Ride, care for, and work with horses as you learn how to build a successful career in the equine industry. We offer world class facilities, science based curriculum, including equine nutrition, health and management skills and the opportunity for hands on learning such as schooling problem horses, handling and starting young horses. Equine Science majors have the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the horse as it relates to business, recreational, and production aspects of the industry. At the University of Minnesota Crookston you can transform your love of horses into a fulfilling and rewarding career.
Our program also features an option to prepare for veterinary medicine programs at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine as well as other universities. In the past five years (2013-2017) an impressive total of 40% of our grads who completed a pre-vet emphasis in Animal Science or Equine Science have gone on to attend veterinary school (the national average is approximately 10%). Some of those grads are already practicing veterinarians.
According to a 2016 study commissioned by the American Horse Council Foundation and conducted by the Barents Group, there are more than 9.2 million horses in the United States. This includes horses involved in both recreational and commercial enterprises, ranging from farm work and recreational riding to police work, racing, rodeo, and polo. Our goal at the University of Minnesota Crookston is to provide you with an education that empowers you to play an important role in working with these intelligent and beautiful animals.
For a slice of daily life in our Equine Science program, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/umcequine.
This program is also offered as...
- At UMC we balance the practical skills students need through experiential learning and apply the theories required to build a successful career.
- Graduates of the Equine Science program understand and are able to meet the daily nutrition, health care, and exercise/training needs of horses in their care.
- Our Equine Pre-Veterinary Emphasis option gives graduates the large animal hands-on experience that is beneficial when seeking acceptance to a veterinary college or an advanced degree. We boast a high acceptance rate into these programs!
- Students work directly with the 45 horses residing in the stables.
- Students train, ride, groom, breed, show, and care for these horses in order to gain hands-on experience with a wide range of breeds.
- Students are not assigned to one horse in particular (unless they are in the training and showing class) but rather work with and ride a variety of the horses.
- Students attend classes and labs in the University Teaching and Outreach Center (UTOC), an award winning facility on the north end of campus. Along with classrooms, a science lab and faculty offices, the building has great features:
- 160 x 100 ft. heated indoor arena with seating for 205 people
- 45-stall stable, each stall with automatic waterers
- Saddles and equipment for Western, hunt, all-purpose, and saddle seat
- Training / round-pen with sand footing
- Paddocks for turnout
- Breeding phantom and stocks
- Driving carts and harnesses
- Large tack room, locker room, and wash rack
See more pictures and 360s of the University Teaching and Outreach Center
- Discover your interests in a broad-base curriculum that allows you to follow your passion in the equine industry with classes taught by award winning faculty.
- Our graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in equine-related employment and have the business and management experience necessary in the field.
- Gain valuable riding skills, time management, and team building skills by riding on the NCAA Equestrian Team in Hunt Seat or Western
- UMC offers many leadership opportunities in equine-related clubs for all students including the Rodeo Association, Pre-Veterinary Club, and Horseman’s Association.
Did You Know?
In the past five years (2013-2017) a total of 40% of UMC students who completed a pre-vet emphasis in Animal Science or Equine Science at the U of M Crookston have gone on to attend veterinary school (the national average is approximately 10%). Some of those grads are already practicing veterinarians. (This percentage includes students who attended UMC via VetFAST and who may not have received their B.S. from UMC but who continued directly on to the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine.)
Would you like to donate a horse, equipment or other supplies to the Equine Science Program? Learn more about donating!
Program Requirements & Curriculum
Program Requirements & Curriculum
Associated Clubs & Organizations
Associated Clubs & Organizations
Equine Science graduates are able to pursue careers in a wide range of equine-related fields, as well as going on to a veterinary college or graduate school. Listed below are some of the careers where past graduates are working.
- Equine appraiser
- Stable manager
- Equine nutrition and feed sales
- Equine industry journalist
- Veterinary assistant
- Equine rehabilitation and rescue
- Horse judging
- Riding instructor
- Horse show manager
- Guest ranch manager
- Horse equipment representative
- Equine assisted therapy
- Buyer or pedigree evaluator
- Breed or discipline association specialist/administrator
- Horse exerciser or trainer
- Stud farm manager or assistant
- Horse farm, ranch manager
- Extension educator
- Equestrian team coach or youth worker
- Professional in marketing or advertising
- Drug and pharmaceutical company management and sales
- Bloodstock management, technical service, sales
- Stable owner
- Camp manager
Graduates are prepared for graduate studies in:
- Exercise physiology
- Reproductive physiology
- Equine nutrition
Jayde Proffitt isn’t a competitive person, that is, until she finds herself in the arena competing for the Golden Eagles as a member of the Western Equestrian team. From Winsted, Minn., Proffitt grew up in town and enjoyed trail riding with friends but never owned a horse of her own. That fact hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a degree in equine science at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Learn more.
Working as a veterinary technician intern at one of the most prestigious equine medical facilities in the country was the perfect setting for University of Minnesota Crookston senior Katie Warner to gain valuable skills and witness the latest techniques in the care of horses and foals. The Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, was home to Warner from January to July where she worked with thoroughbred mares and their foals during breeding season. Learn more.
During the summer of 2017, Selena Young, a junior majoring in Equine Science (with an pre-vet emphasis) from Plymouth, Minn., spent three weeks in Thailand helping animals, discovering Thai culture, and learning what it’s like to be a veterinarian. Traveling with study-abroad organization Loop Abroad, Young was selected as part of a small team that volunteered giving care at a dog shelter. She also spent a week working directly with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary. Learn more.
What’s the connection between a horse, a trumpet, and a flute? At the University of Minnesota Crookston, it’s Hannah Van Dyke, and all three have played a central role in her academic career. Learn more.
One might describe Amberly (Pesall) Cox, an equine farm animal attendant and barn manager at the University of Minnesota Crookston, as something of a horse whisperer extraordinaire. Cox graduated from the U of M Crookston in December 2015 with a degree in agricultural business and a minor in equine science. Learn more.
Brooke Leininger, former equestrian coach and instructor at University of Minnesota, Crookston talks about her experience in "Handling All in Stride" from the Spring 2014 version of the Torch magazine.
The following videos are a bit older and feature students who are now alumni. They speak about their experiences while they were students.
Rachel Quale, an equine science major from St. Cloud, Minnesota, tells about her experiences as a student and discusses the coursework in the Equine Science major.
Emily Krull, a double major in animal and equine science from Two Harbors, Minnesota, talks about her experiences as a student and why she chose to attend UMC.
Originally from Sartell, Minnesota, Tony Dank '10 graduated with a double major in animal science and equine science. He is currently studying veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Also read his article "'Knew' as the Romans 'Knew'" in the Fall 2010 version of the Torch magazine.
Senior Amanda Peterson from Rochester, Minnesota, majoring in equine science and agricultural business at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. She has also taken a leadership role in the Golden Eagle Western Equestrian Team. Read "Riding Smart" from the Summer 2009 Torch magazine.
Senior Heather Donati-Lewis from Narcoossee, Florida, majoring in equine science with a pre-veterinary science emphasis at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Read "'Honor' able" from the Spring 2009 Torch magazine.
Senior Gretchen Lucken '11 an equine science major talks about her experience at UMC and her study abroad experience. Read "Travel Abroad Epiphany" from the Summer 2010 Torch magazine.
Horse Donation Program
Horse Donation Program
Would you like to donate or lease a horse or other equipment and supplies to the Equine Science Program? There are many benefits!
Benefits to donating a horse or other equipment and supplies
- Donation has many benefits for income taxes.
- The knowledge that you are providing quality horses or supplies for the training of future professionals in the equine industry.
Horses donated to the University of Minnesota Crookston are excepted to have the ability to go right into UMC’s lesson program. Lessons are conducted 5 days a week with each horse being used 3-5 times per week on average. UMC does not accept horses with intention of selling them, however, if we feel the horse cannot meet the demands of our program, the horse may be sold or donated to an approved home with the donor having the first buy back option.
Type of horse desired
- Physically and mentally sound
- Can be used by riders of multiple skill levels
- Has a background in one or more of the following disciplines:
- Hunt Seat
- Saddle Seat
- Has a temperament that will allow the horse to thrive in a school environment
If you are interested in donating your horse please complete the Prospective Horse Donation Application form. This form may be printed and mailed or you may include it as an attachment via email. If it is possible, please include photos and/or videos of your horse as well. This will help us to determine if your horse is suitable for our program at this time. Thank you for considering the University of Minnesota Crookston as a possible new home for your horse!
Mail form to
University of Minnesota Crookston
c/o Agriculture and Natural Resources Department
2900 University Avenue
Crookston, MN 56716
Thank you for considering the generous gift of your horse to UMC. Someone from the program will contact you regarding the application.
Donation Thank Yous!!
We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude towards those who have donated horses to us...
Milstan's Stables - S.D. Sahlstrom - St. Cloud, MN
Lucinda Demarais - Red Lake Falls, MN
Chris Holland - Oxbow, ND
Richard and Pam Maygra - Crookston, MN
Richard Pals - Alexander, IA
Del and Judy Roelofs - Erskine, MN
Margaret Drury - Clarks Grove, MN
William and Nancy Zats - Plymouth, MN
Dr. S.D. Sahlstrom - St. Cloud, MN
Maureen Murphy - Long Lake, MN
Eugene and MaryAnne Dietz - Farmington, MN
Georgia Orton - Elkhorn, NE
Eric and Kandee Johnson - Red Lake Falls, MN
James Sterriker - Excelsior, MN
Marjorie Berendt - Cannon Falls, MN
Michelle Wilcox King - Medina, MN
Jeffery Field - Las Vegas, NV
Eugene Scarberry - Fargo, ND
Charles Horowitz - Plymouth, MN
Austin Scholl - Bismarck, ND
Youth and Adult Events
Youth and Adult Events
Summer 2018 has a wide variety of opportunities for the community. Please visit our Summer Camps & Conferences website for more information and registration details.
- Adult Riding Clinics
- Youth Intermediate Riding Clinics
- Youth Day Horseback Riding Camps
- Horseback Riding Instructor Evaluation Clinic with Certification by CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) - rescheduled for May 2019
Throughout the academic year, there are several events and programs offered to the public. Visit our event calendar for upcoming dates:
- Open Ride Nights
- Pancakes & Ponies
- Equine Exploration Days
The University of Minnesota Crookston fields equestrian teams in both Western and Hunt Seat Equitation. Many students majoring in Equine Science are part of these teams, although it is not required to be a part of either team. It's quite common for our equestrians to make it to Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Regional Championships and beyond. In 2018, members of our Hunt Seat Equestrian Team made their first-ever appearance at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship in Waco, Texas.
Learn more about our teams via the links below.
The UMC Advantage
The UMC Advantage
Small Campus. Big Degree.
Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.
Learning and Doing
At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.
Caring Faculty and Staff
Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 18:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.
A Technology-Rich Environment
At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.
Internships, Job Placement and Grad School
More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.
Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.
Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.
One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options
Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.
Leadership, Clubs and Athletics
Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…
In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.
A Diverse, Global Experience
The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.
Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.
Lab Services Coordinator
170-N Owen Hall