Adventure Education

Bachelor of Science

adventure_edA degree in Adventure Education from Plymouth State University will teach you how to use the Great Outdoors to expose children, adults and at-risk populations to challenging adventures, personal growth and self-discovery.

Surrounded by New Hampshire’s rivers, lakes and mountains, you will have the opportunity to explore skills in wilderness expedition, ropes courses, whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, and winter camping.

Plymouth State students, faculty, and staff live life in the Great Outdoors. Campus participants recently placed in the top 10 in Outdoor Nation’s Campus Challenge. Up here, adventure is just minutes away.

DescriptionDegree RequirementsLearning Outcomes

The Adventure Education program focuses on safety, challenge, leadership and professional growth. Through a combination of classroom work, internships and field experiences, Adventure Education students also explore the theories, philosophy, history, ethics, and risk management related to Adventure Education.

Graduates pursue careers in outdoor/adventure leadership, outdoor/adventure education, state and national park outdoor education, therapeutic adventure, environmental education and recreation.

NOLS/PSU Agreement

Degree Requirements


AP 2010 Foundations of Adventure Education 3
AP 2210 Adventure Education Teaching Theories and Methods 3
AP 2300 Rock Climbing Fundamentals 3
AP 2400 Canoe Paddling Fundamentals 3
AP 2500 Natural History and Ecology for Adventure Educators 3
AP 3320 Adventure Education Philosophy and Theory (WRCO) 3
AP 3500 Adventure Processing and Facilitation 3
AP 3510 Outdoor Skills Clinical 1
AP 4200 Teaching Assistantship in Adventure Education 3
AP 4600 Risk Management in Adventure Education 3
Complete the Fall Immersion Semester: 15
AP 3101 Immersion Wilderness Expedition (TECO)
AP 3201 Immersion Human-Nature Relationship
AP 3301 Immersion Adventure Leadership and Group Management
AP 3401 Immersion Wilderness First Responder
Adventure Education Activity – complete one of the following: 3
AP 3110 Challenge Course Fundamentals
AP 3310 Lead Rock Climbing
AP 3410 Whitewater Kayaking
AP 3810 Alpine Mountaineering
AP 3950 Special Topics in Adventure Education
Adventure Education Capstone – complete (C) or (D): 6
(C) AP 4880 Adventure Education Internship or
(D) AP 3880 Adventure Education Practicum and
(D) AP 3890 Adventure Education Clinical
PE 3565 Measurement and Assessment in Physical Education (QRCO) (WRCO) 3
General Education:
EN 1200 Composition 3
IS 1111 The First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking and the Nature of Inquiry 3
MA Mathematics Foundations 3
CTDI Creative Thought Directions 6
PPDI Past and Present Directions 6
SIDI Scientific Inquiry Directions 6-8
SSDI Self and Society Directions 6
DICO Diversity Connection 3
GACO Global Awareness Connection 3
INCO Integration Connection 3
WECO Wellness Connection 3
Electives 20-18
The Immersion courses are offered fall semesters only. AP 3880 requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00. AP 4880 requires a minimum grade of C in AP 4200. AP 4880 must be taken before the semester immediately prior to graduation.
National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
The wilderness expedition experiences taken at the National Outdoor Leadership School may satisfy some of the following PSU courses. All courses will be evaluated for course content prior to enrollment.
AP 2309 Rock Climbing Fundamentals
AP 2409 Canoe Paddling Fundamentals
AP 3109 Wilderness Expedition [ not TECO ]
AP 3309 Adventure Leadership and Group Management
AP 3319 Lead Rock Climbing
AP 3409 Wilderness First Responder
AP 3419 Whitewater Kayaking
AP 3709 Winter Backcountry Travel
AP 3819 Alpine Mountaineering
AP 3959 Special Topics in Adventure Education
Credit may be awarded only once for either PSU courses or NOLS courses.

Students who complete a Bachelor of Science in Adventure Education are able to:

  1. Display professional competence in the following outdoor skills: backcountry camping, navigation, leave no trace practices, top rope rock climbing, and canoe paddling.
  2. Demonstrate effective leadership skills that include professional ethic, vision, communication, decision making, flexible leadership, and tolerance for adversity.
  3. Demonstrate effective teaching skills for a variety of outdoor related lessons.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to write quality lesson plans.
  5. Demonstrate a basic level of ecological literacy in natural environment encounter during the curriculum.
  6. Practice professional standards of risk management.
  7. Demonstrate backcountry emergency skills at the level of a Wilderness First Responder.
  8. Demonstrate competent facilitation skills including assessment of client groups, planning and conducting adventure based learning experiences and promoting transference of learning.
  9. Demonstrate the ability of conducting program outcome assessment.
  10. Describe and demonstrate risk management administrative practices appropriate to an entry level position in Adventure Education.
  11. Display understanding of professional standards of risk management.
  12. Is able to perform satisfactory work during an internship in Adventure Education.
  13. Is able to find and maintain work in Adventure Education or related field.

Health & Human Enrichment