Grand Canyon Semester

Wilderness Exploration and Landscape Studies


Prescott College is proud to partner with Grand Canyon National Park to offer the Grand Canyon Semester during the Fall of 2015. This semester-long, interdisciplinary program will embrace a progressive approach to experiential, place-based learning that uses the Greater Grand Canyon Ecoregion  as our training grounds and laboratory.


The curriculum weaves together a cross section of environmental  studies topics with history and policy to formulate a multi-faceted knowledge of Grand Canyon issues.  Students will meet top authors, scientists and researchers while traveling extensively in the field. In fact,  wilderness expeditions (both land- and river-based) and leadership skills will be an explicit part of the  curriculum. The overall delivery mode will emphasize student-centered experiential learning; whenever  we are traveling in the backcountry, whether it’s hiking the trails or rafting the rivers, students will be  engaged with all the preparations and technical skills of an expedition as well as the academics, service  projects, and field research. A central piece of the Grand Canyon Semester will be a science-based  resource stewardship project focused on some aspect of the river corridor. Applicants should be in good  health and comfortable with hiking and rafting in remote locations.

Program Overview

Students receive 12 semester credits from Prescott College that can be transferred back to their home  institution. These 12 credits consist of three distinct four-credit courses taught concurrently; one course  helps students acquire the fundamental skills of wilderness expeditioning, leadership, backpacking, and  whitewater rafting; the second course includes an introduction to landscape ecology, with a primary focus  on exploring the interconnected landscapes of the Grand Canyon Ecoregion (geophysical, biological,  cultural and sociopolitical); the third course examines public lands issues and management challenges in  the Grand Canyon Ecoregion, and includes student-directed research related to a resource stewardship  project in Grand Canyon National Park. 


Students who want to enroll in this program are required to submit an application, using the link below, that describes how  their background and skills (i.e., academic, professional, and life experience) are aligned with the Grand  Canyon Semester, and thoughts on specific contributions, as a member of the expedition team, one could  make to the program.

Pre-enrollment essays should be submitted by April 10th, 2015

Students from all Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) and The Eco League institutions are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants from these two consortia will enroll  through their respective exchange programs (visit the CIEL & EcoLeague web sites for details).  All other applicants will enroll through the Prescott College Resident Undergraduate Program for the 2015 Fall Semester and pay standard tuition All Grand Canyon Semester students will pay a course fee (~$1200) and  personal field expenses (~$600).

For more detailed information (and for submitting your pre-enrollment essay), contact

Bookmark and Share