Master of Science in Expeditionary Studies

Photo of students carrying kayaks

Photo of skiers following the ridge of a mountain
Photo of a rock climing expedition

A Limited-Residency Program Tailored to the Needs of Working Professionals

Everyone working in the outdoors understands that there are two requirements for advancing in the profession: experience and knowledge. The challenge for working professionals is to find a way to enhance those essentials while working as guides, leaders, and facilitators.

Our limited-residency Master of Science in Expeditionary Studies addresses that challenge by requiring limited time on campus. Of the eleven courses in the program, six are fully online, allowing you to live anywhere while completing these requirements. Just two courses require making arrangements to work with EXP faculty as teachers and leaders in our local courses as well as our off-campus courses. These two courses will require no more than a total of four, non-consecutive weeks in residence. The final courses are independently led expeditions, scheduled to fit around your schedule.

Advance Your Standing in a Fast-Paced Profession

As the outdoor industry grows as a profession, leaders and guides must do the same. Graduate degrees can be an instrumental component of that growth. Our master's degree will position your for advancement in this field.

The program combines online course work in core theoretical areas with supervised teacher and guide field work. With independently designed and executed expeditions, the graduate degree curriculum underscores the core principle of the discipline: namely, to advance relevant knowledge and outdoor skills in combination with practice and reflection in order to understand, interpret, and address human and environmental variables in dynamic outdoor settings.

Online courses begin with a unique offering called “Self-Assessment for Adventure Sports Practitioners.” Next come courses in “Planning Adventure Journeys,” “Risk Management,” “Adventure Pedagogy,” “Leadership,” and “Outcomes-Based Adventure Programming.”

Work Closely with Leading Professionals

Our “Praxis” courses prepare you to work under the supervision of highly experienced EXP faculty, along all points of what we call “The Teacher-Guide Continuum.” In these courses you’ll be teaching undergraduate expeditionary studies students in both introductory and upper-level classes. You’ll also be acting as a lead guide for upper-level classes that take place in remote settings, depending on your own area of expertise.

Finally, you’ll design and execute three independent expeditions, each with a different focus. You’ll be required to think differently about an expedition with an educational focus versus one with a community service orientation or one that you design for professional peers. At completion, you will have advanced, concentrated knowledge of core areas of knowledge; you will have practiced as a teacher, leader, and guide; and you will have designed and completed adventure expeditions that will benefit your own professional profile.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program requires acceptance to SUNY Plattsburgh’s Graduate School as well as some additional requirements.


Program Requirements

Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about expeditionary studies at SUNY Plattsburgh. Please feel free to contact the chair.

Jerry Isaak, Chair
Office: 102 Broad Street
Phone: (518) 564-5292