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Outdoor Leadership Minor

The Department of Health and Exercise Studies offers a minor in Outdoor Leadership. It is designed for undergraduate students wishing to enhance their personal development and enjoyment of adventure based programs and those desiring to pursue careers as outdoor leaders. Students will develop a foundation of essential leadership skills and experience through course work focusing on outdoor skills and leadership training. Students will gain an appreciation for both the natural environment in which the outdoor activities take place and the diverse backgrounds and inclusivity of participants associated with the activities. Students will also have an opportunity to apply theory to practice through a practicum. The minor will require a minimum of 9 hours plus the practicum experience taken at North Carolina State University.

Minor Coordinator

Program Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 15 hours of coursework in the following areas.
  • A grade of “C-” or better required in each course.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
  • There are 4 required courses, totaling 10 credit hours.
  • The remaining credit hours consist of 5 elective courses selected from a list of outdoor specific offerings.
  • A student enrolled in the Outdoor Leadership minor can expect to incur program costs from $350.00 up to $900.00 or more. Costs will vary and are dependent on the courses(s) in which students are enrolled. Program costs help defray program expenses including guides, transportation, food, campground fees, and specialized equipment rental when required.
  • A minimum of 10 credit hours must be completed at NC State including the practicum.
  • A maximum of TWO (2) courses may be used (double-counted) towards both departmental major requirements and minor requirements.
Required Courses
HESM/PRT 214Foundations in Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Education3
HESM 315Challenge Course and Team Building Facilitation3
HESM 316Outdoor Education Pedagogy3
HESM 402Practicum Experience in Outdoor
Programs (Prerequisites: HESM 214, HESM 315, HESM 316 and First Aid/CPR certification or equivalent. Must have permission from the
instructor to register.)
Elective Courses
Select five of the following:5
HESO 255Canoeing
HESO 257Backpacking
HESO 258Rock Climbing 1
HESO 259Rock Climbing 2
HESO 262Whitewater Canoeing
HESO 263Whitewater Kayaking
HESO 276Whitewater Rafting
HESO 277Mountain Biking
HESO 278Fly-Fishing
HESO 283Mountaineering
HESO 284Sea Kayaking
Total Hours: 15-16

Admission Process

  1. Read over all information regarding the minor program.
  2. Contact the minor program coordinator (
  3. Declare the minor through CODA in MyPack portal. 
  4. Begin taking the required and/or elective courses in the minor program.
  5. Meet with the minor coordinator prior to enrolling in the minor practicum.

Outdoors For All Award

The Great Outdoor Provisions Company (GOPC) founded the Outdoors For All Award in the spirit of addressing barriers to entry in the outdoors and providing meaningful outdoor education experiences to future outdoor leaders and environmental stewards. The award can cover the cost of the HESO/HESM course fees up to $200 total. Click here to learn more about applying for this award.

HES Minor Spotlight Video

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