Summer Semester in Alaska

Credit: Brandon Gell

Summer Semester in Alaska

Explore the Land of the Midnight Sun

Get ready for the summer adventure of a lifetime. A semester in Alaska will take you from forested coastlines to high mountain peaks, and the tundra and rivers in between. With almost 20 hours of daylight at summer’s peak, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the Alaskan wilderness. Whether this is your first time camping or you’re an experienced outdoorsperson, expect to try out and develop a variety of new skills on this expedition.
Backpacking takes you to North America’s largest assemblage of glaciers and greatest number of peaks over 16,000 feet in elevation. The mountaineering section travels even deeper into the range, where you’ll learn to live and climb on snow and ice. To complete the experience, spend several weeks sea kayaking in Prince William Sound. Throughout the course, dive into an extensive environmental studies curriculum designed to expand your perspective on this wild land.
Every day, you’ll deepen your understanding of leadership as your instructors coach you through the NOLS leadership curriculum. That might mean working with your team to navigate off trail, taking the lead in planning a kayaking route, or problem solving how to travel across a tricky section of glacier in the mountains.
Return home with lifelong leadership skills, newfound self-confidence, and the skills you need to travel in a variety of wilderness settings.



2020 Dates

May 18 – July 31, 2020

Tuition: $12,675
Details: Sea Kayaking, Backpacking, Mountaineering

May 29 – Aug. 11, 2020

Tuition: $12,675
Details: Backpacking, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking

2021 Dates

May 17 – July 30, 2021

Tuition: $12,675
Details: Sea Kayaking, Backpacking, Mountaineering

May 28 – Aug. 10, 2021

Tuition: $12,675
Details: Backpacking, Mountaineering, Sea Kayaking


All course information at a glance


Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships

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


See Photos and Videos from Students and Instructors

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.” 

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