Outdoor Recreation Major






A Variety of Climbing Courses Are Offered



Skiing in Yellowstone N.P.


Hidden Waterful On a River Trip


Canoeing in the Fall


Backpacking on the Idaho Side of the Tetons



Wilderness First Aid Course


The Idaho Wilderness



. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

                                                            William Butler Yeats


Paddling on One of Idaho Many Famous Whitewater RiversThe information below is about Idaho State University's Major in Outdoor Recreation.  Idaho State University also offers a Minor in Outdoor Recreation.


(For more information on Outdoor Recreation at Idaho State, click here or click on any of the links to the left.)



Announcing: New Options in the Outdoor Education Major!



Studying Snow Crystals - Avalanche CourseYou now have your choice between a Natural History Option or an Outdoor Business Option. Idaho State has a long history in Outdoor Recreaton and Education . . . and we are the only university with a traditional Outdoor Major and an Outdoor Business option!


Below is a summary of the major's requirements: 



Summary of the Requirements for the Outdoor Major


•    Physical Education Core Courses.  Nine (9) credits required

PE 2220 Foundations of Physical Education and Sport (3 credits)
PE 2243 Anatomical Foundations (3 credits)

PE 4454 Senior Capstone (3 credits)

•    Leadership and Teaching Component.  Ten (10) credits required.
PE 3386  Outdoor Leadership (3 credits)
PE 4440  Survey of Outdoor Education Literature (3 credits)
PE 4445  Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities & Practicum (4 credits)
•    Outdoor Education Safety Component.  Eight (8) credits required.
Any of the following may be selected, but Outdoor Risk Management, Leave No Trace Trainer, and first aid certification (Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician) are required.

PE 3381  River Safety & Swiftwater Rescue (1 credit)
PE 3383  Advanced Rock Climbing and Climbing Safety (2 credits)
PE 3384  Outdoor Risk Management and Liability (3 credits)
PE 2286  Avalanche & Winter Sports Safety (1 credit)
PE 2282  Map, Compass and Backcountry Navigation (1 credit)
PE 2283  Leave No Trace Trainer Course  (1 credit)

PE 2285 Wilderness First Aid (1 credit)
PE 4441 Wilderness First Responder (3 credits)
PE 2271 Winter Survival Skills (1 credit)
PE 2272 Wilderness Survival Skills (1 credit)

Students who at the time of graduation possess a current certificate in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), or Wilderness First Responder may apply three (3) credits to this component



•    Your Choice of One of the Following Two Options . . .

Option A: Natural History.  Nine (9) credits required. (The following courses are not required if you are majoring or working on a minor in geology, biology, botany, zoology or ecology.)

BIOL 1101 &1101L Biology I and Biology I Lab (4 credits)

BIOL 1102 & 1102L Biology II and Biology II Lab (4 credits)

BIOL 2209 General Ecology (3 credits)

BIOL 2213 Fall Flora (2 credits)

BIOL 2214 Spring Flora (2 credits)

BIOL 3337 Conservation Biology (3 credits)

BIOL 4426 Herpetology (3 credits)

BIOL 4427 Ichthyology (3 credits)

BIOL 4438 Ornithology (4 credits)

BIOL 4441 Mammalogy (3 credits)

BIOL 4489 Field Ecology (4 credits)

GEOL 1100 & 1100L The Dynamic Earth & Lab (4 credits)

GEOL 1101 Physical Geology (3 credits)

GEOL 1101L Physical Geology Lab (1 credit)

GEOL 1110 Physical Geology for Scientists Lab (1 credit)

GEOL 2210 Earth in Space and Time (3 credits)

GEOL 4456 Geology of Idaho (2 credits)

GEOL 4491 Seminar (1 credit)

PHYS 1152 Descriptive Astronomy (3 credits)

PHYS 1153 Descriptive Astronomy Lab (1 credit)

PHYS 3325 Introduction to Weather and Climate (3 credits)

Option B: Outdoor Business. Nine (9) credits required. (Courses in this option are waived for business related majors or minors.)

BA 1110 The World of Business (3 credits)

MKTG 2225 Basic Marketing Management (3 credits)

ACCNT 3303 Accounting Concepts (3 credits)

•    Experiential Skills Component
Minimum of eight (8) credits required.  Courses selected must be different than those used to fulfill the requirements of the Outdoor Education Safety Component.  (Note: only 8 PEAC credits can be counted toward graduation requirment)

PEAC 1101 Adaptive Snow Skiing (1 credit)

PEAC 1108 Instructor Training of Adaptive Snowskiing (1 credit)

PEAC 1163 Backpacking (1 credit)

PEAC 1165 Backcountry GPS Navigation (1 credit)

PEAC 1166 Canoeing (1 credit)

PEAC 1167 Kayak Touring (1 credit)

PEAC 1175A Beginning Kayaking (1 credit)

PEAC 1176A Beginning Rock Climbing (1 credit)

PEAC 1177A Beginning Cross-Country Skiing (1 credit)

PEAC 1118A Beginning Telemark Cross-Country Skiing (1 credit)

PEAC 1178B Intermediate Telemark Cross-Country Skiing (1 credit)

PEAC 1181 Mountain Biking (1 credit)

PEAC 1182C Advanced Dutch Oven Cooking (1 credit)

PEAC 1185 Basic Mountaineering (1 credit)

PEAC 1186B Intermediate Fly Fishing (1 credit)

PEAC 1189 Beginning Gym Climbing (1 credit)

PEAC 1191B Intermediate Horsemanship (1 credit)

PEAC 1194 Caving Workshop (1 credit)

PE 2200 Team Building Leadership (2 credits)

PE 2271 Winter Survival Skills (1 credit)

PE 2272 Wilderness Survival Skills (1 credit)

PE 2280 Winter Camping and Backcountry Travel (1 credit)

PE 2281 Practical Outdoor Skills (1 credit)

PE 2282 Map, Compass and Backcountry Navigation (1 credit)

PE 2284 Intermediate Kayaking and Whitewater Safety (1 credit)

PE 2286 Avalanche and Winter Sports Safety (1 credit)

PE 2287 Snowboard Instructor Training (1 credit)

PE 2288 Ski Instructor Training (1 credit)

PE 3381 River Safety and Swiftwater Rescue (1 credit)

PE 3383 Advanced Rock Climbing and Climbing Safety (2 credits)

PE 4491 Physical Education Workshop* (1-3 credits)

*When workshop relates to outdoor education, i.e. Canoe Workshop (1 credit), Whitewater Rafting Workshop (1 credit), Backpacking Workshop (1 credit), Advanced Kayaking-Summer Field Experience (1 credit), Beginning Rock Climbing-Summer Field Experience (1 credit), Advanced Rock Climbing-Summer Field Experience (1 credit).

 •    Electives.  Minimum of 6 credits
Courses may include those listed in the Natural History Option, Business Option and/or the following:

ENGL 2206 Creative Writing Workshop - (3 credits)

ENGL 3307 Progressive Writing - (3 credits)

ENGL 3308 Business Communications - (3 credits)

COMM 2201 Business and Professional Speaking - (3 credits)

COMM 2208 Group Communication - (3 credits)

M C 2230 & L Introduction to Photography & Lab - (4 credits)

M C 2260 Photo and Graphic Workshop - (3 credits)

M C 3327 & L Magazine Article Writing & Lab - (3 credits)

M C 4470 Communication through Web Design - (3 credits)

P E g4493 Diversity Issues in Education and Sport - (3 credits)

PE 3366 Sport Marketing - (3 credits)

POLS g4455 Environmental Politics and Policy - (3 credits)

POLS g4457 Grantwriting - (3 credits)

MGT g3312 Individual and Organizational Behavior - (3 credits)

MGT g4441 Organization Behavior - (3 credits)

HIST 4432 U.S. Environmental History - (3 credits)

HIST 4485 Historical Geography of National Parks - (3 credits)

Outdoor Education Links


Outdoor Minor Information

Questions & Answers

Brief Descriptions of Outdoor Classes

Course Syllabi & Course Information

Great Video on Outdoor Recreation at Idaho State


Outstanding Instructors


You’ll get outstanding instruction.  For example, Ron Watters has written 8 books. He recently released an expanded version of Guide to Idaho Paddling which covers river trips in Idaho. Along with the book is a companion website: Idaho Paddler’s Website which includes helpful information on Idaho rivers, high resolution maps, and descriptions of paddle trips in the state. He also maintains the Guide to Outdoor Literature Website which includes reviews of outdoor books.


Idaho is an incredible state for paddling. Here's some more information:

  • Here's an interesting story on Pierre Pulling who was a major figure in the canoe world


Evening on the River

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We have subsidiary sites for Idaho State Outdoor Education at the following:


Google Sites


Word Press



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