Academic Catalog

Outdoor Adventure Leadership Major — B.S.

No additional students are being admitted to this program as of Fall 2021

The mission of the outdoor adventure leadership (OAL) major is to develop visionary leaders who are prepared to change lives through effective leadership, whether in a wilderness context or a context where these transferable skills are implemented.

The OAL program delivers an innovative, intensive, and experiential curriculum that promotes the development of strong leaders capable of effectively facilitating groups through high risk environments. The program is grounded in the theory and principles of adventure and leadership strategies and is rich with opportunity for application. Embedded within a liberal arts educational community, the program embraces the many opportunities to enrich each student’s experience through interdisciplinary study and fosters in each student qualities of responsibility and independent thought, respect for others, the spirit of collaboration, awareness of our environmental and cultural connections and a commitment to lifelong service and learning.

Special Academic Status Policy for Outdoor Adventure Leadership Majors

  1. A student in this major must receive a semester grade of at least C- in all required RLS-prefix courses.
  2. A student who fails to complete a required RLS-prefix course with a grade of at least C- must repeat the course. The Ithaca College policies on repeating courses must be followed. See "Repeating a Course" under Credit and Grade Information.
  3. A student who receives less than a C- after repeating a required RLS-prefix course will be subject to dismissal from the program. A student dismissed from the program may be eligible to enter other Ithaca College degree programs.
  4. A student dismissed from a professional practicum is subject to receiving a failing grade and, in that case, must complete a prescribed program of remediation prior to a second placement. The student must register again for the practicum. A student dismissed from a professional practicum a second time is subject to dismissal from the program.
  5. In exceptional cases, a student may be readmitted to the program upon satisfying conditions determined by the faculty.

At least 60 credits of liberal arts are required to graduate with a B.S. degree. All candidates for the B.S. degree in outdoor adventure leadership must complete a minimum of 120 credits in the components described below.


Foundations of recreation and leisure18
Outdoor adventure leadership core36
Outdoor adventure leadership practicum11
Integrative Core Curriculum 116-19
Free electives25-29
Liberal Arts electives11-14
Total Credits120

Degree Requirements 

RLS 10100Leisure and Society 13
RLS 10500Fundamentals of Leadership 13
RLS 12500Understanding Disability: Characteristics, Causes, Services 13
RLS 33200Research Methods3
RLS 34000Inclusive Recreation and Diversity 13
RLS 45300Seminar: Professional Development3
RLS 15100Foundations of Outdoor Adventure Pursuits3
RLS 17100Introduction to Backpacking1
RLS 18005Selected Topics in Rescue2
RLS 21600Outdoor Adventure Skills3
RLS 21800Wilderness First Responder3
RLS 22000The Wilderness Experience4
RLS 22300Wilderness Literacy2
RLS 23200Program Planning3
RLS 35400Organization and Supervision of Outdoor Pursuits2
RLS 37000Wilderness Land Use Ethics3
RLS 42100Wilderness Expedition Leadership4
RLS 43000Adventure Education3
RLS 43500Risk Management in Outdoor Adventure Programming3
Select 11 credits of the following: 211
Service Learning in Recreation
Advanced Fieldwork
Internship in Recreation and Leisure Studies
Total Credits65