Master of Science in Horse Science
The Master of Science in Horse Science program centers on a curriculum designed to prepare graduates for the multifaceted equine industry. Programs are tailored to students’ interests and produce graduates able to adapt to and thrive in this dynamic field. Horse Science faculty mentor students in curriculum development and provide training in scientific methods, principles of equine student education and instruction, and general industry practices. All MS degree candidates share a common core of coursework in statistics, research methods, and multiple disciplines within Horse Science and Animal Science. In addition, a significant number of elective credit hours are available, permitting each student to customize his or her individual program by taking courses offered in other departments. This interdisciplinary approach strengthens training in specific areas of interest and career trajectories.
Students may choose one of three concentrations: Equine Physiology, Industry Management, or Equine Education. The Equine Physiology concentration emphasizes a science-based curriculum structured to build knowledge and apply scientific principles to a thesis research project in horse science, thus preparing students for admission into any animal- or equine-science PhD program in the US. The Equine Physiology concentration requires graduate coursework in biochemistry, endocrinology and physiology, so a strong undergraduate record in chemistry and biology is critical. In the Industry Management concentration, students complete interdisciplinary courses in business management, marketing, and/or sports management in order to tailor their curriculum for a specific horse industry career. Students enrolled in the Equine Education concentration take interdisciplinary courses in coaching and sports management to strengthen their knowledge in areas that will support them as a collegiate riding instructor, equestrian team coach, judging team coach, or as an agent for the Cooperative Extension Service.
Students choosing a concentration in Equine Physiology are required to complete a traditional, research-based thesis, while students in Industry Management or Equine Education may choose either a traditional thesis or a more contemporary non-thesis equine experiential learning option.
Applicant Selection Procedure
The first phase is objective. The Horse Science Graduate Selection Committee evaluates academic transcripts to for overall GPA and completion of at least 12 credits of upper-division, horse science and/or animal science undergraduate courses with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Each applicant’s GRE or MAT scores are evaluated, and letters of recommendation are reviewed. The first phase will not begin until applicants have submitted all required portions of their application to the College of Graduate Studies. Admission is not guaranteed by meeting minimal admission requirements. Students are selected from a qualified pool of qualified applicants.
The second phase involves an evaluation of non-academic attributes of individuals selected only after completion of the first phase. This includes a personal interview with the Horse Science Graduate Selection Committee. Travel to and from the personal interview is done at the applicant’s expense. Not all applicants are invited for the personal interview. Characteristics evaluated during the personal interview include, but are not limited to, motivation, maturity, leadership potential, personal qualities, experience with horses, knowledge of the horse industry, professionalism, long-term goals, and potential fit in our MS Horse Science program.
A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are available for MS in Horse Science students. Stipends for Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Research Assistants are determined by the College of Graduate Studies based on a review of market factors and the availability of funds. Stipends awarded through external funds such as grants may vary in amount from other assistantships awarded by the university.
All applicants to the MS in Horse Science program meeting the minimum GPA qualification of 3.00 will be considered for Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Graduate Teaching Assistant positions are very limited and are awarded on a competitive basis, at either a full or half level. These assistantships include partial or full payment of tuition and some (but not all) fees, and a monthly stipend. GTA assignments are provided for both Fall and Spring semesters. Once awarded a GTA position, it is renewable each semester unless a GTA fails to meet expectations.
The Office of Financial Aid provides financial assistance to qualified students. Results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are required before eligibility can be determined for financial aid programs.
David Whitaker, PhD
Anne Brzezicki, MS
John Haffner, DVM
Holly Spooner, PhD, PAS