Frequently Asked Questions

Technical & Material Requirements FAQ

Policies & Procedures FAQ

Financial FAQ

How does the Diploma in Equine Studies fit in with the other equine online programs offered by the University of Guelph?
We now have 15 courses available for our equine students. Students can combine these courses to achieve a certificate or diploma. The Diploma in Equine Studies requires you to complete 10 courses. Some courses can be used for more than one program. The following chart illustrates where each of the equine online offerings fits into the certificate and diploma programs.
Continuing Education Program ESC¹
(6 Courses)
(6 Courses)
(10 Courses)
Stewardship of the Equine Environment. Reducing your environmental "hoofprint"   Elective Core
Equine Journalism   Elective Elective
Equine Event Management   Elective Elective
Finance and Risk Management   Core Elective
The Equine Industry   Core Elective
Marketing & Communications in the Equine Industry   Core Elective
Equine Business Management   Core Elective
Management of the Equine Environment Core Core Core
Health & Disease Prevention Core   Core
Equine Nutrition Core   Core
Functional Anatomy Core   Core
Equine Behaviour Elective   Core
Growth & Development Elective   Elective
Exercise Physiology Elective   Elective
Equine Genetics Elective   Elective

¹ESC: Equine Science Certificate
²CEBM: Certificate in Equine Business Management
³DES: Diploma in Equine Studies

What is the difference between the Equine Science Certificate and the Diploma in Equine Studies?
The Equine Science Certificate is comprised of six courses – four core courses and two electives and the Diploma is comprised of ten courses. Students cannot study for both programs, but can decide whether to earn the Equine Certificate (6 courses) or the Diploma in Equine Studies (10 courses). If a student has completed the Equine Science Certificate and then decides to obtain the Diploma, they must complete all ten courses within ten years of starting the first course.

Students who wish to obtain the Certificate in Equine Business Management and the Diploma in Equine Studies may apply a maximum of three courses to both credentials. This follows University of Guelph policies on double counting courses for certificate and diploma completition requirements.

What do I get with the Credentials?
These courses are designed to bring evidence-based knowledge to the student in an applied format to improve the management and welfare of horses in the industry. As a result, you will become a more informed person with up-to-date information based on new research. This becomes an important tool for anyone who wants a career in the horse industry. Many of our graduates have taken positions in equine management and find that with our Certificate, they are able to move up in positions faster, due to the greater knowledge that they have. Other graduates have started new careers in equine administration, journalism, farm management, event coordinator and teaching to name a few. The Certificate and Diploma do not train you for one job, but prepare you to be better qualified for many jobs and professional opportunities.

How you use the Certificate or Diploma to advance your position and open up new opportunities will depend on you, but we are finding the industry is welcoming our graduates and giving them opportunities they would not have had otherwise.
How many courses can I complete at once?
We strongly recommend you start with one course per semester, and then decide whether you can increase your workload to two courses per semester. We recommend students do not enroll in more than two per semester, in order to get as much as possible from each course. Recently we have had an increase in students requesting to take three courses a semester. If you are planning to to work on your courses full time this may be an option. Please contact our office to discuss this option with the program manager.
Is owning a horse a requirement for taking any of the courses?
No, it is not required. It is strongly recommended that you have access to a horse, a horse facility and various professionals in order to complete the optional learning activities.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
Students must either be at least 18 years of age, or have completed Grade 12 or equivalent in order to register for these courses.
Where do I take the courses?
You can take the course from wherever you have a computer linked to the Internet! The benefit of the online format is that you can work around your busy schedule by studying from the comfort of your own home and at a time convenient to you. There are no classes to attend. All that is required is a computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to learn more about the equine industry and business management.
How long are the courses?
Each course in the Diploma is 12 weeks in length. Students log onto the course web site several times per week to find out what to do, talk with classmates and instructors in the course discussion area, participate in learning activities, submit assignments, and check grades. Courses are broken down into units that are completed each week. the course is facilitated by an instructor, with everyone progressing through the course at the same time. Having the course paced like this over each week allows you to have the support you need from classmates and instructors to successfully complete your course. You have the opportunity and flexibility within each week to determine when you will participate in the course. This will enable you to balance work, family and your horses to meet your educational goals.

Courses are offered on a rotating schedule in January, May and September each year. It can take three years or more to complete all of the courses. Check the Courses page for scheduling of courses.
When can I start?
Courses are offered on a rotating basis each January, May and September. For specific start dates, call Open Learning and Educational Support at 519 767-5000, visit Open Learning and Educational Support or see the course offering page.
What courses do I need to obtain my Diploma?
To obtain the Diploma, you must complete the ten courses successfully. Should you wish, you can also opt only for individual courses. While it is possible to take the courses in any order we suggest starting with Management of the Equine Environment. The required courses for the Diploma are as follows:

Required Courses:

  • Management of the Equine Environment
    Learn how to set-up and manage a safe and environmentally responsible horse housing establishment.
  • Equine Health and Disease Prevention
    Learn about proactive steps you can take to prevent illness.
  • Equine Nutrition
    Enhance the overall health and performance of your horse through improved nutrition.
  • Equine Functional Anatomy
    Gain an appreciation of the functional anatomy of the running machine.
  • Equine Behaviour
    Enhance the welfare of horses in your care by adapting their environment and handling to compliment their behaviour.
  • Stewardship of the Equine Environment. Reducing your environmental "hoofprint"
    Explore the importance of properly managing the natural environment and man-made facilities to optimize the health of your horses.

Elective courses

  • Growth and Development
    Understand the basic concepts of growth and manage the development phases of your horse.
  • Equine Genetics
    Understand the various genetic considerations; including colour, medical an performance traits that can affect a breeding program.
  • Equine Exercise Physiology
    Gain insight into equine body systems, functions, and how to strengthen your equine athlete.
  • The Equine Industry
    Read, reflect and discuss on important issues which have, or continue to have a porfound impact on the industry today and in the future.
  • Equine Business Management
    Understand the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to become an equine entrepreneur.
  • Marketing & Communications in the Equine Industry
    Learn communication skills and marketing strategies to build a sustainable equine business.
  • Equine Business Finance & Risk Management
    Examine and basic principles of financial management and study common risk and liability issues unique to running your equine enterprise.
  • Equine Journalism
    With over 130 horse magazines published throughout North America, discover how to create quality work for this niche market.
  • Equine Event Management
    Learn event management principles and develop skills to plan, initiate, host and evaluate a successful event in the equine industry.
Can the courses be taken in any order?
While it is possible to take the courses in any order, we strongly recommend you consider the following:

Start with Management of the Equine Environment
Take Nutrition before Growth & Development
Take Growth & Development before Genetics
Take Management of the Equine Environment before Stewardship of the Equine Environment
Complete Exercise Physiology and Equine Genetics as the last courses.
How long does it take to finish the Diploma in Equine Studies?
The Diploma program consists of ten courses. If you were to take one course a semester, it would therefore take ten semesters, or over three years. However, many students choose to complete two courses a year and take a break in one semester. You can take up to ten years from the start of your first course to complete and receive the Diploma in Equine Studies.
How much time will I need to devote to my distance course each week?
Online equine continuing education courses are just as demanding as on-campus university courses. They require a significant amount of reading and writing, and a corresponding amount of time is required to complete course requirements. A general rule of thumb is that you should expect to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week for each course taken. However, there is some variation in the nature of assignments and instructor requirements, as well as individual study habits. We recommend that you establish a study routine and schedule early in the semester.
Could you send me an Open Learning and Educational Support catalogue?
Because our courses and programs are so wide-ranging, and targeted to such a diversity of learners, we do not have a single printed catalogue. For a complete listing of courses offered by Open Learning and Educational Support visit www.OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

Continuing Education
More detailed information, including registration forms, is available on each continuing education offering. Please request a brochure regarding the program in which you are interested.

Distance Education
A catalogue of degree-credit distance education courses is available. Contact info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca to request one.

How does distance education work?
Distance continuing education allows you to study at home or in your office, according to your own schedule... there are no classes to attend. Generally, each course comes with a manual that may be accompanied by CDs, DVDs, etc., depending on the nature of the course. Courses incorporate a learning management system which is web-based. Students will access discussion boards, e-mail, and computer-based quizzes using the internet as an innovative learning environment. Distance education provides a contemporary means through which the University of Guelph continues its tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities.
Where do I get the required textbooks for my courses?
You may order textbooks from any book seller. The University Bookstore and Co-Op Bookstore will carry the required textbooks just prior to each course offering, but do not stock them on an ongoing basis. Each course offering provides links to both on campus bookstores, as well as the publishers’ websites. Most publishers sell the textbooks online.
How do I register for a course?
You can register online using the online registration form For your convenience you may also register in other ways:

To register by fax, complete the printable registration form and fax it to 519 767-1114.

To register by mail, complete the printable registration form and mail it to: Open Learning and Educational Support University of Guelph 160 Johnston Hall Guelph, Ontario Canada, N1G 2W1

Please let us know the course(s) in which you are interested.
When should I register?
Many of our courses fill up quickly so you should register early. Registration deadlines are posted on each course offering page, if a course is not full we will accept registration up until the end of the first week of class. You should remember that we do not send out course materials until just prior to the course start dates. It can take a week or more for course materials to arrive depending on where you live. International students should allow at least a week for course package delivery. If you wait and register when the course starts, you will not receive course materials until the first week of the course is over. Register early.
What are the registration deadlines?
Each offering has its own registration deadline. Please see the individual course offering pages, or contact us for more information. It is advisable to register early, as the courses have limits and tend to fill early.
Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take the courses in the Diploma in Equine Studies?
The courses in this certificate program are at University level, and the expectations are in line with this. Therefore, participants must either have Grade 12 or equivalent, or be at least 18 years of age.

It is recommended you read the course description carefully, including the information on the intended target audience, to ensure the course is right for you.
What English proficiency level is required to take these courses?
The Certificate in Equine Business Management is facilitated in English. In order to understand fully the course materials and increase your chance of success, we strongly suggest you have an English proficiency equivalent to a score of 89 iBT (Internet-based TOEFL) with no band less than 21, or successful completion of the advanced level of the English Language Certificate Program at the University of Guelph.
How should I prepare my distance education assignment?
Your course site and student handbook contain specific directions about assignment formats. Most assignments are submitted via the course site dropbox. Full details on setting up your assignments and how to submit them are provided in your course materials.
How many assignments will I have to complete?
The courses in the diploma program have anywhere from two to eight assignments, and each assignment has specific requirements and a set due date. Information on your course assignments and assignment deadlines are located in the course outline on the web and in the course information sheets.
What happens if I can't get my assignment in on time?
It is important for you to be aware of due dates so that you can complete and submit your assignments in a timely fashion. Instructors may use their discretion to deduct marks for late assignments. Contact your instructor or peer helper in advance of the due date, if possible, if you are unable to complete your assignment on time. Medical documentation may be requested if illness has prevented you from keeping up with your course.
What if I decide that a course isn't for me?
If you change your mind about taking a course that you have registered for, you will need to let us know as soon as possible. Always refer to the course cancellation policy. You will need to complete a course drop form. Fax the completed Drop Form to notify us of your intent to cancel your enrolment. In order to receive a refund, the form must be received by the cancellation deadline noted in the cancellation policy. Should you decide to not continue after the course drop date, you MUST still complete and send in a Drop Form, informing us of your intentions before the 40th class day to prevent receiving a grade of "F" on your academic record.
What is the course cancellation policy?
A full refund will be issued provided the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support receives a completed Drop Form at least 30 calendar days prior to the course start date.

A refund, less a $25.00 administration fee will be issued provided the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support receives a completed Drop Form at least 21 calendar days prior to the course start date.

A refund, less a $75.00 administration fee will be issued provided the Centre for Open Learning and Educational Support receives a completed Drop Form within 20 calendar days prior to the course start date or up to the end of the second week of the course.

No refunds will be issued after the second week of the course.

Failure to take part in a course does not constitute notification of withdrawal and will result in forfeiture of the entire course fee.

Your course materials must be returned to Open Learning and Educational Support for the refund to be issued.

Should you decide not to continue after the course drop date, you must still send in a completed drop form by the 40th class day to avoid academic penalty (receiving a grade of "F" on your academic record). No drop forms are accepted after the 40 th class day. (The Friday in week 8 of each course.)
What is the grade structure for the courses and what is the structure for granting of diplomas?
The Diploma in Equine Studies will be issued to those students who successfully pass all ten courses and submit a Diploma/Certificate Request form.

Assignment of course grades in the Diploma in Equine Studies program is according to the following standards:

80-100 (A) Excellent
70-79 (B) Good
60-69 (C) Acceptable
50-59 (D) Minimally Acceptable
0-49 (F) Fail

Those students achieving a cumulative average of
80% or higher will receive a Diploma with Distinction
70-79% will receive a Diploma with Honours
Passing grade less than 70% will receive a Diploma
What is the cost of each course?
The cost of each course in the Diploma in Equine Studies program is $495.00 Canadian (Early Bird) and $549.00 Canadian (Regular). Please refer to each course offering for Early Bird cut off dates.

Required Textbooks are not included in the tuition fee, and must be purchased by the student prior to the course start date. Textbooks are listed on each of the course offering pages.

There is no discount for registering in all six courses at once.

Registration by credit card converts foreign currencies to Canadian dollars.
Are Open Learning courses tax deductible?
Receipts are issued. In Canada, the tuition portion of your course fees may be tax deductible.
Is there any form of financial assistance available for these courses?
You may be eligible to receive a bursary award towards an Open Learning and Educational Support continuing education activity and/or Open Learning program. Visit our financial assistance information page for more information.