Laurentians on a dock near a canoe

Outdoor Studies

About Our Program

Outdoor studies minors foster a lifelong appreciation and respect for the natural world through classes, professional opportunities on and off campus, immersive experiences like the Adirondack Semester, and outdoor adventures of all kinds. 

Your experiences inside and outside the classroom will help you become a more inclusive navigator of the natural world and a better steward of the environment. As you grapple with some of today’s biggest ethical questions regarding climate change, natural resources, and preservation, you’ll learn how you can make a positive impact while empowering others to do the samestarting right in your North Country backyard.

Program Offerings

  • Minor

Department

Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

The outdoor studies minor emphasizes learning through doing. We take full advantage of our North Country location to help you build your practical skills, understand your relationship with nature, and acquire professional outdoor leadership experience.

Outdoor Leadership Training and Education

Earn credit toward your minor while taking courses on outdoor leadership and education, snow science, river dynamics and safety, and ethics in outdoor recreation. 

Lead Off-Campus Trips and Excursions

Explore a possible career path by becoming a guide for the Outdoor Program. Whether you’re leading an advanced group on a rock-climbing trip to Spain or taking students into the Adirondacks for their first backpacking experience, you’ll help individuals of all abilities and experience levels fall in love with the outdoors while honing your leadership skills.

Wilderness First Responder Certification

Earn the tools you’ll need to handle crisis in remote circumstances as an outdoor leader, guide, ranger, or counselor. All students who complete this course earn a certification card from Wilderness Medical Associates and a two-year American Heart Association “Healthcare Provider” certification. 

On-Campus Employment

Outdoor studies minors like you can seek employment on campus helping others safely experience the outdoors. Lead pre-orientation trips for first-year students in the summer, work at our canoe shack in the spring or fall, teach snowshoeing lessons in the winter, or help out at the Munro Family Climbing Wall year-round.

Sustainability Program 

Environmentally conscious students of any major can apply for this unique year-long program where you’ll live and work on our organic farm. 

Nature Up North

Based at St. Lawrence, this program gets our entire community out into the environment through citizen scientist projects and outdoor adventures. You can also pursue internship and volunteer opportunities that will further strengthen your connection to nature in the North Country

Past Internships

Learn by doing in a real-world environment. Our minors intern with a wide range of organizations, many of which are right in our backyard, including: 

  • North Country Public Radio 
  • North Country Creamery
  • Adirondack Explorer
  • Northern Lights School 

Volunteering

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work. 

  • Nature Up North 
  • Habitat for Humanity 
  • Campus Kitchens

The Adirondack Semester

Explore and examine your relationship with nature while living off-the-grid in our remote yurt village and using the great outdoors as a classroom. You’ll take classes on nature writing and environmental ethics, bond with peers and faculty over locally-grown, home-cooked meals, and immerse yourself in the Adirondack community through a homestay and internship. In the past, students have apprenticed with woodworkers and blacksmiths, worked on a local dairy farm, investigated stories in the community for North Country Public Radio, and practiced meditation and Zen Buddhism while homesteading in the North Country. 

Throughout the semester, you’ll foster a deep, mindful relationship with your surroundingsa relationship that will inspire you to make decisions that positively impact the environment no matter where you go or what you do after graduation.

Learn More 

Study Abroad

You can also choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Australia, China, Denmark, New Zealand, and Thailand. 

Explore Our Programs

Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, we offer opportunities to put your guide training to the test with outdoor excursions around the North Country, throughout the Adirondack Park, and beyond.

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the outdoors, wildlife and environmental advocacy, including: 

  • Outing Club
  • Outdoor Program
  • Environmental Action Organization 
  • CLAW - Connecting Laurentians Around Wilderness
  • The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society
  • Seed to Table
  • St. Lawrence River Alliance
  • The Greenhouse
  • Model U.N. 
  • Divestment Club
  • Geology Club
  • Euphrates Institute
  • SLU Legal

Why St. Lawrence for Outdoor Studies

94%

of St. Lawrence graduates are employed or continuing their education within a year

1,000

acres make up our campus - an outdoor experience in itself

1:1

Our student-to-tree ratio.

20

miles from the Adirondack Park and St. Lawrence River

Yurts

The Adirondacks

Your home base for rock climbing, backpacking, and backcountry skiing in the heart of the Adirondack Park

#2

oldest collegiate outdoor club in the nation

Person using the climbing wall

Climbing

Challenge yourself with new techniques or climb for the first time at the Munro Family Climbing Wall

200+

Rivers, ponds, and lakes for kayaking and canoeing, swimming, and fishing in St. Lawrence County

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Explore outdoor studies minor requirements, as well as electives and popular major combinations.

Complimentary and Related Programs

If you’re interested in minoring in outdoor studies, you may be interested in pairing it with these majors.

Popular Double Majors with This Program
Other Programs You May Be Interested In
Laurentians in the woods amid snow

Passionate, Adventurous Faculty

Your faculty are geologists, martial artists, mountaineers, and wilderness medicine experts. They’re into sea kayaking, ice climbing, meditating, and back-country skiing. Some are even St. Lawrence graduates, passionate about sharing their experience with the next generation of outdoor leaders.

Group of Laurentians

Adirondack Semester Alumni

Alumni of our Adirondack Semester love to bond over their unique shared experience. They’re eager to connect with current students and share how their time living off the grid has impacted their lives.

Laurentian holding a sign

Lasting North Country Coinnections

As you get to know our North Country neighbors through internships and volunteer experiences, you’ll acquire a better understanding of our region and a more meaningful connection to your home at St. Lawrence.

Person kayaking on rapids

Adventure Awaits

You don't have to travel far from campus to find an outdoor adventure or a quiet place to connect with nature. At St. Lawrence, outdoor recreation is for everyone, no matter your level of experience. 

Get Outdoors

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.