As the school year starts up again, high school seniors across the country are thinking about the next step in their education: college. Students with a love of horses often gravitate toward animal science or equine science programs with goals of becoming trainers, farm managers, or veterinarians. While countless articles, websites, books, and services have focused on matching these horse-loving students with the right universities, many students don’t realize there’s more to this process than just picking a school that offers the major they desire; each major’s "home department" faculty and mission largely influence a student’s college experience and the marketable strengths they develop. And the type of university or college will dictate how these departments operate. Likely, animal science programs at large agriculture-oriented universities will offer different strengths (and weaknesses) than the same majors at small liberal arts colleges.
In this article we will discuss how animal and equine science departments differ at four types of colleges and universities, as well as how a student can go about choosing the best program for him or her. We’ve used a few schools as examples, but there are many excellent programs to choose from; be sure to explore all the options.
Why Animal Science
In the current economy, students are anxious to earn a degree that will give them the knowledge and skills necessary to land a good job afte