Summer Semester in Alaska

Credit: Brandon Gell

Summer Semester in Alaska

Semester in the Land of the Midnight Sun

A semester in Alaska includes everything from forested coastlines to the snow and ice of the high mountain peaks to the tundra and rivers in between. In the long days of the northern summer, you'll have plenty of time to learn about and travel through wild Alaska. Even if you don’t feel outdoorsy now, by the end of your course you’ll have opportunities to try out and hone a variety of wilderness skills.

Backpacking takes you to the North America’s largest assemblage of glaciers and greatest collection of peaks over 16,000 feet in elevation. The mountaineering section travels even deeper into the range, taking you to an ideal training ground for learning to live and climb on snow and ice. Finally, spend over three weeks sea kayaking in Prince William Sound. See glaciers and moose, sea lions and alpine tundra Amid all this activity, expect an extensive environmental studies curriculum that will offer a unique perspective on some of the world's most stunning wilderness.

Throughout the semester, deepen your understanding of leadership as your instructors coach you through the NOLS leadership curriculum. Learn leadership by doing every day as you and your group work together to solve problems and meet challenges together. After honing skills and leadership for 75 days in Alaska, you can graduate confident traveling in a variety of wilderness settings and with lifelong leadership skills.



2019 Dates

May 20 – Aug. 2, 2019

Tuition: $12,425
Details: Sea Kayaking, Backpacking, Mountaineering
3 spaces remain Apply now

May 31 – Aug. 13, 2019

Tuition: $12,425
Details: Backpacking, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking


All course information at a glance


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Equipment Deposit



75 days

Minimum Age

17 yrs.

Academic Credit

16 College Credits
  • 3 Environmental Studies
  • 3 Risk Assessment
  • 6 Skills Practicum
  • 4 Leadership Techniques

2 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 1.00 Physical Education
Learn about Academic Credit


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Palmer, Alaska

Fly in/out

Anchorage, Alaska

Skills learned



Sea Kayaking

Additional Details

Semester Scholarship Form

Essential Eligibility Criteria


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What Our Grads Say

“The instructors guided us though the most extreme environments that I have ever seen. They did this with a relaxed and nurturing way about them. They are some of the most patient teachers I have ever met. There ability to stay focused through adversity and uncertainty was truly inspiring.” 

— Ian C., NOLS Summer Semester in Alaska grad

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