Foal running in a field

Eligibility and application process:

Undergraduate, degree-seeking students currently enrolled at any college or university in the United States or Canada are welcome to apply. International students are also welcome, but should contact program administrators prior to application. Senior standing is preferred, but not required. Students should have completed basic coursework in Animal and/or Equine Science. Students must provide proof of health insurance and have a valid driver’s license. It is highly recommended that students have their own vehicle.

Students are expected to adhere to the Virginia Tech Honor Code at all times. Inappropriate behavior may be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.

Students should be aware they will be working full time on a large-scale horse farm while simultaneously taking classes. Days will be long and some classes may occur during the evenings. During the semester, students are responsible for weekend or holiday chores or activities associated with MARE Center events. Time off will be scheduled and faculty will assist students with time management, but it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to manage time effectively. Students should also be aware they will be operating as ambassadors for Virginia Tech at several equine and community events.

Students must have demonstrated a sincere desire to work at a high level in the equine industry or attend graduate or veterinary school in the equine area. Students must be self-motivated, responsible, and possess a strong work ethic.  In addition, they must be able to work well in team and individual settings, able to lift and carry at least 50 lb, able to deal with adverse weather conditions, competent with basic horse handling skills and have the personal maturity to operate effectively in an intense live-work-learn environment.

Students who wish to be considered for Fall, Spring or Summer programs should send a completed application, copy of their academic transcript and three letters of reference to program administrators by the application deadline. Students making the first cut will undergo an interview period. Video footage of students working with horses may be required. In the event that there are more qualified students than available positions, a wait list will be compiled.

Program Costs:

Regular Virginia Tech tuition costs and university fees will apply. Financial aid for non-Virginia Tech students is handled through the student's home institution. Students are required to live in housing on the farm. Rent will not be charged, but students will be responsible for all utility charges.  Students are responsible for purchases of required textbooks and related school supplies. Students will not be responsible for costs (except meals) associated with field trips or other events for which attendance is required.