Students in the outdoor leadership major and minors want to explore the world, take the path less traveled, and are passionate about sharing nature with others. If this describes you or who you aspire to be, join us for one of the greatest adventures of your life.

What is Outdoor Leadership?

The outdoor leadership program is designed to prepare students for work in the growing outdoor industry, or any field that requires dynamic leadership, risk management, and decision making skills to solve complex challenges within a team. The outdoor adventure industry generates $889 billion in annual consumer spending in the United States, and there are more than 7 million American jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Oregon alone has $5.1 billion in outdoor industry wages and over 170,000 direct jobs. Major in outdoor leadership, or choose a minor in applied outdoor leadership or minor in outdoor leadership education as you spend your college years learning to do what you love.


Outdoor Adventure

Most students will participate in the Outdoor Adventure Semester (OAS) which will immerse them in the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Students will learn how to guide backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, rafting, and kayaking trips while honing their group facilitation and interpersonal skills.    

A man stands on the beach in front of a line of kayaks during an Outdoor Pursuits trip
The Pacific Northwest conjures up images of peaks rising above green forests, hidden coves and bays dotting the coast, and rivers that flow year round from the Cascade and Coastal Ranges. Pacific University is located right in the middle of it all. Through Outdoor Pursuits, you can participate in day and weekend adventure trips from rock climbing or surfing to hiking or rafting. Pacific University's Outdoor Pursuits program invite students, employees and community members to get outside and also offers outdoor leadership students an opportunity to put their leadership skills to work as trained guides and staff members for trips with their peers.

Why Get an Outdoor Leadership Degree?

All courses will emphasize the development of students’ equity, diversity, and inclusion perspective to create a more just and peaceful world. When students graduate with an outdoor leadership degree, they will have a deeper understanding of themselves and be better prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.