Future UNH Students

The Equine Industry has a wide range of occupations. Some of them, such as veterinarian, nutritionist, ag-ed instructor, require an undergraduate and/or graduate degree. Others, such as groom, farm hand, exercise rider, do not. Many of the jobs students aspire to (stable manager, riding instructor, breeding manager, competition organizer) do not require a degree, however having an undergraduate degree gives students a significant advantage because it provides them with specialized training, business skills and a body of theoretical and practical knowledge. These are invaluable tools in seeking employment or running a business.

The options in the Equine Studies program are designed to best prepare students for the career path they are interested in pursuing. There is a wide variety of job opportunities within the equine industry, so students need different sets of skills to be successful in different fields. Option I: Equine Industry & Management, combines hands-on equine-specific classes, such as Teaching, Training and Stable Management, with business-related classes. This course of study is best suited for students who see themselves going into the traditional hand-on jobs in the equine industry (stable management, riding instruction), or for students who are interested in the ever-expanding field of equine business management (competitions and event management, marketing, farm business management). Option II: Therapeutic Riding is for students interested in the therapeutic riding field. It combines equine classes with courses about non-profit management and disability services, and classes specific to therapeutic riding, including a class where students prepare and test for their PATH Instructor Certification. Option III: Equine Science, combines equine-specific classes with more rigorous science courses, which prepare students for graduate school, including vet school, or a career in one of the more technical sides of the equine industry, such as nutrition or research.

No. It is not necessary to decide on your career before you apply to UNH. All three of the equine studies options share a common core of classes, so the classes you take freshman year can apply to all options.

Not necessarily. It depends on the state in which you intend to work.  Some states require a vet tech degree.  Others require that you pass a licensing examination.  Still others have no specific requirements.  However, it should be noted that a B.S.  (or A.A.S.) in Equine Studies is NOT a vet tech degree.  If you are truly interested in becoming a vet tech, UNH’s Thompson School of Applied Science offers a two-year vet tech degree program.

Actually, the majority of equine studies majors at UNH obtain jobs in the equine industry after graduation.  The equine industry is a $111 BILLION dollar industry in the United States.  There are many, many career opportunities for motivated and skilled individual.

A. What should my major be?

Admission to veterinary school does not require an undergraduate degree from a particular major. However, you must complete a program of study that encompasses a number of specific, requisite courses. Most of these courses are required for majors within the biological sciences (e.g., biology, animal science, neurobiology and behavior, etc.), while for non-biologically based majors these courses must be taken in addition to the courses required for those majors. Thus, the pre-vet student may choose from among a large number of potential undergraduate majors. The ideal major for a given pre-vet student should reflect one’s specific interests and the consideration of alternative career choices (admission to veterinary school is highly competitive and uncertain). Note that in many cases, required courses should not be taken as summer courses, J-term courses, or satisfied by AP classes.

B.  Can I be an equine studies major and still apply to vet school?

Yes.  Option III – Equine Science, has been specifically designed to allow students to fulfill the required classes for admission to veterinary school while also completing a degree in equine studies.

C. Where can I receive pre-veterinary medicine advising?

Applicants for veterinary school are not restricted to any particular major, but must complete a program of study that includes specific coursework (e.g., courses in chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc.), see UNH PreVet Program website. Upon informing the Equine Program or the Department of Biological Sciences of your interests in pursuing veterinary school, you will be assigned to an advisor with an interest in advising pre-veterinary medicine students and knowledge of current veterinary school admission requirements and procedures. An excellent resource for students interested in applying to veterinary school is Veterinary Medical School Admissions Requirements (VMSAR), which is published annually. The Department of Biological Sciences offers a number of animal-based courses and majors (e.g., Animal Science, Equine Studies, Dairy Management) through which students can gain valuable hands-on animal experience.

Applying to the equine program is done through the general admissions process for the university. The UNH Equine Program staff and faculty are NOT involved in the admissions process.

No, a riding video is not required for admissions or to try out for the riding teams.

There are not scholarships for riding through UNH.  UNH does offer academic scholarships to qualified applicants.  In addition, COLSA and the Department of Biological Sciences have several scholarships for which equine studies students may apply once they are enrolled.  Applications for college and department scholarships are available each spring.  In addition, some competitive organizations, such as IHSA and AQHA, have scholarship programs available for members.  Please visit HERE for our scholarships for equine majors page.

ANSC419: Horse Power is offered online during Summer session.  This class, which satisfies the Humanities requirement of the discovery program, explore's the horse's role in history, art and culture.  For information on summer session go to www.unh.edu/summersession/ Other equine related online courses are coming soon so check back for future updates.  In addition, UNH does offer a growing variety of online classes, some of which equine students can use to fulfill general requirements. Go to www.unh.edu/eunh/online-courses/ for more info.

No, students of all majors may take classes in the equine program.

Non-degree students can take ANSC 643 with instructor permission.  Contact Cindy.Burke@unh.edu for more information.

Yes, UNH’s Thompson School of Applied Science offers an A.A.S. in Applied Animal Science: Equine Management.

Yes, we offer a 3-credit riding class, ANSC 402 – Horsemanship, during fall and spring semesters.  Click for more information.

No, the only riding opportunity on UNH horses that the equine program offers is through ANSC 402.

First year students sign up for ANSC 402 when they sign up for the rest of their classes at Freshman Orientation.  Priority is given to equine studies majors.  Although approximately 30% of class spots are reserved for incoming freshmen, they can fill up quickly, so it is strongly suggested that you plan to come to the earliest orientation possible.  Freshman equine students who don’t get a spot in a riding class for fall semester will be given first choice of riding classes for spring semester.  Freshmen who are NOT equine majors should email Sarah.Rigg@unh.edu in the month of July to see if there are spots available in riding class for fall semester.

In order to try out for either of the riding teams (IHSA or IDA) students must be currently enrolled in ANSC 402, or they must have previously taken ANSC 402 for two semesters.  Tryouts are held each fall.  Each team will hold a mandatory informational meeting for interested students before tryouts take place.  Dates for meetings and tryouts are posted in the stables in early September.  More information on the IHSA and IDA teams can be found here.

The size of the teams can vary from year to year.  IDA typically has 11-14 students.  IHSA typically has 18-24 students each year.  Freshman make the teams every year.

The UNH Equine Facility has space for a limited number of student boarders.  Board is $600.00 per month.  Priority is given to equine majors.  If you are interested in boarding at UNH, you should contact our stable manager Brenda.Hess-McAskill AFTER you are ACCEPTED to UNH to be put on the list.  Brenda also has a list of other area boarding facilities.   Click for more information.

No, horses boarded at UNH are not used in riding classes.

The UNH Horse Barns does hire work study students.  If you are interested in a work study job at the stables, please contact Brenda Hess-McAskill.

No, work study is for pay only.  We cannot barter work time for board or lab fees.

Current UNH Students

The equine industry is largely based on the horse as an athlete.  Understanding the horse’s body and how it works, as well as the horse’s health, is the foundation of managing and caring for that athlete and coaxing the best performance from him.   Biology forms the building blocks of Anatomy and Physiology and all the more specialized equine classes.

Students in good academic standing can transfer into the equine studies major.  It is possible that transferring to any new major will affect a student’s graduation date.  This will depend upon how long a student has been in another major, the type of degree they were pursuing and the classes they have already taken.

All equine students are given an advisor from the equine program staff starting their first semester at UNH.  Students receive a notice from the college in the summer before they come to campus.  If you don’t remember who your advisor is, or you didn’t receive a notice, contact the Department of Biological Sciences to find out.

All undergraduates are required to satisfy the university’s Discovery Program Requirements and the university’s Writing Intensive Requirements with the currently available courses listed in the Time and Room Schedule. Additionally, you must satisfy the course requirements for the equine major, which are available here.

The typical course sequence for Freshmen is shown below. All equine majors should try to complete BIOL 411 & 412 as Freshmen, since these are prerequisites for many other courses.  Students who intend to do pre-vet requirements should plan to complete CHEM 403 & CHEM 404 as Freshmen for the same reason.

Typical Freshman Schedule for Options I & II


  1. ANSC 402     Horsemanship
  2. BIOL 411      General Biology I
  3. AAS 237       Eq. Care/Handling
  4. ENGL 401      Freshman English
  5. ANSC 411      Freshman Seminar


  1. BIOL 412      General Biology II
  2. EREC 411      Resource Economics
  3. AAS 226       Conf. & Lameness
  4. Discovery Course


Typical Freshman Schedule for Option III


  1. CHEM 403     General Chemistry I
  2. BIOL 411      General Biology I
  3. AAS 237       Equine Care & Handling
  4. ANSC 402     Horsemanship
  5. ANSC 411     Freshman Seminar


  1. CHEM 404     General Chemistry II
  2. BIOL 412      General Biology II
  3. EREC 411      Resource Economics
  4. ENGL 401      English

The typical Freshman load is 4 courses for 16-18 credit hours. Often there may be an additional one-credit course that provides an introduction to the major. Twelve credits/semester are required to be considered a full-time student and to qualify for financial aid.

Due to the high demand for ANSC 402, we hold a two part Pre-registration and Sign-up for continuing students each semester.  For fall semester, this is typically held the previous April.  For spring semester, this is held in the preceding November.  Please keep an eye on our website, colsa.unh.edu/dbs/equine for the dates.  You must plan to attend both the Pre-registration and the Sign-up.  The appropriate class level for you will be determined at that time.  Priority is given to equine majors.

You may add or drop a course by submitting an Add/Drop Form within the first 3 weeks after the start of classes. These are available online, in the Registrar’s Office (Stoke Hall), and in the departmental office. We recommend that you have already obtained the signature from the instructor for the course you want to add before you obtain the instructor’s signature to drop a class. The form must then be signed by an advisor in the Advising Center.

You may change your major by submitting a Change of Program Form. Transfer into some majors is restricted, and may require completion of requisite coursework established by that department.

Registration is completed online, with registration dates posted in advance and on Blackboard. In the 3 weeks prior to registration, you must meet with your academic advisor to discuss your course selection and to receive your registration access code (RAC #) upon advisor approval. Available courses and times may be found using the Time and Room Schedule.

The typical Freshman load is 4 courses for 16-18 credit hours. Twelve credits/semester are required to be considered a full-time student and to qualify for housing and financial aid.

A student may declare a minor in any program that offers a minor either within or outside the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture [see the undergraduate catalog for listings within each college or school]. A minor usually consists of 20 credit hours with a grade of C- or better and 2.0 grade point average in courses that the minor department approves. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis cannot be used for a minor, and no more than eight credits used to satisfy major requirements may be used for the minor. Students should declare their intent to obtain a minor as early as possible to the contact person for the minor, and not later than the end of their junior year. During the final term, an application should be made to the college dean to have the minor appear on your college record.

Take action immediately. If you have a concern, discuss this promptly with the course instructor and/or seek advice through your advisor. Many types of assistance are also available through UNH's Center for Academic Resources (CFAR), including help finding tutors or study groups, providing advice on improving study skills, etc. The Connors Writing Center provides additional help to improve your approach to written assignments (essays, term papers, lab reports) and oral presentations.

If the course was a required major course, then you must repeat the course and earn a grade that is acceptable for the major (C-). If it was not a required course, but a course that was an elective within your option, then you have the option of either repeating the course or taking another major elective course in its place. This choice should include a consideration of why you got a poor grade in the first place. If the reasons for the low grade are not likely to reoccur, then you could consider repeating the course. Keep in mind, though, that you can only earn credit for a course once and that only the most recent grade counts in your GPA (whether it is higher or lower than the original grade!)

Going abroad is an outstanding experience, but students do need to plan ahead if this is something that they would like to participate in.  Many of the equine-specific classes at UNH are offered only in the fall or spring semester, and there are more of them offered in the fall than in the spring, so many students find that it is easier to go abroad for a spring semester.  Spring semester of Junior year is the most popular time for equine students to participate in study abroad.  Students need to plan out their schedules so that they can take required courses on campus, and then complete other courses – electives, discovery courses, etc. – while they are abroad.  Some students who go abroad or on exchange take fewer credits than a normal UNH course load (16 credits). In order to graduate on time those students must make up for such a credit deficit, unless they had a credit excess to begin with (see # below). If credits are a concern, it may be possible to take a 16 credit course load, even if the college has a three credit system.

The rule is as follows: if you are within 8 credits of graduating in May, you may attend graduation provided you file your intent to graduate card for September or December by the May intent card deadline.

You may graduate with only your first major, provided you file a change of program form dropping your second major. If, after graduation, you wish to complete an "additional" major, you may register as a special student through OE to complete the requirements of an "additional" major. These courses will be listed on a non-degree transcript. Upon completion, a notation will be added to your non-degree transcript: "Completed the requirements for a second major in _______".

You can use your credit excess in one or more of several ways: A. Take fewer credits during a semester abroad or on exchange, to have more time to travel and experience the culture. B. If you are in the honors program, take fewer credits during your senior year so you'll have more time to devote to your senior honors thesis. C. Build up sufficient additional credits to graduate early if there is good reason to do so. D. Take more elective credits or more courses that interest you that you might not otherwise have time to participate in.  E.  Take classes to fulfill a minor or second major.  F.  Breathe a sigh of relief if you have to drop a course unexpectedly and your credit excess permits you to avoid a credit deficit.

There are two types of programs that involve two majors: A. Double major program: 128 credits required. One major is designated for the degree (first major). Complete the requirements for a second major. One set of degree requirements determined by the first major. B. Dual degree program: 160 credits required. 2.5 minimum GPA required. Normally must be different degrees (B.A. and B.S.) but two B.S. degrees are possible if in different fields). Two B.A. degrees are not allowed. Two sets of degree requirements but may overlap courses that can be applied to either degree.

Transfer Students

All students including those who transfer to UNH must complete a minimum of 128 credits to graduate. A three-credit course may fill a requirement in the major, but the transfer student may need to take extra credits to compensate for the credit deficit created by applying transfer courses to UNH.

Any student in good academic standing may take up to five courses or 20 credits in any semester for the same tuition charge. In addition, the pass/fail grading option is often used by students who are taking extra credits to relieve a credit deficit.