WS Banff backpack camping lakeside.jpg

Bring your classroom to life.

Wildlands Studies programs are academically rigorous field study courses. Each is built around six to ten hours a day, seven days a week of instruction and field research, and includes 280 hours of direct instructor-student contact with a small team of twelve to sixteen like-minded peers. Coursework includes daily lectures, seminars and tutorials in addition to regular fieldwork sessions.  


Expect to be challenged.

Our programs are designed to be immersive field based learning experiences. Our faculty, who are chiefly PhDs, author and lead our field programs. The programs are taught at an upper division university level as an introduction to the major in environmental science. 


Earn up to 15 quarter credits toward your degree.

Successful completion of a program will earn upper division credit: 5 quarter credits for our two week courses and 15 quarter credits for our six week programs. Academic credit is conferred by Western Washington University, which is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Credit from Western Washington University is recognized by other universities throughout North America and abroad.  


Rigorous academics.

Our programs are based in the field with rigorous academic requirements. Student success is a result of daily, active participation in the program’s academic learning community, an open inquiring mind and thoughtful attention to formal assignments.  

Letter grades and evaluations are based on assigned field exercises and formal presentations, written examinations, written term paper, field journal, discussion of required readings, maintenance of group safety and conduct standards.  


We require a minimum of one completed, college lower division science, biology, environmental studies or geography course. Instructors may grant exceptions on an individual basis.

Snorkeling at Adang.jpg

Confirm your eligibility for academic credit.

Students are responsible for confirming in advance that credits transfer to their home university. Please be sure and check with your academic advisor or campus registrar to verify that credits earned will transfer. Western Washington University provides academic quarter credit, although credits may be eligible for transfer to semester programs as well, with 5-quarter credits equal to 3.35 semester credits. 


Our ideal student.

Students seeking an outdoor field study are an ideal fit for our programs. You will get the most out of the experience if you are flexible, open, patient, are self motivated and willing to work toward a common goal. A sense of humor is always welcome and a plus.  

Successful students tend to embrace being outdoors regardless of the weather. They want the experience of living in rustic areas and have an enthusiasm for new experiences, people and places.

WS Yellowstone wildlife study session.jpg

Participating universities.

Each of the universities on our list has transferred our academic credit as an upper division elective or course equivalency within a major. If you’re interested in joining a Wildlands Studies program, please check with your advisor about how to best transfer credit to your campus.

Many of the schools on our list allow students to use their FAFSA financial aid.  See our list of participating universities:


Financial Aid