Semester & Year Courses

WhAT YOU CAN DO ON A NOLS SEMESTER

Guiding a sailboat becomes a lesson in teamwork. Rock climbing becomes an opportunity for self leadership. Meeting members of other cultures can deepen your understanding of the world. Every NOLS semester centers around learning leadership through experiences like these so you’re ready to meet and overcome challenges for the rest of your life.

Request a Semester & Year Courses Brochure

What Is NOLS?

NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that will help you step forward boldly as a leader.

Becoming a Leader

On a NOLS semester, you’ll focus on leadership and outdoor skills as you explore wild places in the U.S. or around the world. 

Courses

Spring
Course participants sit on a grassy ridge above the clouds in Kahurangi National Park.

Spring Semester in New Zealand

Find your leadership style as you explore mountains, rivers...

Spring Semester in New Zealand

Find your leadership style as you explore mountains, rivers...

Students have fun in the rapids while whitewater rafting in India.

Spring Semester in India

Leave behind the tourist traps and head to the remote...

Spring Semester in India

Leave behind the tourist traps and head to the remote...

Students use crampons to backpack across a snowy field surrounded by mountains in Patagonia.

Spring Semester in Patagonia

Climb into the mountains and listen to the wind blow...

Spring Semester in Patagonia

Climb into the mountains and listen to the wind blow...

A course participant whitewater canoeing rapids on the Yampa River.

Spring Semester in the Rockies

Explore the outdoors through the spectrum of landscapes you’ll...

Spring Semester in the Rockies

Explore the outdoors through the spectrum of landscapes you’ll...

An instructor smiles as they reach the top of a pitch while rock climbing in the Southwest.

Spring Semester in the Southwest

Explore a living desert and find your inner...

Spring Semester in the Southwest

Explore a living desert and find your inner...

Students crossing a boggy meadow in the Wind River Range.

Spring Semester for Outdoor Educators

Learn how to teach in the world’s best...

Spring Semester for Outdoor Educators

Learn how to teach in the world’s best...

Students navigate a surf filled landing at San Bruno in Baja, Mexico.

Spring Semester in Baja

Flanked by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on...

Spring Semester in Baja

Flanked by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on...

Students enjoying sailing out in the Pacific Northwest.

Spring Semester on the Borders

Get an education that’s beyond your regular classes on...

Spring Semester on the Borders

Get an education that’s beyond your regular classes on...

A Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester course participant works to treat a patient during a NOLS Wilderness Medicine scenario.

Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester

The Wilderness Medicine and...

Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester

The Wilderness Medicine and...

Close
Fall
Students take in a sweeping view while mountaineering past craggy spires in Patagonia.

Fall Semester in Patagonia

Travel by sea and on foot through some of the world’s wildest...

Fall Semester in Patagonia

Travel by sea and on foot through some of the world’s wildest...

Students paddling down the Rio Grande as part of a two week canoe expedition.

Fall Semester in the Southwest

A semester in the Southwest will give...

Fall Semester in the Southwest

A semester in the Southwest will give...

A student breaks into a huge smile after kayaking down a rapid.

Fall Semester in the Rockies

A Rockies Semester will take you on a Wild West tour de force...

Fall Semester in the Rockies

A Rockies Semester will take you on a Wild West tour de force...

Students hiking along the Olympic Coast at low tide.

Semester in the Pacific Northwest

Surprise yourself with the obstacles you’re able to overcome...

Semester in the Pacific Northwest

Surprise yourself with the obstacles you’re able to overcome...

A Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester course participant works to treat a patient during a NOLS Wilderness Medicine scenario.

Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester

The Wilderness Medicine and...

Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester

The Wilderness Medicine and...

A student mountaineering on a snowy peak in New Zealand.

Fall Semester in New Zealand

Join us for an exciting educational opportunity in a...

Fall Semester in New Zealand

Join us for an exciting educational opportunity in a...

A student uses oars while out on a sailboat in Baja California, Mexico.

Fall Semester in Baja

On this course, you'll explore the stunning, contrasting...

Fall Semester in Baja

On this course, you'll explore the stunning, contrasting...

Students sitting in a circle listen to a local villager speaking in East Africa.

Semester in East Africa

A Semester in East Africa means an incredible two-and-a-half months of...

Semester in East Africa

A Semester in East Africa means an incredible two-and-a-half months of...

Students have fun cooking a meal in camp during their backcountry skiing section in the Teton Valley.

Fall Semester for Outdoor Educators

This course offers a cohesive blend of...

Fall Semester for Outdoor Educators

This course offers a cohesive blend of...

A silhouetted student sitting on a ledge looks out at the surrounding snowy mountain peaks of the Himalaya in India.

Fall Semester in India

Touch down in the ancient and mystical world of the...

Fall Semester in India

Touch down in the ancient and mystical world of the...

See All Close

Earning financial aid & academic credit

Financial Aid

NOLS scholarships are need-based and can range up to full-tuition—we give out nearly $1.7 million in scholarships each year. In addition to scholarships, financial aid options include veterans’ benefits, 529 savings plans, and AmeriCorps education awards.

Apply for a Semester Scholarship

Academic Credit

More than 400 colleges and universities nationwide accept academic credit earned on a NOLS course. You can earn up to 19 hours of academic credit on a semester or 27 credit hours on a yearlong course.

Learn More about Earning Academic Credit

Blog

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WAKING UP IN THE WILDERNESS

I woke in the middle of the night to cold on my nose and a black strip of sky smattered with stars in my vision. It was all I could see, my sleeping bag cinched up around my face... arrowRead More

adam-stoumen-maya-johnston-sun-tree-edit-540x387.jpg

THANKING THE WILDERNESS FOR LETTING ME IN

Last night I said goodbye to a group of people that changed my life completely. Some of the greatest friends I could ever have parted ways with, all changed and renewed in their own...  arrowRead More

cass-colman-tea-house-india-edit-540x387.jpg

WHY YOU SHOULD GET OUTSIDE FOR YOUR GAP YEAR

If you’re looking for a program that’s truly different, where you’ll gain actual skills, completely unplug, and learn by experience rather than from lectures, you might consider getting off the beaten track... arrowRead More

Erica-Nala-Denmark-Tivoli-540x387px.jpg

3 MONTHS IN THE ROCKIES TO 30 COUNTRIES IN A YEAR: HOW A NOLS ALUM WENT WORLDWIDE

I had never been canyoneering, kayaking, rock climbing... arrowRead More

carolyn-highland-sleeping-bag-edit-540x387.jpg

WAKING UP IN THE WILDERNESS

adam-stoumen-maya-johnston-sun-tree-edit-540x387.jpg

THANKING THE WILDERNESS FOR LETTING ME IN

cass-colman-tea-house-india-edit-540x387.jpg

WHY YOU SHOULD GET OUTSIDE FOR YOUR GAP YEAR

Erica-Nala-Denmark-Tivoli-540x387px.jpg

3 MONTHS IN THE ROCKIES TO 30 COUNTRIES IN A YEAR: HOW A NOLS ALUM WENT WORLDWIDE

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