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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Equine General Studies

bachelors in equine studies.

Combine your love of horses with your passion for _________.

You know you want to work in the equestrian industry but you have other interests as well — maybe it’s art, business or communications. The William Woods University Bachelor of Equine General Studies degree program prepares you for many ‘behind-the-scenes’ opportunities. There is fundraising, organizing, promotion and purchasing. There is therapy, leadership, media and art. This bachelor’s degree helps you pursue your dream vocation, while specializing in the industry you love. Whether you want to ride, write, photograph, manage, create art or any other, the equine general studies major will put you on course to pursuing your dream.

Pursue concentrations in Art, Equestrian Leadership, or Equestrian Studies. Start one morning in entrepreneurship class and finish the day with a sunset ride from the applied riding ring. This major is also designed so you can expand with a second major, and it’s customizable to help you achieve your personal career goals.

Skills you will learn include:

  • The ability to communicate effectively through social media and other marketing platforms
  • The ability to understand issues in the horse industry from both the livestock and companion animal viewpoint
  • Knowledge of current political issues involving the horse
  • Skills to excel at communicating with clientele, professionals and peers
  • The exceptional ability to problem solve and think creatively
  • The specific skills and techniques required in each selected concentration

Extracurricular learning:


Get involved with other students who share your interests. Join a publication and pursue your passion — whether it’s graphic design or photography. Or start working with equine assisted therapies right on campus. We also have five equestrian organizations on campus, open to all students, regardless of major. There is a club for each seat: Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat, and Western.


William Woods participates in a number of national and international horse shows each year, in which all students are invited to participate. Showing at these events teaches poise, sportsmanship and responsibility and provides opportunities to come in contact with prospective employers. Shows range from local schooling shows to “A” rated national shows such as:

  • The American Royal in Kansas City
  • The St. Louis National Charity Horse Show
  • The Morgan Grand Nationals
  • Color Breed Congress
  • Pinto World Championships
  • Sport Horse Nationals
  • The Central State Regional Dressage Finals

We also host a variety of shows on campus throughout the year.

Equestrian Clinics and seminars

In addition to instruction from our own nationally renowned faculty members, you will learn from top industry professionals in various clinics and seminars. Clinicians include Smith Lilly, Richard Shrake, Ann Judge, Jeff Cook, Melanie Smith-Taylor, Betsy Steiner, and Pierre St. Jacque.

Regional, national, and international field trips

Field trips include visits to area professional horse training facilities, the Veterinary School at the University of Missouri, horse shows, and museums. Special courses have given students the opportunity to tour show horse barns in Kentucky and Missouri, ride with professional horse trainers in Oregon and Hawaii, and tour and ride in famous horse facilities in England and France. Faculty have taken students to volunteer at horse shows including the U.S. Dressage Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park.


On-campus equestrian facilities: an optimal learning environment

  • 150 show-quality horses
  • Four heated barns with a total of 150 box stalls
  • Eight tack rooms
  • Two heated indoor arenas
  • Lighted outdoor ring
  • Outdoor round pen
  • Four turnout paddocks
  • Two fully equipped, technology-enhanced classrooms
  • 40-acre cross-country course
  • Six wash stalls
  • USEF regulation jumps
  • USEF regulation Dressage area
  • Student lockers and laundry

Few educational institutions can match William Woods University for its on-campus equine facilities that accommodate riding, care and study at all levels and seats. Our classrooms include an extensive video library and viewing equipment, and our dedicated library includes more than 1,000 books on all aspects of the field, from history and physiology to behavior, training, law, and competition. Our more than 150 horses represent the most popular breeds and are cared for by William Woods students and our full-time, on-site veterinarian.

The Center for Equine Medicine

Our large, modern equestrian complex that will provide you with an excellent educational experience in both classroom and the field.

The center includes:

  • A full-time doctor of veterinary medicine who has an extensive background in sports medicine, reproduction as well as general equine medicine and surgery
  • A 17-acre property located within blocks of the university — ideally suited for continued equine research and care
  • A facility that includes classroom space, a large indoor riding facility, six horse stalls, an isolation area for ill and contagious horses and a home for the veterinarian and his family, which allows him to be on-site in case of emergency
  • The unique opportunity to participate in a hands-on classroom environment that will enhance your education, including the opportunity to assist with emergency care and treatment, perform research and gain hands-on clinical experience

Our Equine General Studies degree at work

The list of opportunities within equine industries and business organizations is endless.

Trot, canter or gallop into a rewarding career as a:

  • Equine journalist
  • Equine assisted therapy instructor
  • Equine assisted therapy facility owner/manager
  • Equine photographer
  • Equine artist
  • Equine rescue manager/owner
  • Breed Association employee
  • Equine Non-Profit employee/manager
  • Graphic designer (equine publication)
  • And more
  • Or, pursue graduate school in equestrian education, business and more

Recent Employers

Our students are highly sought after by distinguished employers across the country, including:

Equestrian Employer Logos

Other employers of our recent alumni include:

  • Appaloosa Horse Club
  • Kirkwood Community College
  • Virginia Intermont
  • Sweetbriar College
  • United States Dressage Federation
  • Chronicle of the Horse
  • Betsy Steiner Dressage
  • Lyndon Rife Dressage
  • Liz Austin Dressage
  • SmartPak
  • Golden Horseshoe Tack Store
  • University of WI - River Falls
  • American Quarter Horse Association
  • Pony of the Americas
  • American Saddlebred Association
  • La Cense Montana Professional School of Horsemanship
  • Howard Schatzberg Photography
  • Castle Forbes Stud, County Longford, Ireland
  • County Line Equine Practice
  • The American Saddlebred Museum
  • St. Louis Carriage Company
  • Kansas City Carriages, Kansas City, MO
  • American Royal Museum & Visitors Center
  • Miller & Associates, Equine Veterinarians, Brewster, NY
  • The Blood Horse
  • Stephens College, Equestrian Studies
  • Kirkwood Community College, Equine Science
  • Virginia Intermont College
  • Tina M. Konyot Dressage
  • Sidelines Magazine (Art Director/Assistant Production Manager - Alex Moritz-Long)
  • Bruce Davidson 1976 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Eventing
  • Jan Ebeling, The Acres Dressage
  • Peeper Ranch, Lenexa, KS
  • The National Horseman Magazine
  • Menlo Circus Club Stables, Menlo, CA
  • Arabian Horse Times
  • Robert Battaglia Arabian Horses
  • Murray State University, Equine Science, Murray, KY
  • Equine Medical Services

Alumni Perspectives

I feel that my proudest moments are when I see our graduates working in the industry. I think that my role has played out well, that of being a springboard for our students to be able to be successful.

— Jean Krause, Professor, Equestrian Studies

The sky’s the limit. This place will put you in touch with people you should know.

— Jennifer Petterson, Division Chair, Equestrian Studies

There’s no finish line. You just keep learning and getting better for the rest of your life.

— Gayle Lampe, Professor Emeritus, Equestrian Studies


The Bachelor of Science in Equine General Studies degree at William Woods University consists of 122 distinct credit hours for graduation—including 23 core major credits, 6-10 required elective credits, and a 15-20 credit concentration in Art, Equestrian Leadership, Equestrian Studies, Equine Media, or Equine Assisted Therapies.

Courses you may take

EQA 312 - Equestrian Communication - 3.00

Students will evaluate and develop a variety of communication techniques for the equine industry. The course includes exposure to innovative communication methods in the field. Prerequisite: ENG102

EQU 101 - Equestrian First Year Seminar - 1.00

Students will explore the equestrian majors and minors offered at WWU as they relate to employment, graduate school, and other career goals. Developing an equestrian program plan will be a focus of the course with emphasis on identifying suitable careers for each program. An introduction to the required proficiency test sequence and senior portfolio will be presented.

EQU 111 - Introduction to the Horse Industry - 3.00

This course is an introduction to equestrians and horse organizations and their objectives including the extent of horse sport on the national and international level. The role of the horse in today’s society will be explored. The four WWU disciplines of Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Saddle Seat and Western along with their respective practices will be surveyed. Points concerning horse behavior, care of the domesticated horse, developing a professional lexicon and the importance of proper fitting and uses of basic tack will be covered. The course will also explore employment opportunities and practices in the industry.

EQU 117 - Theory of Performance Hrs Hlth Mgmt - 3.00

Students will explore management and treatment protocols for performance horses. Identification and administration methods and dosage for equine drugs and medications associated with the competition or working horse will also be addressed. Equine infectious diseases, injuries, illnesses and complications are a primary focus of the course.

EQU 118 - Theory Prfrmnc Horse Hlth Mngmt II - 3.00

Students will further explore more elements of practical management skills, the normal horse, health issues, lameness, drugs and medications and competitive drug rules. Prerequisite: EQU117

EQU 202 - Foundations of Equestrian Teaching and Learning - 2.00

This course is a comprehensive overview and introduction to teaching methods and learning styles as they apply to an equestrian program and learning environment.

EQU 206 - Introduction to Equine Entrepreneurship - 3.00

Students will explore the many opportunities within the equestrian world for a start-up business. They will learn how to research and collect the data and then turn that into a plan for a startup business focusing on organization, management and the financial requirements.

EQU 221 - Stable Management - 3.00

This course focuses on the design and management of safe working equestrian facilities that provide healthy environments for horses and their caretakers. Topics include the behavioral needs of horses and how they influence management methods as well as the design and maintenance of stables and layouts of complete equestrian facilities. Developing management routines for all aspects of the care of the stabled/pastured horse. Identifying skills needed for dealing with machinery, animal waste, emergencies and security. Evaluation of record keeping, hiring of competent employees, and the importance of professionalism in all aspects of your management methods including the working relationship needed with skilled professionals such as your farrier/veterinarian. Prerequisite - EQU111 (or EQU 112) , EQU 113 and EQU 118

EQU 403 - Equestrian Senior Seminar - 3.00

Students will engage in the application of the skills and techniques acquired through their equestrian program in a seminar format. Analysis of the industry, characteristics for successful employment and strategies for advancing in the field are a focus of the course. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the proficiency examinations for all declared Equestrian majors

EQU 415 - Equestrian Senior Portfolio - 1.00

Students will complete their required EQA, EQS, and EQGS portfolio during the class. Reflective writing and a through understanding of program objectives for the equestrian studies major are a focus of this course. Corequisites: EQU403


Admissions Information

Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements, deadlines, tuition and financial aid available to you.

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