group of outdoor program students standing on cliffisde

Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester

Ready for an outdoor experience unlike anything you've done before?

Venture off campus and travel throughout the Intermountain Region of the U.S. during the Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester (OELFS). You’ll spend an entire semester building a strong community with other students and faculty as you gain significant field experience (and credits) while forming relationships and connections with people and places; developing self-efficacy; experiencing personal growth; and practicing leading with integrity, authenticity, and reliability. By the time you come back to campus, you’ll have developed skills in backpacking, rock climbing, white-water paddling, canyoneering, leadership, teaching, communication, decision-making, and risk management.

Any Westminster student can apply for the OELFS, but priority is given to OEL majors in good academic standing followed by students that have completed OEL 120: Outdoor Leadership. All Outdoor Education and Leadership (OEL) program majors are required to participate in the OELFS.

2024 Field Semester Dates: Aug. 21–Nov. 8, 2024

Questions: Email Kellie Gerbers, OEL Program Director, at

Tents outside in the distance behind bare trees

Field Experience Matters.

If you're looking to work in the outdoor industry, your extended time in the field will make you stand out to employers. The OELFS provides you with the field time and skills you need to be competitive in the outdoor job market.

Field Semester Fee

Cost: $6,000 includes your

  • Non-refundable deposit
  • All meals, transportation, lodging, instruction, entry fees and permits
  • Technical and group equipment
  • Certifications for Wilderness First Responder (either Single Pitch Instructor or Swift Water Rescue) and Leave No Trace Trainer

Included Courses

  • OEL 210 Wilderness Education (4)
  • OEL 220 Adventure Programming (4)
  • OEL 230 Instruction and Facilitation (4)
  • OEL 240 Skills Practicum (2)
  • OEL 245A Wilderness First Responder (2)
"The best word to describe the Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester was wholesome. I say that because as a group we supported, cared about, and loved each other. The nights out in that canyon proved the level of friendship and community that has built and will continue to last after the semester has finished."
Tate Michener '22

Past Field Semester Routes


Expert Faculty

Instructors are subject to change. Westminster instructors from the Outdoor Education and Leadership program and the Fitness, Wellness, Recreation Department will bring expertise in geology, outdoor programming, education, Wilderness First Response, leadership, and more.