Outdoor Skills and Leadership Certificate


The certificate is a nine month intensive humanities program designed to develop skills and characteristics that are essential to success as an individual, a group member, and a leader in outdoor and adventure settings. The program incorporates outdoor risk management, leadership skills, specific outdoor activity skills (such as rock and ice climbing, kayaking, skiing, camping), and academic work in areas such as Alaska history, science, philosophy, and communication. Both outdoor and academic courses are designed to develop not only knowledge but also personal traits such as self-reliance and good judgment. The curriculum includes 34 credits of course work and practical learning experiences. Individuals who complete the program will have the knowledge and skills to plan and manage a variety of outdoor experiences and will be well qualified for entry level positions in the outdoor industry. The Outdoor Skills and Leadership program offers courses in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.

Admission Requirements

Please see the section titled "Additional Program Requirements: Outdoor Studies" on our Admissions page for specific application and admission requirements.

Minimum Credit Hours 34-35
Program Requirements 13-14
Related Academic Courses 10
Skills Courses 11

Students must complete WRTG S111 with a C (2.00) or higher or place into WRTG S111 to complete this program. Students should note that they are only allowed to take courses for which they meet the prerequisites.

Program Requirements
ENVI S120*Cultures and Environments3
ODS S120Wilderness First Responder4
ODS S243Outdoor Studies and Leadership3
ODS S245Outdoor Studies Expedition I3-4
Related academic courses
Select one of the following:4
Mountain Studies: Philosophy, Literature, and Practice
Ocean Studies: Images of the Environment
Select two of the following:6
Literature and the Environment
Sport, Leisure, and Culture
Alaska: A Contested Geography
Selected Topics in Outdoor Studies
Perspectives on the Natural World
Skills courses
Select 11 credits of the following:11
Swiftwater Rescue
Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Winter Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Introduction to Rock Climbing
Introduction to Ice Climbing
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory I
Introduction to Sea Kayaking
Introduction to Swiftwater Travel
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding
Backcountry Navigation
Rock Climbing Level II
Ice Climbing Level II
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory Level II
Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Fundamentals
Mountaineering I
Advanced Sea Kayaking 1

May be repeated for up to 3 credits.

Degree: Certificate, Outdoor Skills & Leadership; BLA Outdoor and Adventure Studies; Geography & Environmental Studies

Students who complete any of the Outdoor Studies programs will:

1. Develop skills required to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities and act as a group leader/entry level professional in some of those activities.

2. Be able to intelligently discuss and write about important academic and intellectual approaches to understanding human relationships to the natural world.

3. Understand the general theoretical foundations of outdoor leadership and education and be able to apply their understanding in leadership situations.

4. Have the ability to plan and execute significant trips in outdoor settings.

5. Develop their capacity to manage and lead groups in outdoor settings. Students who complete the Outdoor and Adventure Studies BLA will additionally:

6. Be able to integrate their intellectual understanding of outdoor leisure and recreation into a larger view developed through their completion of the Liberal Arts program. As well, they will develop the ability to plan and execute significant multi-week expeditions. Students who complete the Geography and Environmental Studies program will additionally:

7. Be able to integrate their understanding of understanding of outdoor leisure and recreation with their understanding of geography and environmental studies. As well, they will develop the ability to plan and execute significant multi-week expeditions.