Equine Science - B.S.

The Equine Science bachelor's degree program offers a rigorous science curriculum combined with equine-specific academic classes and experience-based equine management labs. The equine-specific academic classes include focused study of anatomy, physiology, nutrition, genetics and diseases, as well as practical knowledge of lameness assessment, ration analysis and preventative herd health programs. The equine labs concentrate on horse handling, medical skills and farm management practices that are necessary to be successful in the equine industry. Elective credits offer opportunity for riding classes as well. The Equine Science curriculum design allows students the option of pre-veterinary medicine study, equine-assisted activities and therapies study or future graduate studies in science.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Apply the scientific method and critical thinking skills to address equine science questions.
  • Design a comprehensive health plan that addresses the interaction between nutrition and disease and predicts the needs of different classes of horses.
  • Identify, analyze and apply knowledge of equine behavior to justify best practices in equine management and handling.
  • Recognize ethical concerns pertinent to equine science and determine ethical practices.
  • Perform basic preventive measures and therapeutic skills on a horse.

Equine Science students take science courses from the College of Arts & Sciences designed to provide a strong foundation in the fundamental principles of biology. The biology courses allow students to explore the molecular and cellular basis of life, the structure and function of organisms, and the ecological interactions of organisms.

Specialized equine science classes develop the understanding of the functioning of the horse with study in anatomy, lameness, physiology, sports therapy, genetics, nutrition, diseases and reproduction. Students gain hands-on experience in all aspects of horse management including health and dental maintenance, nutrition, facilities management, equipment usage, trailering, lunging, vaccination and anthelmintic programs.

All students participate in the internship program which allows them to work in the equine industry or veterinary profession at approved establishments.

Core and elective courses in the College of Arts & Sciences provide the critical thinking and communication skills that are considered essential by employers along with the chance for students to explore areas of personal interest.

The Equine Science program offers an elective 16-credit specialization that enhances and strengthens the qualifications of graduates interested in equine-assisted activities and therapies. This specialization gives students the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and skills in the expanding field of therapeutic riding and equine-assisted learning. Students completing this specialization can pursue careers in therapeutic riding instruction, therapeutic horse management, therapeutic riding program management, and equine-assisted learning and therapy.

Upon completion of the Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies specialization students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate the skills and knowledge compulsory for the educational component of certification as a therapeutic riding instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, Intl (PATH Intl). 

The Equine Science program offers an elective 20-credit specialization in Pre-Veterinary Studies that enhances and strengthens the qualifications of graduates interested in applying for admissions to Doctor of Veterinary Medicine programs. This specialization gives students the opportunity to complete major prerequisite course requirements for application to American Veterinary Medical Association-accredited veterinary schools within the United States. Students completing this specialization can pursue application to DVM programs as well as other equine and science-related graduate studies programs.

Upon completion of the Pre-Veterinary Studies specialization students are expected to:

  • Identify, evaluate and analyze scientific information. 

To participate in the Equine Science program, each student, with or without reasonable accommodations must be able to safely (including the safety of the horse, where applicable) meet minimum technical standards as described for this program. 

Extracurricular Activities

Johnson & Wales’ equine programs offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students, including seminars and clinics with nationally and internationally recognized speakers from equine industry, an equine-specific job fair, annual attendance to the Equine Affaire, and field-trips to regional training and competition farms.

Johnson & Wales University participates in equine sports through two distinct competitive teams: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA).

The IHSA team competes in hunter seat equitation throughout New England, is consistently regionally and nationally competitive, and hosts shows annually at the Center for Equine Studies. In 2018 Johnson & Wales University had a National Champion in Individual Intermediate Over Fences.

The IDA team at Johnson & Wales University is a charter member, hosts two competitions yearly and travels regionally to compete. The IDA team has won numerous regional and national awards. In 2012 Johnson & Wales University won the National Championship and in 2013 was the reserve national champion team for IDA.

The Facility

The home of Johnson & Wales' Equine Studies programs, the Center for Equine Studies, is located in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, a short drive from Providence. The farm includes a 32-stall barn with attached 170' x 70' mirrored indoor riding hall with waxed footing, radiant heat and a 75” flat panel display system with integrated smart-classroom technology. The facility is equipped with a pine- paneled observation room housing communication technology that allow clinicians to address students and spectators during mounted lessons, a traditional digitally equipped classroom for on-property lectures and a student lounge area for study and relaxation between classes.

The arena, attached 32-stall barn and classroom areas all tout state-of-the-art high speed wifi coverage allowing for streaming and integration of remote technology with all aspects of Equine Studies programs. The property also features several pastures, turnout paddocks and two round-pens used for schooling horses.

Rounding out the facility are two show-quality outdoor arenas: a 225' x 100' multipurpose jumping ring and a 220' x 80' dressage ring with judge’s box. A new addition to the facility is a derby-style jumping field with banks, ditches, and step jumps which allows students to gain knowledge and expertise of riding in various settings.

The horses for school use are all selected for their training and temperament. Many different breeds are represented, including Dutch Warmblood, Hanoverian, Swedish Warmblood, Holsteiner, Thoroughbred, Oldenburg, Quarter Horse and Arabian. Many of the horses have successful show records which include competition experience at the FEI level of dressage, on the hunter/jumper circuit and in eventing.

Equine Science

A four-year program leading to the bachelor of science degree

Major Courses
BIO1011General Biology - Cellular3
BIO1016General Biology Laboratory - Cellular1
BIO1022General Biology - Organismal3
BIO1026General Biology Laboratory - Organismal1
BIO2201General Microbiology3
BIO2206General Microbiology Laboratory1
CHM1011General Chemistry I3
CHM1016General Chemistry I Laboratory1
EQN1001Introduction to Equine Studies3
EQN1006Introduction to Equine Studies Laboratory1
EQN1020Equine Anatomy and Lameness3
EQN1025Equine Anatomy and Lameness Laboratory1
EQN1080Equine Management Lab1
EQN2000Equine Diseases3
EQN2020Equine Physiology and Sports Therapy3
EQN2025Equine Physiology and Sports Therapy Laboratory1
EQN3010Equine Reproduction and Genetics3
EQN3025Equine Nutrition3
EQN4900Management and Demonstration of Skills Capstone1
Major Electives or Specialization
Choose 19 credits of the following (at least two courses must be 3000 level or higher, maximum of three credits in horseback riding)* or Specialization listed below: 19
Functional Human Anatomy
and Functional Human Anatomy Laboratory
Principles of Biochemistry
Fundamentals of Pharmacology
Functional Histology
and Functional Histology Laboratory
Fundamentals of Immunology
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
Introduction to Organic Chemistry
and Introduction to Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Analytical Chemistry
Fundamentals Of Collegiate Riding I
Fundamentals of Collegiate Riding II
Introduction to Dressage
Introduction to Combined Training
Equitation on the Flat
Fundamentals of Hunter Seat Equitation
Foundations of Riding Theory
Training Level Dressage
First Level Dressage
Intermediate Combined Training
Hunter Seat Equitation Novice
Methods of Riding Instruction I
Equine Competition Management and Course Design
Sport Horse Evaluation and Judging
Second Level Dressage
Third Level Dressage
Advanced Combined Training
Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Application of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Hunter Seat Equitation Intermediate
Equine Facility Design and Operation Management
German Medal Training
Methods of Riding Instruction II
Special Topics in Equine Studies I
Fourth Level and FEI Dressage
Special Topics in Equine Studies II
Special Topics in Equine Studies III
Hunter Seat Equitation Open
General Physics I
and General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics II
and General Physics II Laboratory
Introduction to Botany
Environmental Science
Introduction to Ecology
The Business of Sustainability
Applied/Experiential Learning
Choose 6 credits from the following:6
College of Arts & Sciences Internship Ic
Directed Experiential Education D
Undergraduate Research Experience
Honors Directed Academic Experience
Study Abroad
Related Professional Studies
CAR0010Career Management1
FYS1020First-Year Seminar1
A&S Core Experience
Communications Foundation Courses 9
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition II
Communication Skills
Integrative Learning6
Two ILS courses, one at the 2000 level, and one at the 4000 level
Arts and Humanities6
Ethics: A Global Perspective
One course from ART, HIST, HUM, LIT, or REL
Fundamentals of Algebra **
Statistics I
Introduction to Biostatistics
Social Sciences6
Introductory Psychology
One course from ANTH, ECON, GEND, LEAD, PSCI, RES or SOC
A&S Electives **,***6
Molecular Biology
One course with EASC attribute
Free Electives #
15 credits selected from 1000–4999 numbered offerings within the university15
Total Credits123.0
†Specialization in Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Students must select one additional 3 credit Major Elective course if selecting this specialization.
Functional Human Anatomy
Functional Human Anatomy Laboratory
Methods of Riding Instruction I
Introduction to Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Application of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Methods of Riding Instruction II
†Specialization in Pre-Veterinary Studies
Students must use 1 credit of free-electives to complete the specialization
General Physics I
General Physics I Laboratory
General Physics II
General Physics II Laboratory
General Chemistry II
General Chemistry II Laboratory
Organic Chemistry I
Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry II Laboratory

IcTypically, internships require a minimum of six credits. Students interested in a 9 or 12-credit internship can apply additional experiential learning and free elective credits, if available. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty adviser before scheduling internship and free elective credits.

D Directed Experiential Education (DEE) opportunities are based on project availability with community partners and student eligibility. For more information, visit Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS). 

#  In addition to classes, free elective credits may be applied to a number of options such as internship, study abroad, Directed Experiential Education courses and courses in a specialization or minor as relevant. For Accelerated Master's program students, up to three graduate-level courses may apply. Students are strongly encouraged to contact a faculty advisor before scheduling free elective credits.

NOTE: Students must pass MATH0010 Pre-Algebra or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in required math course(s).

Note: Students must pass ENG0001 Writing Workshop or have equivalent placement scores to enroll in ILS 2000 level courses

In collaboration with academic colleges across all JWU campuses, JWU Global Study Abroad programs offer a variety of international options for major, minor, arts and sciences, and elective credit at many affordable price points for students during the academic year, break periods, and summer. Faculty-led, exchange, affiliate, and direct-enroll programs range in duration from one week to a full semester or full year. Financial aid may be applied and scholarships are available. Visit the study abroad website for information, program descriptions and online applications. Where will you go?