Two students kayaking

Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester

An outdoor experience unlike anything you've ever done.

The Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester (OELFS) provides Westminster students an opportunity to gain significant field experience while traveling through the Intermountain Region of the United States. You'll spend an entire semester away from campus in the field while earning a full semester’s worth of academic credit.

All Outdoor Education and Leadership (OEL) program majors are required to participate in the OELFS. Any Westminster student can apply for the OELFS, but priority is given to OEL majors in good academic standing. OEL 120: Outdoor Leadership is a per-requisite for the OELFS.

The OELFS application opens Nov. 30 and will close on Dec. 13. Accepted students are notified by mid Feb. of the status of their application.

Questions: Contact 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. While in the field, you'll develop skills in backpacking, rock climbing, paddling, and canyoneering, as well as in leadership, teaching, communication, decision-making, and risk management.

Field Semester Fee

$5,700 includes a non-refundable deposit, all meals, transportation, lodging, instruction, entry fees and permits, technical and group equipment, and certifications for Wilderness First Responder (either Single Pitch Instructor or Swift Water Rescue) and Leave No Trace Trainer.

The $500 non-refundable deposit is due at registration and 50% of the course fee is non-refundable after May 1. The entire course fee is non-refundable after June 1. The remaining balance is due by Aug. 19.

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)

Course Descriptions

Program Dates

Wednesday, Aug. 19 – Friday, Nov. 6

Travel Milestones

Sites are listed in the order of travel. This list does not include cities visited on transition days.

Expert Faculty

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.