Looking for colleges with Equine/Equestrian Majors for my D24 [AK resident, 4.0, 33, 1380, <$40k]


  • US domestic (US citizen

  • State/Location of residency: AK

  • Type of high school *: Large public but taking a vet assisting class at the vo-tech school

Intended Major(s) Equine science or something closely related (but not equine therapy)

GPA, Rank, and Test Scores

  • Unweighted HS GPA: 4.0
  • Weighted HS GPA (incl. weighting system): 4.17
  • Class Rank: 29/417
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 33/1380


Taking a mix of AP and IB classes. In her senior year she is just starting IB Chem and IB Bio which are 2 year courses. She plans to take the AP exams for those in the spring. Will take IB exams for English and history, took AP Calc A/B but is “done” with math. Doing a vet assisting internship and will take the certification exam for that thru her class.


Competes hunter/jumper in local horse shows and in IEA shows in Washington. Works at the barn where she takes lessons cleaning stalls and assisting with lessons.
Officer in NHS.

Should get decent LORs

Cost Constraints / Budget
below $40k per year after merit aid is applied (won’t qualify for financial aid)

She wants a school bigger than 2000 students but not so big that they they have their own fire department (like Purdue does!).

Interested in University of Findlay (Ohio), Delaware Valley
University, University of Kentucky, University of New Hampshire, and Colorado State. University of Findlay is the only one she has visited so far. Doesn’t have the fine arts classes to apply to CA schools.

And, she is interested in Hartpury University in Gloucester, UK for their Equine Performance and Rehabilitation major.

Would like to compete on the college equestrian team (most likely IHSA—she doesn’t have her own horse).

She says she isn’t interested in vet school, but I’m hoping she’ll keep that option open.

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If you google niche plus equine studies, a list pops up. Doesn’t let you post. You can then double check each school to ensure it has the major. They have huge but less than as well. In order by rank

Texas A&M - huge

Michigan State - huge

OK State - large

Mizzou - large

Kansas State - large but not huge. Lots of positive love on college confidential

Kentucky - large

Colorado State - large

Ohio U - large

UNH - a tad smaller but sizable

N Dakota State - a tad smaller but sizable

Utah State - large

Missouri State - large

First two that came to my mind - Col State and Kentucky.

With her stats, you will get under $40k at some of these but maybe not everywhere so find NPCs, scholarship estimators, or google cost of attendance + school and then merit aid plus school. Kansas State for you and many more I listed above.

Here’s another thought - with the 4.0, Arizona will cost you $25k ish. I googled equine studies and up came animal studies with an equine emphasis. So google animal studies and schools like Mizzou, Alabama, miss State, Ole Miss, Truman State, Murray State. Iowa State. All these would be under $40k. You can find a search with even more schools…

Finally check WUE - I selected animal sciences and a bunch came up including Idaho, Oregon state, Washington state, Wyoming and more. You can check each program for an equine focus.

They also list equine studies and in addition to Col State and N Dakota State mentioned earlier, it lists Southern Utah (13k students) and U of Montana Western which is too small.

Lots of options and lots of safeties unless these programs are impacted. You’ll have no issue finding a great budget choice.

Edit - looks like Miami Ohio has a major too; lots of merit for her and I know they have an equestrian program I believe open to all.



Do you need to have a D1 team or is an IHSA club team sufficient?

With her stats, she would likely qualify for the WUE scholarship at Oregon State University, which would bring it in budget. They have an Animal Science, Equine Option major and a vet school and equestrian club teams.



Colorado State University does appear to meet your requirements, although the estimate for cost with a WUE scholarship is just a smidge over $40k


Otterbein University



Have you looked at Cal Poly Pomona (not Pomona college)? It has great animal science, an equine studies minor, an equestrian team, and participates in WUE.

Also UC Davis has tippy top animal science but I’m not sure about their equine focus.

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This is a bit smaller than your target size, but a friend’s daughter went here and enjoyed it Equine Program – Asbury University

It does have a religious affiliation

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Rather than going too far down the rabbit hole (though I did explore it a little as evidenced by my suggestions below), I guess there are a couple of things:

  1. Does your D really want the equine major, or does something else animal-related work?
  2. If your D gets to continue riding horses for a team, is she open to a general business or communications or science major and then selecting coursework and/or internships to focus in on horses?
  3. Are varsity equestrian teams an option, or only IHSA?

Based on the responses and the reactions to the schools below, I’ll tailor my rabbit hole meanderings in the future.

In the other thread (my post quoted below) I mentioned these schools, though based on the additional info here, only Otterbein of these suggestions would meet the size preferences:

These are some schools with an active IHSA team and some kind of an animal-related major:

  • Berry (GA): About 2200 undergrads. It has an active IHSA team and a major in Animal Sciences. It has a working farm and an equine center, too.

  • Long Island-Post Campus (NY): About 11k undergrads. It has an active IHSA team and offers a major in Veterinary Technology. Although I think there’s a good-sized commuter population, I think that there is also a decent-sized residential population, too.

Schools with an active IHSA team, but no equestrian-related major:

  • U. of South Carolina: About 27k undergrads (don’t know if that’s big enough for their own fire department!). It has a very highly-regarded honors college.

Schools with varsity women’s equestrian teams, but no active IHSA team include:


Another one that might be worth checking out is University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. They have an Equine Studies program, an IHSA equestrian team, and cost is about $50,000 Canadian ($37,000 US).



UC Davis will not meet budget at $72K/year for an OOS applicant with no need based aid and highly competitive merit aid. Even with the OOS merit aid, final costs will not meet budget.

Cal Poly Pomona has the Arabian Horse center and comes in slightly over budget at around $41K/year as an OOS student without the WUE discount. With the discount, it will meet budget.




Have you looked at Mt Holyoke? My Alaskan d22 almost decided to go there, and they have a lot of equestrian access. I haven’t researched that aspect in depth, but it might be a good fit.

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Has anyone mentioned SCAD? A friend’s child graduated from there with a degree in Equine Studies. Tuition would meet the budget but does not include housing. Possibly there’s some merit money to be had.

I suspect UVm wouldn’t be in budget (though I don’t know). It’s known for it’s Morgan horse breeding/preservation program (in addition to all the other equestrian activities other colleges have).

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For us (out of state, but a nearby state) the NPC for UVM did correctly predict merit aid, and was spot on. UVM also has a good equestrian team and a good pre-vet program. I would be mildly surprised if it were to fit a $40,000/year budget, but it might not be wildly higher (I have not run the NPC for UVM in quite a few years). Burlington is an attractive smallish city.

Both UNH and UVM have very good CREAM programs. The DVM acceptance rate for students who take these programs is much higher than I would have expected (even given that getting into either program is somewhat competitive). My daughter did compete against the UNH equestrian team a few times and to me it did seem like a good team when I attended a competition. I will admit that I did not really know what I was looking at.

Colorado State of course has an exceptional DVM program, and is a WUE/WICHE school which should help wrt the cost of attendance. Generally looking for WUE schools seems to be to be a good plan for anyone with any budget limits who is coming from a WICHE/WUE state. There are three public universities that offer WICHE DVM programs. They are Colorado State, Washington State, and Oregon State. They might all be worth at least taking a quick look at (I am not sure of their Equine / Equestrian majors, but I would expect all of them to have large animals on campus or nearby).

There are of course some specific pre-vet classes that are required to apply to DVM programs. As far as I know they are the same as the premed classes (and are full of very strong premed students).

One daughter is currently studying for a DVM. This is a long and challenging path. It requires a relatively broad set of skills, and a lot of determination. You have to be sort of drawn to it. However, it is a great path for a student who wants to do it, and has the skills, particularly if they can find a way to graduate with a DVM and little or no debt.

The University of Guelph is also an interesting recommendation. The exchange rate is quite favorable for those of us who are coming from the US.

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Okay, I might have gone down a rabbit hole. :face_with_peeking_eye:

I went through IHSA’s site to see which colleges currently have active clubs, were at schools that had a decent chance at meeting the budget, and had at least 2k undergrads (with a couple of exceptions). I then eliminated all but one commuter campus (Southeast Missouri State, which has 69% of first year students living on-campus) and campuses that didn’t offer much in the way of other majors (i.e. they should offer English, history, and social sciences…call me a purist, but so it is).

That still left me with a decently-sized list of schools, but I wasn’t super familiar with all of them and didn’t want to eliminate any based purely on my own limited knowledge and biases. So, I went through to see how many doctorates had been earned between 2000-2018 (latest year available) by the school’s alums. I then divided that number by the approximate number of current undergrads (I did approximations because I had already written down the approximated numbers and didn’t want to re-look them up). This then came up with a ratio, which I sorted from highest to lowest.

Now, many majors don’t lend themselves to going on for a doctorate and most students have no interest in going on for a doctorate. But, to my mind, the number of students who go on for a doctorate can give a possible indication as to the ease of finding similarly-minded peers (whether that’s a high number or a low number). So with that preface, here are the schools:

School Approximate # Undergrads # of Doctorates since 2000 Ratio
Oberlin (OH) 3,000 1,766 0.5887
Truman State (MO) 3,600 1,019 0.2831
Gustavus Adolphus (MN) 2,100 544 0.2590
Goucher (MD) 1,000 210 0.2100
U. of the South (TN) 1,600 334 0.2088
Washington & Lee (VA) 1,900 391 0.2058
Augustana (IL) 2300 390 0.1696
Southern Illinois - Carbondale 8,000 1,174 0.1468
Taylor (IN) 2,200 282 0.1282
Berry (GA) 2,200 252 0.1145
Indiana U. of Pennsylvania 7,000 764 0.1091
Emory & Henry (VA) 1,100 110 0.1000
U. of Delaware 19,000 1,890 0.0995
U. of New Hampshire 12,000 1,085 0.0904
U. of Dayton (OH) 8,400 758 0.0902
Rollins (FL) 2,600 228 0.0877
Kansas State 15,000 1,231 0.0821
Roanoke (VA) 1,800 146 0.0811
U. of Georgia 31,000 2,501 0.0807
Ohio U. 18,000 1,397 0.0776
Shippensburg (PA ) 4,400 333 0.0757
Southern Methodist 7,100 536 0.0755
U. of Vermont 12,000 897 0.0748
Central Michigan 10,000 747 0.0747
Wilkes (PA ) 2,000 146 0.0730
Saint Louis (MO) 11,000 761 0.0692
Colorado State 26,000 1,771 0.0681
U. of Kentucky 23,000 1,523 0.0662
Otterbein (OH) 2,200 143 0.0650
Tennessee Tech 8,500 533 0.0627
North Dakota State 10,000 615 0.0615
Mississippi State 18,000 1,092 0.0607
Oklahoma State 21,000 1,258 0.0599
Texas Christian 11,000 579 0.0526
U. of Wisconsin-River Falls 4,800 245 0.0510
Southeast Missouri State 7,000 354 0.0506
Ball State (IN) 14,000 686 0.0490
Drexel (PA ) 14,000 686 0.0490
U. of South Carolina 27,000 1,313 0.0486
Slippery Rock (PA ) 6,800 327 0.0481
U. of Rhode Island 15,000 701 0.0467
Murray State (KY) 7,700 355 0.0461
Christopher Newport (VA) 4,400 201 0.0457
U. of Louisville (KY) 16,000 725 0.0453
Missouri State 18,000 718 0.0399
Appalachian State 19,000 720 0.0379
Georgia College & State 5,300 191 0.0360
Delaware Valley (PA ) 1,800 61 0.0339
Towson (MD) 17,000 552 0.0325
Stockton (NJ) 8,100 255 0.0315
Marist (NY) 5,500 168 0.0305
West Chester (PA ) 14,000 407 0.0291
Eastern Kentucky 12,000 347 0.0289
U. of Wisconsin-Platteville 6,000 170 0.0283
Salve Regina (RI) 2,200 58 0.0264
Roger Williams (RI) 4,100 103 0.0251
Sam Houston State (TX) 18,000 361 0.0201
U. of Montana - Western 1,400 28 0.0200
U. of Findlay (OH) 3,800 53 0.0139
Coastal Carolina (SC) 10,000 130 0.0130
Sacred Heart (CT) 6,800 77 0.0113
Long Island 11,000 110 0.0100
Florida Gulf Coast 14,000 64 0.0046

These are just a few notes about why some schools were included if they didn’t meet the criteria listed above, or I wanted to make an additional comment:

  • Goucher (MD): This school is definitely smaller than all the others, but participates in a consortium with other schools like Loyola Maryland, Towson, and Johns Hopkins, so the social opportunities would be greater than if it was an isolated school by itself.

  • Roanoke: About the same size as Delaware Valley and it’s in the same town as Hollins, which can make it feel slightly larger.

  • Taylor: All students & staff must sign a profession of Christian faith. As U. of Findlay is affiliated with the Church of God, this may not be an issue for you, but I thought you should be aware.

  • U. of the South: I’m biased :wink: But it’s a beautiful campus and has intimate classes for those who are seeking that out, and it has very generous merit aid.

  • Washington & Lee: Just under the 2k number (but still larger than Delaware Valley) and it also has the Johnson Scholarship…a full ride that is given to about 10% of incoming students.

Also, schools I mentioned previously or that were on your original list were added, regardless of whether they met the criteria.


With a 4.0 she would qualify for the Green and Gold scholarship and if she is in the Honors program, that is an additional $1,000. Green and Gold is for OOS, so not sure how it is applied to WUE.


UC Davis is a wonderful school but D23 doesn’t have the visual fine arts classes to be able to get into any of the California universities.

Your lists never cease to amaze me! Lots to look thru here!


I think she’s looking for something with more science in it. Beautiful facilities though!

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