Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism

  • Bachelor of Science

In-Person Plus at:

  • Lyndon, VT

In Person Plus programs are In Person with options for cross-campus classes and flexibility for remote study.

Want to lead expeditions, work in ski and mountain resort management, become a mountain guide, or lead others in a therapeutic recreation setting, or chase another career in the outdoors? The Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism program at Vermont State University equips you to jump into an array of management roles in the outdoor field. Learn about environmental science, education, biology, and psychology while you play in Vermont and the White Mountains. Become an expert backpacker and canoeist while working toward national-level certifications in areas like rock, ice, and alpine climbing, backcountry skiing, ropes course leadership, and more.

Why Study Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism at Vermont State?

  • Great job prospects: Our program offers excellent preparation for top outdoor education, and resort management jobs via internships in Yellowstone, Alaska, Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire, and more.
  • National certification: Choose from a wide variety of certifications including the American Canoe Association (ACA) whitewater and flatwater canoe and kayak certifications, American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) climbing certification, American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Level 1, 2, and Rescue courses, and wilderness first responder medical certification.
  • Unbeatable location: Minutes from Kingdom Trails and Burke Mountain, forty-two miles from Franconia Notch and fifty-three miles from Mt. Washington, our campus is centrally located to some of the most scenic outdoor terrain in the region.
  • Fully immersive education: You’ll have ample opportunities to put what you learn to the test, including our twenty-three-day immersion program in your second year, when you will execute a self-planned expedition in the Adventure Education concentration, or learn hands-on during fall and spring semesters in the field with Mountain Resort Practicum.
  • Get paid to play: You’ll get paid to put your outdoor education skills to work by teaching others through our partnerships with local businesses and schools.
  • Peer support: Our program fosters a nurturing environment of tight-knit classmate communities. It’s not uncommon for our third- and fourth-year students to take on informal mentoring roles to help encourage and support new students as they acclimate to the program.

Concentrations in Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism

Financial Aid for Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism Students

Vermont State University is providing a high-quality, affordable degree in the varied outdoors field to students across Vermont and beyond. More than 80 percent of Vermont State students receive financial aid, including new students, transfer students, international students, out-of-state students, and first-generation students. Our financial aid team is here to help you explore all your options.

Internships & Jobs in Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism

At Vermont State, you’ll gain leading-edge skills for jobs in this field through internships, co-ops, career coaching, and more. Our internship placements are guaranteed to bolster your network with local and national businesses and organizations.

  • San Juan Outdoor Adventures, Telluride, CO
  • Ski the East, Burlington, VT
  • Adventure Treks Mountain Dew Tour / Vertical Challenge
  • The White Mountain School, Bethlehem, NH
  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), WY
  • Yellowstone Employee Recreation Program, WY
  • Natural Retreats, South Fork Lodge, ID
  • Burke Mountain, VT
  • Bretton Woods Mountain Resort/Omni Mountain Washington Resort, NH
  • Smugglers’ Notch Resort, VT
  • Stowe Mountain Resort, VT

Minors Available in the Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism Program

Interested in adding a minor to your degree program? See minors available in the Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism program below.

  • Adventure Education
  • Mountain Operations
  • Resort Management
  • Wilderness Leadership


Vermont State’s Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism program is the only university program in the country to currently be accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). This accreditation applies specifically to Vermont State’s rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, and backcountry ski programs.

The AMGA Accreditation Program ensures conformance to high technical standards, strong programs, and a quality staff of AMGA-certified and engaged and engaging climbing instructors and guides. 

AMGA Accreditation Logo

Student Stories

A young man leans over a bike smiling at the camera wearing a helmet and blue rain jacket.

“Compared to other colleges with a similar degree, I liked the high-end quality of the program. The things we focus on here let you really dive into being a leader rather than just going into the outdoors and being an educator. They teach you how to be a true leader.” 

Jordan Zach ’20
Outdoor Education, Leadership & Tourism