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Outdoor Skills & Leadership

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 National Forest Service.


Individuals entering the certificate program must provide required application materials by July 1 of the year they wish to enroll. Please visit the ODS website for specific application and admission requirements.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Gainful Employment Disclosure form or website.

Degree Requirements (2014-2015 Catalog)

Minimum Credit Hours30
Students must complete ENGL 111 with a C (2.0) or higher or place into ENGL 211 to complete this program. Students should note that they are only allowed to take courses for which they meet the prerequisites.
Program Requirements30
ENGLS303Literature and the Environment3
ODSS120Wilderness First Responder4
ODSS243Introduction to Outdoor Leadership3
ODSS244Outdoor Leadership2
ODSS245Leadership Capstone1-4
___S___Related academic courses6
Select one from the following (3 credits):
HUMS270Sport, Leisure, and Culture3
PHILS371Perspectives on the Natural World3
Select from the following (12 credits total):
ODSS112Swift Water Rescue1
ODSS114Backpacking in SE Alaska2
ODSS115Winter Backpacking in SE Alaska1
Introduction to Rock Climbing1-2
ODSS117Introduction to Ice Climbing1-2
ODSS118Avalanche Evaluation and Theory-Level I2
ODSS133Introduction to Sea Kayaking2
ODSS134Intro to Whitewater Kayaking1
ODSS148Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding1
ODSS205Backcountry Travel and Navigation2
ODSS216Rock Climbing Level II1-2
ODSS217Ice Climbing Level II1-3
ODSS218Avalanche Evaluation and Theory Level II2
ODSS221Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Fundamentals2
ODSS222Mountaineering I2
ODSS233Expedition Sea Kayaking *1-2
*May be repeated for up to 3 credits

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