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Outdoor Studies

The certificate in Outdoor Skills and Leadership is an intensive nine-month humanities program that offers students the opportunity to better understand their relation to the natural world and 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, and academic work. The combination of outdoor and academic courses is designed to develop not only knowledge but also personal traits such as self-reliance and good judgment.

Students working to become outdoor professionals, wanting to achieve more general goals related to personal development and leadership, or wanting to better understand the natural world will benefit from the program.

Outdoor Studies Program Sheet (1.3Mb)


Outdoor Studies Program Website »

Outdoor Skills and Leadership Certificate

Certificates are programs of study designed to prepare students to secure entry-level employment in their chosen field.

Typically a certificate is 30 credits (one year).

Degree Requirements (2015-2016 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 Requirements

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 one from the following (12 credits):

ODSS112Swift Water Rescue3
ODSS114Backpacking in SE Alaska2
ODSS115Winter Backpacking in SE Alaska1
ODSS116Introduction 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

Bachelor degree programs are typically 120 credits (four years), and are designed to prepare students for employment or graduate school in their chosen field.

Degree Requirements (2015-2016 Catalog)

Courses in a degree program may be counted only once: that is, courses used as Major requirements cannot be used in other parts of the degree program. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Major courses or must be replaced by substitute courses of equal credits.

Minimum Credit Hours120
General Education Requirements35
Liberal Arts Major60

The Liberal Arts Major combines Core and Emphasis courses. Of the 60 total credits required for the Major, 45 must be completed through UAS. Courses completed for the Liberal Arts Major must receive a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Liberal Arts Core

HUMS200Orientation to the Liberal Arts2
HUMS210Student Portfolio1
___S___Communications, Literature or Writing (upper-division elective)*3
___S___Philosophy (Introduction, Logic, or Ethics)**3
___S___Social Science, Math, or Natural Science (elective)3-4
___S___Cultural Diversity Courses***6-8


** PHIL S101, PHIL S201, PHIL S206, PHIL S301

*** Cultural Diversity courses include: world languages, world history, Alaska Native languages, or BLA faculty advisor-approved courses in anthropology, art, communication, literature, and the humanities or social sciences, including transfer or study abroad courses, with an evident focus in cultural diversity.

Upon admission into the BLA program, students are required to enroll in Orientation to the Liberal Arts and Student Portfolio courses. These courses are designed to assist students in planning their program of study with the approval of their BLA faculty advisor. The portfolio is used for purposes of continuing self-assessment during the student’s BLA program. Students must complete the Orientation and Portfolio courses within the first three semesters after matriculation; those who do not will be dropped from the BLA program and must officially reapply for admission.

Liberal Arts Emphasis

In each BLA degree program, students pursue one of the following Emphasis options: Designated Emphasis, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Independent Design. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Emphasis courses or must be replaced by substitute disciplinary courses of equal credits.

General Requirements for all emphasis options:

  1. During the semester the student is admitted the BLA, an Emphasis option must be formally declared by the student and approved by the BLA coordinator or the student’s faculty advisor.
  2. 24 minimum upper-division in credits required in the Emphasis program (18 minimum credits completed through UAS).
  3. Includes a Capstone Course: HUM S499 Humanities Capstone

Outdoor and Adventure Studies Designated Emphasis

Minimum Emphasis Credit Hours52-56
Designated Emphasis31-35
ODS Electives15
Upper Division Electives6

Designated Emphasis Requirements

ENGLS303Literature and the Environment3
HUMS270Sport, Leisure, and Culture3
HUMS499Humanities Capstone3
ODSS120Wilderness First Responder4
ODS S243Introduction to Outdoor Leadership3
ODSS244Outdoor Leadership3
ODSS245Outdoor Leadership Capstone2-4
ODSS372Mountain Adv: Phil, Lit & Pract3
ODSS444Expedition Planning/Leadership2
ODSS445Outdoor Studies Emphasis Capstone2-4
PHILS371Perspectives on the Natural World3

ODS Electives

Select from the following (15 credits):

ODSS114Backpacking in SE Alaska1-2
ODSS115Winter Backpacking in SE Alaska1
ODSS116Introduction to Rock Climbing1-2
ODSS117Introduction to Ice Climbing1-2
ODSS118Avalanche Eval and Theory I2
ODSS119Intro to Fly Fishing, Tying & Casting2
ODSS133Introduction to Sea Kayaking1
ODSS148Backcountry Skiing/Snowboarding1
ODSS205Backcountry Navigation and Travel2
ODSS216Rock Climbing Level II1-3
ODSS217Ice Climbing Level II1-3
ODSS218Avalanche Eval/Theory Level II2
ODSS221Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue Fundamentals2
ODSS222Mountaineering I2

Upper Division Electives

Select two from the following (6 credits):*

ANTHS314Archaeology of SE Alaska3
ANTHS342Arctic Ethnology3
ANTHS428Tlingit Culture and History3
ANTHS458Alaska Native Economic and Political Development3
ENGLS363Nature Writing3
ENGLS365Literature of AK: Native and Non-Native Perspectives3
ENGLS370Native American Literature3
ENVSS407Snow Hydrology4
ENVSS415Biogeography & Landscape Ecology3
ENVSS422Earth’s Climate System3
GEOGS312Humans and the Environment3
GEOLS300Geology of Alaska3
GEOLS310Glaciation and Climate Change3
GOVTS313Alaska Politics and Government3
SOCS404Environmental Sociology3
*Advisor-approved courses

UAS is an open enrollment institution, this means that you do not have to be in a UAS degree program to take a class. Anyone can take our classes as long as they meet the course pre-requisites.

View Full UAS Schedule

ODS Classes: Summer - 2016

52515J01Kevin Krein
5/16 - 8/6

Tuition and fees: $690 (additional charges may apply)


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