An education to live by

Academic rigor, professional development, hands-on learning

Adventure Education (AE) is a rigorous program in which students learn to become teachers, leaders, and professionals. As a major you’ll take classes indoors and out, learn backcountry skills, intern in the industry, immerse yourself in an all-AE semester, conduct and present research, and collaborate with local organizations to solve real problems.

Skills courses

Whatever professional path you follow, to work in the outdoor industry, you’ll need technical skills—to keep yourself and others safe, and in many cases, to teach these skills to others. As a student in Mountaineering, Telemark Skiing, or Advanced Rock Climbing, for instance, you’ll not only develop your own prowess, but learn how to teach these skills to others, and how to manage risk in these environments. See the skills courses in our Catalog.

Immersion semester

Five 200-level courses are taken together in the fall as a block. These courses include Wilderness Expedition, Adventure Leadership, Teaching Methods for Adventure Education, a Wilderness First Responder certification course, and a fifth course that changes year to year. Block prepares AE students for all subsequent courses with a foundation of logistics, risk management, group management and facilitation, and teaching methods.

Please note: During the immersion semester, students are unable to enroll in other courses, and it could impact availability for some co-curriculars. This arrangement can also affect Transfer students with regard to credit transfer. Please do not hesitate to email us with questions.

Professional development

Several AE courses include partnerships with local organizations in the outdoor industry. This not only exposes students to the realities of work in this field, but creates direct personal relationships with the people in those organizations.

Additionally, AE students present their research at regional conferences held by the Association of Experiential Education, and complete an internship as part of the program.

Declaring a major or minor

To declare your Adventure Education major or minor, complete the corresponding AE application in addition to working with your advisor in planning your route to graduation.

Apply to Major Apply to Minor

Course descriptions & requirements

Read descriptions and course requirements in the course catalog.