Skip navigation

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How does distance education work?

Distance continuing education allows you to study at home, in your office, or even while you are travelling allowing you to participate according to your own schedule. There are no classes to attend on campus and no schedule where you have to be online at a certain time. All students registered in a course begin the course at the same time and finish at the same time. Generally, each course comes with student learning materials that may be accompanied by CDs, DVDs, and industry resources depending on the nature of the course. As a registered student, you will be provided with a login and password to a secure learning management system which is web-based and accessible through the internet. The learning management system houses the content of the course and is the hub of your course instruction. You will interact with the instructor and other students in the class through the learning management system. The instructor will guide you through your course and you will participate in various learning activities, access discussion boards, interact with the course content through readings, videos, and other materials.  You will demonstrate your learning by completing online quizzes, submitting assignments and papers. Every course has an assessment which results in grade which is recorded on a University of Guelph transcript.

University of Guelph has a tradition of outreach and open learning opportunities and distance education provides a contemporary means through which we can continue to provide accessible learning to the community.

How are the courses conducted?

All courses are online. Each course is 12 weeks in length. You are not required to be online at any specific time and your course is open 24 hrs a day. You should be online and active in your course at least three times a week, however students find checking in everyday helps to complete the course requirements easily. An instructor facilitates the course and you have readings, activities and online discussion activities to be completed weekly. Assignments, quizzes and papers are part of the assessment of your grade. Course expectations vary with each course. Refer to the course information pages for information on each course.

Is the course lead by an instructor?

Yes the course is facilitated by an instructor. The instructor facilitates your learning, provides feedback on your progress, and interacts with students through the discussion board and email, to help you keep on schedule and contributing to your success in the course. Instructors answer all student questions and they actively participate with you in the course.

You can view our instructors bio’s on the Instructor link.

Can I take the courses in any order?

Yes, you may take the courses in any order. We do suggest all students begin with the Management of the Equine Environment course; students should take Functional Anatomy before Equine Exercise Physiology, Equine Nutrition before Equine Growth & Development, Stewardship of the Equine Environment after Management of the Equine Environment and leave Equine Genetics to the end of your studies. There are courses in the Equine Welfare Certificate which require pre-requisites. You must meet the pre-requisite requirements of a course before you are able to take the course.

If you have any questions on which order to take your courses please contact Open Learning and Educational Support and we can assist you in your decision. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

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 work on your courses full time this may be an option. Please contact our office to discuss this option with the program manager. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

We recommend you only register for one course when you are taking any of the advanced courses. The advanced equine courses require self-directed research and preparing presentations and you may find you spend 15 hours a week or more during some weeks of the course.

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.

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 health and welfare of horses, the equine industry and business management.

How long are the courses?

Each course in 12 weeks in length. All students begin the class at the same time and end at the same time. Courses are broken down into units that are completed each week 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.

How much time will I need to devote to my distance course each week?

The courses will vary in workload. We suggest you plan to spend six to ten (6 – 10) hours per week on your course. Some courses have optional readings and activities and students have reported spending over 10 hours during weeks where the subject matter is of great interest. During weeks you are preparing an assignment or engaging in an additional activity you may find you spend additional time. The Advanced Equine courses require self-directed research and preparing presentations, again you may find you spend 15 hours a week or more during some weeks of the course.

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. You will find your textbook listed on the course description page. Most publishers sell the textbooks online.

When can I start?

Courses are offered on a rotating basis each January, May and September. You can begin your courses at any of these times. All students begin and end a course together. You will find the current course schedule on the Schedule link.

I’m going to be on vacation during the course, will this be a problem?

That’s a difficult question. You can access the course anywhere you have access to the internet. If you have a device (computer, laptop, IPad) and access to the internet you can continue to participate in your course anywhere in the world. While you are planning your vacation remember there are weekly discussions and activities you will need to complete. You will be responsible for keeping up with your coursework and submitting assignments as they are scheduled. If you are planning a vacation we recommend you review the course schedule to ensure you are able to complete your coursework. You will not be granted any extensions because you are on vacation. On the other hand online courses offer the flexibility that allows you to travel and participate anywhere you are.

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.

How many assignments will I have to complete?

Each course is unique and has different assignment requirements. You can expect variety in the type and number of assignments.  An overview of the assignments can be found on the individual course description pages. You will have access to the specific details of your course assignments and deadlines when you login to your course.

How should I prepare my distance education assignment?

Your course will contain specific directions about how to prepare your assignments for submission. Your instructor will provide you with detailed information on all of the course requirements through a course outline and assignment instructions. Assignments are easily submitted as a file attachment inside the learning management system.

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. Contact your instructor in advance of the due date, if possible, if you are unable to complete your assignment on time Instructors may use their discretion to deduct marks for late assignments. Medical documentation may be requested if illness has prevented you from keeping up with your course.

What is the grade structure for the courses?

Assignment of course grades 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

When you apply for your certificate or diploma, those students achieving a cumulative average of:
80% or higher will receive a Certificate/Diploma with Distinction
70-79% will receive a Certificate/Diploma with Honours
Passing grade less than 70% but more 50% will receive a Certificate/Diploma

Do students receive a transcript?

Yes, the equine online courses have an assessment process which results in the assignment of grades. Each course will have a selection of activities, quizzes, papers, research and other activities which the instructors will provide feedback on grades to the student. At the completion of the course students are mailed a grade report. At any time students may request a University of Guelph transcript. There is a $12 fee to obtain the transcript. The transcript request form is located on the Current Student page.

What are the different certificate and diploma online programs offered by the University of Guelph?

Our equine online studies programs include:

The University of Guelph has a variety of face-to-face equine programs including:

And through the Ontario Veterinary College the University of Guelph offers a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Where do I find the certificate and diploma requirements?

Start at our Home page and select the certificate or diploma program you are interested in, or alternatively begin at the Course Description page and select the certificate or diploma program from the drop down menu or browse the different course offerings and their requirements.

Can I obtain more than one certificate?

Yes, you can obtain more than one certificate or diploma but the University of Guelph has a double counting rule which requires a minimum of 50% of the courses to be unique to a credential. For example you cannot complete the ten courses required for the Diploma in Equine Studies and also request the Certificate in Equine Business Management. To achieve both you would need to complete a further three courses meeting the 50% rule in the Certificate in Equine Business Management.

If you are working toward more than one certificate or the diploma plus a certificate please contact our office and we can assist you in planning your course of study. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

What is the difference between the Equine Science Certificate and the Diploma in Equine Studies?

The Diploma in Equine Studies is a comprehensive course of study requiring you to complete 10 courses, six core courses and four electives. The Equine Science Certificate is comprised of six courses – four core courses and two electives. You can choose to study for the Equine Science Certificate or the Diploma from the beginning of your studies or you can complete the Equine Science Certificate and continue your studies to complete the Diploma. The Diploma in Equine Studies allows you to combine the science and business courses for a broader selection in your course of studies.

Can I earn both the Equine Science Certificate and the Diploma in Equine Studies?

Many studies begin their studies with the Equine Science Certificate and go on to complete the Diploma in Equine Studies. If you complete both the Equine Science Certificate and the Diploma in Equine Studies, the Diploma replaces the Equine Science Certificate. The Diploma in Equine Studies is considered the higher credential. Additionally, all of the courses in your Equine Science Certificate are also included in your Diploma studies. Therefore you have not met the University of Guelph’s requirement for obtaining two certificate/diplomas. This double counting of courses policy requires that a minimum of 50% of the courses in any certificate or diploma must be unique to the credential. Because the four core courses are part of both the certificate and diploma you cannot officially hold both.

Over the years our equine students have been very passionate and proud about their studies and the accomplishment of completing the Equine Science Certificate. Because of this we no longer require students to send back their Equine Science Certificate once they have completed the Diploma in Equine Studies. However, students should still be aware that academically you hold one credential, the Diploma in Equine Studies.

Once you begin your studies you have 10 years to complete your Diploma.

Can I earn both the Diploma in Equine Studies and the Certificate in Equine Business Management?

Yes you can but you will need to plan your course selection carefully. Three courses you select for the Certificate in Equine Business Management cannot be used to meet the requirements of the Diploma in Equine Studies. If you select your courses with care you can complete both credentials by taking a total of ten courses.

If you are working toward more than one certificate or the diploma plus a certificate please contact our office and we can assist you in planning your course of study. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

I already have the Diploma in Equine Studies can I still work toward the Equine Welfare Certificate?

Yes you can but you will need to plan your course selection carefully to ensure you have the courses you need to meet the Equine Welfare Certificate program requirements.
If you are working toward more than one certificate or the diploma plus a certificate please contact our office and we can assist you in planning your course of study. info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca

Can I register for courses if I am not interested in a certificate or diploma program?
Spoiler content
What do I get with the credentials?

Absolutely, the courses can be taken for professional development or interest. You do have to meet pre-requisites requirements of any course you register for.

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 or diploma, 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, pharmaceutical sales, 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 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 just 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 do I receive my certificate or diploma?
Once you have completed the requirements for the certificate or diploma program complete the Certificate Request Form found on the Current Student page. There is no cost to request your certificate or diploma parchment. It takes approximately four to six weeks to receive your parchment in the mail.

Registration FAQ

How do I register for a course?

You can register for a course using our secure online registration system.
You may also register by fax or mail by printing and completing the registration form.
Finally, if you live in Guelph you can register at our administrative office at Rm 160 Johnston Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1.

You will find registration information on the Registration Page

When should I register?

Registration typically opens 12 weeks before the course start date. You will register for only the courses you will be taking in the current semester. 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. We do have an early-bird registration discount for students who register before this early-bird deadline date which is 30 days prior to the course start date.

What are the registration deadlines?

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. We do have an early-bird registration discount for students who register before this early-bird deadline date which is 30 days prior to the course start date. Please be aware that we do have courses which become full prior to the early-bird deadline date.

Are there restrictions on who is eligible to take the courses?

Our courses are open to everyone. Students are required to be at least 18 years of age. The courses are at University level, and the expectations are in line with this. It is recommended you read the course description carefully to ensure the course is right for you.

What English proficiency level is required to take these courses?

The courses are 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.

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. The course drop form can be found on the Current Students page.

What if I cannot complete the course?

If during the course you become ill or injured and you find that you are having trouble completing the course work or will miss an assignment deadline, please talk to your course instructor. The University of Guelph has an Academic Consideration policy that allows you to request an extension to your assignment if you have a medical, psychological or compassionate reason. Medical documentation will be required. The instructor will then work with you to set a new due date.

If the nature of your illness or injury is such that you decide the right option for you is to drop the course you will need to complete a course drop form. If you have missed the drop deadline you will also need to complete the Request for Academic Consideration form. The University of Guelph will consider granting Academic Consideration for courses if there is extenuating medical, psychological, or compassion reasons. Academic Consideration may take the form of an extended deadline, a deferred privilege, a late drop or course withdrawal. If you require Academic Consideration beyond the end of the last day of the course you must notify the Program Manager immediately. The Program Managers contact information can be found on the Contact Us page.

What is the course cancellation policy?

You will find the course cancellation policy here.

Financial FAQ

What is the cost of each course?

The cost of our online courses range from  $495.00 Canadian – $549 (Early Bird) and $549.00 – $625.00 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 these 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.