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.

Questions: Email Kellie Gerbers, OEL Program Director, at

Fall 2022 Dates

August 17­–Noveember 4, 2022

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: $5,700 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)


2022 Route



Before applying, attend an info session. Contact Kellie Gerbers ( or 801.832.2494) if you are unable to attend a session.

Session options:

  • Oct. 19, 2021 6:00 p.m., HWAC 100B (Outdoor Program)
  • Oct. 20, 2021, 6:00 p.m., HWAC 100B (Outdoor Program)

The application will open online on November 29, 2021. Applications are due by midnight on December 10, 2021.

Selection and Payment Timeline

  • January 10–28, 2022: Applicant interviews
  • February 4, 2022: Applicants notified of status
  • March 28, 2022: Selected applicants register for OELFS courses
  • April 1, 2022: $500 deposit is due (during registration week)
  • August 17, 2022: Remaining balance is due

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.