The University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program, which has long offered the world’s only accredited business degree with a major in equine, is now requiring standards of academic excellence that are among the highest of all colleges of business in the region.
The UofL College of Business, ranked among the nation’s best and in the top 15 for the study of entrepreneurship, now has a 3.0 GPA minimum for admission and retention. This new academic standard will apply to all the undergraduates enrolled in the College, including majors in equine.
“We’ve always tried to recruit undergraduates with a serious career interest in the business aspect of horses,” says Rich Wilcke, Program Director, “but now we are requiring that they also be excellent classroom scholars. To be sure, we still seek students who share our passion for this industry but merely being horse lovers is not enough. They also need a passion for scholarship.”
At the University of Louisville, equine majors take the full curriculum of business courses, which includes all the traditional disciplines: accounting, computer information systems, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, and marketing. In addition, there is a 30-hour track of specialized courses that teach application of skills from these fields to horse enterprises.
“There is no other degree quite like this one,” says Wilcke, “in that it has a much different emphasis than equestrian studies or animal science. And, while UofL sponsors intercollegiate riding teams, the business school does not offer horseback riding or horse training for credit. Those courses are offered elsewhere. Like the Marine Corps, we are looking for ‘a few good students’.”
Because of the uniqueness of the UofL program, out-of-state students can qualify for in-state tuition through the Academic Common Market if they are equine-business majors. Outstanding high-school students interested in the UofL equine program should inquire with the office of admissions about the scholarship opportunities available.