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