Equine Vet Schools In California

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

The best equine vet schools in California are thorough and fast-paced programs designed to turn out veterinarians that are ready to take charge of the health care needs of horses and their owners. In order to get into one of these vet schools, you will often have to go through the application process during your senior year of high school or during your first two years of college.

Going through the article below will give you the best & latest information on equine vet schools in California, equine vet school requirements & large animal vet schools. All you have to do is read on to know more.

You will also discover related articles on equine studies colleges in California, UC Davis, veterinary schools in California Los Angeles, equine vet schools in Texas & UC Davis equine hospital on infolearners.

Equine Vet Schools In California

UC Davis veterinary school is ranked No. 1 again - Today's Veterinary  Business


California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) is located in San Luis Obispo, California, and offers a B.S. in Animal Science with an Equine Science emphasis.

The Equine Science Program course work includes: Equine Science, Biomechanics, Equine Nutrition, Equine Reproduction, and Equine Behavior Modification. The Equine Program is centered around Cal Poly’s herd of 100-200 horses including Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. The Cal Poly Equine Facilities include a Breeding Lab, Stallion Barn, Arenas, Pastures, and a Student Barn.

Cal Poly has several Equine Clubs and Teams, including Dressage, Equestrian, and Western including Cutting and Reining. Cal Poly Equine Clubs and Teams Page.

Cal Poly Pomona is located in Pomona, California, and offers a B.S. in Animal Science. The Equine Program at Cal Poly Pomona ( in addition to a Pre Veterinary Option ) offers two degree tracks: Equine Business or Equine Science

The oourse work includes: Equine Nutrition, Equine Genetics, Equine Reproduction, Equine Physiology, Farrier Science, Managerial Accounting and Finance, and the Legal Structure of Business. View the Cal Poly Pomona Program Page. The Equine Program centers around the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center. The Showcase facility houses approximately 150 Arabian horses, an Equine Research Facility, Vet Lab, and Barns. The Cal Poly Drill Team performs with select Arabians. The school also fields a competitive Horse Show Team and Rodeo Team.

Fresno State (California State University at Fresno) is located in Fresno, California, and offers a B.S. in Animal Science with an Equine Science Specialization

The course work includes: Equine Nutrition, Stable Management, Equine Reproduction, Business Aspects of the Horse Business and Training Colts.

The Fresno State Equestrian Team competes in both Hunt Seat and Western. There are two barns with 40 stalls and a large outdoor arena.

UC-Davis (University of California-Davis) is located in Davis, California, and offers a B.S. in Animal Science and a B.S. in Animal Science and Management with electives in Equine Science. The UC-Davis Equine Program is extensive. UC-Davis also operates a School of Veterinary Medicine housing the Center for Equine Health. Founded in 1973, the Center oversees Equine Research and publishes (quarterly) The Horse Report, available online. A Special Edition, Minimum Standards for Horse Care in the State of California, is must reading for anyone in the horse business. See: Minimum Standards for Horse Care. The UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine also operates a Teaching Hospital with a very broad array of Equine Services, including Equine MRI, Stem Cell Treatment, Advanced Fracture Repair, Equine Dentistry, Prepurchase Exams, Farrier Services, Foaling Services, and many others. See: UC-Davis Equine Clinic. UC-Davis also offers competitve teams in Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, Eventing at Western Disciplines. See: Team Links. The Teams operate from the UC-Davis Equestrian Center, which provides Indoor and Outdoor Arenas, Pastures, Horse Boarding, and four barns

Shasta College is located in Redding, California, and offers an A.S. in Equine Science as well as a Certificate in Equine Science.

The course work includes: English and Western Riding, Equine Reproduction, Equine Nutrition, Showing and Training the Hunter/Jumper, and Equine Management. Shasta has lighted arena and conducts annual horse shows. See the Shasta College Equine Science Brochure.

Pierce College is located in Woodland Hills, California, and offers an A.S. in Horse Science as well as Certificate in Horse Science

Course work includes: Horse Production and Management, Nutrition, Equine Physiology, Equitation, Farrier Science and additional work in Riding Disciplines. It is anchored by a 225-acre farm, four arenas, fifty-plus stalls, and a Rodeo Arena. See the Pierce College Horse Program Brochure. Pierce College also offers a competitive teams through the Rodeo Club and Equestrian Club, with both Club Pages being found on My Space.

Mt. San Antonio College is located in Walnut, California, just west of Cal Poly Pomona. Mt. SAC ( as it is locally known ) offers an A.S. in Horse Ranch Management; a Certificate is also available in Horse Ranch Management.

Course work includes: Equine Nutrition, Equine Breeding, Hoof Care, Equine Behavior and Training, Small Business Management, and Microcomputer Uses In Agriculture. See the Mt. SAC Animal Science Department Page

Merced College is located in Merced, California, and offers an A.A./A.S in Horse Management plus a Certificate in Horse Management.

Course work includes: Equine Nutrition, Western Riding, Hoof Care and Trimming, Tack Repair, Young Horse Training, and the Care of Trail and Pack Animals.

Merced also offers an 18 week Horseshoeing and Advanced Horseshoeing Program with a Certificate of Completion. Course work includes Hoof balance, Trimming, and Forge Work. See the Horseshoeing Program Page.

Sierra College is located in Rocklin, California, and offers an A.S. in Equine Studies and a Certificate in Equine Studies.

Course work includes Equine Management, Equine Science, Business Management, Horse Training, Broodmare Management, Equine Nutrition, and Competitive Riding.

Santa Rosa Junior College is located in Santa Rosa, California, and offers an A.S. in Equine Science or a Certificate of Equine Science.

Course work includes Nutrition, Reproduction, Farrier Science, Management, Therepeutic Riding Procedures and Operations, Equine Color Genetics, and Equine First Aid.

Santa Rosa is a well-endowed Junior College in California Wine Country and is blessed with 365 acre farm that produces its own wines. The Shone Farm also encompasses Indoor and Outdoor Arenas, Stable, Mare Motel, and Pastures.

Feather River College is located in Quincy, California. and offers a unique A.S. in Pack Horse and Stable Operations. It is featured as a Spotlight College.

The College of the Sequoias is located in Visalia, California, and offers a Certificate in Equine Science

The course work includes: Colt Breaking, Horse Production, Equine Diseases and Sanitation, Basic Equitation, Hoof Care and Grooming. See the Equine Science Departmental Page. The College of the Sequoias is planning to expand its Equine Science Program and has plans for expansion of its facilities.

equine vet school requirements

Horses can be seen everywhere from rodeos to dressage meets to Olympic competitions. Equine vets are specialty veterinarians for horses. They can have their own clinics or work for barns or organizations that take care of or board a large number of horses. They need a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, and they may complete a postgraduate internship in equine care. Their duties could include examining horses to diagnose health problems, treating injuries, performing surgery, prescribing medication, euthanizing sick or injured horses, providing vaccinations and advising owners regarding the care of their horses. The following chart gives an overview of what you need to know to enter this profession.

Degree RequiredBachelor’s degree & Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from an accredited school
Education Field of StudyVeterinary medicine with specialization in horses
Training RequiredOptional 1-yr. internship available post-grad
Key SkillsProvide medical treatment & healthcare for horses; provide information on horse nutrition, breeding & housing
Licensure/Certification RequiredNorth American Veterinary Licensing Exam required; state license required; board certification optional
Job Growth (2018-2028 )18% increase for all veterinarians*
Average Salary (2018)$105,240 for all veterinarians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need to Become an Equine Veterinarian?

Some professional veterinary programs will admit students that do not have bachelor’s degrees, but if you have not earned a bachelor’s degree, you may struggle to be admitted. All programs require students to complete at least two to three years of pre-veterinary coursework from an undergraduate program. Undergrad classes should include animal and general biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, genetics and physics.

To become an equine veterinarian, you must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from a college or university accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). A DVM program takes four years to complete. Generally, the first three years of the program involve coursework useful for all types of veterinary practice, such as anatomy, histology, veterinary neurobiology and reproductive physiology. The fourth year is dedicated to clinical rotations through several areas of veterinary care like large animal medicine, surgery, critical care and ambulatory care.

Many graduates of a DVM program opt to pursue a 1-year internship to gain further hands-on experience before entering practice. Organizations like the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians can connect you with an internship under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

After completion of your internship, you can specialize further by applying to a residency program for a subspecialty like sports medicine, radiology, theriogenology, large animal surgery or equine internal medicine. A residency program lasts 3-5 years and will prepare you to take a certification exam in your subspecialty.

What Licensing or Certification Do I Need?

Following graduation from a DVM program, you must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam, which is provided by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. You’re also required to obtain a license from the state in which you intend to practice. After you become a practicing veterinarian, you can become board certified in equine practice through the AMVA without a residency.

What Would My Job Duties Include?

As an equine veterinarian, you might provide assistance with reproduction and birthing, as well as medical care, including vaccinations, wound dressing, surgeries and procedures to repair mild bone breaks. You could care for all types of equines, like farm, ranch, race, performance or reproductive horses.

Equine veterinarians often travel to farms or ranches to perform their duties. You might also consult with ranchers and farmers regarding the feeding, housing and breeding of horses. You could also opt to work in a veterinary teaching hospital, where you would research new methods used to prevent and treat equine illnesses.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for all veterinarians is expected to increase at a rate of about 18% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than average for all U.S. occupations (www.bls.gov). The need for vets who work with farm animals, like equine veterinarians, may hold the best prospects since most veterinary graduates will enter small animal practices. In 2018, about 14% of veterinarians in private practice worked solely with horses. The BLS also reports that in May 2018, the average yearly salary for veterinarians in general was about $105,240.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include vet assistants and service workers who normally feed, groom and exercise farm or vet animals. These careers require a high school diploma or the equivalent. Bachelor’s degrees are needed for agricultural scientists, zoologists and biologists who all work in research and animal studies. Doctorates are needed if the alternative career of choice has to do with being a medical doctor, physician or surgeon.

equine vet Cost of Attendance

UC Davis tops list of veterinary school rankings for second time-dvm360

Cost of Attendance is an estimated budget that the school uses to help students maximize financial aid opportunities. This budget is estimated using direct and indirect costs that a student will incur while enrolled in an academic program.

Direct Costs: Expenses that the student will pay directly to the school. These items include Tuition and Fees, Health Insurance, and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (for California nonresidents).

Indirect Costs: Estimated expenses that the student will incur while enrolled in an academic program but will not pay to the school. These items include Books and Supplies, Room & Board, Personal Expenses, and Transportation.  


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program 2021-

Expenses1st Yr.2nd Yr.3rd Yr.4th Yr.
Tuition & Fees (1)$32,622$32,622$32,622$36,702
Health Insurance (1)$5,304$5,304$5,304$5,304
Room & Board (2)$17,155$17,155$17,155$20,581
Personal Expenses$1,921$1,921$1,921$2,302
Books and Supplies$3,795$2,270$3,420$4,579
Total for California Residents 
(includes health insurance)
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition
(for California nonresidents)
Total for Non-residents
(includes health insurance)

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