Course Types Overview

NOLS courses fit into the aspirations, schedules, and interests of all kinds of people, including high school students and parents with careers, ranging from young people on a gap year to those looking to make a career of outdoor education, spanning students age 14 to 75 and beyond.

NOLS courses are broken into five course types to help you find the best course for your needs. Adventure courses are tailored specifically to students ages 14 and 15. Classic courses harken back to the first courses NOLS offered in 1965, lasting approximately 30 days and open to students 16 and over. Prime courses are set up to be accessible to working adults ages 23 and over. Career courses are designed for people interested in building a career in outdoor recreation, education, or medicine. Finally, semester courses span the full length of a semester, broken into various skills sections.

Adventure Courses - 14 & 15 only

NOLS Adventure courses are designed for 14- to 15-year-old students. For two weeks to a month, you'll be with students your own age, building relationships that will last a lifetime.

Adventure Courses - 14 & 15 only

Career Courses

Recognizing its role as "teacher of teachers", NOLS offered its first course specifically for outdoor educators more than three decades ago, and the school is the worldwide leader in this field.

Career Courses

Classic Courses

No organization offers expeditions that are longer or more remote than NOLS. Earn the bragging rights, leadership skills, and outdoor expertise of a month-long expedition in the wilderness.

Classic Courses

Prime Courses - 23 & over

You're in the prime of your life, and these courses are designed to meet your needs. NOLS does all the planning so you can enjoy the expedition and gain new skills without the work up front.

Prime Courses

Semester & Year Courses

NOLS semesters are broken into sections, which run from two weeks to a month and are as varied as your desire to learn. You'll graduate with a series of valuable outdoor and leadership skills.

Semester Courses